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Buick Encore

Overview
Review
OVERVIEW

2015 Buick Encore – Base FWD 4-Dr Sport Utility I4 Auto Trans (Base Trim)

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2015 Buick Encore: Angularfront
RATINGS

Editors Overall Rating

What is this?
This rating is provided by our team of editors based on their extensive professional expertise on Trucks, SUVs, Vans, and Wagons.
We liked
  • Luxurious Interior
  • Great Value
  • Pleasant Driving Manners
We disliked
  • A Little Underpowered
  • Too Small For Five Passengers
PRICING Fair Market Pricing
What is this?
Fair Market Price is an estimate of a “fair” price that any given new vehicle can be purchased for. This national estimate, updated monthly, reflects recent market conditions (supply and demand) plus a reasonable dealer markup.
$23,083
Finance
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payment:
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MSRP
$24,065
MPG
25 / 33
City/Hwy
ENGINE
1.4L I4
HORSE POWER
138 hp
@ 4,900 rpm
TORQUE
148 ft lb
of torque @ 1,850 rpm
See all Photos, Ratings, Pricing and Specifications
For 2015, the Encore gets a redesigned front-end structure, which helped it earn a Good rating in the IIHS’ difficult small-overlap crash test. That rating helped it secure Top Safety Pick status from the safety organization.
Faults are few. The Encore is based on the same platform as the subcompact Chevrolet Sonic, so owners must understand that it’s not designed to carry five passengers and all their stuff in perfect comfort. Additionally, the structure can make some tinny sounds, such as when slamming the rear liftgate, which may be surprising to some buyers of the premium product. Finally, the 1.4L turbocharged I-4 makes 138 hp, which is enough for basic duty but doesn’t really serve any verve.
Overall, however, for buyers who want lots of equipment, a pleasant ride, and a relatively low sticker price, the Encore is hard to beat.

REVIEW

2014 Buick Encore Winter Drive

Surviving the Polar Vortex Buick's 'Ute

Scott BurgessFeb 26, 2014
While first deep freeze has ended in Michigan, perhaps one of the biggest overachievers was the 2014 Buick Encore, my test vehicle that carted me through Polar Vortex No. 1.
It wasn’t always easy. The heater is loud on full blast, and I have a few quibbles with the vehicle, but overall, the Encore did a bang-up job providing me with cold-weather comforts and was a great ride even when sliding sideways. The Encore used its small stature to create big perks I wasn't expecting.
During the week of test driving, I saw the outside temperature indicator dip as low as -18 degrees Fahrenheit and I certainly wouldn’t doubt the thermometer’s accuracy – simply put, it was freezing outside. Even on the coldest of mornings, the Encore always started on the first try and by the time I jumped into it, it was toasty warm.
Photo 2/10
That’s because of the Encore’s remote start, which is your best friend in severe cold weather. Starting the Encore and letting it warm up as you sip a cup of coffee makes any -10 degree morning just a little bit nicer. It also makes chipping ice off of the windshield much easier. The only drawback was that the Encore would only stay on for about 10 minutes. Also note: Remote starting a vehicle destroys its gas mileage, so I never even came close to achieving 25 mpg in the city or 33 mpg on the highway.
But mileage numbers are not the chief concern when all your nose hairs freeze with your first breath outside. No, your biggest worry is getting from frozen point A to frozen point B. The tiny crossover performed like the lead dog in the Iditarod during the worst of the weather. In fact, it provided some great bonus features due to its slender stature.
First, due to the snow piling up on the sides of the roads – my slice of the Mitt received about 14 inches of snow, many lanes became narrower than usual and for about three days all of the lines on the road simply disappeared under a layer of brown slush. Fellow drivers swayed back and forth in some lanes, often cutting into my lane. If I had been driving a wider vehicle, its side mirrors might now be laying on the road. But the Encore slipped right through without any problems, like a person sucking in a big breath to skinny themselves up and squeeze through a crowded train.
The short length – 168.5 inches – allowed the Buick to fit into a number of tight parking spaces other cars could not, especially in places where snow plows have piled up snow that refused to melt.
While just a front-drive machine, the Encore seemed to handle the snow and ice very well. It’s higher stance and clearance was especially handy when driving through fresh snow. For the most part, I find front-drive vehicles fairly responsive in the snow, especially if you drive a little slower and don’t maneuver too quickly. Ice? Well, nothing is really that good on ice; the best thing to do is just stay home. An all-wheel-drive model is available but unnecessary.
Photo 6/10
The turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine provided plenty of power – 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque. It never felt lacking during acceleration or cruising. As I mentioned, I was mostly driving slow to begin with. The six-speed automatic transmission sometime whined under aggressive driving but otherwise provided flawless performance.
Some of the Encore’s safety technology, including its blind-spot monitoring system, also played an important role. When a car’s side windows are covered in a fresh snowy glaze, it is much more difficult to detect oncoming vehicles. This becomes even more telling during inclement weather where different drivers maintain much different speeds and someone can easily sneak into your blind spot.
The one piece of technology that did not fair as well was the rearview camera -- constantly covered in grime, it was practically useless. The ultrasonic sensors also seemed to be in hyper mode when they remained covered in snow. It’s understandable but annoying.
For the most part, the Encore did a great job in the bad weather. Perhaps the only time I really noticed how narrow 69.9-inch-wide vehicles can be was when I was driving with a friend. We’re both burly enough men and our shoulders touched for the entire drive. Perhaps Buick could market this as intimate seating.
Another downside to consider is that the nicely loaded Encore had a $33,475, which is not unreasonable and falls right where a Buick should: Less than similar luxury vehicles but more than entry mainstream ones. For a suburban everyday hauler, this is a great vehicle. It wraps the owner in luxury, touts a very versatile interior with a folding second row, provides lots of high-tech driver-friendly features and that lets you look over the tops of cars but still fit in a compact space.
The Encore also holds its own on a road trip, remaining stable on highway trips I’ve taken in the Buick in the past. This particular cold week of testing, however, was much more true to life, trudging through the daily grind of work, snow shoveling and work.
While I hope we don't experience more encore performances of the polar vortex, I will gladly hop into this Buick any time.
Photo 10/10
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2015 Buick Encore

