I recently reviewed the 2024 Buick Encore GX in its new Avenir trim, appreciating the updates from its mid-cycle refresh and assessing its comfortable driving style. What I didn’t dive into, however, were the cupholders. Specifically, I wanted to know if it could accommodate in a convenient location what is my favorite hydration facilitator, a 32-ounce Nalgene water bottle. This, like other oversized water bottles, often can’t find a cupholder that will fit it. Its a particularly American problem (we’re more obsessed with cupholders than other markets), so can this American budget-luxury crossover satisfy my own obsession with this big, dumb bottle? Let’s find out.
We can’t add the Encore to that list, unfortunately. The cupholders are far too small.
Usually, the second best option, if possible, is to put it in the front door pocket.
Voilà! It fits. No Nalgene rolling around on the front passenger seat in this Buick. But what about in back?
The center armrest in the Encore GX is a fine place to rest one’s elbow, but what about a big-ass bottle of water?
Alas, the rear cupholders are equally dinky as the ones up front, which is often the case. The last-gen Toyota Tundra was an exception, where the rear cupholders were bigger than those up front which is super weird to me. I’mm looking forward to see what’s what with the new Tundra.
The rear door pockets are much smaller than those up front. This does not look promising.
It’s just big enough that I can wedge the bottom of the bottle inside, but not big enough to keep it there when the car is in motion. Sorry backseaters, you’d better settle for your lesser bottles, suckers.
I had almost overlooked this little cubby in between the front cupholders and center console armrest. It’s an odd shape, but with some luck, the Nalgene will fit.
That’s the ticket! This is even better than putting it in the door. It’s not the most secure fit, but it’s not so huge a space that the bottle knocks around and falls over with every input to the steering wheel or pedals. This ended up being where I put the Nalgene every time I drove the Encore GX, and, subsequently, I remained content and adequately hydrated. And the cupholders remained open for alternative beverages.
Interested in more than just the cupholders? Read my first drive review of the refreshed Encore GX. If you prefer motion pictures to stills, you can watch this Nalgene test below.