Comfortable ride and upscale interior; abundant features for the money; good fuel economy for an SUV; smaller and more maneuverable than the typical SUV
Small cargo area and back seat; pokey acceleration, even with upgraded engine
The Buick Encore gets its first major update for 2017, including a handsome restyling that is not only better looking than what it replaces but brings it more in line with newer Buick models. The interior also gets a welcome upgrade in terms of quality, design and functionality. The latter includes a new tech interface that features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity and control. See the 2017 Buick Encore models for sale near you
The Encore is an excellent crossover for shoppers who are really just looking for an elevated seating height, a comfy ride and a quiet premium cabin. When choosing a trim level, we would essentially go high or low. Really, the base trim is so well-equipped that the next two trims up only add token extras at a cost that doesn't make much sense. At the same time, we would also consider a loaded Premium model with the upgraded engine, as it does provide sufficient extra feature content to warrant its higher price. Find a Buick Encore for sale
The Encore comes in six trim levels. Base-level models are dubbed simply Encore, while the remaining trims are Preferred, Sport Touring, Preferred II, Essence and Premium.
The base Encore ($23,000) is well-equipped for a base model. It includes 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless start, LED running lights, rear privacy glass, a power driver's seat, an upholstery combination of cloth and simulated leather, a rearview camera, OnStar emergency communications, a Wi-Fi hot spot and Buick's 8-in IntelliLink touchscreen interface that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
There's questionable value in the Preferred trim ($24,400), which really only adds a cargo cover and some floor mats. Therefore, the first trim to realistically step up to would be the Sport Touring ($25,600). It gains fog lamps, remote ignition and sportier styling elements (the only trim that does). It can also be equipped with a more powerful engine, which brings with it single-zone automatic climate control. The Safety package, consisting of a blind spot monitoring system and rear cross-traffic alert, is optional.
The Preferred II trim ($26,900) adds dual-zone automatic climate control, the Safety package and a 120-volt household-style outlet.
The Encore Essence trim ($29,000) adds driver memory settings, heated front seats, a power passenger seat, a heated steering wheel and leather upholstery.
Finally, the Premium trim ($30,500) adds forward-collision alert, lane-departure warning, front and rear parking sensors, automatic wipers and a 7-speaker Bose sound system (optional on all but base and Preferred).
Major Encore options include all-wheel drive and an Experience Buick option package that adds a navigation system, chrome alloy wheels and a power sunroof.
|Basic||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||6 Years/70,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Rust-Through||6 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||6 Years/70,000 Miles|
2017 Honda HR-V -- The HR-V isn't as comfortable or as quiet as the Encore, but it is more spacious, offers similar feature content and can be surprisingly luxurious inside if you select its uppermost trim level.
2017 Lincoln MKC -- The MKC is pricier than the Encore to be sure, and it's also a bit bigger, but it's also one of the few small SUVs that shares Buick's emphasis on a comfortable ride and a quiet cabin.
2017 BMW X1 -- Among those SUVs that are similarly sized to the Encore, the X1 would be your best bet. It not only offers the most spacious interior, but it also boasts legitimately premium trappings, a very strong engine and sharp driving dynamics. It does cost considerably more, though.
Used Acura RDX -- If you like the Encore's luxurious appointments but want more power or space, the Acura RDX is a great compact luxury crossover that offers both. Prices are higher, though, so you may want to consider a used model.