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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 65 Ratings for the 2013 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.3/10

just what I wanted

By on Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 300

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "fun to drive around town"

Cons: "not a cross country auto"

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

"4 cyl turbo more than adequate, body quality the best I have seen in years, this is my 18th new Buick so I have vast experience and am a registered professional engineer."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great small SUV but poor dealer support.

By on Thursday, December 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,800

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive with quiet / comfortable interior"

Cons: "Total absence of real customer service (3 dealers)"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"My 2014 Encore Leather Model has less than 15,000 miles on the odometer and has an oil leak near the rear of the oil pan on the front passenger side of the vehicle. The dealer acknowledged the presence of the fluid, however they have chosen to refer to it as "seepage" and not a leak with no action (ie. warranty repair) offered. I will not keep this Encore beyond the expiration of the warranty as I will not pay for the repair of the leak."

13 people out of 13 found this review helpful

sure beats my Kia Soul and Subaru Forrester

By on Friday, September 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000

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: "Doesn't take the bumps like my Soul did"

Cons: "should have other color interiors like beige"

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

"I don't know why anyone complains about its power. I find myself going 80 on the interstate without even trying. This car has more than enough pep for driving on the interstate to and from work and town driving. There are no problems merging onto highways.The ride is much quieter and not as bumpy when compared to the truck like feeling which came from the Forrester and Soul. I looked for quite some time before buying the Encore but so far have had no qualms about buying it. Prices in my area were no where near the prices quoted on some sites online. It is actually fun to drive - would recommend this car to anyone."

23 people out of 34 found this review helpful

Hey guys...great German designed & engineered SUV!

By on Sunday, September 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,460

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great handling, economy, optimal space & power!"

Cons: "High price and needs Smart key."

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

My Mokka! :)

"Yes it's true, this car was designed and engineered by the German Opel division and marketed as an Opel Mokka / for the Europeans and rest of the world and Vauxhall Mokka for the UK. The South Korean made and assembled vehicle is called a Buick Encore for the American market. This mini SUV handles very well in the typical prowess it has been bred with. The eye catching design is what the second generation 166" RAV4 should have evolved to! GM cleverly re-invented a class of SUV that was abandoned about 10 years ago by the main players as they had all grown about a foot! The wonderful 6 speed automatic 1.4L Turbo Encore has very good looks, great interior, optimal usage of space, great economy and very good power for it's size and class. A great SUV for younger folk or empty nesters. Critics have stated a 'lack of power and space', what?? This IS SUPPOSED to be a 168" SUB Compact SUV, not a Porsche, if you want more power and space you can easily jump up into the 180" (15') Compact SUV class! No doubt the best looking and one of the better choices in the Sub Compact SUV class."

11 people out of 15 found this review helpful

My Mokka! :)

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."

7 people out of 10 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)"

15 people out of 28 found this review helpful

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