The Encore is a recent entrant into a crowded field of compact crossovers. However, the Encore offers a level of luxury and sophistication not found in the class. Buick hopes its miniaturized Enclave will appeal to style-conscious youth, as well as empty nesters hoping to downsize—but not downgrade—their ride.
What's New for 2014
The 2014 Encore adds Enhanced IntelliLink with text message support, Siri Eyes Free and smartphone voice recognition. New options include Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Side Blind Zone Alert, both of which are included in the Convenience package.
Choosing Your Buick Encore
The Encore's sole engine is GM's familiar 1.4-liter turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder, which makes 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. It is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission; front-wheel drive models feature manual-style shifting capabilities.
The combination yields respectable acceleration and impressive EPA figures for a vehicle of its type—a front-wheel drive Encore earns up to 33 mpg on the highway. As an added bonus, the engine is designed to run on regular gasoline, not the premium grade required by some of the Encore's chief rivals.
In addition to benefitting from Buick's highly-efficient Quiet Tuning regimen, the Encore introduces a new element to the mix: Active Noise Cancellation circuitry that effectively filters out low-frequency engine sounds to ensure an even more serene passenger compartment.
The 2014 Encore is offered in front-wheel drive—and optional all-wheel drive—across four trim levels:
The optional Active On Demand All-Wheel Drive system is also quite advanced. Available on all Encore variants, this computer-controlled system automatically engages the all-wheel drive as surface conditions dictate and each time the vehicle stops to ensure smoother off-the-line acceleration. If no slip is present, it progressively disengages to promote better fuel economy.
The well-equipped Buick Encore can still be personalized with individual options. All but the base model can be fitted with a GPS-enabled navigation system, a power sunroof, a unique oil-pan heater for cold weather climates, 18-inch chrome-alloy wheels as well as the 7-speaker premium Bose Audio system.
We recommend going for the true luxury experience of the Leather trim level—it doesn't cost much more than the Base or Convenience levels, and includes pleasingly upscale amenities.