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.