The Encore is a luxurious subcompact SUV that's a full size smaller than "small" SUVs like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. The Buick's overall length is comparable to a Volkswagen Beetle. Tall, short in length, and narrow, the Encore has ungainly proportions, despite some familiar Buick styling cues like a big chrome grille and portholes on the hood.
Alerts
There are 4 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Emissions
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
NA
2014
2015
2016
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2018
2019
2020
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
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2015
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2019
2020
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags standard.
Road Test

The Encore is a luxurious subcompact SUV that's a full size smaller than "small" SUVs like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. The Buick's overall length is comparable to a Volkswagen Beetle. Tall, short in length, and narrow, the Encore has ungainly proportions, despite some familiar Buick styling cues like a big chrome grille and portholes on the hood.

There's a lot to like about the Encore though, including a quiet cabin, great maneuverability for parking, and a smooth ride. But the narrow interior can feel cramped and the little Buick has a flawed driving position. Thick pillars and small rear windows block outward visibility, especially to the rear. Despite the Buick's luxury image, there is no power front seat recline. These demerits and others weigh down its score considerably.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Front
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 1.4-liter 4 turbo (138 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2015 Buick Encore owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Backup or other camera/sensors

"Check engine light kept coming on even after replacement of break peddle assembly pieces one at a time until they finally fixed the problem"

Anonymous, OR (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Display screen freezes up

"The screen would freeze periodically. Buick dealer first said it was an APPLE problem! Lol! It's only happened a handful of times. Fixes itself after I shut car off and restart. Last scheduled service BUICK said they updated my software and seems to have made a difference"

Denis F., NY (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The GPS froze and when that happened it also effected the passenger air bag with the indicator now read off, and the radio stopped working"

Anonymous, GA (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"already filled this out"

Anonymous, IL (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Display screen goes blank

"The problem was that infotainment system display screen would be blank and not turn on at all. It began the first winter after I bought the car in 2018 August. I thought it was a cold weather problem but it has done it when temperatures were warmer also. The professional at the dealership claims it is a bad tip in the infotainment system. They are unable to fix the problem and seemed reluctant to try."

Anonymous, MI (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Sometimes the navigation system simply won't work. To fix it I just turn the car off and back on again"

Dan K., OR (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"When the Navigation froze it also knocked out the passenger air bag display to off, the radio wouldn't work"

Anonymous, GA (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"continuous problems trying to pair phones and keep them paired; don't even try anymore."

Keith J., WI (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Software update fixes

"Dealer had to replace many modules in computer to get car to run. do not understand problem"

Anonymous, MI (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Speakers

"right front speaker failed"

Anonymous, IL (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Voice control commands

"often voice command does not understand person I am calling. It asks for an id number, but that would require me to look at the phone which is what I am avoiding."

Anonymous, OH (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Master cylinder

"Break performance was affected by faulty master cylinder. It was replaced under warranty. Issue has been corrected"

Antonio M., NC (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Normal routine brake wear

"Braking is not quite as expected. I feel the brakes have worn out sooner than they should have."

Anonymous, PA (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Parking brake

"Parking break intermittently not releasing"

Anonymous, ON (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Premature brake wear

"Calipers and rotors replaced at 19,000 miles; service manager said "They just don't make them like they used to.""

Anonymous, MI (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Regular brake failure

"Earlier brake failure (2018) resulting in a low-speed accident reported to the NHTSA(ID#11083404)."

Anonymous, MI (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Rotors

"Rotors wore out much sooner than I feel they should have."

Anonymous, PA (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"warped rotors caused vibration when braking necessitating rotor resurfacing. This begin around 14000 miles which is very low mileage for this to happen in my estimation."

S M., PA (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Squeaking

"Passenger side rear brake sqeaking when it was cold or first thing you n the morning"

Patricia J., TX (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"At times very loud noises when braking, especially in stormy weather"

Maria A., MI (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Very sensitive during rainy conditions, causing abrupt stops. Heard loud squealing noise when braking during a hard rain..."downpour.""

Frances P., OH (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"There was blue liquid seen by the dealer service center. They. Told me to come back and have it fixed before my warranty ran out"

Iris P., NJ (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Leaked and was replaced under warranty"

Robert A., OH (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"a/c compressor failed, had to be replaced"

S M., PA (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Automatic climate control

"I live in Texas where it is very hot and humid. My car can fog up on a dime and I am literally blinded within seconds and it will not defog and I have to try to pull over and wait - it's horrible. I would also like to point out at 1300 miles my battery died which was very weird and very inconvenient"

Anonymous, TX (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Condenser

"Condenser developed a refrigerant leak thus leading to the A/C's ability to cool gradually failing. Purchased OEM spec'd condenser and replaced it myself. Recharged system. A/C has been cooling with no further issues."

