General Motors jumped into the small premium-crossover market early, riding the segment’s fast rise in popularity, and as a result the 2014 Buick Encore was the brand’s best-selling vehicle. 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 half a 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. New for 2014 are side blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems, as well as upgraded GMC InelliLink infotainment with Siri Eyes Free and text message support.
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. See the 2014 Buick Encore models for sale near you
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 2014 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 2014 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 with Travel Link and Tune Select, USB port and Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera, roof rails, a cargo cover, a 60/40 fold-flat rear seat, a fold-flat front passenger seat, auto head lamps, 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, a 120-volt outlet and, new for 2014, side blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems.
The aptly named Leather trim brings leather seating, heated front seats, a power front passenger seat, a heated steering wheel and driver’s seat, mirror and climate-control memory.
The 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 2014 models looking nearly identical to their 2018 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.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued the following recalls for the 2014 Encore:
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.
Incorrect front airbag module software may result in the module not triggering the front airbags and seatbelt pretensioners in a crash, increasing the risk of injury. GM will reflash the software.
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-wheel-drive 2014 Encore four stars overall and the all-wheel-drive model five stars overall. Both versions scored five stars for frontal and side impacts and four stars for rollover performance.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the 2014 Encore as 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 2014 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 fewer. 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
2014 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 on sixes; fours come with a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive.
2014 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.
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.