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Test Drive: Small but Stylish

Say what you will about the music of Prince, there’s no denying the man – all 5 feet, 3 inches of him – had style. Apply that same logic to automobiles and you’ll find you don’t need to drive something big to turn heads.

Test Drive: Buick Encore GX

(Photo: Buick)

At some point in most everyone’s life they get a little tired of the same old thing and find themselves wanting something a little nicer.  This is precisely where the Buick Encore GX comes in.

The reason is simple: This subcompact crossover SUV (not to be confused with the Encore, which is an entirely different vehicle) straddles the gap between commonplace models and those from pricier high-end brands.

Slip into the driver’s seat on an Essence trim level like the version I tested, and you’ll be greeted with a long list of standard features, including Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration.

The Encore GX is more engaging than you might expect from a Buick. The available 155-horsepower, 1.3-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine can be noisy but produces adequate acceleration and strong Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy estimates.

Ultimately, the Encore GX is a good choice for those who want just a little more out of life.

Test Drive: Lexus UX200

There are style-conscious people in the world, folks who notice everything from men’s wristwatches to women’s handbags. If you’re one of them, the Lexus UX 200 should make a big impression.

This littlest (and, shush!, least expensive) Lexus offers much of the brand’s upscale goodness, including a handsomely designed interior with quality materials in all the right places. The roster of advanced safety and convenience features is extensive.

One of the car’s most notable shortcomings is a frustrating center console-mounted touchpad that’s used to select items on the 7-inch screen above.

The Luxury trim level front-wheel drive UX 200 I tested delivered perfectly adequate, if somewhat uninspiring, performance from a 169-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.

The good news in all this is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to impress the other style-conscious people in your life.

Looking for a new ride? Check out more car reviews at

  • Michael S.

    Is the Buick Encore GX and the Lexus UX200 both the same size ?
    Why is the UX200 with a 2 liter/ 169 HP uninspiring and the Encore with a 1.3/155 HP adequate ?


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