2015 Buick Encore Review

Pros & Cons

  • Quiet interior
  • good fuel economy
  • long list of tech and safety features.
  • Tepid performance
  • small size limits interior room and cargo space.
Other years
List Price Range
$9,250 - $16,998

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Thanks to its quiet cabin, user-friendly technology features and truly compact size, the 2015 Buick Encore is worth a look if other crossover SUVs seem too large. However, the Encore's modest performance and interior space limit its appeal.

Vehicle overview

If there's an overarching trend in the automotive industry at the moment, it can be summarized in three words: Small is big. As proof, we offer up the 2015 Buick Encore. The fact that this seriously compact crossover comes from Buick, a brand once known primarily for building big, comfy luxury sedans, shows just how far-reaching this trend really is. Happily, the Encore possesses many of the essential qualities of Buick-ness, although its relatively humble power and cabin space may give some shoppers second thoughts.

On the positive side, the Encore's list of standard features is long, including a new-for-2015 4G LTE connection with WiFi hotspot capability. The Encore also comes with a smart-looking 7-inch touchscreen that provides smartphone app integration. Additional luxuries, such as forward collision and lane-departure warnings and a heated steering wheel, are available on upper trim levels, putting the Encore on par with more expensive models. Throw in the optional leather upholstery and Bose stereo, and you've got a legitimately premium crossover in a petite package.

How petite? At a full 11 inches shorter than the Honda CR-V, the Encore is definitely one size down from the usual suspects. Of course, that's a boon when it comes to maneuvering through crowded city streets and snagging tight parking spaces. On the other hand, the Encore's backseat is noticeably tighter than the norm for similarly priced crossovers, and its maximum cargo capacity puts it neck and neck with the Volkswagen Golf hatchback, trailing the CR-V and its cohorts by a wide margin. At least the flat-folding front passenger seat makes it possible to carry bulky items like a 6-foot ladder, a pretty uncommon feat for a vehicle of this size.

Buyers drawn to the Encore's tidy dimensions might also want to have a look at the turbocharged 2015 Mini Countryman and 2015 Nissan Juke, both of which offer gutsier acceleration and sharper handling. If you're open to larger alternatives, the 2015 Ford Escape and 2015 Mazda CX-5 are more athletic and comparably fuel-efficient, though the Mazda's infotainment features are a step behind. Within the extended General Motors family, the 2015 Chevrolet Trax is essentially an Encore with less luxury, so it's worth a look as a cost-effective option. In the final measure, the 2015 Buick Encore isn't for everyone, but it gives Buick a firm foothold in a little segment that could be the next big thing.

2015 Buick Encore models

The 2015 Buick Encore is offered in four trim levels: Base, Convenience, Leather and Premium.

The entry-level Encore comes standard with 18-inch painted alloy wheels, heated outside mirrors, roof rack side rails, air-conditioning, cloth and synthetic leather upholstery, a six-way partial power driver seat (with manual recline and power lumbar), a fold-flat manual front passenger seat, 60/40-split-folding rear seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, a rear cargo cover, OnStar telematics, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, a USB port and an auxiliary audio input jack. Also included is Buick's IntelliLink electronics interface, which features a 7-inch touchscreen and smartphone app integration.

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

Not surprisingly, the Leather trim level adds leather upholstery, plus a six-way partial power front passenger seat (with manual recline and power lumbar), heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and driver seat memory settings.

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

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

2015 Highlights

All models now come standard with OnStar, which includes 4G LTE connectivity and a WiFi hotspot.

Performance & mpg

Under the hood, the 2015 Buick Encore is powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine that puts out 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission offered. All Encore models offer the choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive.

The Encore's EPA fuel economy estimates stand at 28 mpg combined (25 city/33 highway) with front-wheel drive and 26 mpg combined (23/30) with all-wheel drive.

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.


Standard safety features for the 2015 Buick Encore include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front seat knee airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags and a rearview camera. Also included is OnStar, which provides automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking and stolen vehicle assistance.

A blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert is standard on Convenience and higher trim levels, while forward collision warning and lane departure warning systems are standard on the Encore Premium.

The 2015 government crash tests for the Encore weren't available as of this writing, but the 2014 all-wheel-drive Encore received a perfect five-star rating for overall crash protection, while the front-wheel-drive Encore received four stars. Both versions received five stars for total frontal-impact safety and five stars for total side-impact safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2014 Encore the highest possible rating of "Good" in its moderate-overlap front-offset, side-impact and roof-strength crash tests; however, the 2014 Buick received the agency's lowest rating of "Poor" in its small-overlap frontal-offset crash test.

