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#2

in Affordable Compact SUVs

MSRP: $24,160 - $30,465
Invoice: $23,194 - $29,246
MPG: 25 City / 33 Hwy
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Buick Encore Review

The 2014 Buick Encore ranks 2 out of 22 Affordable Compact SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Buick Encore, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2014 Buick Encore is ranked:

Auto writers like the 2014 Buick Encore’s upscale interior and wealth of standard features, but many note that its underpowered engine will be a burden if you log a lot of highway miles. The Encore earns excellent safety ratings. 

The Buick Encore comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which critics say offers adequate performance in the city. However, they also write that the 2014 Encore lacks the power needed for highway passing and merging. One test driver adds that the Encore’s six-speed automatic transmission doesn’t help matters, since it tends to upshift quickly to help maximize fuel economy. The EPA reports that the 2014 Encore gets 25/33 mpg city/highway, which is quite good for the class. Only a handful of compact SUVs use less fuel. Auto writers generally don’t consider the Buick Encore athletic, but many appreciate its predictable handling and comfortable ride. Additionally, a few reviewers note that the Encore’s tight turning circle is an asset in crowded city streets and parking lots.

Test drivers say that the Encore features a stylish cabin that’s trimmed in soft-touch materials. They note that an active noise cancellation system keeps the Encore’s interior quiet at speed, and that the standard infotainment system is easy to use. Most reviewers say that the Encore’s front seats are comfortable and spacious, though one writes that rearward visibility could be better from the driver’s seat. Some also note that the rear seats are comfortable, with good head- and legroom, though other critics write that hip- and shoulder room are in short supply. The Encore’s tidy dimensions mean that it may not be the best choice for families, and it also results in less cargo space than most competing SUVs. Still, test drivers say that the Encore offers a useful amount of room behind the second row. Additionally, some reviewers note that the front passenger seat and second row fold flat, which makes it possible to haul items up to 8-feet long. The Encore comes with a long list of standard equipment, which includes a backup camera and Buick’s IntelliLink infotainment system, which features a 7-inch color display, Bluetooth, satellite radio and a USB port. Options and features available on higher trims include a sunroof, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, forward collision and lane departure warning systems, navigation and dual-zone automatic climate control.

  • "If you're looking for a handsome, fuel-efficient crossover to drive in the city, the 2014 Buick Encore is worth considering. If your plans include frequent road trips, however, we'd encourage you to test-drive at least a couple of its competitors, as well as larger crossovers like the CR-V, Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4, which offer significantly more space and, in most cases, better performance for similar money." -- Edmunds 
  • "Those who subscribe to the axiom ‘good things come in small packages’ will have their beliefs validated by the 2014 Buick Encore. Front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), a long list of available equipment, and an inviting interior design make this Buick the Cadillac of compact SUVS." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Buick Encore's impressive driving manners are a powerful endorsement, but this compact crossover's strongest selling point is actually its value. If you can afford to sacrifice some interior space compared to a Ford Escape, the Encore will reward you with a more opulent interior and more convenience features for a similar price." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)
  • "At the end of the day, we're left with a smartly accoutered and serene little shoe of a crossover that offers good daily manners for urban living." -- Autoblog (2013)

Other SUVs to Consider

Test drivers say that the Mazda CX-5’s upscale interior and athletic handling make it stand out in the class. Additionally, the CX-5 earns slightly better fuel economy estimates than the Encore, and it also has more cargo space.

The GMC Terrain offers more cargo space, as well as a spacious back seat the slides and reclines. Although it’s larger than the Encore, the Terrain still offers good fuel economy, and reviewers love its high-quality interior.

Compare the Encore, CX-5 and Terrain »

Details: 2014 Buick Encore

The 2014 Buick Encore seats five and has standard front-wheel drive. A 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission are standard, while all-wheel drive is optional. The Encore is available as a base model, or with Convenience, Leather and Premium equipment groups. An optional blind spot monitoring system with rear cross traffic alert is new this year, but aside from that, the Encore is unchanged for 2014. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2013 and 2014.

See the full 2014 Buick Encore specs » 

Review Last Updated: 5/13/14

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