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2019 Buick Encore

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Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

Select a Trim
Select a Trim
2019 Base Front-Wheel Drive
most popular
Price:   -  From $23,200
2019 Preferred Front-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $24,600
2019 Sport Touring Front-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $25,800
2019 Preferred All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $26,100
2019 Sport Touring All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $27,300
2019 Essence Front-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $29,300
2019 Essence All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $30,800


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.

Buick Encore

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.

Buick Encore


The Encore 1SV is the most basic of the trims, with a starting price of $24,195 (all prices include the $995 destination fee). Neither the upgraded engine nor all-wheel drive are available on this trim. Only three exterior colors are available, and two cost extra: Ebony Twilight Metallic and Satin Steel Gray Metallic both run $395. The base Encore does get 18-inch aluminum rims, a power-adjustable driver seat, active noise cancellation, and a trial subscription to a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot.

Other than an oil-pan heater ($100), the exterior colors are the extent of buyer choices for the 1SV – no packages are available. To keep MSRP low, it’s as basic as can be.

Buick Encore


At $25,595, the Encore Preferred is a $1,400 jump from the base model, but it doesn’t bring many new standard features. The only additions are a rear cargo cover and color-keyed floor mats. Instead, the Preferred trim opens up a host of options and packages to add to the Encore. These begin with all-wheel drive, although the upgraded engine still isn’t available.

The most significant package is a Safety Package ($495), which adds blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a 120-volt power outlet. The Active Package ($295) brings a cargo area tray and accessory carrier hitch, while the Road Trip Package ($350) adds roof rack cross rails and all-weather floor mats. The rest of the exterior colors are available, though white is again the only no-cost option. A power moonroof is a $900 standalone option, remote start is available for $300, and cup holder lighting costs an inexplicable $515.

Buick Encore

Sport Touring

For $26,795, the Encore Sport Touring opens up the full range of engines. The upgraded unit only costs $250 over the base, and all-wheel drive is an option with either engine. Also standard are alloy rims, remote start, fog lights, and a rear spoiler. Most options remain the same as on the Preferred trim, with a few significant additions. Navigation is $495, and dual-zone automatic climate control is $355, but, in a quirk of configurator mania, these two options must be selected together (in which case they also include an auto-dimming rearview mirror). A Bose sound system is $595.

Buick Encore


The top trim in the lineup is the Encore Essence, which starts at $30,295 (or $30,545 with the upgraded engine). Leather seating that's heated up front is standard, as are a heated steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, and all the features in the Safety Package.

Two new packages are available only on the Essence. The Safety Package II ($940) adds forward collision warning, front and rear parking assist, rain-sensing wipers, and an air ionizer. The Experience Buick Package ($2,390) bundles the moonroof, navigation, and 18-inch chrome rims. Otherwise, options remain unchanged where not standard.

CarsDirect Tip

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.

Get your price on a Buick Encore »

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Automotive Editor
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Expert Review

Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

author image
Automotive Editor

Since the Encore first showed up at dealerships in 2013, the pipsqueak crossover has managed to be Buick's best-selling car in their lineup – a far cry from the days when the lumbering LeSabre would reliably take the top spot year after year. In fact, the Encore is everything the old Buicks weren't – small, affordable, and good on gas. It's these traits that have made it such a popular choice, and the 2019 Buick Encore still delivers what it does best in a big way.

Best Value

For 2019, Buick makes things easier by scaling back the total number of trim levels, with the six available trims last year now pared down to four. Of the available trims, the second-from-the-top Sport Touring hits the sweet spot. To the already well-equipped model, we'd add the Safety Package, the optional navigation system, dual-zone climate control, and auto-dimming mirrors. Once this puzzle is pieced together, the Encore becomes a well-equipped subcompact crossover that's sure to coddle and cosset. Here's our Encore as it'd look on delivery day:

  • Model: 2019 Buick Encore Sport Touring
  • Engine: 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
  • Output: 138 hp / 148 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
  • Fuel Economy: 21 City / 26 Hwy
  • Options: Dual-zone automatic climate control ($355), Navigation ($495), Safety Package ($495, 120-volt power outlet, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring)
  • Base Price: $26,795 (including a $995 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price: $28,140


Buick Encore

Once upon a time, people referred to certain Buicks as "banker's hot-rods." Spoiler alert: the Encore is decidedly not a banker's hot-rod.

Struggling to motivate this baby Buick is a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, offered in two different iterations. The first makes 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque, and is a bit weak in the knees – don't expect 60 miles per hour to roll around sooner than 9.5 seconds. Add the optional all-wheel drive into the mix, and 60 mph doesn't arrive until about 10 seconds after you mash the gas. In return for sacrificing performance, the motor delivers decidedly thrifty gas mileage of 26 miles per gallon city, 31 mpg highway, and 28 combined, according to the EPA.

We're bigger fans of the optional 1.4-liter engine on the books, pumping out slightly better numbers of 153 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. The additional power is welcome, even if it's available within a narrower powerband. This engine also has stop-start functionality, which (thankfully) is relatively unobtrusive in operation.