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


On the road, the 2015 Encore generally feels composed and confident. The comfort-tuned suspension does a decent job of smoothing out the bumps, though it should be noted that, like most models with short wheelbases, the Encore's ride quality can get choppy over freeway expansion joints and other rough pavement. This downside is offset somewhat by a number of sound-deadening tricks, including an active noise-cancelling system, that give the passenger cabin a hushed quality overall.

Handling is not the Encore's strong suit, but the driving experience is perfectly acceptable for the everyday motoring most buyers will be doing. The combination of its small size, precise steering and a tight turning circle give it a nimble feeling around town. But we're less impressed with the Encore's turbocharged 1.4-liter engine. While this little mill is fine for running neighborhood errands, its lackluster acceleration doesn't inspire confidence when the Encore is merging into fast-moving freeway traffic or passing on a two-lane road.


Step into the passenger cabin and you'll find that the 2015 Buick Encore offers an upscale look and feel, with attractive simulated wood and metal accents and soft-touch materials where it counts. Gauges and controls are well-placed, and everything ends up being fairly user-friendly, though there are a lot of buttons on the center stack that look similar at a glance. The 7-inch touchscreen interface for the IntelliLink infotainment system is also relatively intuitive, and its crisp, colorful graphics are a welcome touch at this price point. At times, though, the system can be slow to respond to your touch inputs.

The Encore's front seats are comfortable despite the lack of a height-adjustable passenger seat in lower trims, and the high seating position offers a sweeping view that many drivers will appreciate. The rear seats offer adequate head- and legroom for a pair of 6-foot adults, but it's predictably tight back there compared with larger rivals, and rear-facing child seats may present a challenge. There are many useful places to stash smaller items, including a slide-out drawer under the standard front passenger seat that's ideal for storing a map book, an aftermarket navigation system or anything else you'd like to keep away from prying eyes. Unfortunately, this drawer disappears when the leather seats are specified.