SPECIFICATIONS
$24,065
25 / 33
1.4L I4
VIEW ALL SPECIFICATIONS
See all Photos, Ratings, Pricing and Specifications
Truck Trend features
2015 Buick Encore Snow Adventure and Winter Advisory Checklist
Truth is, I am always looking for the opportunity to motor in snow, especially on closed-course tracks that allow me to push the throttle and get sideways.
Sue MeadMar 30, 2015
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2014 Buick Encore

SPECIFICATIONS
$24,160
25 / 33
1.4L I4
VIEW ALL SPECIFICATIONS
See all Photos, Ratings, Pricing and Specifications
Truck Trend truck reviews
2014 Buick Encore Winter Drive
The 2014 Buick Encore may be as small as it gets with luxury crossovers, but it performed well in the recent polar vortex.
Scott BurgessFeb 26, 2014

2013 Buick Encore

SPECIFICATIONS
$24,200
25 / 33
1.4L I4
VIEW ALL SPECIFICATIONS
See all Photos, Ratings, Pricing and Specifications
Truck Trend news
Buick Encore Shortage Caused by Unforeseen Demand
Sales of the Buick Encore compact CUV are “triple or quadruple” what the automaker initially expected
Alex NishimotoAug 6, 2013
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General Motors Dominates J.D. Power 2013 Full-Size Trucks, SUV Initial Quality Rankings
GM Vehicles Take Top Spot in Large, Premium SUV Segments, Sweep Light, HD Pickups
Edward A. SanchezJun 20, 2013
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2013 Buick Encore Gets High Safety Scores From NHTSA, IIHS, Falls Short on TSP+
Compact Crossover Receives "Poor" Rating on New Frontal Offset Test
Edward A. SanchezJun 4, 2013
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Video: 2013 Buick Encore Crossover Dodges Dinosaurs in New Ad
There is something fittingly ironic about having dinosaurs star alongside the compact Buick Encore in its first TV commercial, as the automaker has built some of the largest and softest luxury cars in the industry.
Jason UdyMar 19, 2013
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General Motors Temporarily Lays Off Flint Engine Workers
Assembly of Buick Encore Engines Moving to Korea
Edward A. SanchezMar 11, 2013
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12 Most Fuel-Efficient 2013 SUVs - For Now
Although the SUV is the mainstream media's favorite poster-boy for wasteful fuel consumption, the current crop of compact SUVs have fuel efficiency roughly equivalent to many midsize sedans, along with the commanding and reassuring driving position and visibility that many drivers prefer.
Edward A. SanchezFeb 15, 2013
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Top 10 Most Fuel-Efficient Non-Hybrid 2013 Crossovers
With technologies like direct injection, turbocharging, and CVTs, 2013-model-year SUVs, our list includes everything from a rear-drive entry-level luxury crossover to an all-wheel-drive compact cute-ute.
Erick AyapanaJan 31, 2013
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2013 Buick Encore First Drive
A Compact CUV For Young Professionals - Buick has done an admirable job over the last few years to shed its geriatric image -- and lower the age of its customers.
Nate MartinezJan 24, 2013
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New 2013 Buick Encore Crossover to Carry $24,950 MSRP
New 2013 Buick Encore Crossover to Carry $24,950 MSRP
Karla SanchezSep 20, 2012
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2013 Buick Encore Photo Gallery
Check out more photos of the 2013 Buick Encore.
Courtesy of the ManufacturerJan 6, 2012
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Buick Gives Facebook Fans Another Tease of the 2013 Encore
While we're pretty sure we'll see the Buick Encore in the flesh at next week's Detroit Auto Show, that hasn't stopped Buick from releasing another piece of a teaser photo of the upcoming crossover, on it's Facebook page.
Ben TimminsJan 4, 2012
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