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2013 Buick Encore

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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
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 61 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

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

Encore could be my last car purchase-it is that go

By on Thursday, August 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

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: "Quick reflexes, almost 40 mpg in AWD trim."

Cons: "Stiff ride on driveway aprons. Needs 2.0T."

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

"Well the Buick Experience 2-year lease is up and I was sad to see "Squirt" go. I was able to see 39 mpg on one tankful while keeping the speeds at 60 mph. This car was great for daily commuting and could handle the smallest of parking lots with easy. Great quality materials with a rich look and feel that my Japanese car owning friends would compliment. Knock down the front seat and put the fiancé in the back seat behind had no problems handling IKEA impulse buy. There is a reason Automobile magazine said the Encore is a $13,000 less expensive BMW X1."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

I'm officially impressed with this car!

By on Saturday, July 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 229

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "GREAT fuel economy, comfy seats, really nice sound"

Cons: "Headrest, no armrest on passenger seat"

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

"I bought this just a week ago and today was the first chance I had to take a road trip in it. My destination was 115 miles from home, so I packed a lunch and gassed up. About 70 miles in a was feeling a bit cramped in my shoulders and have decided that I don't care for the headrest on the drivers seat, and that is my only complaint about this car. Roughly half of the trip was on freeway, with the cruise control set at 72. The rest was two lane state and county roads, mostly hilly with a lot of turns. I had no problem with the acceleration with the 1.4t, most reviewers seem to want to do a 12 second quarter mile in everything they drive, but I've had no trouble at all merging into traffic. Frankly, I think this car is peppy for it's size, and it handles great as well. And the best surprise of all: At 189 miles, I stopped to refuel. The needle was at what I considered to be 3/8 down, so I was thinking maybe 5 or 6 gallons used. It took 5.01 gallons. Do the math, this is far better than the estimated 33 highway.. 37.29 mpg, and I wasn't babying the car, I just drove normally. After driving a 13 mpg Chevy Astro AWD for 15 years, I feel free! :) I love everything about this car except the headrest.. (Although my wife is unhappy that there's no armrest on the passenger seat)"

12 people out of 21 found this review helpful

Love this little SUV

By on Friday, May 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,500

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

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

"This is my second Encore and I love the upgrades!! This car provides such a wonderful ride and so many electronic features!I couldn't be happier with my car!"

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Awesome Ride!

By on Wednesday, May 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,450

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
9/10

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

"I will trade this one in only when and if they change the body style! I get asked about it all the time by strangers. No problems and very comfy for a small SUV. I would buy it again!! Perfect the single or married couple on the go! We just fold down the back seat and pack enough for 2 weeks! GREAT GAS MILEAGE and the turbo kicks it!!"

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

This is the very best car I've ever owned!

By on Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 111,000

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: "LOTS of luxury for the low price"

Cons: "None so far"

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

"This is the first new car I've bought in over 25 years, so I shopped for value and reliability! So far, this car has exceeded my high expectations in every category, and even exceeds the EPA gas mileage estimates: I routinely get 32 miles per gallon in this beauty!"

27 people out of 27 found this review helpful

Outstanding vehicle so far.

By on Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,324

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "We love everything about this compact SUV."

Cons: "Slightly underpowered compared to our BMW X3."

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

"Our BMW X3 was beginning to get expensive to maintain, so we bought a new Buick. We originally wanted to go with another BMW, but we test drove other makes just to make sure. We were pleasantly surprised by the Buick! Wife loved the styling, driver comfort, and overall utility, and gas mileage. My wife and kids were also surprised by the craftsmanship of the interior and exterior. Nothing rattled like the older GM built vehicles I previously had. Hopefully this is the start of the turnaround of American quality and craftsmanship."

15 people out of 18 found this review helpful

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