GREEN CHOICE
2016
GREEN CHOICE

Buick Encore Change Vehicle

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 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.
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.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
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.
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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NA
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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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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
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 (153 hp)
  • 1.4-liter 4 turbo (138 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

"This car had the worst backup camera I have every seen in a car....So dim/blurry that it was hard to even SEE what was there...I complained several times, and the guy would wipe off the lenz and say it was good to go...It never was...I compare it to my cameras in my other vehicles and even cheap Kias and toyotas and this car's camera is THE WORST and GM's handling of the complaint was very annoying....frustrating..."

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

"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 freezes up

"this was repaired by the dealer who updated the software"

Charles S., WI (2016 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Display screen goes blank

"The display is blank. Anything to do with the display (Radio, mp3, CD, bluetooth handsfree etc does not work."

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

"Back up display goes dim so you can’t see objects behind you. Light adjustments not able to correct. One must manually turn off head lights, running lights, so brightness of display is adequate. (then you must remember to turn them back on) program change is needed to allow the brightness to be adequate with out turning the running / head lights on."

Tom D., NC (2016 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"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)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"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)
Radio

"After the battery went dead, the radio would not come back on. Also, the Bluetooth would not work and I missed some phone calls. The radio was replaced under warranty, but it took three days for the dealer to get a new radio programmed for a Buick."

Anonymous, IL (2016 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Voice control commands

"this is not a defect. It is a design problem. While it understands very simple commands like tuning to a radio station trying to use voice control for navigation is impossible. We have an amazon Echo Dot and use voice command on the android cell phone frequently. Voice control in the Buick is very naive compared to these others."

Charles S., WI (2016 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"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)

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"The car only had about 15,000 miles but the wiring and some of the parts in the braking system were rusted or corroded. Because of being a newer vehicle, parts were not readily available."

Lee S., MO (2016 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"After 3000 miles vehicle's brake light kept coming on. Brakes worked, but did not feel right."

Anonymous, VA (2016 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Normal routine brake wear

"Seemed like a little soon for brakes needing to be replaced."

Blanche G., NY (2016 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Premature brake wear

"At less than 10,000 miles the brakes were almost metal on metal!....Have NEVER had that happen before either...disappointing on an otherwise pretty good little SUV"

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

"after rain or snow the rotors develop a thin coat of rust which makes a loud metallic squeaking noise when the brakes are applied,have taken Buick to dealer bought it from at least 3 times for this problem, answer is always same,we cleaned the rotors and can't find anything wrong.I went online and discovered Buick has had numerous complaints about this problem."

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

"Brakes squeaking when damp or wet"

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

"the squeaking and binding sound was related to the wiring issue."

Lee S., MO (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

Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Back up camera lighting is very poor the headlights need to be turned off before lighting is satisfactory. Turning the headlights on and off manually so that the backup feature can be used is unsatisfactory. Make an update to the software to fix."

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

"Headlights need to be turned on before the back up camera can be used with better lighting. Process an EC to correct the problem. When the headlights are on, not enough power is sent to the back up camera dash mounted display"

Anonymous, NC (2016 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Interior lights

"See previous comments"

Tom D., NC (2016 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
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)

"Something damaged the electrical sensor cable for the side mirror object detection (when a car is in your blind spot). Technician stated that gravel or something hit and pinched the cable to the sensor."

Thomas B., TN (2016 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

"#3 cylinder valve dropped, popping a hole in the piston crown. Pumped enough oil through the exhaust to (later) cause the catalytic converter to fail."

Mark S., IL (2016 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Engine rebuild or replacement

"check engine light came on, took it in, and one cylinder wasn't working at all. Replaced entire engine with a new one."

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

"Cracked engine block"

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

"one whole cylinder was bad causing the whole engine to be replaced, thankfully was on bumper to bumper coverage and I didn't have to pay for it."

Anonymous, IN (2016 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Turbo or supercharger

"Turbo housing was cracked, replaced along with all new coolant and oil feed lines. Fortunately, covered by a third party warranty called Tricare, purchased when the vehicle was new."

Anonymous, ON (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

Air or water leaks

"The TPMS sucks. It regularly goes out and needs to be reset."

Mitch E., WA (2016 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Coolant was leaking from both sides of the turbocharger causing eye irritation, headache and fogged up windows."

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

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"An electronic switch gave an engine warning light and had to be replaced."

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

"Engine light on, computer chip replaced"

Jane C., NY (2016 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Oil leaks

"Engine oil pan leak. Gasket is inexpensive, however, 4.2 hours of labour to replace the gasket. Covers user Tricare warranty as was the replacement engine oil cooler which was also leaking."

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

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

"Not yet resolved"

Anonymous, (2016 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Other/unsure

"Blind spot warning has simply stopped working on numerous occasions,only to start working again after a few minutes"

Anonymous, KY (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)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"Light came on. Was under warranty."

Anonymous, (2016 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

4WD/AWD components

"a sensor on one of the wheels would act up preventing the vehicle from going into AWD until you restarted the vehicle."

Dave N., SD (2016 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

"Seals were bad on compressor causing Freon to leak out, ridiculous! Thankfully again car was on bumper to bumper coverage and I didn't have to pay for repair."

Anonymous, IN (2016 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.

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.

Paint/Trim

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

Transmission Minor

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

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

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