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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
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 72 Ratings for the 2013 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Great vehicle that met all expectations

By on Sunday, July 10, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,826

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: "Price, color, fuel economy"

Cons: "Could be a little quieter"

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

"This has been a great vehicle but my wife can no longer drive so we have decided to sell. It has a five year extended warranty which is fully transferrable along with the factory warranty."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Canary in the cave? 2014 Encore

By on Friday, July 8, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Quiet, Beautiful,"

Cons: "reliabilty, insufficiant warranty for quality"

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

"At first I loved this car, then mechanical problems started. I've had several serious repairs done on this car. And the parts come from Canada,which usually takes a week or two. The problem overall is I thought I was buying a typical Buick product,which I have had wonderful cars. But, the Encore is manufactured in Korea with primarily Korean and Chinese parts. Basically your purchasing a Korean car in terms of quality. BUT, you are receiving an American warranty of 50,000 miles. Korean cars come with a 100,000 warranty for a reason. You're better off purchasing a Korean car for less and the better warranty. If your stupid like me at least purchase an extended warranty."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Glorified 96 Tracker

By on Thursday, April 21, 2016

I don't own this car

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "Radio"

Cons: "Ran out of space here.."

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

"Good: BOSE Stereo is amazing.. Bad: Fit and finish is terrible Drive position is uncomfortable Seats are hard as a rock and too short for tall drivers Warning sensors are worthless Due to it's shape it has no space in the cargo area It's expensive GM dealers support is typically horrible Review: I don't own one, i have had a loaner Premium one for the past 3 days while my Chevy volt is repaired.. again (Worst Pile of garbage i have ever owned, but that's another review) The dealership has given me nearly every GM product as a loaner, and each one seems to be worse than the last.. Honestly can't figure out why they are still in business.. Anyway.. Back to the Buick.. The Buick is a 395 mile brand new 2016 model, fully loaded, the stereo, which is the top tier bose, is fantastic, it sounds excellent.. That's about the only nice thing i can say though.. The rest of the car is one poor design after another.. Let's start with the interior.. The power seats are good, and offer good positions, but the seats are too short, they are also way too hard.. and the passengers seat is actually shorter and more narrow than the drivers seat. The seating position behind the wheel is also designed poorly, while there is a telescoping steering wheel, the wheel does not push far enough away, so if you like to sit up-right, and don't have arms like a T-rex, this might not be a good fit for you.. The interior controls aren't particularly well laid out, they are hard to understand, and they don't feel particularly well made. The rear visibility is horrible, and while it does have a back up camera, and parking sensors, they don't depict the actual location of things as good as being able to see it, which unfortunately in this SUV you can't see anything behind you. The rear window tint is either too dark, or they shouldn't use the auto dimming rear view mirror when you get tint, as it will tint from the light in the front windows, and cause you not to be able to see though the rear tinted glass.. The rear hatch area is very small.. there isn't much room back there, and for the price the Rav4 is enormous and offers a nicer laid out interior.. The Exterior.. While i don't think it is bad looking, i don't find it proportional, it seems very tall, yet very short, and when you drive it it feels top heavy due to these dimensions, so it doesn't inspire confidence in turning.. The panel gaps are "OK" at best, but they still don't have the uniformity you find in the imports.. Engine.. It's a turbo 4, it makes a horrible sound under load,(i have had 9K RPM Honda's that's a different sound) and the turbo lag is noticed.. it's actually slower than my volt, which is heavier.. They really need a small v6 in this thing, or a bigger 4 with more low end torque, the turbo 4's should really just be in sporty cars, not want to be luxury SUV's. Transmission.. Due to GM trying to comply with the regulated MPG requirements, GM feels like they have been rushed into adding gears to transmissions, without much thought into the software to control the shifting.. as a result the transmission spends a lot of time trying to figure out exactly what gear to be in, which causes a lot of jerking motions when it is hunting for the gear.. As a result the ride quality is diminished.. It also makes you question how long that will last till the transmission is shot.. GM Product support - The product support from GM is horrifying.. It is important to purchase a GM product that will likely be reliable enough to never have to be repaired under warranty or at a dealership.. GM Corporate pays it's Tech/Mechanic's based on a determined time to repair, which means if a job takes 20min by a master mechanic, but might take this other person 30min to do the same job, GM will only pay him for the 20min, meaning things get missed, or things aren't fixed correctly.. This is a major reason GM products are not rated nearly as high as the imports during repair.. So before you purchase a GM, make sure you realize that if, when it breaks, and you need a GM Service center, you will likely get the car back only half fixed.."

13 people out of 27 found this review helpful

Has very nice features, but not worth the MSRP.

By on Friday, February 26, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Has some really nice features; awesome warranty."

Cons: "MSRP is overpriced; need to get many incentives."

