The Buick Encore is an excellent subcompact SUV. Its small dimensions and turning radius allow it to easily maneuver into tight spaces, and its refined cabin provides ample space for passengers in both rows. This crossover SUV also has a lot of useful infotainment technology and a lot of cargo space. The Buick Encore, on the other hand, accelerates slower than many of its competitors and has one of the highest starting prices in the class.
Major Changes Over The Years
The following are the most significant changes to the Buick Encore in recent years:
- 2017: new exterior and interior design; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto became standard.
- 2018: saw no significant changes.
- 2019: Trims were shuffled.
- 2020: The 153-horsepower engine is retired.
- 2021: trimmed lineup.
Every 2021 Encore is equipped with a 138-horsepower turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that feels underpowered and provides sluggish acceleration. It has a six-speed automatic transmission. The Encore has a more top-heavy feel than lower-set rivals such as the Mazda CX-3 due to the passengers sitting high atop a short wheelbase, and as a result, the Encore leans more heavily when cornering. The steering is well-weighted but not particularly engaging, but it’s accurate and will appeal to buyers looking for a comfortable small crossover. In terms of comfort, the Encore’s suspension absorbs bumps admirably and dampens harsh impacts.
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Ride and Handling
Even on rough roads, the Encore is a comfortable cruiser. Furthermore, its small size allows it to easily maneuver around corners and into tight parking spaces. However, the light steering of this Buick results in a less engaging ride than some competitors, such as the Mazda CX-30. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive available on the Preferred trim.
With a few exceptions, the interior of the Encore is basically a premium cabin, despite its compact size. The door panels and lower center console have some hard plastics, and the glossy black trim on our test vehicle’s center stack didn’t match the glossy grey panels on the doors. Soft-touch sections on the armrests and dash pad contribute to a more upscale atmosphere, as do the flush-mounted infotainment touchscreen and jewel-colored background accents. The front-seat layout is quite good, with simple controls and redundant knobs on the dash for climate control. Besides, the tight interior dimensions, difficult-to-fold rear seat, and class-average storage space for small items, the interior is quite impressive.
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The standard infotainment system is simple to use and loaded with technology, including smartphone integration with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It has a large touchscreen and physical knobs for controlling audio and climate settings.
- Standard infotainment features: an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a six-speaker stereo, two USB ports, Bluetooth, voice recognition, satellite radio, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and Siri Eyes Free
- Additional standard features: proximity keyless entry and push-button start
- Additional available features: remote start
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The EPA estimates the Encore gets 25 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, which is typical for a subcompact SUV. The estimated fuel economy for models with all-wheel drive is 24 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.
Key safety features include:
- Available forward-collision warning
- Available blind-spot monitoring
- Available lane-departure warning
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We like Encore’s small size, ease of parking, and quiet highway ride. However, the Encore’s engine is both underpowered and thirsty, resulting in poor fuel economy for this class of vehicle. It has an upscale cabin, plenty of interior space, and an easy-to-use infotainment system, in addition to a comfortable ride. However, this Buick’s weak powertrain holds it back, as many competitors in the class offer more powerful engines. The Encore was one of the first extra-small SUVs on the market, but it has reached the end of its useful life.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Does the Buick Encore have a lot of problems?
Common problems in the Buick Encore include engine problems, defective airbags, brake problems, and faulty batteries.
Is the Buick Encore a reliable car?
The 2021 Buick Encore is predicted to have a reliability rating of 84 out of 100. A J.D. Power predicted reliability score of 91-100 is considered the best, 81-90 is considered great, 70-80 is considered average, and 0-69 is considered fair and below average.
What is the life expectancy of a Buick Encore?
Buick Encores have an average lifespan of up to 200,000 miles, with many Buick owners claiming that their cars have a longevity of 150,000 to 200,000 miles.
What vehicles are comparable to the Buick Encore?
Some cars that are comparable to the Buick Encore in the current market include the BMW X1, Mazda CX-30, Lexus NX, Kia Seltos, and Honda HR-V.
Is the Buick Encore being discontinued?
The American automaker has decided to discontinue production of the 2022 Encore in the third quarter of 2022. The most probable reason for the discontinuation is a drop in sales.