2014 Buick Encore SUV Review | Edmunds.com
 

2014 Buick Encore SUV

 
 
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What Others are Paying: Base 4dr SUV with no optional equipment

Pricing & Edmunds True Market Value®


  • $24,119*
  • Dealer
  • Invoice

  • $25,085
  • Sticker Price
  • (MSRP)
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The True Market Value® (TMV®) price is our exclusive method for calculating what others are paying for a 2014 Buick Encore SUV in Woodbridge, NJ (based on actual sales data from your region).

*Disclaimers
Buick Encore Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 138 hp @ 4900 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 25/33 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No
 

Review of the 2014 Buick Encore

  • B Edmunds Rating
  • Thanks to its serene cabin, user-friendly high-tech features and truly small size, the 2014 Buick Encore is worth a look if you live in the city. However, it's one of the slower crossovers in its price range, and this limits its appeal for highway travel.

  • Safety | Reliability | Rating Details
  • Pros

    Quiet interior; great fuel economy; impressive list of tech and safety features.

  • Cons

    Tepid performance; backseat is tight for larger adults.

  • What's New for 2014

    The 2014 Buick Encore picks up an optional blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alerts.

 
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (1 total reviews)

39 of 61 people found this review helpful

Love my 2014 encore. naysayers

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Buick Encore Leather 4dr SUV AWD (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

I am an active older woman, and my husband and I wanted to buy a vehicle with some luxury touches, a higher seating position and a quiet interior. I kept looking at the Encore and being put off by reviews saying that the engine is too small, it’s slow etc. But when I actually test drove an Encore Leather, I was hooked. No problems merging on to the highway or driving on hills. The turbocharged engine managed just fine. Have driven it for 3 mths mostly in town with a few trips on the highway, and one in Rocky Mountain Nat. Pk. There, the car purred quietly up and down the snowy and sometimes slippery mountain roads and I could easily control the downhill speed in the Manual range.



   
 
 
Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 25
  • cty
/
  • 33
  • highway
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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2014 Buick Encore Suv in NJ is:

$235 per month*
* Explanation
 
 
 
 
 

Full 2014 Buick Encore Review

What's New for 2014

The 2014 Buick Encore picks up an optional blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alerts.

Introduction

Crossover SUVs come in all sizes and capability levels, but so far only a few automakers make truly small utility vehicles aimed at consumers who drive in crowded cities. The Buick Encore is one of these crossovers. At only 168 inches long, it's 10 inches shorter than the compact Honda CR-V. The Buick's petite dimensions pay dividends when it's time to squeeze into undersized parking spaces, but don't assume that this less-is-more philosophy extends to the Encore's equipment list. Even base versions of this small crossover come with Buick's IntelliLink touchscreen interface and a rearview camera, so the cabin ambience is decidedly upscale considering its sub-$30,000 base price.

In addition, the Encore's interior offers flexibility, as you can fold both the front passenger seat (a standard feature) and the rear seats flat. So done, there's room to stack lumber or anything up to 8 feet long inside the Encore and still close its liftgate. Meanwhile, there's just enough legroom to accommodate 6-footers in the backseat, but as you might expect, hiproom and shoulder room aren't particularly generous.

The primary drawback to the 2014 Buick Encore, though, is its sluggish acceleration. It takes close to 10 seconds to get to 60 mph. Not only is this slower than most similarly sized competitors in this price range, including the Fiat 500L, Mini Cooper S Countryman and Nissan Juke, it's something you'll notice as soon as you hit the gas pedal to merge onto the highway. Until Buick sees fit to upgrade the Encore's engine, this could be a limiting factor for many buyers. On the upside, the Encore returns above average fuel economy for its class, and it's exceptionally quiet once you're up to speed.

If you're looking for a handsome, fuel-efficient crossover to drive in the city, the 2014 Buick Encore is worth considering. If your plans include frequent road trips, however, we'd encourage you to test-drive at least a couple of its competitors, as well as larger crossovers like the CR-V, Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4, which offer significantly more space and, in most cases, better performance for similar money.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Buick Encore is offered in four trim levels: Base, Convenience, Leather and Premium.

The base Encore comes standard with 18-inch painted alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, air-conditioning, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, full power accessories, a six-way power driver seat (manual recline), Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a rearview camera, split-folding rear seats, a fold-flat front passenger seat, OnStar telematics and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, a USB/iPod interface and an auxiliary audio jack. Also included is Buick's IntelliLink control interface, which features a 7-inch touchscreen and integrated smartphone apps.

