Encore! Encore! We’re Finally Looking At This Year’s Buick Encore
Buick, the American manufacturer, might not get enough love on this site, but we’re going to change that right now. What’s the occasion, you ask? Unfortunately, it’s not the Avista, which looks like it’s never going to get made. No, we’re looking at the Encore as the title suggests. We’re going to take a closer glance at just why the American manufacturer has started to win us (and not just us) over with their latest subcompact SUV.
On the road
So, what’s under the hood of this nifty little car? If you want a proper drive, you can upgrade from front-wheel to four-wheel at a reasonable cost. But the upgrade you really want is the Sport Touring Group trim. That gives you a powerful 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder rated at 153 horsepower. A considerable step up for the Encore. Despite the boost, the car doesn’t lose its nippy maneuverability. Nor the pleasing quiet of the drive overall. Even without the Leather Group trim, the interiors are fairly high-quality, too.
The truth is that the Encore’s strengths don’t lie in the drive (which is good, but not fantastic). Rather, it lies in just how reliable these cars have grown. As Car Pro states in their article, Buick is now rated amongst the top 3 manufacturers for reliability. A lot of that comes down to the Five Star Safety Rating they’ve got from federal tests. Then you have the level of technology that an Encore owner can get their hands on. Subcompact SUVs aren’t exactly known for luxury, but you can get plenty of it in one of these. As standard, these cars come with a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot and an Intellilink Infotainment System. But if you’re willing to go for some of the pricier trims, you can get even more. For example, you can get inbuilt navigation and a Bose audio system in the Convenience Group trim. Those tech additions, and that reliability, are where the cost of the Encore really comes from.
It’s not all perfect, however. The level of choice in the Encore has you picking and choosing between its strengths. For us, the Sport Touring Group trim is the only way to go. Otherwise, you’re dealing with a significant drop to 138hp. Combined with the rather hefty weight of the small car, that gives you 0-60 in 9 seconds. When you get out of the city, the sluggishness of the standard engine is even more easily felt. So you might have to give up some of those techy upgrades and even the leather seating if you don’t want to be constantly agitated by the pace of the drive. Besides that conundrum, you’re looking at an average consumption of around 28 mpg. Not terrible, per se, but easily outdone by some of its competitors.
As we said, it’s the reliability and the tech where the price tag really comes in. At the base model, you’re looking at $24,990. The Sport Touring Group Trim comes in between $28,000 and $29,000, depending on whether you go for four wheel drive or not. With the Leather and Premium Trims, you can even push past the $30k mark. You just have to remember you’re not paying for power with these, but rather an extra taste of luxury in your auto. For an extra $175, you can get an interior protection packages, with all-weather floor mats and a cargo mat. Another $75 will net you an oil pan heater. Given how sluggish a starter the standard model can be, this might recommended so that the winters aren’t slowing you down even more. On finance, with all the packages above included, you’re looking at
Overall, the 2016 Encore looks like it’s trying its hand in a few different directions. More power, more luxury and better tech are all on the menu. Just not at the same time. It’s still well worth the price tag for the sheer reliability of the little car. It’s just a lot more worth it if you fork out for the Sport trim.