The upgraded motor is a $250 option, but only after spending an additional $2,600 to move up to the Sport Touring trim, or shelling out $6,100 to reach the Essence trim. Aggressive deals could make the higher trims more economical, though; at the time of writing, the Sport Touring Encore includes $3,250 cash allowance, making it $650 less expensive than the base Encore 1SV.
The more powerful 1.4-liter engine also delivered better gas mileage, with buyers getting one more mile per gallon in combined driving. Even so, buyers didn’t dig it. In comments to CarsDirect, a Buick spokesperson said those purchasing 2019 Encores have only chosen the burlier motor 12 percent of the time.
The weak take-rate could end up doing Buick an easy favor. The Buick Encore GX is expected to make landfall on U.S. shores sometime this year, riding on a different platform than our present Encore, and bringing a longer wheelbase with it. It will slide into the lineup between the $23,200 Encore and $31,995 Envision. This is all hypothetical at the moment, of course, but that seems a perfect place to insert the 153-hp 1.4-liter as an exclusive standard feature.