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2013 Buick Encore

Overview
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2013 Buick Encore Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.7

A well-mannered, well-finished compact crossover SUV that goes on sale in February, the 2013 Buick Encore expands the division's reach into an entirely new market segment. Intended to capture the hearts and minds of both younger urban buyers as well as empty nesters that want a versatile vehicle but no longer need an Enclave-scaled SUV with seating for seven, the 5-passenger Encore matches premium character with an accommodating interior and attractive pricing. Powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, the Encore delivers exceptional fuel economy in both front-wheel-drive (FWD) and available all-wheel-drive (AWD) configurations. Collectively, those admirable qualities should serve it well against key rivals like the Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5, Mini Countryman, Nissan Rogue and Volkswagen Tiguan.

You'll Like This Car If...

Fans of basic Buick panache will find plenty to favor in the new Encore, thanks to its combination of refinement and comfort complemented by a bounty of standard/available features, solid value orientation and outstanding fuel economy.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Some will find alternatives with more horsepower preferable to any potential fuel-economy gains the Encore has to offer. This new Buick's lack of a tow rating also may be a deal breaker for those who demand a vehicle with light-duty trailering capabilities.

What's New for 2013

Armed with an attractive package that Buick believes will appeal to a wide range of both the young and younger-thinking mature buyers, the Encore provides the automaker with a more than competitive entry in the hot-and-growing compact crossover SUV arena.

Driving the Encore

Driving Impressions Spun from GM's small global small-crossover platform, the Buick Encore's solid core structure, well-sorted suspension and electrically boosted power steering endow it with a confident and well-controlled feel that properly...

complements its quiet, comfortable passenger compartment. This enlightened chassis tuning delivers a smooth ride in cruise mode and keeps body roll well in check when negotiating corners while the Encore's generously proportioned 215/55 low-rolling-resistance tires – on 18-inch alloy wheels – serve up a surprisingly high level of grip. As for caveats, the 1.4-liter EcoTec engine in this versatile Buick hauler proved quite capable of holding its own in city traffic and freeway running, but the added mass of the all-wheel-drive system does impact its enthusiasm, particularly when the passenger count rises or on sustained uphill runs.

QUIET TUNING WITH ACTIVE NOISE CANCELLATION
In addition to the benefitting from Buick's highly-efficient Quiet Tuning regimen, the Encore introduces a new element to the mix: Active Noise Cancellation circuitry that effectively filters out low-frequency engine sounds to ensure an even more serene passenger compartment.

"ACTIVE ON-DEMAND" ALL-WHEEL DRIVE
Available on all Encore variants, this computer-controlled AWD system automatically engages the all-wheel drive as surface conditions dictate as well as each time the vehicle stops to ensure smoother off-the-line acceleration. If no slip is present, it progressively disengages to promote better fuel economy.

2013 Buick Encore Details
2013 Buick Encore photo Interior

The Encore's passenger compartment displays the same kind of upscale ambiance and Buick character cues found in all of the division's latest offerings – packaging that's effectively complemented by an even more sophisticated variation on the Quiet Tuning theme. Whether rendered in cloth and leatherette or available leather, the well-finished, well-appointed cabin rich in soft-touch surfaces offers room for five with a 60/40 split rear bench that accommodates two average-sized adults plus a kid in the center spot. The Encore's large hatch provides easy access to its 18.8-cubic-foot cargo bay, which expands to 48.4 cubic feet with the aft seatbacks folded.

Exterior
2013 Buick Encore photo

A bastion of 21st century Buick styling cues – from its waterfall grille and faux portholes to painted lower body panels – the new Encore puts a more contemporary spin on each of these elements to create a package that's skewed towards a more youthful, progressive mind-set. The Encore's highly sculpted bodywork and a tasteful assortment of bright accent bits are effectively set off by prominent blue-accented projector beam headlights and LED-infused taillights. Brushed-aluminum faux front/rear skid plates and an 18-inch wheel/tire fitment add a bit more aggressive flair to the overall mix.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The well-equipped base Encore includes numerous power assists, air conditioning, Buick IntelliLink telematics with a 7.0-inch touchscreen, a tilt/telescoping steering column, cruise control, a power driver's seat, satellite radio, Bluetooth connectivity, a rear-view camera, and more. The Encore Convenience trim level adds dual-zone climate control, remote starting and fog lights, while the Encore Leather trim nets the obvious plus heated front bucket seats/steering wheel, a power passenger seat and driver-seat memory. The top-line Encore Premium boasts Bose audio, front/rear park assist and Forward Collision Alert/Lane Departure Warning. All models feature StabiliTrak, OnStar with six months of Directions and Connections and 10 airbags.

