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2018 Buick Encore KBB Expert Review

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Transaction Data

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KBB Expert Rating 8.0 / 10
10/8.0
This Car - 2018 Buick Encore
How It Compares to Similar Cars
10/
Highest -
10/
Lowest -
10/
Average rating for similar cars
More Details
Consumer Rating 8.9 / 10
10/8.9

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KBB Expert Review

Vehicle Details Interior  Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo

The interior of Buick’s compact Encore SUV shows significant thought went into both its design and detail. An 8-inch color touch screen moves from atop the dash to the center stack, while the larger gauge cluster includes a 4.2-inch driver-information screen. 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   photo

From its handsome winged grille and sculpted hood to the stylish 18-inch alloy wheels, the Encore compact SUV for 2018 puts a contemporary spin on each of these elements to create a package that’s skewed toward 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 LED-accented projector-beam headlights and LED-infused taillights. Brushed-aluminum faux rear skidplates and a wide wheel/tire package add a bit more aggressive flair to the overall mix.

Notable Standard Equipment

The well-equipped Encore Preferred has air conditioning, Buick IntelliLink telematics with an 8-inch touch screen, a tilt/telescoping steering column, cruise control, a power driver’s seat, push-button start, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi hotspot and a rearview camera. The Sport Touring gains fog lights and a rear spoiler, while the Encore Preferred II adds dual-zone climate control, remote starting and fog lights and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. The Encore Essence adds leather trim, heated front bucket seats/steering wheel, a power passenger seat and LED headlights. The top-line Encore Premium boasts Bose audio, front/rear park assist and Forward Collision Alert/Lane Departure Warning.

Notable Optional Equipment

Largely prepackaged within its trim hierarchy, Buick’s 2018 Encore does offer several individual extras. All but the base and Preferred trims can be fitted with the more powerful 153-horsepower engine. Other options offered include 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.

Under the Hood

Every version of the Buick Encore compact-crossover SUV for 2018, whether front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), shares the same basic powertrain, although higher trims can be upgraded with direct-injection technology for an added 15 horsepower. The engine is GM’s familiar 1.4-liter turbocharged Ecotec 4-cylinder that makes 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque (153 horsepower/177 lb-ft in upgraded). 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. 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 (base, Preferred)
138 horsepower @ 4,900 rpm
148 lb-ft of torque @ 1,850-4,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/33 mpg (FWD), 26/31 mpg (AWD)

1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4 (Opt. Sport Touring, Preferred II, Essence and Premium)
153 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
177 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/33 mpg (FWD), 24/30 mpg (AWD)

Pricing Notes

The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the base 2018 Buick Encore starts around $24,000. Moving up the line, the Encore Preferred opens around $25,360, the Sport Touring at $26,560, the Preferred II at $27,800, the Essence just over $30,000 and finally the Premium at just a hair north of $31,500. AWD will add $1,500, and a fully loaded top-line Encore will hit the street close to $35,000. Although not the lowest priced among competitors, the Encore does become a far more compelling value when you factor in its extensive roster of standard features and low 5-Year Cost to Own. The Encore’s resale values are better than the Fiat 500L, on par with the Chevrolet Trax but still below the Mini Cooper Countryman, Mazda CX-3, Jeep Renegade and Kia Soul. To make your best deal on a 2018 Buick Encore, check our Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying.


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