It’s not just Chevrolet Equinox, Terrain and Traverse crossovers and Cadillac CT6 enjoying the engine and trim switcheroos this spring. Based on the order guide, CarsDirect reports that the Buick Encore, Buick’s most popular model by far, will lose one of its two engines. The 2019 Encore offers a 1.4-liter four-cylinder in two guises: one with 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque, the other with 153 hp and 177 lb-ft and stop/start. The more powerful version will not be an option on the 2020 Encore.

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.



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