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

"This is a very nice small SUV. However, it is not worth the MSRP of $31,200. I paid about two thirds of that with incentives and rebates etc. It is well worth that. Has many Pro's: remote start; memory seat and mirror settings #1 & #2, but seat and mirror settings are also remembered by the last setting of the driver who used that particular ignition key (a really nice feature for me and my wife); more than enough front seat legroom (I'm 6' with long legs); cruise control setting tell you the MPH number after it is set; dual climate control (but cannot be synced); air vents can be completely closed; car heats up quickly; heated seats (my wife loves those); blind spot monitor is awesome as are the cross traffic sensors; the interior and exterior styling is very attractive; the leather seats and ride are very comfortable and solid in town and on the highway; handles well in snow, although we have AWD and snow tires; gas mileage is accurate at 20/30 mpg; radio has many "favorite channel" buttons (which my wife and I benefit from); bluetooth is handy; radio screen menu has many information options that we do not use because of monthly fee, but could be very useful to many people; have the option to use daytime running light or not. Overall, for the price WE paid for it and what we use it for we have been very pleased. Also cannot beat the 48 months, 50,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty. Con's: very little cargo space, very limited heated area on the heated leather steering wheel, the unusual method of folding down back seats impedes front seats from moving back far enough to give me adequate leg room, back up mirror is useless except to let you know that there may be a large object behind you (dangerous to use for actually backing up), the back seats can be folded down separately, however the passenger side provides a very small opening and the drives side a very big one (should be the other way around bec of front driver side leg room issue); some of the body hardware, knobs and dials are a little flimsy."

26 people out of 31 found this review helpful

Really Like This Spunky Little Encore

By on Sunday, February 21, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fuel economy, storage, quality of interior"

Cons: "Fake vent ports on the hood"

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

"I’ve had my Encore for about 4 months and like it more and more each day. The biggest factors that made me pick the Encore among other contenders were: (1) fuel mileage; (2) a lot of storage in a small package; (3) number of options for the price point; and (4) the ability to haul 2 or more people (and my dog) around in reasonable comfort. Previously I had a MINI which, while a great drive, got horrible fuel mileage, had zero storage and could uncomfortably accommodate three people in a pinch. The Encore on the other hand gets amazing fuel mileage and only requires regular gas, has storage cubbies everywhere, has things that my full loaded MINI did not (like a compass, XM radio, window tint, a spare tire, etc.) and, according to my passengers and dog, is a pleasure to ride in. In terms of the driving experience, I am very impressed. Reviews frequently state it is underpowered – I have never felt this. In my experience, it has plenty of get up and go for merging, passing, whatever. Parking is also an absolute breeze. I live back East where parking is a commodity so you often have to squeeze into small spaces. The Encore is a master this thanks to the backup camera and sensors. Also, the turning radius is equally amazing – have to do a quick 360 in a hurry, not a problem. As for the looks, some reviewers think it’s unattractive. I personally really like the looks. The only issue I have are the “fake” vent ports on the hood. Aesthetically I do not think they add anything and honestly do look cheap. As for the interior, for a car at this price point, it is amazing. The soft touch areas are everywhere, seams are nicely joined together, the seats are very comfortable and aesthetically I find it a great space to be in. Some people also complain about the number of buttons on the center console….personally I love them. While I like touchscreens, trying to use them when driving can be challenging so, I will take a button any day of the week. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, my dog loves to go for rides in the Encore which he never did in my previous car a MINI. Long story short, both my dog and I did the Encore a high five."

23 people out of 30 found this review helpful

Good Little SUV - but LOUD brake noise

By on Friday, February 19, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Quiet interior, nice gas mileage, easy to park"

Cons: "Loud brake noise, trunk small, engine lacking"

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

"My biggest issue right now is my Encore developed a "foghorn" like noise when I push on the brakes. I bought it brand new and it developed this after a month or two. I've read on the internet this is an issue with this model, and my 2015 even came from the factory with the "dampening kit" already on it because that's Buick "band-aid" to the problem! So they know there is a problem..however, unfortunately it didn't fix mine! The dealership says they are not authorized to make anymore repairs until Buick Engineers come up with another service bulletin. This is not just a little squeal, like metal to metal, it sounds like a foghorn going off. It's quite embarrassing! I drive in a lot of city traffic and I wish the engine had a little more "pep" to accelerate faster in traffic, but highway driving you won't even realize how fast you are going. I have heard of other 4 cyl that have more pep. For gas mileage, I'm averaging around 30, but I typically drive over 80 mph on the highway daily, so I'm sure if I slowed down to 75 and below it would increase. I also only have the FWD, not AWD. Very quiet interior cabin. We test drove a Kia Sportage and was looking for which window had been left cracked open it was so loud, the Encore is extremely quiet inside. Would also like a passenger seat arm rest, and the console in the middle is a little small. Trunk area could be a little larger, I could fit more groceries in my car trunk I traded in. Was going to the airport for a week vacation and kids had to hold 3 suitcases in the back seat because they wouldn't all fit in the trunk area. Trunk remote access would be nice too. With it's small size, very easy to park and maneuver. Easy to get in and out of. Did not maintain the subscriptions to OnStar and Wi-Fi hot spot. Seats seem to be comfortable. For a small vehicle, decent leg room in the back, but could not fit 3 adults or teens in the back seat comfortably. Good headroom. That's what my husband hated about my Fusion was hardly any headroom for him, this fits him great. If they would fix my brake problem, the review would be higher."

9 people out of 16 found this review helpful

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