How Good Of A Sub-Compact SUV Is The Buick Encore?
I had the keys to this Encore for a week. Here are my thoughts.
The Buick Encore has been around for only 7 years and this model is the beginning of the second generation. Sure, it has plenty of competition to go against it but many, I am sure, just want to know if it is any good at being at what it was built to do. Below we will find out just how much I like or dislike it. Let's not sit or stand and wait any longer. Let's get to it, shall we?
The Buick Encore's exterior design is beautifully humble. There are not any exciting lines or edges or any sleek curves that flow like ocean waves. Instead, the Encore has the presence of a lake in the countryside. I know there are fish in there for me to eat, I just have to try and catch one. It is the same with the Encore. It looks calm and relaxed on the outside but once one opens the door and gets inside, it is a different story. While walking away from it, it sits there in the back of my mind forcing me to do a double-take at its simple beauty.
Aside from the shoddy shade that plagues almost all GM vehicles with a sunroof, the Encore's interior is brilliant and beautiful. In some cases, it is even a bit exciting. Sort of like a grandmother that likes to go out and play Bingo on Tuesdays and go to the club with her adult grandchildren on Fridays. The plastic, leather, and bits of metal blend well together. The cherry on top has to be the pop-up heads-up display unit. It reminds me of the heads-up display in the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross I drove a while back. As far as cabin space goes, it is actually quite spacious for the passengers and there's room in the trunk to take a few suitcases to go for a trip. As for seats, they're comfortable as always. I would expect nothing less from Buick.
Pricing and Options
So, how much does this Encore GX Essence cost? After everything being added up, the total price comes to $34,965. What does that get an owner? For safety, this Encore comes with Buick Driver confidence which means auto emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, forward collision alert, following distance indicator, lane-keep assistance with lane departure warning and Intellibeam headlamps, as well as teen driver, rear vision camera, a 360 degree HD surround vision camera, stability/traction control, adaptive cruise control, automatic parking assist, and tons of airbags. For comfort and convenience, the Encore comes with 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot, sat-nav, heated steering wheel and front seats that are powered, active noise cancellation and Buick quiet tuning, Bluetooth connectivity with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities, voice command, wireless charging, and rear USB charging ports.
The little 1.3L turbocharged 4-cylinder under the hood of the Encore doesn't have much power going to its front wheels. In fact, all 155 horses and 174 foot-pounds of torque is quite laughable, but it does get the job done as well as give a surprisingly good fuel economy with my driving habits. I was able to achieve 29 miles to the gallon overall. As far as ride comfort is a concern, like all Buicks, the Encore is no exception to how well it is for long journeys to nowhere. Every Buick I have ever had or driven never had a horrible ride comfort. Steering is light but sharp. Braking is what anyone would hope for. And the suspension pleasantly complements the car from having drama and matches the seat comfort.
So, just how good of a sub-compact SUV is the Encore? In all honesty, it's very good. And I am not just saying that. It genuinely is. I think it is better than good. I'd recommend it. My only thing is that I am not a fan of the crappy material that is called a sunroof visor. I know it is a 2020 model and I have only really seen this in recent GM vehicles, but I hope they change it to a better material. Until then, I will always say to get a car by GM without a sunroof, unless it actually has a good sunshade made of better material. I also would say it does have a great bang for your buck price to features ratio. Just don't get a sunroof. Here's a photo of it below.
For North's Auto Reviews merch: ↓