2019 Buick Encore – Review & Road Test

2019 Buick Encore – Review & Road Test


Big things come in small packages. No
that’s wrong. Little things come in big packages, or how about small things come
in little packages, which is exactly what we have with this Buick right here. So, do we
say bravo to the Encore. I don’t know. We haven’t looked at it yet. The Encore is the smallest of Buicks SUVs sliding in
beneath the landmass Enclave and the momma bear
Envision. With lots of DNA from its parents the Encore is like a fun size
Snickers. It’s a little piece of something pretty good. There are four
trim levels available on this baby Buick, the base 1SV trim has a starting
price just shy of $24,500 and comes standard
with a leather wrapped steering wheel, keyless open and start, an 8-inch
infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, and
USB charging capability. Graduating to the Preferred or Sport Touring has
remote start as well as some visual upgrades such as a rear roof spoiler and
fog lamps. The highest Essence trim, we’re driving the front wheel drive version,
really exploits the option sheets with leather heated driver and front
passenger seats, heated steering wheel, and extra safety features like rear
cross-traffic alerts, and blind spot warning. The standard engine doesn’t make
tremendous power, but on the Sport Touring trim and above an optional 1.4-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine can make for a more spirited drive
experience. I’ve been driving this little nugget around with that turbo in it for
almost a week, and folks let me tell you it’s a fun little driver. Checking off that optional engine
upgrade will cost you another $895, but the benefits might be worth
it when you get a little bit of extra power changing lanes in a hurry or
getting on the freeway on-ramps. The Encore’s six-speed automatic
transmission helps shuttle the Encore’s little frame with commensurate zest.
All-wheel drive will cost you an extra $1,500 but if you live in inclement
weather or the driver, that’s me, is looking for some extra traction, then
that money might be well-spent. Okay, a couple of things that I’m not
super crazy about. The gas pedals sits a lot lower on the floor than the brake
pedal so flipping between the two of them right now I’m getting a pretty
serious shin workout. While I like this armrest, it has a nice contour right here
and it’s comfortable, I have yet to find a good seating position for myself, but
I’m still trying. I love how quiet the Buick is it’s so
nice. Nobody else has figured that out. Ah, it’s so good. The next thing is this one.
Sorry about the light, but GM and Buick they won’t let you disable the stop/start
feature on the engine. Okay that’s all. Three peeves and a like. Visually the Encore is well a nice
encore for Buick. After the handsome Enclave it has some distinct smarts and
a little bit of personality. Let’s face it in such a crowded category standing
out is important. All but one of the Encore’s paint choices Summit White will
cost you $395 extra, but the other names sound delicious
Evening Twilight, Coppertino, Deep Azure, Satin Steel, Winterberry Red, yummy right?
The Encore’s interior is well designed but it never quite reaches full luxury
levels of comfort offered in some of the other guys with that luxury moniker. I
said moniker not monocle. Without overstating that this is Buick’s smallest
SUV I will say that everything inside is very wee. The center console is teeny-tiny.
This thing here is great, but you kind of have to maneuver around the shifter and
maybe even put this up to try and find your USB ports in here. And there are
some cubbies but you can’t really fit anything very big in there. You guys this
is a tiny little bottle of water. If you do want to bring your friends make sure
there are the petite ones. I mean, they do try back here, there are some knee holes
for those especially tall people but, no James, save yourself. He’s 6’3″. While we’re on the subject of room
cargo space isn’t spectacular with the rear seats up or down, but it lands
mid-pack a tiny bit more than the Volvo XC40, but less than the BMW X1. There
aren’t really any extra safety features to speak of on the base Encore trim
save 10 airbags and a rear backup camera. Graduating to the Preferred or Sport
Touring packages gets you rear cross-traffic alerts and blind spot
detection, but for extra coin it’s only on the highest Encore Essence trim where
features become available that are standard on some non-luxury subcompact
SUVs. Lane Departure warnings, forward and rear parking assist, and forward
collision alerts to name a few the Enclave’s mini me aims high but doesn’t
quite stack up to the other luxury baby utes in it’s very competitive segment.
The BMW X1, Lexus UX, Volvo XC40 and Mercedes GLA all do better in most
categories, however the Encore is not nearly as
expensive as those models either. The highest Essence trim will cost about
$35,000, which is around where the base price of all those aforementioned luxe
models starts. We’d make the argument that the Encore
makes a good high-end option for the more mainstream set the Chevy Trax, Honda HR-V, Toyota CH-R, Nissan Kicks and even the Mazda CX-3 are just a sampling of that
group. With the Buick you may pay a little more but you get more little. With
so many choices it’s really hard to figure out which subcompact SUV is the
right one, but with singular styling and excellent value the Buick Encore might
be an interesting choice, even though it’s a little itty-bitty we one. Okay that’s all three peeves and a like.
That sounds like a movie, a bad movie.

