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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
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 48 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

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

BEST VEHICLE I HAVE EVER OWNED !

By on Thursday, February 19, 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: "Beauty, Comfort..EZ to Drive, EZ on the GAS..."

Cons: "ZERO....imho"

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

"I looked long & hard @ ALL smaller SUV'S. I prefer to 'sit' high in my CAR. I test-drove many many similiar SUV's. NONE of them 'handled' like my ENCORE...Quiet ? YOU don't know quiet...until you stepped-in...lol I wanted Leather & ALL the 'goodies' & FWD. When 'comparing' prices w/ all the others..The BUICK is the SAME PRICE as any of them 'similiarly' equipped. You couldn't PRY this guy outta my hands...+ the 'added' BONUS ? My DEALER turns out to have EXCELLENT SERVICE TOO!..."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Very nice somewhat overlooked SUV

By on Friday, February 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, quiet inside, good mpg, cargo space"

Cons: "slightly under powered"

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

"So far I absolutely love this car. Many of the reviews mention the fact that it is a bit under powered....which is true to a certain extent but overall I think it has plenty of power for day to day use. If you're the type that likes to know they have plenty of power in "reserve" than maybe you should considering a different vehicle. The interior is well layed out and has a quality look and feel to it. It is also fun to drive while being extremely quiet inside. Good cargo room as well. So far the Encore has met all my expectations. As far as long term reliability..only time will tell."

8 people out of 10 found this review helpful

There are much better options out there

By on Tuesday, February 03, 2015

I don't own this car

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
3/10

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

"I have this vehicle as a long term rental from the company I work for. I have had this SUV since Nov (3 months) I have driven this SUV mostly highway miles and the odometer is at 5k. In no way have I abused this vehicle and it was never in an accident. I had my dislikes of some things but now it shakes violently at 50mph so I need to return it not that I will be upset to see it go. I am hoping my review will save someone money in repairs. Lets start off with the shaking. When I received the vehicle it had a noise in the back end and some vibration I assumed this was normal since it was brand new. This vehicle has seen snow which caused some bumpy/icy terrain. Just after this last snow storm I noticed it shaking more. On my way home that same day the shaking came to a point where I couldn't talk without it sounding like someone was patting my back constantly. The gas petal shakes, the steering wheel wobbles and vibrates, the whole SUV vibrates once 50mph is reached and worsens as you go faster. Not a good thing. If it's the alignment/tires it's pretty sad for them to get out of alignment like this after a few snow storms. (If I let go of the wheel it doesn't pull) When I get a AWD I expect it to be able to handle these road conditions. This could also be an idle or a transmission problem. (Looking into the issue on forums previous models of this vehicle shows a history of having the shakes. It seems Buick has not fixed the issue in 2015) Other things I disliked: Transmission slips. Never before have I red lined an automatic unless it was old and about to drop the transmission. It has difficulty shifting on its own and I need to drop it into the manual function to tell it to shift sometimes. Side Detection System Unavailable message. This pops up in the center screen from time to time while driving. Nice to know I can't rely on this safety feature. Storage space is very minimal. All of my equipment that fit in the trunk of a Camry does not fit in this SUV. I had to decrease my equipment by half. Apparently cars have more storage space. The speedometer. It only displays 10's in large numbers. If you want 5's you have to look at the small chrome rim around the speedometer that is extremely difficult to read while driving. Also while the needle points at 80 cruise control tells me I'm going 75 hmmmm... Back up camera in a bad spot. It always gets dirty or gets rain drops on it and I can't see out of it. I have to get out and clean it off if I want to use it. Banana shaped seats. I feel like the seat has an unnatural curvature to them causing me to hunch over in the seat. Comfy for a banana but not very uncomfortable for me. I like to keep my back straight. Difficult to change the settings. I had to actually read the manual to figure out how to turn silly features off such as the volume not allowing it to be past 15 when the SUV is started. It still defaults to radio every time and I have to manually switch it to Bluetooth every time. Why does it not save my preference? Also doesn't save my preference to have the fog lights on so I have to turn those on every time I get in too. Useless windshield wipers. I cannot lift them up before a snow storm they won't budge and I'm afraid if I pull harder they will break off. It has that complex where one is longer than the other. They get ice covered either during the storm or while you are driving since the defroster doesn't hit them at all. The melted snow/ice from your windshield or road gets on them and all you get while driving is ice scraping across the windshield and making things worse. I either have to deal with the lack of visibility or get out and clean the windshield off myself. Lack of Center console. I like to keep things I may need handy in here. Why did Buick even bother with the 4x2 inch hole with a sliding top. Nothing fits in it. Things I liked: AWD handles well in the snow. It doesn't slide much and with some better tires then what it came with I think it would drive well in the snow if snow didn't break it. If snow is deeper than 8 inches I wouldn't bother trying to drive it since parts under the SUV will start plowing/dragging in the snow. The screen on the dash while not touch screen is placed higher up allowing easier use while driving. Remote Start. The only reason I picked this vehicle I'm sure this is the base model however it still has remote start. Very handy in the winter months. Conclusion If you are of 65+ years old, live in a place where its always sunny with great road conditions, and don't mind having to get repairs on a brand new vehicle this SUV could work for you. If not I would look at other options."

