Product Reviews

Welcome to Consumer Reports.

We’re so glad to have you as a member. You now have access to benefits that can help you choose right, be safe and stay informed.
The Encore is a luxurious subcompact SUV that's a full size smaller than "small" SUVs like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. Based on the Chevrolet Sonic, the Buick's overall length is about the size of a Volkswagen Beetle. Tall, short, 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 2 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 (sec.) 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.

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.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
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.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
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. Based on the Chevrolet Sonic, the Buick's overall length is about the size of a Volkswagen Beetle. Tall, short, 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, including a quiet cabin, great maneuverability for parking, and a smooth ride. But the narrow interior can feel cramped and has a flawed driving position. Thick pillars and small rear windows block visibility, especially out the rear. And 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

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)
  • 1.4-liter 4 turbo (153 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2016 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

“Since Day 1, I have told the dealer that the back-up camera is the WORST I have every seen....It looks like a blurry haze most of the time.....Almost like I'm in a dust storm!....washed out and BAD!....They take a little rag and say it must be dust on the camera...I am FUSSY with my cars and it has NO Dust and after they do their FAKE WIPEOFF, it is NO different....Buick needs to pick up the pace on electronics....EVERY OTHER CAR I'VE HAD has great backup cameras....Even the cheaper foreign cars”

Anonymous, OR (2016 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“The in-dash screen has very poor contrast. In daylight you can barely see the area behind vehicle. At night you can not clearly see objects. The backup light are not very bright but if they were bright like my pickup you would still have a problem because of the poor contrast. Took car into to dealer, the second time we complained about the contrast they changed out the camera but still lacks the contract needed”

Anonymous, TX (2016 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Display screen goes blank

“Screen sometimes doesn't light up or goes dark while driving or when starting”

Anonymous, AZ (2016 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“It does not work. I entire a city and address in NJ and I get an address in California”

Donald B., NJ (2016 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Voice control commands

“Totally worthless, doesn't understand commands”

Anonymous, NJ (2016 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Voice command simply does not work. It's very difficult for the system to understand most common commands”

Robin Z., IL (2016 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

Squeaks or rattles

“rattles in the review mirror bracket”

Anonymous, CA (2016 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Wind noise

“Road noise is very high, so much so that the voice command on the navigation system mentions it”

Anonymous, NJ (2016 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

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

“In cold weather, the car began to sputter and would not accelerate. We brought it in and found that the design and location of the positive crankcase ventilation (pcv) system was faulty and required a pcv heater to be designed (Buick did not yet offer one for this car) and installed. Our car was out of commission from Jan 17 to Mar 10”

Anonymous, MN (2016 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

Warning lights

“Daytime lights may or not be on all the time -- the dashboard indicator does not light as it should. If this Automatic function (daytime lights) is not on, then it will not progress to full Headlights when needed, and a driver could be driving and not knowing that (until it is very dark)”

Anonymous, AR (2016 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.

Drive System

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

Engine Major

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

Climate System

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

Engine Minor

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

Paint/Trim

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

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.

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

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.

Engine Cooling

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

Exhaust

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

Transmission Minor

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

Change Vehicle