About the Author: Michael Flood

100 Comments

  1. I had a 2014 Encore Leather it was a piece of junk. At 19,000 miles the cat converter replaced, then at 22,000 miles it had cracked cyclinder heads which GM knew about but never recalled. They had my car for a week and never ran right after. Wouldn't buy this ,buy something else. Never buy GM junk again.

  2. Can’t believe people in the US compare this car in luxury segment. In Europe, this car is called Opel Mokka. It is the exact same car and its rivals are mazda 3, Honda HRV, Toyota CHR and so on.

    Volvo, BMW is not the competitors of Opel or Buick.

  3. For 30k plus one should not be required to pay for paint colour!! Same goes for mazda. Also my gti has more cargo capacity than this vehicle! Hello, GM…..if you will not allow owners to disable the stop start feature (that saves so little it is not worth it) i will never buy a gm vehicle.

  4. I can attest to the complaints here. I bought a new 2018 Encore and traded it in after a year. The seat became uncomfortable and very non-supportive for my back, the pedal positions are weird and uncomfortable, and the sound system supremely sucked. Love the vehicle otherwise though.

  5. Sorry but bad review. You neglected an IMPORTANT tidbit – this car is a re-badged Opel sold in Europe. This matters because you complain about the lack of (storage) space. European subcompacts are truly a subcompact.

  6. every single thing she said about this was NEGATIVE. unless you like very minimal power and weigh less than 100 lbs.

  7. stop hating this car…its quality is that it's very cheap …. here in DFW you can get this car for a cheap as 16k and it's a damn good car for 16k

  8. My mom got a 2018 model last summer and loves it! Ours didn't come with the auto start/stop thank goodness! Overall very solid feeling car on the road and highway, plus It's pretty quiet and handles bumps better than the competition for sure.

  9. I've always loved the encore and i'd love to own one with the larger DI engine.. Might just lease one next year!! The fully loaded ones are nice with the LED headlights and heated steering wheel!!

  10. My car was paid off today. My mom asked if I was looking for a new car and I said sometime in the near future I would since my Sonic is a bit small. She said there were good leasing deals on these but..seems there always are.

  11. A 2019 Nissan Kicks S ($18k+) is a better value vs a 2019 Encore ($17k, with all discounts/savings)
    The kicks has higher MPG, larger cargo volume, better reliability, included basic safety tech (automatic emergency braking), higher resale value. The $17k pricing here in San Francisco Bay area for the Buick Encore FWD looks tempting but once compared to a Nissan Kicks, it doesn't look good anymore.

  12. Woodward is getting better at these. As for the Encore, the inside storage space is pretty weak. Cargo space tiny. Stop/start can't be disabled.

  13. Get yours while you can! This car's basic style has been around since 2013 and it still has a 'fresh' look. The 2020 model is a complete overhaul and more of a MEH design. This Buick therefore has been tested and perfected and so expect better than most cars reliability. My 4 year coverage is almost over and it's been flawless.

  14. why does no one ever review the most basic models? That, I would think, would give a much better idea of the quality of a vehicle… if the lowest grade is good, then you know the others are good… if the top of the line of a model is good, it doesn't mean the other trims will be good

  15. She was wrong when she said that only a "tiny" water bottle could fit in the door, I own a 2019 Encore and you can put a large bottle in there, the opening where she tried to put that bottle is for small items, like a pen, note pad etc., the bottle holder is below.