Speaking of space for your stuff, the Encore easily bests the Countryman and Juke by the numbers, providing a total of 18.8 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 48.4 cubic feet with those seatbacks folded down. Still, those numbers fall far short of those of larger compact crossovers like the Escape, which offers a total of 68 cubic feet -- an average number for its size class. The Encore does have a neat trick up its proverbial sleeve, however, in the form of the standard fold-flat passenger seat that will allow you to shoehorn in objects like 8-foot 2x4s with the rear liftgate closed.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2015 Buick Encore.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Downsizing to Premium Luxury
4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
This is a review of a loaded 2015 AWD Premium Encore. We have put over 500 miles on it. We had originally decided on an Encore but were dissuaded from taking a test drive by professional reviews which were critical of the power. Our family is accustomed to driving powerful and speedy vehicles (Volvo S60 T6/Ford F-150/Toyota Sienna AWD) with the exception of a four cylinder Ford Fusion (reliable but slow as molasses). The Encore is replacing the Sienna and the Fusion is being handed down to the newest teenage driver (slow is good here). Neither of us adults wanted to drive a car that struggles to reach speed or climb hills. So we explored other options like the Ford Escape, Nissan Murano and even considered another Sienna for its excellent comfort and unsurpassed people and cargo comfort/capability and low price for an AWD. (We need AWD). However, the Sienna AWD is loud- annoying on long trips. So we had forgotten all about the Encore but on a trip to the dealership decided to take one for a test drive, ready to be underwhelmed and sorely disappointed. The salesperson encouraged us to take a long test drive on the interstate expressway, which we did. We were very surprised and impressed with the acceleration of this little 4 cylinder, and while we weren't winning any races, acceleration to traffic (65 mph), merging and even passing was more than acceptable. The turbo clearly making a difference. Once at cruising speed the cabin is exceptionally quiet and peaceful. The leather seats are very comfortable, with lumbar adjustment. Two adults have ample room and comfortable seating in the rear for long trips. A third adult can fit for shorter trips (1hr or less). The Premium edition is jam packed with technology and features that almost defy belief in a vehicle which we negotiated for just under $28k (Navigation, heated steering wheel (can never go back) and seats, rain sensing wipers, power seats, voice controls, blue tooth, wi-fi, Sirius radio, On-star, rear camera, blind spot radar, rear traffic crossing alert, lane departure warning, ambient lighting, Bose stereo, remote start and more.) The heightened ride height of this SUV gives a nice view of the road and enhances one's feeling of safety. The Encore is extremely nimble and shines in city and supermarket lot driving and parking. It is an all around relaxing and stress free drive in mixed driving conditions. We are so happy with our choice- one we almost missed out on. If you have any doubts just take one for a drive.
New 2015 FWD
Convenience 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Where to start? Been Toyota people for decades. Buick brought us back to GM. Certainly not built here nor does it have a majority of American made parts. Point is the Buick dealership wanted our business and had a smart, sharp looking vehicle to offer us. A week in to it and my wife and I both love it. Plenty of space for the two of us, empty nesters, and plenty of pep to get us around town and so far to where ever we want to go. Looks, feels and drives like something that will last us for years to come. At our age we have driven alot of new cars. This does not feel cheap. On par with more expensive vehicles we've owned. And alot of features you'd look for in higher end cars and SUV's. I have no reason to suggest not buying or leasing a Buick Encore.....so several months into it. Having hauled furniture, been through some decent snow fall and taken some short trips, we still are very comfortable and pleased with the Encore.
Awesome Vehicle
Dave torres,02/19/2016
4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I've owned car for 11000 miles. Car seat for infant fits, electronics is amazing, fit for a tall person is good. Handles well, rides well, fairly quiet. Very comfortable to drive, with turbo you get fair to good acceleration and great gas mileage! The ultimate compliment...I would buy this car again! I have a bad hip, but I have driven this car all day without pain. Not for a big family, but if just you and spouse....maybe 1 child...it's great. Bigger family would have to move up to enclave.
Excellent CrossOver
Convenience 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
First off let me say this, if you have not researched this vehicle class, then complain about speed and "pickup" it's your own fault. If your going in knowing your buying a heavy vehicle, that is sporting a turbo'd 135+ HP engine good for you. Guess what, it's not going to launch from a full stop at a stop light or stop sign. Something very evident when you test drive the car. BUT, getting up to full speed, or highway speed is quicker than you would expect. Also passing on the highway is smooth and effortless. So all that aside do I like my purchase? HECK yes I do! I went from a V6 300hp Nissan to the Buick, and while I miss the HP, I love the Buicks quiet smooth ride, excellent Bluetooth hands free setup and recognition. Sirius XM sounds wonderful compared to my wife's 2014 Chysler 300C, and having a 120gb IPod classic, setup was a breeze via the USB. (You could also just use a USB stick if you want to change your music more frequently) Night time ride is nice, with minimal blind spots for lane changes, and excellent head light beams. The 4GLTE wifi works surprisingly well but can get pricy really quick on larger GB plans. I do mostly highway driving, and average 31mpg and an average of 69 to 83 mph. Only real draw back I feel I am missing is the dimmed rear view mirror which I feel is standard on cheaper model vehicles, push button start, and door handle push button lock/unlock (this usually comes standard with push button start vehicles). Overall I would give this and overall score of 4.5, with forgoing the bells and whistles of other vehicles in this price range for quietness and a very smooth ride.

Features & Specs

25 city / 33 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
138 hp @ 4900 rpm
25 city / 33 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
138 hp @ 4900 rpm
25 city / 33 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
138 hp @ 4900 rpm
23 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
138 hp @ 4900 rpm
See all Used 2015 Buick Encore features & specs


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
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2015 Buick Encore

Used 2015 Buick Encore Overview

The Used 2015 Buick Encore is offered in the following submodels: Encore SUV. Available styles include 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Convenience 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Leather 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Leather 4dr SUV AWD (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Convenience 4dr SUV AWD (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), 4dr SUV AWD (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Premium 4dr SUV AWD (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and Premium 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2015 Buick Encore?

Price comparisons for Used 2015 Buick Encore trim styles:

  • The Used 2015 Buick Encore Leather is priced between $9,250 and$16,998 with odometer readings between 32404 and103946 miles.
  • The Used 2015 Buick Encore Premium is priced between $13,000 and$16,998 with odometer readings between 25234 and77428 miles.
  • The Used 2015 Buick Encore Convenience is priced between $13,995 and$15,998 with odometer readings between 37886 and52346 miles.
  • The Used 2015 Buick Encore Base is priced between $10,900 and$10,900 with odometer readings between 79759 and79759 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 2015 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) 2015 Buick Encore for sale near. There are currently 17 used and CPO 2015 Encores listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $9,250 and mileage as low as 25234 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 2015 Buick Encore.

Can't find a used 2015 Buick Encores you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Buick Encore for sale - 4 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $23,968.

Find a used Buick for sale - 3 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $11,050.

Find a used certified pre-owned Buick Encore for sale - 5 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $13,503.

Find a used certified pre-owned Buick for sale - 10 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $15,589.

Should I lease or buy a 2015 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.

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