Three-cylinder engines are extremely common in Europe where nearly all subcompact and compact cars are available with 1.0-liter units. Not only that, but Ford also offered its tiny three-cylinder EcoBoost engine in the midsize Mondeo (Fusion in the United States) at one point, while the latest not-for-America Fiesta ST hot hatch also relies on a three-pot mill.
It’s an entirely different situation in the United States where three-cylinder engines are a rare sight in the automotive industry. Some examples that we can think of include Ford’s Fiesta, EcoSport, and Focus, Mitsubishi’s Mirage, a few Mini models, and the BMW i8. Prepare to add one more model to the list as the recently unveiled 2020 Buick Encore GX will be available with not one, but two three-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engines.
Gallery: 2020 Buick Encore GX
When Buick unveiled the crossover at the end of May, it didn’t provide any details regarding what customers will find underneath the Encore GX’s hood, but our colleagues at GM Authority have managed to find out some of the technical specifications. There’s going to be a 1.2-liter unit rated at 137 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 166 pound-feet (220 Newton-meters) of torque from 2,500 rpm channeled exclusively through the front wheels via a CVT.
A slightly larger 1.3-liter engine will provide 155 hp at 5,600 rpm and 174 lb-ft (236 Nm) from 1,500 rpm to the front axle through a CVT. The report goes on to specify that high-end versions are going to come with an all-paw setup and a nine-speed automatic transmission.
With Buick saying that nearly 90% of its U.S. sales come from SUVs, it’s easy to understand why the Encore GX is being added to the lineup. The model is scheduled to go on sale at the beginning of next year, with full specs and pricing to be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch. We expect the model to command a premium over the regular Encore, which kicks off at $23,200 in the United States, while remaining more affordable than the $31,995 Envision.