  16. I think it looks like an egg. It is hideously ugly. It is not an SUV. It is front wheel drive only. It's one of a group of the ugliest most disgusting vehicles ever. The crossover. Can we PLEASE go back to station wagons. With woodgrain sides as an option? Vehicles get uglier and uglier every year. I have a 1972 Pinto woodgrain wagon that I plan to keep forever. My transportation car is a 2006 Mercury Grand Marquis. It looks like a proper car. I will also keep it forever. I will replace engines, transmissions, whatever it takes to keep it going. You will NEVER see me driving a crossover. NEVER.

  17. Was looking up good first cars(all articles I saw were geared for teenagers, which I am not) and this was on the list. Would like to know if a good first car for a “teen” would be the same for a first car for an adult.

  18. My son bought a 2019 Buick Encore. He loves it. Even though it has a four banger, it gets up and goes! Gets' 25 mpg city, 35 mpg hy. Has a great warranty. Came with Continental Tires.

  19. Just bought this vehicle. It’s small but it is a great vehicle. I’m 6’3 240lbs I fit well in the driver seat.

  20. let me give you a rundown as someone who owns one of these, has been in nearly every modern GM car in existence, and is around generations of family members who’ve worked at GM.
    i have the 2019 preferred trim FWD with no options except paint color and weather floor mats, picked it up as a CPO for $18,900 with 200 miles (buyer’s remorse). definitely overpriced for a CPO but an extra year of warranty on top of the four years made it worth it. in normal settings it’s a breeze to handle. leatherette seating doesn’t bother me a bit, and though fuel econ is kinda bad considering its engine size (i think around 25 city/30 highway), it costs nothing to fill up the tank. cargo space is definitely adequate if you live alone or don’t road trip too much. however, if you live in the bad hills and curves and anywhere near gravel roads, without AWD i would reconsider. i live part time in the mountains and this thing is a BEAR to get up my steep gravel driveway, it makes it but you really have to gas it and shift into manual. also have to nearly floor it just to gain speed on a hill in a timely manner. also, noise cancellation is crap and is really bumpy over bridges/overpasses/gravel roads. however, fantastic visibility! overall, it’s definitely a good value and the base trims don’t feel like you bought a base trim. something to be considered for younger drivers. i’m 15 and it’s a great first car for sure!

  21. My mother just bought one today. Stickered at 32k and she got it for 25k. I'm 6ft 270lbs and have plenty of room. Rides extremely nice for a small vehicle.

  22. I'm Patrick I work in Grand Canyon national park. I just bought the Buick Encore in flagstaff Arizona. I like it. Ideal for my size. Cool features. Telling it what text to send back, telling it what station to play. Not too fond of the trunk space though overall I'm cool not bad.

  23. I just leased a 2019 Encore Preferred for my mom. We looked at a Kia Soul and Honda HRV because they were the closest in lease payments, but she didn't like those. So, I took her to the GMC dealership and she liked the Encore. When I saw the sticker price ($28,xxx) I thought there was no way it was going to lease for what I was looking for, but like others have said, GM drastically discounts these. A 36 month lease with $2k down yielded a lease payment of just $227/mo and that includes the TTL. Of anything else in it's class, it feels the most sophisticated inside and out. I would never compare these to a BMW, Volvo, or Merc though.

  24. Lot's of get up and go and get's 35 MPG on the highway. 28 city. That's pretty dang good!! Back seat has a fold down arm rest with two drink cup holders. Stereo sounds great. Seats are comfortable too and the air conditioning is ice cold. I'd say it's a winner.

  25. I got mine awd new for 20k its a great ride and everybody thinks its a more expensive car. Its the base model but still everything looks luxury. Im 5’11 and I have pleanty of space on top of my head seats are ver confortable.

  26. She says little, baby and mini in virtually every other sentence.

    I’m guessing she’s just used to a massive luxury SUV that her husband bought her.

  27. The Encore is only 1” shorter and 2” narrower than a CX-5.

    Few would call a CX-5 tiny about 47 times in a review.

    The only difference between it and most SUVs is the length… but unless you have a family or a drywall business, how often do you really use that extra foot?

    The ride is comfortable, it’s loaded with features and there’s plenty of head and legroom.

    Perfect vehicle for life in cities with inclement weather.

    Not everyone wants a giant land yacht SUV.