Stepping up to the Convenience adds foglights, a blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alerts, remote ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 120-volt power outlet and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

As you'd expect, the Leather trim level adds leather upholstery for the front seats, a driver seat with power-adjustable lumbar support, a six-way power passenger seat, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and driver memory settings.

The Premium adds rain-sensing wipers, an upgraded Bose seven-speaker sound system, front and rear parking sensors, a forward collision warning system, a lane departure warning system, and a rear cargo net and mat.

The cargo net/mat is optional on all the lower trims, while the Bose audio is also available on the Convenience and Leather trim levels. Other options, depending on trim level, include chrome wheels, a power sunroof, a navigation system and roof rack cross rails.

Powertrains and Performance

All 2014 Buick Encore models are powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine rated at 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic with a manual-shift feature is the only transmission offered, but all versions of the Encore give you the choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

Front-wheel-drive Encores receive EPA fuel economy estimates of 25 mpg city/33 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined, while those with all-wheel drive rate 23/30/26. In Edmunds performance testing, a front-wheel-drive Encore accelerated to 60 mph in 9.8 seconds, which is slower than most other crossovers in this price range.

Safety

Standard safety features for the 2014 Buick Encore include front-seat knee airbags, front and rear side airbags, side curtain airbags, a rearview camera, antilock disc brakes and traction and stability control. Also included is OnStar, which includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking and stolen vehicle assistance.

A blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alerts is available from the Convenience trim level on up, while forward collision warning and lane departure warning systems are standard on the Encore Premium.

In government crash tests, the all-wheel-drive Encore received five stars for overall crash protection, while the front-drive Encore received four stars. Both versions received five stars in the frontal-impact and side-impact protection categories. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Encore the highest possible rating of Good in its moderate-overlap front-offset and side-impact crash tests, as well as its roof strength test. However, the Buick received the agency's lowest rating of Poor in the new small-overlap frontal-offset crash test (most small crossover SUVs earned a Poor or Marginal rating in this test).

In Edmunds testing, a front-drive Encore stopped from 60 mph in 123 feet, which is average for this class.

Interior Design and Special Features

Fit and finish throughout the Encore's cabin is generally pretty good, and well-placed soft-touch materials and splashes of simulated wood and metallic accents provide an upscale look. Buick's standard IntelliLink system and its 7-inch control touchscreen dominate the center stack. There are plenty of buttons here, but we like the added redundancy they provide, and overall, the Encore's IntelliLink is fast, reliable and easy to use as infotainment and smartphone app integration systems go.

Up front there's plenty of room all around, and the wide seats prove comfortable. Those seats are also pleasantly high, providing a commanding view around and above traffic as well as easing entry and exit. In back, there's ample legroom even for 6-footers, though there's less rear shoulder room and hiproom than in most other compact crossovers. Rear-facing car seats will be a tight fit back here.

When it comes to carrying cargo, the Encore is ready. The rear seats and the front passenger seat fold flat, allowing transport of longer items up to 8 feet in length. With all seats in place, there are 18.8 cubic feet of space. Folding the rear seats down expands that to 48.4 cubes. This is more capacity than the Mini Countryman offers (42.2 cubic feet), but noticeably less than you'll get from the next-size-up compact crossovers like the Honda CR-V, which offers a comparatively cavernous 71 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

In contrast to their boatlike forebears, today's Buicks drive with a sort of relaxed, composed comfort, and the Encore is no exception. However, due to this small crossover's short wheelbase, the ride tends to get bouncy over bumpy pavement, which can be an annoyance on long trips. The cabin stays quiet at high speeds, though, thanks to a number of "quiet-tuning" tricks, including an active sound-cancellation system by Bose.

Handling is not sporty, but the Encore is nonetheless enjoyable to drive around town, as it goes where you point it and fits into small parking spaces. The steering is reasonably precise, and a tidy turning circle makes for easy U-turns.

The 2014 Buick Encore's dynamic liability is its 138-hp 1.4-liter engine. This just isn't enough engine for a crossover SUV, and although the Encore feels adequately powerful in city driving, it feels strained when merging onto the highway or making any sort of passing maneuver. Not helping matters is the six-speed automatic, which is quick to upshift into its higher gears. This helps optimize fuel economy, but it also blunts the Encore's responsiveness.

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† The True Market Value® (TMV®) price is Edmunds’ estimate of this type of vehicle’s current average selling price in your area – that is, what others are paying. This TMV® price is based on information concerning this vehicle provided by the dealer, and the accuracy of this price is dependent on the accuracy and completeness of that information.