It took a while, but automakers eventually realized that small cars didn’t have to feel cheap. While many people buy bigger cars when they can afford it, plenty more prefer a smaller, more maneuverable, more fuel-efficient option — as long as it’s just as attractive, quiet, comfortable, and feature-laden as a bigger vehicle.
Buick first applied this lesson to the crossover world with the 2013 Encore. This subcompact crossover, which is still on sale today with only modest changes since 2013, was the first tiny SUV to prioritize an upscale look and feel. The execution wasn’t perfect, but the Encore filled a niche that other carmakers still haven’t fully exploited. Now, Buick sells a second model in this segment: the 2021 Buick Encore GX, which shares nothing but its size and its name with the original Encore. It’s a great leap forward, and if you don’t need to empty an entire Ikea store into the back of your vehicle, you might find the Encore GX the perfect crossover for you. Prices start at $24,200.