  28. I HATE the key fob, horn keeps going off and the door locks. Buttons are too big on fob, causing false alarm.

  29. The Volvo XC40 is definitely the class leader, but this Encore is a phenomenal value, often being offered at similar prices to offerings like the HR-V and CX-3. Along with the Mazda, I’d definitely consider the XC40, Encore, and CX-3 the nicest in the class.

  30. What's wrong with being small? Isn't it the point about compact SUV? Really really bad review. Lying about tall ppl wont fit in it. I know someone who is 6'2 and he fits in the encore just fine. So I guess GM refused to bribe KBB like other car companies. Also this car is much much cheaper than all the others you mention in the video. Wrong info and extremely biased review

  31. The attempts at humor in this fall flat and hinder the review. Stopping the 6'3" guy from sitting in the back so we could see what the space was actually like for a really stupid empty joke and the constant emphasis on jokes about how small it was were unnecessary and left the whole review… Short

  32. Problems per 100 vehicles sold (2018):

    Lexus (99)
    Porsche (100)
    Buick (116)
    Infiniti (120)
    Kia (122)
    Chevy (124)
    Hyundai (124)
    BMW (127)
    Toyota (127)
    Nissan (133)
    Honda (140)
    Audi (141)

    Industry average (142)

    Mazda (144)
    Mercedes (147)
    Ford (152)
    VW (157)
    Chrysler (211)

    2017 Buick finished 4th
    2016 Buick finished 3rd
    2015 Buick finished 2nd

    4 year/50,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty

    6 year/70,000 mile powertrain warranty

    6 year/100,000 mile rust/corrosion warranty

    That ain’t bad.

  33. I got my wife the Preferred Package Brand New for $24K. It's fun to drive haha and that's coming from a 2017 Camaro that I traded in for it.

  34. I bought a 2015 Encore always loved Buick this was supposed 2 b my dream car within 2 yrs valves went and cosmedic parts are falling off of it also,the paint is peeling off the radio I paid cash out right very disappointed

  35. Both engines are turbo 1.4’s. Good luck finding g the updates one though. I looked all over for my mom and could only find the lower output motor.

  36. Look. Please listen. I have a 2018 and I hate my car. I’m 5’5 and I’m too tall for it. The seat is uncomfortable the car is so slow it’s dangerous in heavy traffic. It looks nice but the drive is painful. I’ll be taking a loss and upgrading this winter to something bigger and quicker. Maybe a full size sedan. Bye bye savings.

  37. People hating on this car is crazy. I got a BUICk Encore 2 weeks ago. It is great compared to the other SUV's out there I chose the Buick Encore. Everything about it is great. It is a whole lot bigger in person than looking at a video. Plenty of room this woman definitely does not know anything and her acting is terrible. It looks like a BMW when you see it. Plus people talking about speed it takes off you don't realize you are actually going that fast. People hating on this SUV must realizing that that should have got one but made a mistake in the end choosing something else.

  38. Sold/marketed in Europe by General Motors as the Opel (or Vauxhall) Mokka throughout the UK : if the review is anything to go by, then its definitely worth a look.

    I'm curious to what reason why GM never sold the Buick brand in the UK – despite the said US vehicle is reliable : as a first vehicle after passing the driving test, I'd certainly choose it over premium brands (think Volkswagen Group, Jeep, BMW, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz et cetera) – 👍👍👍👍👍👍!.

  39. 2014 Encore owner here with 140k plus on the odometer. So far so good. Only a valve cover replacement outside of the regular maintenance.

  40. I never understood why someone would buy a Trax. This is the same thing but just more premium feeling. I almost went to check this out buy got a 17 Corolla XSE instead. I have plenty of room, and seeing this makes me think I'd be a little cramped in it.

  41. The Encore is a piece of crap for the most part. My girlfriend had on of these, It had over 10 repairs before 20K brand new. It needed a turbo, two window channels, battery, a knock Sensor. These are just the more important repairs, it had also dropped in value so quick over 1 year that my girlfriend was upside down in it. Did I forget to mention that it sucked so hard the manufacturer bought it back. On the upside to this vehicle, when brand new drove very nicely. It gets great mileage and is comfortable to drive. Also to the lady talking about the Encore, it's not the much better Enclave. After driving this car around for many miles, I would never recommend it for anyone that wants a reliable vehicle.

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