2018 Buick Encore Review
Pros & Cons
- Quiet interior on the highway
- Long list of tech and safety features
- Small engines deliver solid fuel economy
- Tepid performance from base engine
- Small cargo area can't swallow much luggage
List Price Range
$16,590 - $24,900
Used Encore for SaleSee all for sale
Which Encore does Edmunds recommend?
The Encore's base trim level is appealing with all of its standard equipment, but we recommend upgrading to the Essence trim level. It offers heated seats, a heated steering wheel, leather seating, a few extra safety items and the more powerful 153-horsepower engine. The standard 1.4-liter engine is down on power. If you want to get this subcompact moving in a hurry, the increase in power is a must
Edmunds' Expert Review
The Buick Encore does well as a city commuter car. It's nimble in traffic and gets away from a stoplight quickly. But passing power is lacking for stress-free highway acceleration and passing. Handling is far from sporty.
The Encore is relatively comfortable. It's quiet on the highway, which is one of its best features, and the ride quality is relaxed without being wallowy.
Though it's small, the Encore has plenty of space for front passengers. Adults will fit in the rear without too much trouble. Build and materials quality are on par with that of other vehicles in the class, but the Encore's cabin does look dated because of its numerous dashboard buttons.
Behind the rear seats, the Encore has 18.8 cubic feet of cargo space available. With the rear seats folded, that number goes up to 48.3 cubes. That's more than enough for a moderate load of groceries, but most compact crossovers do better.
The infotainment system is easy to learn, and combined with OnStar, provides a robust set of features. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard, as is Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity. Only the Premium trim gets a full suite of active safety features, but some are available on the lower trim levels.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Premium 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Great little SUV with lots of room and packed with extras. Good gas mileage and super quiet. Easy in and exit with memory seats. Nicer car than our previous Infinity QX60 and at 40% of the cost, not to mention much smoother ride, quieter and better gas mileage.
Preferred 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
So I think this all needs to be prefaced with remembering what the Encore is meant to do. It's not a sports car, it's not a rugged truck, nor is it a full blown luxury crossover. Plus, consideration needs to be made for end of year lease deals (and purchase deals for that matter), as price has to be a major factor in how impressive it is. The car is NOT by any means fast. It's basically slow and down on power. However, it is enough for the city and adequate for road trips. Just step on it harder over the hills. I was worried before I took it on my first long trip, but it had no problems cruising along at ... the speed limit... and maybe sometimes a bit higher. The ace though, is how quiet and comfortable this thing is. After combined 5 hours of driving, I had no aches or pains, was not fatigued at all, and felt the time and miles passed very quickly. Even better, I averaged 34mpg for the day, which included some stop and go and city driving too. My regular commutes still get 28-30 mpg, so rather satisfied. Surprisingly, the chassis and handling feels nice and tight, not at all what I remembered of buick of before. Brakes are ok - progressive pedal. At the Preferred level (I feel it's basically the base model), the interior still feels nice enough to be close to premium levels. The car has great use of interior space at minimum exterior size - great for city stuff. All in all, I am so pleasantly surprised by the refinement of this tiny thing. With deals putting it on par with some of the cheap economy cars, why not?! Fabulous
Premium 4dr SUV AWD (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
This is a great "small SUV" with the feel of luxury like no other vehicle in its class. Blind spot monitor, lane change warnings, front crash warnings; back up camera with warnings. Perfect for us older citizens as we age. Great technology with navigation, bluetooth and more. Add Onstar support and Sirius/XM entertainment. Both driver and passenger front seats are heated with power adjustments. You can set and save seat adjustments for both driver 1 and 2 and then sync each of those to the respective key faub. Driver seat has "easy exit" feature letting you get in and out without effort. Panoramic windshield combined with seat adjustment gives me a great view of the road. Also the overall length is much shorter than a Honda CRV or Toyota RAV 4; easier handling and parking. Keyless start lets you leave keys in your purse. Remote start is great on those cold winter days. Another tech gadget has 3 buttons programmable to different garage door openers - yours, his and another important person. The longer wheelbase provides a very comfortable ride with very little road noise. Since I have owned this vehicle a very short time, it has not been possible to see if the gas mileage measures up to the EPA rating of 26 City and 31 highway. Although no one likes to drive in snow, I am actually looking forward to see how this AWD version handles the snow. All my other cars have been front wheel drive only so we will see.
Premium 4dr SUV AWD (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I love the car very comfortable the only complaints I have are. The acceleration could be better and the car could use a passenger armrest.
Features & Specs
Our experts like the Encore models:
- Provides emergency services such as roadside assistance, automatic crash notification and remote door unlocking.
- Blind-Spot Warning System
- Warns you if there's another vehicle in your blind spot. Standard on the Sport Touring trim level and above.
- Forward Collision Warning
- Alerts the driver if a front collision is imminent. Standard on the Encore's top-level Premium trim.