Optional Equipment

Largely prepackaged within its base/Convenience/Leather/Premium hierarchy, the Buick Encore does offer several individual extras. All but the base model can be fitted with a GPS-enabled navigation system, a power sunroof, an oil-pan heater and 18-inch chrome-alloy wheels as well as the 7-speaker premium Bose Audio system – which is already included in the Encore Premium kit.

Under the Hood

Every version of the Buick Encore, whether front-drive or all-wheel drive, shares the same basic powertrain. The engine is GM's familiar 1.4-liter turbocharged EcoBoost 4-cylinder that makes 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. Here, it's paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission that features manual-style shifting capabilities via a lever-mounted rocker switch on front-drive Encore models. The combination yields respectable acceleration and impressive EPA figures for a vehicle of its type, with front-drive Encores earning 25 mpg/33 mpg stats on the city/highway cycles and AWD models netting 23/30 mpg numbers. To complement its mileage-maxing prowess, the engine is designed to run on regular gasoline, not the premium grade required by many of the Encore's chief rivals.

1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4
138 horsepower @ 4,900 rpm
148 lb-ft of torque @ 1,850-4,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/33 mpg (FWD), 23/33 mpg (AWD)

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2013 Buick Encore Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 54 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

slow acceleration..transmission slow...only 19 mpg

By on Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "comfortable seating"

Cons: "acceleration slow..rough sounding engine..poor mpg"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"very slow acceleration.. transmission shifts slowly.. faster shifts when in manual mode, but there should be a sport setting for automatic mode.. poor mpg.. i am averaging 19.. rough sounding engine when pushed.."

1 person out of 5 found this review helpful

Excellent Vehicle, Excellent Price!!!

By on Sunday, April 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Everything, awesome vehicle"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have to drive an hour to work everyday, I love the comfort of my Encore, the gas mileage can not be beat. I would recommend this vehicle to anyone, and am proud to give anyone a ride it (this being said, I love driving it). No question, best vehicle I have had so far. The absolute anything I would change is the center council is really non-extant no arm support ether side of arms."

7 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Pretty decent vehicle

By on Wednesday, April 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Features, driver comfort."

Cons: "Road noise."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I can only describe by saying small but roomy. Well laid out interior. Little on slow side, and more road noise than I was expecting. Easy to drive."

8 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Great small SUV, needs some tweaks

By on Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Ride, stability, handling, looks"

Cons: "Audio volume and heating system"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Currently leasing the 2015 Encore. It's a great little SUV with a smooth ride and excellent handling. The interior has a nice layout albeit cramped. My two main grievances are the audio volume and length of time it takes for the heat to work. The audio tops out at 45. When driving you really need to have the volume up almost all the way to hear it well. This could be much better. The heat also takes forever to warm up. On a cold winter morning you'll need a good half hour of driving before the car warms up. Something just isn't right there."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

My first SUV & I'm delighted!

By on Monday, March 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,600

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive - very comfortable & good on gas."

Cons: "I don't have any complaints so far."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I don't like huge vehicles - I chose this one because of the compact size but still offers AWD & lots of fun other conveniences. It handles very nice & has a smooth drive - which I didn't want an SUV that handled like a truck. I am very happy with this vehicle so far."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

We now own TWO Encores a Red 2014 & a Black 2015.

By on Wednesday, March 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfort, quite, responsiveness, high value"

Cons: "No power lift gate or garage door buttons"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought my wife a Ruby Red 2014 Encore Leather with the gray/black interior. Her at 5'2" and me at 6'5" the memory driver seat is wonderful. Gas mileage is great 28city 34highway. As far as performance goes, our daughter calls the car, "Zippy". She is a 20 something and owns an Nissan Altima. When it became totally obvious that my 13 year car had to go. This was a fairly easy choice. We looked at a 2015 GMC Canyon. But the comfort, amenities, convenience and cost were all in the Encore's favor. So this time we got the 2015 Carbon Metallic Premium with the Black interior. We didn't need the Bose, the Navigation or the WiFi but those are all really nice features. I just can't say enough wonder things about these two vehicles. I did buy the extended warranties both times just to hedge my bets. Most people lose money on EW, I never have."

8 people out of 10 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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