New 2019 Buick Encore SUV New 2019
Buick Encore SUV

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

Few brands have gone through more dramatic changes in recent years than Buick, and the Encore -- along with other new SUVs like the Envision -- is one reason the GM premium marque is attracting so many new, young buyers. Buick's smallest utility vehicle offers a good mix of features at a reasonable price. That includes optional all-wheel drive, a must in wet and snowy climes. Despite its small size it is also reasonably roomy inside, and the cabin is surprisingly quiet. With a complete makeover due in 2020, this year brings relatively modest changes to the Buick Encore.

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You'll Like This SUV If...

If you're looking for a small but stylish SUV that's big on features you'd normally expect from a luxury brand, the 2019 Buick Encore is clearly worth checking out.

You May Not Like This SUV If...

You might think twice about the 2019 Buick Encore if you need a lot of interior space or are trying to get the most on a tight budget. Alternatives including the Honda CR-V and the Subaru Crosstrek.

What's New for 2019

Several trim levels will be dropped from the 2019 Encore option list. But the marque's safety package -- including features like forward-collision alert and lane-departure warning -- will be available on a broader range of models.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

Buick has moved away from the soft and squishy "boulevard ride" of classic old sedans like the Electra. While the 2019 Encore doesn't ride as stiffly as the version sold in Europe, it still offers good road feel and handling without being jarring on rough roads. One particularly welcome feature is the active-noise cancellation that keeps the cabin library quiet under all but the most aggressive driving -- notably when you floor the 1.4-liter Ecotec engine. That turbocharged powertrain is offered in two configurations, the base package making 138 horsepower, the upgrade delivering a peppier 153 horsepower. Fuel economy is solid, and the all-wheel-drive package is a good choice in colder, wetter regions of the country.

Favorite Features

QUIET TUNING WITH ACTIVE NOISE CANCELLATION
Buick has developed a justifiable reputation for delivering some of the quietest interiors on the road. Credit both ample insulation and the active-noise-cancellation system, which works much like the headphones many frequent fliers rely on.

“ACTIVE ON-DEMAND” ALL-WHEEL DRIVE
Offering maximum traction in any weather situation, the Encore’s Active On-Demand all-wheel drive works by detecting wheel slip and routing power to the wheel or wheels with the best traction. When not needed, the Encore reverts to front-drive mode, which helps maximize fuel economy.

Vehicle Details

Interior

The Buick Encore may be the brand's "base" SUV, but you won't feel like you're in an econobox. Whether outfitted in cloth, Leatherette or real leather, the cabin is well appointed and refined. There's a 4.2-inch digital information screen in the center stack and an 8-inch color touch screen atop the center stack. There are plenty of standard high-tech features, as well, including OnStar and a Wi-Fi hotspot. There's more room than the exterior footprint would suggest, though it could get cramped with three adults in back. Cargo space jumps from 18.8 cubic feet to 48.4 with the back split seats folded down.

Exterior

From its handsome winged grille and sculpted hood to the stylish 18-inch alloy wheels, the Encore compact SUV for 2019 puts a contemporary spin on each of these elements to create a package that’s skewed toward a more youthful, progressive mind-set. The utility-vehicle'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 Essence adds leather trim, heated front bucket seats/steering wheel, a power passenger seat and LED headlights.

Notable Optional Equipment

Largely prepackaged within its trim hierarchy, Buick’s 2019 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 include 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.

Under the Hood

All versions of the 2019 Buick Encore share a 1.4-liter turbocharged Ecotec engine. But there are two versions, and the optional upgrade adds direct fuel injection that boosts the pony count from 138 to 153 horsepower, torque climbing from 148 to 177 lb-ft. The upgrade runs $900 and is popular with those wanting a bit more of a sporty ride. The optional version also adds the ability to manually shift the 6-speed gearbox on front-drive (FWD) models. All-wheel-drive (AWD) is also available as an option. In base form, the 4-cylinder Ecotec engine offers some of the segment's best mileage numbers. You'll take a slight hit with AWD and the upgraded engine.

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 (Sport Touring, Essence)
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)

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Pricing Notes

The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the base 2019 Buick Encore starts a little over $24,000. Moving up the line, the Encore Preferred opens around $25,600, the Sport Touring at $26,800, the Essence just under $31,800. AWD will add $1,500. 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 2019 Buick Encore, check our Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying.

OK, so what's next?
I'm interested in this car. What's for sale near me?
I'm interested in this car, and I'd like to trade in my current car while I'm at it.
Then again, maybe I should be thinking about a used car.

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