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.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
NA
2014
2015
2016
2017
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.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
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. 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 2017 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

Android Auto

"The GPS feature provided by Android Auto was not working, shutting down continually or placing me someplace far from where I was. I finally resolved it by keeping the battery level of my phone at full-power rather than power-saving."

Anonymous, NY (2017 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Apple CarPlay

"Lag time to connect to phone. Sometime a minute and sometimes you have to turn the car off."

Michael H., NY (2017 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Backup or other camera/sensors

"The back up camera is not clear when it rains. All you can see on the back up camera is rain drops."

Anonymous, FL (2017 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Display screen goes blank

"The main screen went black and stayed black."

Anonymous, IN (2017 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Routine software updates

"We believe there was a routine software update done. The result was “all” apps disappeared. We made arrangements for the dealer to reload. While waiting, also contacted “On-Star” in car. They informed us that they could download the apps, but would take 3-4 days. Apps returned and we cancelled appointment with dealer."

Michael H., NY (2017 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Voice control commands

"Voice command to make a call consistently did not recognize command/name."

Anonymous, IN (2017 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

"Some item under the hood became loose and rattled audibly, especially when the car idled and there was no wind noise to compete. I took it to a Buick dealer. The technician assured me that the, "all do that." However, I insisted it be checked and they were able to identify and replace the part. This took a bit as the part, "had to be ordered." They told me it was still under manufacturer's warranty. I am a bit suspicious because they were subtle about what the part was that rattled and did not give me the old part after the repair. However, the noise stopped and I didn't pay, so I didn't complain."

Anonymous, TX (2017 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"RATTLES IN LEFT REAR DOOR. STARTED ABOUT AT 10 MONTHS REPAIRED AT ONE YEAR BY SELLING DEALER.REAPPEARED AT ABOUT 33 MONTHS, TOOK COUPLE DAYS TO TROUBLESHOOT AND REPAIR.NOISE WAS NOT CONSTANT."

Anonymous, OR (2017 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Wind noise

"Open a window partially - the car resonates, almost a thumping sound. Very disturbing, Close the window! Speed does not seem much of a factor - I'm speaking of 40mph."

Donald E., FL (2017 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"While driving the car is noisy inside, I'm not sure if it is air noise or under the hood noise but it is loud"

Anonymous, OH (2017 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Already told about this issue. The ONE issue that would make me choose a bigger vehicle is that the drink holders in between the front seats are up and down, so if two people are in the front seat and one person tries to pick up their drink, you hit them with your elbow! Bad design. Other than that, nice little toot n scoot!"

Anonymous, (2017 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Horn double beeps when I am getting in or getting out of the vehicle. Said they had never heard of that before, yet it did it when they got in to move the car for an oil change. Also, car is VERY LOUD when you turn the fan to the high level."

Anonymous, (2017 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)

"Brakes locked up unable to drive"

Anonymous, CA (2017 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Regular brake failure

"Brakes locked up unable to drive"

Anonymous, CA (2017 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Squeaking

"Apparently, squeaking of brakes is a known problem. Brakes were replaced, but the squeaking continues."

Anonymous, NV (2017 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)

"led directional burnt out, had to replace the whole headlight capsule, cost was would have been over $1500 but was still under warranty"

Anonymous, OK (2017 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Headlights

"daytime running lights no longer work"

Kelly J., ON (2017 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Tire pressure monitor

"purchased new snow tires and because they were not specific to Buick the tire pressure monitor would not work. The price of thier tires were double of all other companies."

Kelly J., ON (2017 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

Engine harness

"The failure was due to a defective relay which cause the battery to run down."

Anonymous, FL (2017 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Starter

"this vehicle has start/stop technology, the module controlling that feature failed but did not prevent usage of the vehicle; it just did not shut off when stopped at lights etc."

David B., NH (2017 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

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"I've noticed small areas on the back bumper where the paint has chipped."

Anonymous, OH (2017 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"I don't know if all cars are like this, this is my first new car. The paint is so thin! My cat climbing on the car has literally covered the hood in fine claw marks. My cat doesn't even use it's claws while walking, what kind of an auto paint job can't even hold up to outdoor animals?"

Anonymous, TX (2017 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

"freon leak"

Anonymous, (2017 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Automatic climate control

"Cannot maintain temperature properly."

Anonymous, NY (2017 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

Engine rebuild or replacement

"Engine threw a rod and was replaced"

Anonymous, AL (2017 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Turbo or supercharger

"A coolant leak occurred in the area of the turbo."

Anonymous, MN (2017 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

Fuel injection system

"dealer installed new coil at no cost provided loaner at no cost"

Anonymous, (2017 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"Check engine light came on. Dropped off at dealership. Repaired next day when parts arrived."

William D., ON (2017 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

Oil leaks

"Took it in to the dealer for an oil change and 20 k later the engine oil blew out. Dealer said it wasn't their fault but wouldn't elaborate."

Anonymous, (2017 Buick Encore None 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Muffler

"AT ABOUT ONE YEAR SHOWED UP AT COOL, COLD START UP. SLOWLY GOT WORSE AND WORSE.AT THREE YEAR SERVICE MUFFLER AND EXHAUST PARTS REPLACED."

Anonymous, OR (2017 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

Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"Plastic insert used to close the hatch fell from hole and could not replace"

John S., CA (2017 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

Shocks or struts

"Had to replace strut 2x. Was told it was known defect on this model."

Anonymous, TX (2017 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.

Transmission Minor

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

Engine Cooling

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

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