2014 Buick Encore SUV Rating Details | Edmunds Rating Details
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2014 Buick Encore SUV - Rating Details

B
Edmunds Rating
Vehicle Tested

2013 Buick Encore FWD Premium SUV (1.4L 4-cyl. Turbo 6-speed Automatic)

Driven On 2/26/2013

Ratings Summary

This rating has been carried forward from a prior year because the newer model has no substantial differences.

The Encore occupies a small niche in the world of tall hatchbacks. It's easy to use, not engaging, quiet, has a small cargo bay and nets good fuel economy. The 1.4L turbo isn't gutsy but it does propel the car acceptably around town.
C
Performance There isn't anything to entice driving enthusiasts here, but the Encore is capable in day-to-day driving. Low-speed torque is sufficient, though the gearbox could be better.
Acceleration
C
The 1.4L turbo has good thrust around town; less so at freeway speeds. The transmission is keen to upshift to high gears and changes gears smoothly, if not especially quickly.
Braking
B
Though the pedal is rather soft in its initial travel, braking is progressive and predictable.
Steering
C
The steering is appropriately quick but lacks substance. It is overboosted and numb, requiring little effort from the driver and giving little information back in return.
Handling
B
Sporty is not a word to describe the Encore's handling. It goes where you point it and feels nimble around town. You won't be seeking out canyon roads, however.
Driveability
C
The upshift-happy transmission will spoil your rhythm on a winding, uphill drive. Engine braking is lacking. Manual mode is difficult to use and too easy to accidentally engage.
B
Comfort Quiet, easy to park, small turning circle. The ride is quite good especially when you consider the short wheelbase.
Seating Comfort
C
Seats are relatively flat, though the modest bolstering means plenty of flexibility in driver size and your chosen driving position. No obvious flaws, but not outstanding, either.
Ride Comfort
B
The ride is relaxed; neither wallowy nor sporty. It exhibits some exaggerated vertical movements on the bumpy sections of our drive route.
Quietness
A
Quiet car overall. No significant engine noise at cruise. Some wind noise at freeway speeds yet very little road noise. Quietness is a strong suit of the Encore.
B
Interior Passenger space is quite good considering its compact exterior dimensions, but cargo space does suffer. Light brown dashtop reflects into windshield. Minimal brightwork is a plus.
Ergonomics
C
Numerous buttons on center console with very small icons on them. Multimedia interface has clear graphics, but screen flow can be clunky.
Ingress/Egress
A
Low step-in height and tall roof means it's very easy to get into and out of. The unobtrusive seat helps here, too.
Space/Room
B
Though compact, most of the interior volume has been given to passenger space. The rear seats, though flat and upright, will fit tall passengers.
Visibility
C
Forward visibility is expansive through the windshield. Wide-based A-pillars block a lot of the view outward. Extremely thick C-pillars block most of the view rearward.
Cargo/Storage
C
Small cargo area. It'll hold a moderate load of groceries with the rear seats up, but many compact crossovers do better here.
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B
Value Assuming its fuel economy upside pans out in the real world, the Encore makes a decent case for itself.
Build Quality (vs. $)
B
The dubious choice of interior color scheme notwithstanding, the Encore felt tight. A strange whistle was observed at 55 mph in our test sample.
Features(vs. $)
B
Our range-topping Encore tester is well-equipped, with leather, back-up camera, navigation, heated seats and a collision warning system.
Cost
C
Our example topped $31 grand, which sounds like a lot but isn't far from choices like the RAV4 and Nissan Rogue.
MPG
B
The Encore's 25/33 city/hwy mpg fares well against the RAV4 and Rogue but doesn?t best the roomier and less costly Subaru XV Crosstrek.
Warranty
B
A 4-yr/50,000-mi basic and 6-yr/70,000-mi powertrain warranty is better than average.
Ownership
B
Scheduled maintenance visits are not included, but there is 6 years/70,000 miles of roadside assistance.
C
Fun To Drive Fun isn't a word that can be used to describe the Encore. And its small size constrains function, too.
Driving Experience
C
It's quiet and easy to get into and out of, though the centerstack controls may confound some.
Personality
B
The Encore comes across as anonymous and slightly dressy at the same time. Certain customers may find that appealing.
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