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2021 Buick Encore

What’s new

  • Simplified trim lineup
  • Improved suite of driver safety aids
  • Part of the first Encore generation introduced for 2013

Pros & Cons

  • Hushed cabin at highway speeds
  • Maneuverable size
  • Tepid acceleration
  • Limited feature availability
  • Small cargo area
  • Unimpressive fuel economy
Other years
MSRP Range
$23,200 - $26,100
MSRP Starting at
MSRP Range
$23,200 - $26,100
MSRP Range
$23,200 - $26,100

Compare dealer price quotes
Select your model:
Compare dealer price quotes
MSRP Range
$23,200 - $26,100
MSRP Starting at
MSRP Range
$23,200 - $26,100
MSRP Range
$23,200 - $26,100

Compare dealer price quotes
Select your model:
Compare dealer price quotes

2021 Buick Encore Review

The Buick Encore soldiers on another year alongside its newer and much-improved stablemate, the Encore GX. The names may be just about the same, but don't get the two confused. The standard Encore is older and smaller and comes with fewer of the latest technology and safety features as standard equipment.

We do like the Encore's small, easy-to-park nature and quiet highway ride. But on the downside the Encore's engine is both underpowered and overly thirsty, netting subpar fuel economy for this class of vehicle. The Encore was one of the first extra-small SUVs on the market, but it's now past its "best by" date. Rival models such as the Honda HR-V and Hyundai Kona are better picks overall.

Which Encore does Edmunds recommend?

Only two trims are available for 2021, but there's only one that's really worth choosing. We suggest going with the top-level Preferred trim. It comes with more standard features and greatly opens up the options list. It's also the one trim available with all-wheel drive.

Buick Encore models

The 2021 Buick Encore comes in two trim levels: the base 1SV and the top-level Preferred. Both are powered by the same 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine (138 horsepower, 148 lb-ft) paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard on both models. Highlight features for the Encore include:

The base model comes equipped with:

  • Keyless entry with push-button ignition
  • A 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration

Previously the Encore's midlevel trim, the Preferred comes with all the same standard features as the 1SV but opens up the options list to include:

  • All-wheel drive
  • Remote start
  • A sunroof
  • 120-volt power outlet

Additionally, two safety packages are available only on the Preferred trim.

  • Safety Package
    • Blind-spot monitoring
    • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Safety Package II
    • Forward collision alert
    • Lane departure warning
    • Front and rear parking sensors
    • Rain-sensing wipers

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Consumer reviews

There are no consumer reviews for the 2021 Buick Encore.

Trending topics in reviews

    Build Your Encore
    Build &

    Features & Specs

    1SV 4dr SUV features & specs
    1SV 4dr SUV
    1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A
    MPG 25 city / 30 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    Transmission6-speed shiftable automatic
    Horsepower138 hp @ 4900 rpm
    See all for sale
    Preferred 4dr SUV features & specs
    Preferred 4dr SUV
    1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A
    MPG 25 city / 30 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    Transmission6-speed shiftable automatic
    Horsepower138 hp @ 4900 rpm
    See all for sale
    Preferred 4dr SUV AWD features & specs
    Preferred 4dr SUV AWD
    1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A
    MPG 24 city / 29 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    Transmission6-speed shiftable automatic
    Horsepower138 hp @ 4900 rpm
    See all for sale
    See all 2021 Buick Encore features & specs


    Our experts’ favorite Encore safety features:

    Provides emergency services such as roadside assistance, automatic crash notification and remote door unlocking.
    Blind-Spot Warning System
    Warns you if there's a vehicle in your blind spot.
    Forward Collision Warning
    Alerts the driver if a front collision is imminent.
    IIHS Rating

    The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

    Side Impact Test
    Roof Strength Test
    Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
    Moderate Overlap Front Test

    Buick Encore vs. the competition

    Buick Encore vs. Chevrolet Trax

    The Chevrolet Trax is the Encore's corporate sibling, and the two share much underneath their sheetmetal. Both are powered by the same underpowered engine, and they're roughly the same size both inside and out. The Encore's interior is better appointed and much quieter than the Trax's.

    Compare Buick Encore & Chevrolet Trax features

    Buick Encore vs. Hyundai Kona

    The Hyundai Kona's styling may not be for everyone, but otherwise this is one of the best SUVs in this class. The Kona offers plenty of room for passengers in a well-equipped package. An optional turbocharged engine and nimble chassis make it pretty entertaining to drive too. The interior is a bit bland, but you get a ton of equipment for what you pay.

    Compare Buick Encore & Hyundai Kona features

    Buick Encore vs. Honda HR-V

    The Honda HR-V, like its larger CR-V sibling, may not be the most exciting crossover around. But what it lacks in personality it makes up for in sheer function. The HR-V's interior is very spacious for this class and offers plenty of storage options. The engine could use some refinement, but the HR-V offers better performance and fuel economy than the Buick.

    Compare Buick Encore & Honda HR-V features
    Is the Buick Encore a good car?
    The Edmunds experts tested the 2021 Encore both on the road and at the track. You probably care about Buick Encore fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Encore gets an EPA-estimated 26 mpg to 27 mpg, depending on the configuration. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Encore has 18.8 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Buick Encore. Learn more
    What's new in the 2021 Buick Encore?

    According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2021 Buick Encore:

    • Simplified trim lineup
    • Improved suite of driver safety aids
    • Part of the first Encore generation introduced for 2013
    Learn more
    Is the Buick Encore reliable?
    To determine whether the Buick Encore is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Encore. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Encore's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more
    Is the 2021 Buick Encore a good car?
    There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2021 Buick Encore is a good car. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2021 Encore is a good car for you. Check back soon for the official Edmunds Rating from our expert testing team Learn more
    How much should I pay for a 2021 Buick Encore?

    The least-expensive 2021 Buick Encore is the 2021 Buick Encore 1SV 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $23,200.

    Other versions include:

    • 1SV 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A) which starts at $23,200
    • Preferred 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A) which starts at $24,600
    • Preferred 4dr SUV AWD (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A) which starts at $26,100
    Learn more
    What are the different models of Buick Encore?
    If you're interested in the Buick Encore, the next question is, which Encore model is right for you? Encore variants include 1SV 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Preferred 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and Preferred 4dr SUV AWD (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A). For a full list of Encore models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

    More about the 2021 Buick Encore

    2021 Buick Encore Overview

    The 2021 Buick Encore is offered in the following submodels: Encore SUV. Available styles include 1SV 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Preferred 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and Preferred 4dr SUV AWD (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A).

    What do people think of the 2021 Buick Encore?

    Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 Buick Encore and all its trim types. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 Encore.

    Edmunds Expert Reviews

    Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 Buick Encore and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 Encore featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

    Our Review Process

    This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

    We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

    What's a good price for a New 2021 Buick Encore?
    Which 2021 Buick Encores are available in my area?

    Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2021 Buick Encore for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 Buick Encore.

    Can't find a new 2021 Buick Encores you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

    Find a new Buick Encore for sale - 7 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $7,787.

    Find a new Buick for sale - 7 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $22,697.

    Why trust Edmunds?

    Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

    Should I lease or buy a 2021 Buick Encore?

    Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

    Check out Buick lease specials