2014 Buick Encore Review

Pros & Cons

  • Quiet interior
  • great fuel economy
  • impressive list of tech and safety features.
  • Tepid performance
  • backseat is tight for larger adults.
Other years
List Price Range
$7,750 - $14,998

Used Encore for Sale
Select your model:
See all for sale

Get More For Your Trade-In

Get More For Your Trade-In

Edmunds shoppers get on average $235 more for their trade-in.
Receive offers from our dealer partners fast.
See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

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.

Vehicle overview

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.

2014 Buick Encore models

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.

2014 Highlights

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

Performance & mpg

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 28 mpg combined (25 mpg city/33 mpg highway), while those with all-wheel drive rate 26 mpg combined (23 mpg city/30 mpg highway). 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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2014 Buick Encore.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

literally a vehicle sent from heaven
wunderman,11/29/2014
I purchased my Encore in May, 2014. I wanted a reliable car that would get good gas mileage and satisfactory performance. What I did not pay attention to was safety features but that has changed! I was driving this past Monday prior Thanksgiving and was driving near 70-mph at 10-pm when I fell completely asleep at the wheel. I rifled off the highway here north of Cincinnati and drove head on into a guard rail. I woke up to incredible jerking and twisting due to the collision which ripped guard rail posts, one-after-another, throwing me in a roller coaster ride. The car air bags erupted and the engine fell beneath me. I kicked open the passenger door and walked without harm!
Excellent car, pass on the navigation
blindqu2285,05/28/2014
Premium 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
We are pleased with everything except the navigation. Worst GPS routing I have ever used. Hard to use as it is voice only and some names not recognized, also GM wants $140 to update map every year. Our TOM TOM comes with free lifetime map updates for less than one GM update -- and it is easier to use. The vehicle is exce;;ent for what we do, lots of long distance driving, a bit small on the inside but perfect for two. We will not use it for anything other than finding an address in town -- if it even can find the address. Do not waste your money on the navigation system. Spend $100 on a portable instead of $800 for the car system.
2014 Buick Encore SUV
seanesther,06/08/2014
Premium 4dr SUV AWD (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
2014 Buick Encore White perl. About $32,000 before tax for full fully loaded premium AWD 2014 incluing cargo net, organiser, cargo floor, floor mats etc. I have driven it from Seattle to Los Angeles for a week mostly west coast 1 and 101 hwy. Here is what I felt after driving over 1400 miles. 1. Very comfy riding experience, also thx to the noise reduction technology. Stylish exterior and cute design good for 20s 30s female driver. 2. Despite of small suv size, it is roomy inside for 4 ppl. Cargo space is little tight though. 3. No problem merging hwy; however, no confident following another suv up on the mountain hills. I felt little embarrassing.
Dissatisfied with Encore, GM, and the Dealer!
dissatisfied32,09/03/2014
Premium 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
We purchased our Encore brand new. After an initial "honeymoon period", we started having reliability issues. The car has now been repaired three times for suspension noise. It has gotten so bad that the Dealer & GM proposed a "Trade Assist" as they suggested we get rid of the car. Unfortunately the assistance wasn't much. We are very dissatisfied - we have spend endless time on the phone with GM and at the Dealer. I would highly recommend you consider another manufacturer!

Features & Specs

MPG
25 city / 33 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
138 hp @ 4900 rpm
MPG
23 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
138 hp @ 4900 rpm
MPG
25 city / 33 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
138 hp @ 4900 rpm
MPG
25 city / 33 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
138 hp @ 4900 rpm
See all Used 2014 Buick Encore features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover19.8%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2014 Buick Encore

Used 2014 Buick Encore Overview

The Used 2014 Buick Encore is offered in the following submodels: Encore SUV. Available styles include Premium 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Premium 4dr SUV AWD (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Convenience 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Convenience 4dr SUV AWD (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Leather 4dr SUV AWD (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), 4dr SUV AWD (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and Leather 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2014 Buick Encore?

Price comparisons for Used 2014 Buick Encore trim styles:

  • The Used 2014 Buick Encore Leather is priced between $10,995 and$14,998 with odometer readings between 37712 and94664 miles.
  • The Used 2014 Buick Encore Base is priced between $12,964 and$14,990 with odometer readings between 26852 and69830 miles.
  • The Used 2014 Buick Encore Convenience is priced between $7,750 and$12,000 with odometer readings between 78707 and132803 miles.
  • The Used 2014 Buick Encore Premium is priced between $10,900 and$14,981 with odometer readings between 44246 and75005 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2014 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) 2014 Buick Encore for sale near. There are currently 15 used and CPO 2014 Encores listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $7,750 and mileage as low as 26852 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned 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 Used 2014 Buick Encore.

Can't find a used 2014 Buick Encores you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Buick Encore for sale - 7 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $13,158.

Find a used Buick for sale - 6 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $25,309.

Find a used certified pre-owned Buick Encore for sale - 3 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $21,019.

Find a used certified pre-owned Buick for sale - 11 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $20,279.

Should I lease or buy a 2014 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
Check out Buick Encore lease specials