Anonymous, TN (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"A/C suddenly stopped working and had to have a $165 diagnostic just to find out that there was a hole in the condenser, then $1100 to repair the problem. Car is only 4 years old and no one able to say why this occurred."

Anonymous, WI (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Heater system

"My heater was blowing out cold air."

Anonymous, MI (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Area (plastic) around vents becomes extremely hot to touch at any level past '2'."

Anonymous, NC (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Refrigerant leaks

"Condenser developed a refrigerant leak leading to the A/C's ability to cool gradually failing. Purchased OEM spec'd condenser and replaced it myself. Recharged system. A/C has been cooling with no further issues."

Anonymous, TN (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Same as the last comment, Poor fit results in seals not completely closing the doors to keep the elements out of the vehicle."

Glenn B., PA (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Squeaks or rattles

"brakes in the rear"

Anonymous, OH (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"squeak rear door"

Norman C., UT (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Wind noise

"Poor door fit, especially on the right hand side. Dealer attempted adjustment to no effect."

Glenn B., PA (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Wind noise prevalent on passenger side of vehicle. It may becoming from back passenger door. Seldom use passenger seat, just notice when I am passenger not driver"

Anonymous, OH (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Doors do not fit neatly and tightly."

Glenn B., PA (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

"The catalytic converter apparently failed and caused the engine warning light to come on. It was replaced under warranty along with a section of the exhaust pipe."

Anonymous, (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Other/unsure

"air bag display is always in off position. radio and navigation system freezes up"

Anonymous, IL (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Freezes all the time. Cannot even turn off whatever is running when it freezes up. Buick has NOT been helpful. Told us that there may be a fix coming out for it or maybe not. Would not have purchased the car if they would have disclosed this"

Jeff J., MO (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"System failed (went blank). Dealer kept several weeks for replacement. Problem is fixed"

Karen G., TX (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Does not work at times."

Jack M., NV (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Body control module

"car at dealership almost a month=at least under warranty."

Anonymous, (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Headlights

"Had to replace defective headlight,, tail light, battery and a defective tire (which meant I had to buy a tire because they have to be paired)!"

Anonymous, WI (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Interior lights

"Lights dim and you cannot use rearview camera and gagues at night"

P G., AZ (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"heater and fan lights operate intermittantly"

Anonymous, PA (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Tire pressure monitor

"Sensors for 2 tires were switched"

Anonymous, CA (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Cylinder head

"The car overheated because of antifreeze leaks and warped the cylinder head."

Anonymous, (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Engine rebuild or replacement

"Bad rings on 1 cylinder"

Anonymous, IL (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Turbo or supercharger

"cooling line for turbo fails and leaks"

Anonymous, (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"I had owned the car less than a year and the Turbo charger went out on it and stopped working properly. There was a lack of supply on this heart which caused a delay in getting the car fixed by 2 weeks."

Anonymous, MI (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"car would not start one morning got jump needed new battery"

Anonymous, (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Electronic ignition

"cracked head of some sort not sure of part name"

Anonymous, RI (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Spark plugs or wires failure

"check engine light came on; noticed a loss of power and felt that one of the cylinders was not working. Took car to dealership; Still under purchase warranty"

Anonymous, PA (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Ball joints

"Worn out"

Keith A., TX (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Shocks or struts

"Related to the previous issue. Total replacement of all required."

Keith A., TX (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"Mass air sensor malfunctioning"

Philip S., KY (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Oil leaks

"apparently known defect . Intake manifold made of plastic and warps. Also there is a turbo cooling line prone to failure."

Anonymous, (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

"seems to have trouble finding the right gear sometimes, but not always. Usually fine 95% of the time."

Randy D., WA (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Slipping transmission

"(Used car sale within last two months.) Infrequent clunk when starting out. Warranty examination to be done this week because mileage is below 60,000 miles. No resolution yet."

Anonymous, AZ (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

"All symbols that indicate a problem lite up. Took 3 wks for dealer to find & repair problem."

Anonymous, MI (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose interior trim or moldings

"purchased a used vehicle, however all 2015s on lot had pealing silver flakes around center console, jot a huge problem just unsightly and messy."

Anonymous, NC (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Windows

"driver's door window got stuck in partially open position - could not raise or lower it. Dealer found glass had become detached from mechanism."

Henry B., MI (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"Failed on a cross country drive to Colorado from Illinois. Covered by Buick warranty. No out of pocket costs."

Anonymous, (2015 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

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