When the 2013 Buick Encore was shown at the 2012 Detroit auto show, it received much less interest than many other cars in the lineup such as the Ford Fusion, Dodge Dart, and Cadillac 3 series.
With such a lackluster response at the show, one might have thought that the Buick Encore would have met a similar fate sales-wise. However, the car has been selling quite well, so it seems Buick discovered a demographic that would respond to this crossover.
And according to the folks we spoke to at our local Buick dealership, Klick Lewis Cars, the Encore even began to garner some genuine recognition, with J.D. Power recognizing it as the highest ranked sub-compact CUV in its Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study, as well as Highest Ranked Sub-Compact CUV in Initial Quality.
With the 2014 model, this success is expected to continue. US News has ranked the 2014 Encore as #3 out of 22 in its Affordable Compact SUVs category. It ranks even higher in the category of Affordable SUVs with 2 Rows, taking the #2 spot. It comes in at #4 in the Affordable Crossover SUVs category.
The car seems to be quite popular from an esthetic standpoint. Its stylish and aerodynamic exterior along with its relatively posh and sophisticated interior tend to be successful in creating that “affordable luxury compact” impression.
Driving wise the 2014 Encore seems best suited to city driving. It is easy to park, has a good turning radius, and smooth and responsive handling. It sports a turbo-charged 4 cylinder engine paired with a 6 speed automatic transmission. It is not a particularly powerful engine, and reviewers even report that it doesn’t have enough power for good highway handling in situations such as passing and merging. It does get reasonable gas mileage though, hitting 25 mpg in the city and 33 on the highway.
This car is great for the Buick lover who lives in the city and wants an upscale yet affordable compact for everyday driving.