19 people out of 28 found this review helpful

Nice sporty Ride!!

By on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

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
9/10

Pros: "stylish, price, size, and fun to drive."

Cons: "no remote to open trunk, no push start button:("

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

"This is a very nice, and sporty looking vehicle. I had a Cruz before which had the same small engine as the Encore so I was deterred by the reviews of engine power. You will find most of the features in this crossover as you would find in a high-end vehicle. My only disappointment is that it did not have the push start feature; that is why I gave it a 9 out of 10 for convenience. That is something that I really missed because I had that feature in the Cruz. Besides that, I would say it is a lot of luxury in a compact vehicle for a reasonable cost. Also I get 26/mpg"

11 people out of 16 found this review helpful

All the the things I was looking for!

By on Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110

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: "Safety Features, luxury amenities,"

Cons: "Need larger center storage bin."

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

"This car/SUV is getting more attention and has more features than the Mercedes and BMW's that my fiends own. The safety features are abundant and the luxury amenities are stress relieving. The AWD handles extremely well in the NorthEast winter weather. I just Love everything about this SUV."

9 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Luxury and big car ride

By on Monday, January 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,500

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "High end feel, great ride, well trimmed, good mpg"

Cons: "silly arm rest, no garage button, doesn't speak TX"

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

"After downsizing from a Saturn Outlook (which is basically the GMC Acadia) to a KIA soul I was ready for something upscale but with good gas mileage. After looking at the several vehicles Cherokee, Rogue, Escape) I went with the Buick Encore Leather Trim FWD with Navigation and am sooo glad I did! Granted I got the GM Employee price which helped with my decision but after 2 months and 2500 miles I am still happy. I was concerned about reviewers stating that the little engine was underpowered and that held me off for a bit but honestly I find that when I step on it the little car moves. I am not planning on drag racing down the streets so I think it has plenty of power. No problem passing on the highway etc. However I have never gotten better than 30 mpg even on highway. But I am cruising along at 75...+ soooooo that may be a factor. It IS SMALL. But I will say that it rides similar to my Mom's Enclave. I don't know if it is the bigger tires or what but I feel like I am riding in a bigger car. Even passengers have commented on the smooth ride. I am 5'10'' and fluffy :) and I find the seats very comfortable, love the lumbar and heated seats. However, if anyone had to sit behind me they would not have much room for their knees. For a single person or couple that don't usually have people in the back it is perfect. I get complements everywhere on the looks - drive through window (I have the saddle leather... awesome!), mechanics, people walking across the parking lot, etc. I have only 4 gripes and they are really pretty minor in order of most annoying to least 1) I can not lay down the back seat flat AND keep my seat in the position I prefer to drive it is just to tight. You probably can force it but I hear the electric seat motor straining a bit to push the seat back and am not going to risk damaging that sexy leather. Not a problem for short jaunts, I can move the seat up and manage, but hauling dogs 500 miles I had to forgo laying the seat down for driving position. 2) No garage door opener button - what? even my mid range Kia had that? Kinda funny but not a biggy 3) What is up with that silly arm rest? Really Buick? There has to be a better alternative the thing makes the car look cheap and is practically useless. 4) The Voice recognition does not understand TEXAN! Haha seriously I can't get it to ever understand me - oh well if anyone knows the trick for that let me know."

16 people out of 20 found this review helpful

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