Out on the road, the classic attributes of a quiet Buick ride come through with aplomb. For such a small and affordable crossover, it does an excellent job of metering out the road's various imperfections when puttering about in any urban locale. On the highway, however, the short wheelbase doesn't jive well with expansion joints or other rhythmic jolts at high speeds. But even in these scenarios, the QuietTuning sound-deadening process keeps things appropriately hushed.


It's hard to massage a narrow, tall box into something attractive. The Encore, though, has managed to maintain an air of elegance and tastefulness in the design. The pleasing aesthetics are no doubt helped by the use of a subtly squared-off roofline and hoodline, lending the tiny crossover a bit of an SUV-like shape, though no one will be confusing one of these for an old Blazer or Samurai. The pushed-out wheels, short overhangs, formally-sloped hatch, and front end using horizontal design cues all work to make this Buick look genuinely good rather than contrived. It may not be regaled as beautiful, but it sure looks better than some other crossovers it competes with.

Of course, if you're buying an Encore, you'll be spending more time inside it than looking at the sheetmetal. Which makes it a good thing, then, that the cabin of the Encore is an attractive and comfortable place to spend time in. Quality materials abound, and the layout of the buttons and controls are straightforward and easy to reach. We imagine that the learning curve for most buyers will be quick and painless.

Also impressive is the space that GM has managed to carve out of the Encore. The 35 inches of rear leg room and 50 inches of rear hip room is generous for a car of this size; the similarly-sized Toyota CH-R, for example, musters only 31.7 inches of rear leg room and 48 inches of hip room. This doesn't mean that three adults will have stretch-out room in the second row, but it makes the Encore a better choice for people hauling than the competition. Still, we'd cap our passenger count at two in back unless the passengers in question are children or pets.

Cargo space is decent as well, with 19 cubic feet behind the back seats and 48 cubes with the second row folded flat. To return again to the CH-R comparison, the wee Toyota also has 19 cubic feet of space behind the second row but only 36 cubes when the rear seats are folded down.

The Best and Worst Things

Well equipped and attractive, the Encore makes a strong case for the buyer looking for a crossover of this size.

Unfortunately, those weak-chested powertrains leave a lot to be desired performance-wise. If Buick could add a little more gusto under the hood, it would be much appreciated.

Right For? Wrong For?

Buick Encore

This is the perfect ride for young couples, singles, and urban dwellers needing a city runabout.

If you have a family, do lots of highway jaunts, or just need a lot of space more often than not, this isn't the vehicle for you.

The Bottom Line

The 2019 Buick Encore at first might seem like a lot less automobile than other choices out there, but take a minute to get to know this scrappy crossover and it becomes apparent it offers nearly everything an apartment-living, city-dwelling millennial or boomer needs. With an attractive style, good gas mileage, and just enough space, the Encore makes a strong case that sometimes less really is more.

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Specs & Features

Overall Crash Safety Rating
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
1.4L I-4 / 138 HP / 148 ft.lbs.
6-spd sequential shift control auto w/OD
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
25 / 30 / 27 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
48 Months / 50,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
1.4L I-4 / 138 HP / 148 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
25 / 30 / 27 Mpg
4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Rear Suspension
Semi-independent Torsion Beam Beam
Spare Tire And Wheel
Compact Steel
Fuel Tank
14.0 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Regular Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
48.4 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
Exterior Length
168.4 "
Exterior Width
70.1 "
Exterior Height
65.3 "
Front Headroom
39.6 "
Rear Headroom
38.8 "
Front Legroom
40.8 "
Rear Legroom
35.8 "
Front Shoulder Room
54.2 "
Rear Shoulder Room
52.5 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
3,237 Lbs.
Wheel Base
101 "
Turning Radius
18.3 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
18.0 " Machined W/painted Accents Aluminum
Clearcoat Monotone / Metallic Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote Heated, Convex Spotter Passenger
Body-colored With Metal-look Insert
Grille Moldings
Rear Spoiler
Stainless Steel With Chrome Tailpipe Finish
Interior Features
Passenger Capacity
Seat Trim
Front Seat Type
Heated Front Seats
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
8-way (6-way Power)
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
Front Armrests
8-way (6-way Power)
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
60-40 Bench
Radio & Infotainment
Siriusxm Am/fm/satellite, Clock, Seek-scan
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Telescopic Tilt
Climate Control
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Rearview Mirror
One Touch Open Window
Front And Rear
Tinted Windows
Vanity Mirrors
Dual Illuminated
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Driver And Passenger
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Rear Side-impact Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Blind Spot Sensor
Lane Departure Warning
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Adaptive Headlights
Parking Sensors
Security Systems
Security System
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Pass-key Iii
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
48 Months / 50,000 Miles
Major Components Months
72 Months / 70,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
12 Months / Unlimited Miles
Roadside Assistance Months
72 Months / 70,000 Miles
Corrosion Perforation
72 Months / Unlimited Miles
Accessories Months
48 Months / 50,000 Miles

Used 2019 Buick Encore for Sale

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