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2014 Buick Encore Review

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2014 Buick Encore Expert Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 6.6

The 2014 Buick Encore SUV takes the division into uncharted waters, wading into a crowded pool of compact crossovers, but with a level of luxury and sophistication uncommon in this class. Buick hopes its miniaturized Enclave will appeal to style-conscious youth, as well as empty nesters hoping to downsize, but not downgrade, their ride. With room for five, the Encore should accommodate most needs, and its turbocharged engine is both peppy and easy on fuel. The big question is, will buyers shell out the $25,000-35,000 premium when cars like the Kia Soul offer many of the same features for far less money? Buick doesn't seem to be worried. It views the Encore's key competitors as more upscale rides such as the Mini Countryman and Mazda CX-5.

You'll Like This Car If...

Those who subscribe to the axiom "good things come in small packages" will have their beliefs validated by the 2014 Buick Encore. Front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), a long list of available equipment, and an inviting interior design make this Buick the Cadillac of compact SUVS.

You May Not Like This Car If...

There are plenty of eye-catching compact SUVs out there, many with more power under the hood than the Encore. If a low price or the need to tow is a must, it's best to cross the Encore off your list.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 6.6
  • 6.9
  • 6.5
  • 6.4
  • 6.5
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#6

out of 31

Fuel Economy

#31

out of 31

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

9.5 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2014 Buick Encore Low/wide front photo What's New for 2014

New options for 2014 include Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Side Blind Zone Alert, both of which are included in the Convenience package.

Driving the Encore
2014 Buick Encore Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions As a crossover SUV with global aspirations, the 2014 Buick Encore platform has been tweaked and tuned for a world market that demands a firm suspension, precise steering and minimal...

... body roll. To this equation, Buick has added its own modifications giving the Encore a ride better aligned with American tastes, but without sacrificing any of the car's handling or cornering ability. A stiff frame and advanced sound deadening technology result in a cabin well isolated from the road noise typically generated by rushing wind and the Encore's big 18-inch wheel/tire combo. As for caveats, the Encore's 1.4-liter EcoTec engine 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 (AWD)
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.

2014 Buick Encore Details
2014 Buick Encore Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

The interior of the 2014 Buick Encore shows significant thought went into both its design and detail, with the same upscale ambiance found in Buick's larger sedans and SUVs. The Encore's interior is further complemented by an even more sophisticated variation on the Quiet Tuning theme. Whether rendered in cloth and leatherette or available leather, the cabin offers room for five with a 60/40 split rear bench that accommodates two average-sized adults plus a kid in the center spot. A 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
2014 Buick Encore photo

From its signature Buick waterfall grille and faux portholes to the painted lower body panels, the Encore for 2014 puts a 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 and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, 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
2014 Buick Encore Engine photo

Every version of the Buick Encore for 2014, 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 some 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)

The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2014 Buick Encore starts right around $25,000. Moving up the line, the Encore Convenience opens around $25,800, the Encore Leather commands close to $27,500 and the Encore Premium commences just below $29,000. All-wheel drive on any version will add $1,500, and a fully-loaded top-line Encore will hit the street close to $34,000. Although not the lowest priced among its competitive set, the Encore does become a far more compelling value when you factor in its more extensive roster of standards in each trim grade, including features like IntelliLink telematics, Active Noise Cancellation and a rear-view camera, not to mention potential savings in fuel costs. To make your best deal on a new 2014 Buick Encore, be sure to check our Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their car.

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2014 Buick Encore Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.5
Out of 10

Based on 35 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.3/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.7/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.4/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

Great small SUV

By on Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun driving,great gas milage,quite ride."

Cons: "Only one arm rest, not much leg room in back"

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

"Looked at several SUV's before purchasing. Fun driving car with great gas milage. I get 36mpg. Just wish it had two arm rests and a little more leg room in back."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Just bought this Demo have put 1000 miles on it

By on Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,200

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: "Great Price, fun to drive with all the new things"

Cons: "too small of driver's armrest no pass. armrest"

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

"I have looked at this small suv for over a year the one I looked at before was cloth seats and no sun roof glad I waited. I found the one I wanted in the same color with leather and sun roof, the vehicle I have no problem with just the salesman that sold it to me, I was ready to take it back after finding out somethings he had totally misled me on, In KY you have 72 hours to take your trade back if bought from a dealer but the dealership redid my deal to where I was most satisfied just have a kind of bitter taste in my mouth. Overall I love the Encore. It is exactly what I was looking for in a crossover if I need the space the back seats lay down, love the heated seats, and the upgrades that Buick put in their small suv at a reasonable cost."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Fun

By on Sunday, August 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000

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
6/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Pris, mileage, it is a novel car to drive."

Cons: "Small small small, road noise, rear seat tight."

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

"Small is the key word. More road noise than other bricks, especially an Enclave. Mileage is terrific(33). Just not enough room for more than three grand kids and we have seven."

16 people out of 24 found this review helpful

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