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Buick Encore

steverstever Posts: 52,457
edited June 2014 in Buick
"Today's Buicks from the vastly underrated 2013 LaCrosse to the midsize 2013 Regal drive with a sort of relaxed, composed comfort. They'll sail over road imperfections, completely isolating the driver, but do so without the bobbing and buoying we used to associate with big cars. And while it's not a big car per se, the Encore has this same sense of on-road composure."

2013 Buick Encore First Drive



  • I originally read that this model was envisioned as appealing to an upscale empty nester population. We were excited to see it. We've been wanting a smaller SUV or wagon, but other manufacturers always seem to envision these as low end starter cars that did not appeal to us at all. So this car was appealing in that it is about the only smaller car, especially in this price range, that offered such things as power passenger seats and rain sensing wipers. THE HUGE MISS on this car is that it does not have a power lift gate available even as an option or on the highest trim level. After all, we are older, often have to cart our elderly mother's walker around, and this is an important thing to us and, I would think, many in our population demographic. I find it just unbelievable that this car would not offer that. Also, I found that the rear cargo area with back seats up was kind of puny. It would work, but was minimal. The other thing that surprised me was the lack of memory and power tilt and telescoping steering wheel. Basically, what I REALLY want is a smaller car like this that has the same stuff my BMW X5 has, but in a smaller and more economic to drive package! I though this car was going to nail it and was disappointed. ( Actually, the BMW X 1 model makes the same lack of power tail gate mistake, and the dealer said most people complaint A LOT about that). I will wait until the 2014 model to see if maybe Buick will rethink these options.
  • Isn't this Buick Encore the twin of the Chevrolet Trax sold in Canada?
    Why does G.M sells the Buick Encore in the U.S. but not the Chevrolet Trax?

    Both vehicles are the same except one is a Buick and the other a Chevrolet.
  • Buick takes it up a few notches with lane departure, back up camera(standard), and Bose Noise Cancelation which works wonders. This little CUV is the most efficient of any CUV/SUV as many on the BuickForums are founding out.
  • Sandman6472Sandman6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 5,573
    How are the mileage figures? Hopefully they are close to 30 in the city and 36 on the highway. I like the looks of the vehicle but it looks to be a heavy one which would bring those mileage figures down. Having driven my first Verano yesterday at work, I was duly impressed with the lux of the vehicle and I drove the base model...very nice layout and appointments. We're going to the Miami Car show next weekend and hope they have a couple on the floor for us to really sit in and see if this could work for either one of us. I think it's a bit bigger than the Spark which was a tad too small for me but the wife wants that smaller size and since she has owned a Buick with her first vehicle, I am hoping she really likes it.
    Did you get the cloth or the leather like seats? Just curious what the price points are cause from what I've seen, the mid twenties seem to be the starting point which seems to be a lot. For some reason, I just like the looks of the vehicle and after yesterdays drive of the Verano, I think it could work for either of us and I would not be against buying a domestic really...I just want the best vehicle for the price, one that will last 10 years without too much going wrong as we keep our vehicles now since the prices have gone crazy...flipping every few years is just not our style at all.

    The Sandman

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2019 Chevrolet Cruze Premier RS (daughter #1) / 2020 Hyundai Accent SE (daughter #2)

  • larry51klarry51k Posts: 35

    I'm close to buying an Encore with chrome wheels. My concern is that they may rust sooner than later. I park along the side of the road and the snow plow splashes slush, salt, etc during it's frequent passes. Has anyone with the 2013 model with chrome wheels noticed any rust?

  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,602

    Just keep them clean and you should have no problem.

  • cmhj2000cmhj2000 Se, Pa.Posts: 381

    Pretty quiet here!!!

    Been looking at this model but won't buy until the third production year comes into play. If by chance they chance the 15s, I'll look at something else. Not interested in being a guinea pig.

  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 2,538
    edited June 2014
    Why wait, the Encore is elegant inside and out with most of the creature comforts we crave. Just bought the Saddle leather trim with AWD, sunroof, and navigation.

    With only 158 miles on the odo it is too early to tell. But the car is responsive, quiet, and handsome. The intellilink system looks complicated but with voice recognition no need to fiddle with the many buttons.

    One change I would recommend is to add directional and distance grid lines to the back-up camera. More HP would be nice but not necessary
  • Sandman6472Sandman6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 5,573

    Almost bought one of these in December so curious about your likes and dislikes. Ended up with the Tuscon and am happy with it but not 100% sure I made the right choice here. Don't get me wrong, it has all the goodies I wanted, and then some but like most folks, there's always that lingering doubt about my choice. Do see more Tuscons on the roads down here in South Florida but the Encore hasn't been out as long. The turbo engine was the big unknown for me and the reason why I didn't get the 2014 cpo'd Escape with 1818 miles on the clock...had read some really bad things about the 1.6 econo boost engine and it was a bit bigger in every dimension with it just fitting on my side of the garage...just fitting! Besides these two issues, I really did like the rig even though it was a Ford!

    The Sandman :)B)

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2019 Chevrolet Cruze Premier RS (daughter #1) / 2020 Hyundai Accent SE (daughter #2)

  • cmhj2000cmhj2000 Se, Pa.Posts: 381

    @bwia said:
    Why wait,<

    As I said, I won't be a genuea pig. Many times there are many issues that need to be ironed out during the first 1-3 years of a new production model. While this model is a bit of cross breed between different models that have worked fine, I'll still wait until this winter and again, if the 15s are redone, I'll go somewhere else.

