Buick is known for their large cars rather than their small ones, but that hasn’t stopped them from throwing their hat into the crossover ring. The 2019 Buick Encore carries the torch largely unchanged, a miniature Enclave for the masses. So far, Buick’s bet has been a good one: the Encore is their best-selling vehicle in North America. The Encore lags behind the competition in a few areas, but it still offers refined features in a compact package.
What's New for 2019
The biggest change for 2019 is in the trim lineup, which has been simplified to four. Certain safety technologies are now more widely available, and two new exterior colors (Deep Azure Metallic and Satin Steel Metallic) join the stable.
Choosing Your Buick Encore
All Encores come with a choice of two engines, both 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder units. The base engine produces 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque, while the upgraded engine has stop-start technology and boosts numbers to 153 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive is a $1,500 option on the upper three trims, although it’s not always available with both engines.
These numbers make the Encore a bit slow next to other crossovers, but the blow is eased by strong fuel efficiency. In front-wheel-drive models, the EPA estimates that the stop-start engine will get 27 miles per gallon city, 33 mpg highway, and 30 combined. The base engine may be smaller, but it labors more and lacks stop-start, so mileage drops to 25/33/28 mpg (city/highway/combined).
Rear cargo space is a mediocre 19 cubic feet, though it opens up to 48 with the seats down. The seats are a little cramped as well – passengers in the rear may find that head and leg room aren’t exceptional. But, generally, the interior is well-outfitted, with keyless entry and start, an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen, a rearview camera, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The remaining features and tech are divided across four trims: Encore 1SV, Preferred, Sport Touring, and Essence.
The upgraded engine is worth springing for, as the base unit struggles under load. This means moving up to the Sport Touring trim, which also opens up more important options. Don’t go too overboard – the 2019 Buick Encore has a pleasant interior, but it can easily push well north of $30,000 with too many options.