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
After major updates and changes last year, the Encore is essentially unchanged for 2018. See the 2018 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 the 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, proximity entry and 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 hotspot, Buick's 8-in IntelliLink touchscreen interface, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, two USB ports, Bluetooth and a 6-speaker sound system that includes satellite radio and a media player interface.
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 ($29,100) adds driver memory settings, heated front seats, a power passenger seat, a heated steering wheel and leather upholstery.
Finally, the Premium trim ($30,600) 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 the base and Preferred trims).
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|
|Maintenance||2 Years/24,000 Miles 2 Visits|
2018 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.
2018 Subaru Crosstrek -- The Crosstrek offers no-nonsense space and comfort with excellent fuel economy despite coming standard with all-wheel drive. It's certainly not as quiet or luxurious as the Encore, but you may find it to be a more functional choice.
2018 Lincoln MKC -- The MKC is pricier than the Encore to be sure, and it's also a bit bigger, but it's one of the few small SUVs that shares Buick's emphasis on a comfortable ride and a quiet cabin. And for those seeking an American-made SUV, the MKC has that advantage over the Korean-built Encore. If an MKC is out of your price range, you can always seek out a used or certfied pre-owned version.