The 2020 Buick Encore enters the model year with less configurations than before. The 153-horsepower variant of the 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is no longer available, leaving only the 138-hp motor.
Being a part of the second generation that came out in 2013, the Encore may not be the newest kid on the black, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Bucking the trend of old Buicks, the Encore is small, efficient, easy to drive, and offers consumers with a higher seating position than other subcompact body styles. A well-designed interior and a long list of standard equipment are other strong qualities the Encore possesses.
Choosing Your Buick Encore
Buick offers the Encore in four trims: 1SV, Preferred, Sport Touring, and Essence. Prices start at $24,195 including destination for the 1SV trim and go up to $30,295 for the Essence.
All Encores are powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Power is rated at 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. Shifts are handled by a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard throughout the lineup, with all-wheel drive being offered on everything but the base 1SV for $1,500.
With front-wheel drive, the Encore achieves an EPA-estimated 25 miles per gallon city, 30 mpg highway, and 27 combined. All-wheel drive drops fuel economy to 24/29/26 mpg (city/highway/combined).
Passenger and Cargo Capacity
Every Encore has seating for five. Cargo capacity is better than other subcompact crossovers, but trail behind more spacious competitors like the Honda HR-V. Behind the rear seats, the Encore has 18.8 cubic feet of cargo space. That figure opens up to 48.4 cubic feet with the back seat folded.
The only standard safety feature the Encore comes with is a rearview camera. Up against competitors, that’s lacking. The range-topping Essence trim gets rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring, which are available through the $495 Safety Package on the Preferred and Sport Touring.
Forward collision warning, front and rear parking sensors, and lane departure warning are available on the Essence's Safety Package II ($940).
While lacking in active safety tech, the Encore has good crash test ratings. It has a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA.
Standard connectivity features for the Encore include an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, wi-fi hotspot capability, two USB ports, OnStar, and Siri EyesFree.
The Encore 1SV is more of a fleet vehicle with limited options. For instance, the trim is only available in a white exterior paint job with black cloth upholstery. There are also no optional features for the trim. Standard features include 18-inch wheels, a six-speaker audio system, remote keyless entry, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The Preferred trim doesn’t add a whole lot over the 1SV, but it does open the door to a lot more available features. There are more exterior colors to choose from, but the majority of them cost $495. Tan cloth upholstery is available on the inside, while a power moonroof is an extra $900.
Standard equipment on the Sport Touring includes fog lights, remote start, and a rear spoiler. A seven-speaker Bose audio system is available as a standalone option for $595.
The Essence adds LED headlights, heated side mirrors, a six-way power passenger’s seat, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a universal garage opener.
Get a fully-loaded Encore with the $2,390 Experience Buick Package, which adds the moonroof, navigation, a satellite radio trial, and 18-inch chrome-plated wheels.
Of the 2020 Buick Encore lineup, unless you want to go with the range-topping Essence, getting the Preferred with the available Safety Package means you get a lot of the same equipment at a much more affordable price.