Used Car Review

2013 Buick Encore: Used Car Review

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author photo by Ron Sessions January 2017

General Motors got a jump on the small premium-crossover market with the 2013 Buick Encore. The 5-seater delivers the elevated driving position and SUV styling so popular with buyers but with a pint-size footprint more akin to a subcompact hatchback. At just 168.5 inches nose to tail, the little Buick that could is nearly a half-foot shorter than a Honda CR-V and just 7 inches longer than a MINI Countryman. Nevertheless, smart packaging endows the Encore with surprising room for 5 passengers. At 18.8 cu ft., however, the Encore's cargo space behind the rear seat is comparable to a small hatchback's -- Buick says enough room for six grocery bags. That opens up to 48.4 cu ft. when the rear seat is folded down. The Encore's diminutive size makes it easy to park and maneuver in traffic. The Encore is available in front- and all-wheel-drive configurations.

Premium fittings and soft-touch materials inside give the Encore's cabin an upscale feel. The richly appointed interior is library-quiet, with liberal use of noise-attenuating materials and an active noise-cancellation system. Standard safety gear includes stability and traction control, an anti-lock braking system, dual front airbags, front-seat knee airbags, front- and rear-thorax airbags and overhead airbags. Also available are forward collision warning and lane-departure alert.

The Encore is a good choice for buyers looking for the versatility of an SUV, the economy and maneuverability of a compact car and the upscale feel of a premium brand.

What We Like

Good fuel economy; seamless all-wheel drive; comfortable seats; upscale materials; good passenger space; quiet inside; easy to park

What We Don't

Limited cargo space; clunky rear-seat folding; busy console; not as nimble as it looks

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The 2013 Buick Encore features a turbocharged 1.4-liter dual-overhead-camshaft 4-cylinder with four valves per cylinder and double continuously variable cam phasing. It's rated at 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque and features Bose active noise cancellation that uses microphones in the Encore's interior to detect unpleasant engine sounds and sends counteracting sound waves via the vehicle speakers. Regular unleaded fuel is recommended. A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard, and both front- and all-wheel drive are available. The Environmental Protection Agency rates front-wheel-drive versions at 25 miles per gallon in the city and 33 mpg on the highway, while all-wheel-drive models return 23 mpg city/30 mpg hwy.

Standard Features & Options

The 2013 Encore is available in Base, Convenience, Leather and Premium trims.

Encore's Base trim equipment includes air conditioning, cloth and faux-leather seats, a power driver's seat with lumbar adjust, a tilt-telescopic leather-wrapped steering wheel with remote audio controls, dual glove boxes, remote keyless entry, OnStar communications, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 7-in IntelliLink display stereo with voice control, SiriusXM radio, USB port and Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera, roof rails, cargo cover, a 60/40 fold-flat rear seat, a fold-flat front passenger seat, auto headlamps, cruise control, 18-in alloy wheels, a rear wiper/washer and power door locks, windows and heated mirrors.

The Convenience trim adds remote start, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, fog lamps, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a 120-volt outlet.

The aptly named Leather trim brings leather seating, heated front seats, a power front passenger seat, a heated steering wheel and driver's seat and mirror and climate-control memory.

Premium trim adds a 7-speaker Bose premium audio system, front and rear park assist, rain-sensing wipers, a cargo net and mat, forward-collision warning and lane-departure alert.

Available options include 18-in chrome alloy wheels, navigation and a sunroof.


With strong buyer interest in small premium crossovers and 2013 models looking nearly identical to their 2017 counterparts, Buick's Encore prices have held up fairly well. Clean, low-mileage examples are in steady demand, especially those with all-wheel drive. You'll generally pay less for front-wheel-drive models.

For a good idea of the prices of used 2013 Encores, check out the used-car values at You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are for sale in your area.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued the following recalls for the 2013 Encore:

The front-seat seat-belt retractors may not lock when the belts are pulled upon, failing to keep the occupants from being adequately restrained in a crash.

A defective electric parking-brake lock lever may not prevent the ignition key from being removed when the gear selector is out of the Park position, increasing the risk of a rollaway.

A defective weld on the front-seat hook brackets may not hold the seats in place during a crash, risking occupant injury.

Exposed wires on the optional engine-block heater risk electrical shock when the heater is plugged in.

A defective airbag inflator may prevent the front-passenger airbag from deploying in a crash.

On a small number of Encores with a heated steering wheel, a loose fastener may cause the steering wheel to come loose from the column, causing a loss of steering and vehicle control.

Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, they'll fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

The NHTSA gave the front-drive 2013 Encore four stars overall and the all-wheel-drive model five stars overall. Both versions scored five stars for frontal and side impacts and rollover performance.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the 2013 Encore Poor for small-overlap front impacts and Good for moderate-overlap front impacts, side impacts, head restraint and seat-crash performance, as well as roof strength.

General Motors covered the 2013 Encore with a 4-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 6-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty with roadside assistance and a 6-year/unlimited-mile corrosion-perforation warranty.

Buick certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles can't have more than 75,000 miles on the odometer and must be 5 years old or less. Every CPO Encore undergoes a 172-point inspection. Those that pass receive a 12-month/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, plus 6-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage with 24-hour roadside assistance and free courtesy transportation from the car's original sale date. There's no deductible, and the CPO warranty is transferable. Also included are 3 months of OnStar and SiriusXM radio, a Carfax vehicle-history report and a maintenance plan providing for two visits over 24 months.

Other Cars to Consider

2013 BMW X1 -- BMW's smallest crossover is 8 inches longer than the Encore, but it offers less cargo space. The 5-seater's long suit is spirited performance and handling with a choice of a 240-hp turbo 4-cylinder or a 300-hp turbocharged 6-cylinder. All-wheel drive is standard.

2013 Volkswagen Tiguan -- The 5-seat Tiguan is a half-size larger and roomier than the Encore, but it doesn't offer the interior quiet or the upscale fittings of the Buick. A 200-hp turbo 4-cylinder gives ample performance. Both front- and all-wheel drive are available.

Autotrader's Advice

All Encores come well-equipped, so there are no bad choices here, but if you really want to enjoy the upscale experience the small crossover promises, look for one with Leather or Premium trim. It's always a good idea to check out CPO examples, as these have been rigorously inspected and come with additional warranty protection. Also, make sure that all applicable recall repairs have been performed by a GM authorized dealer.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2013 Buick Encore: Used Car Review - Autotrader