  • I would be interested in this model if they made a 100% electric version (Think a Spark EV on steroids) , if GM could make it get 100 to 150 miles on a charge. Pricing wise, they would need to keep it at around 40K . I currently have a Ford Focus Electric and am hooked on the no oil lifestyle and around town performance.

  • Has anyone experienced a clunking sound from the front end when going over speed bumps or small bumps in the road

  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,252

    Hi Dennis,

    Are you experiencing these concerns with a clunking noise with your Encore? We'd be glad to further discuss this with you and assist you in any way we can. You are welcome to send an email to [email protected] with your VIN and contact information if our assistance is needed.

    GM Customer Care

  • Sandman6472Sandman6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 5,573

    Spoke with a customer who owns one and so far, he likes it...especially the turbo. And that's a major reason why I passed, the turbo so maybe it isn't such a big deal. I did like the interior, typical Buick which to say is very nice but something just held me back to be honest. But if I were going to purchase today, that 0% financing would've been a real pro for me. It did feel a bit cramped inside but on a 5 minute or so test drive, many things that seemed big could really be non issues. That's why renting the vehicles that make the final short list ain't such a bad idea...keep them for a few days and see if they fit into ones lifestyle...wish I had done that or had been working at Hertz when I did outcome might've been different. I've driven so many different vehicles since mid-January that my short list would've been different now!

    The Sandman :)B)

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2019 Chevrolet Cruze Premier RS (daughter #1) / 2020 Hyundai Accent SE (daughter #2)

  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 2,538

    @denniss87 said:
    Has anyone experienced a clunking sound from the front end when going over speed bumps or small bumps in the road

    Speaking from experience, perhaps the hood is not properly closed. Try that I am almost sure your problems will be solved.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    edited November 2015
    My wife and I test drove a 2015 Encore this morning, shortly after testing a Honda HR-V EX. My wife really liked it. It felt very plush after testing the HR-V.

    I found the control screen confusing and not very intuitive.

    The lane control feature seems like a good idea but the beeps would be intrusive after a short while.

    The Buick drove well and had plenty of power (we tested the AWD but would prefer the FWD). I felt like it had a lag when I pushed the accelerator down. My wife didn't notice that. The salesperson bragged on the six speed transmission and I didn't snark that most new cars have gone to eight, unless they have a CVT.

    The sunroof worked well, had a shade, titled and opened. My wife really wants a sunroof, and really wants a panoramic one. They are hard to find here in Las Cruces because most people find them too hot. That was true this morning but more so in the Honda for some reason.

    The Encore hatch area seemed a bit small compared to the HR-V but not bad. You couldn't flop down the second row seats easily, and you had to lower the headrests and then flip a lever on the side of the seat. Better would be the ability to lower both from the hatch.

    The Edmunds review here remarks on the attractive simulated wood trim. It reminded both of us of the plastiwood in our 97 Outback Limited and we both though it made the cabin look dated. The saddle leather was easy on the eyes.

    The backup cam worked well but wasn't quite as slick at the HR-V one (there's a wide angle mode in it that's handy). The OnStar, XM and hotspot stuff sounds nice, but I'm not wild about the subscription model for that stuff. We hotspot only as needed with an iPad Verizon setup and will go months without turning that on. Didn't play with the Nav - the salesperson bragged about it being on a hard disk and said it was easy to update every three or four years. Again, I didn't snark about preferring SSDs, or really my Garmin with free lifetime updates.

    The AC worked well in 90°F temp (a major failing in the Honda). The dealer installed roof rack bars were nice but I'd likely pass on them since I sold my last canoe last year.

    I felt a bit cramped in the passenger seat and my left leg was resting on the console, a pet peeve of mine. Back at the dealer, I kicked the salesperson out of the backseat and moved the passenger seat back an inch and that fixed that issue nicely.

    Another pain point was the lack of a passenger side armrest although camping out on the driver's console armrest is an option.

    I'm not an audiophile - this model had the Bose (including the noise cancelling gizmo on the spare) and a USB slot for my MP3s. One consumer review here noted that there's no Homelink. I've seen that comment on a few other new cars and that's too bad. Pretty handy feature, even if the range on the one in my old minivan isn't very good.

    Oh, the HR-V had a nice keyless entry with push button start. The Encore is using a blade key fob. Not a plus.

    So, I'm kind of trying to find reasons not to like it, but it's high on my wife's list. The dealer had a $1,400 mop and glow package on it and that was literally a hoot when I heard that. But they seem to be an old school dealership so I'm sure they'd wheel and deal. The package is a bit of a bummer even if it's free - since they treat every car they get this way, I bet the poor lot attendants do a halfway job at it and likely are rubbing dirty rags all over the car.

    They also extend the drivetrain warranty free, but only if you service the car at their shop. I can just guess the "severe service" requirements and upsells on that one.

    Hope to get some seat time in the new CX-3 when they arrive in a few weeks, revisit the CX-5, try an Escape and go full circle back to a Prius V and Soul. I think the Honda will fall somewhere in the middle in tech and high on the quiet, comfy ride.

    ( @bwia and @suydam , would love to hear your latest comments. It's hard to know if stuff you notice on test drives really matters when you live with one a while and I probably missed a lot of pluses)
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 25,257
    stever said:

    The lane control feature seems like a good idea but the beeps would be intrusive after a short while.

    I assume that like our Malibu, the beeps can be turned off with a button on the console. Also there's a button to turn off the traction control and then the Stabilitrak (by holding it about 10 seconds).

    The lane drift sensor's beeps get tiring in the city. On the highway, I like them on.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    Right, we did turn the button off and on. On a slow part of the test drive route on a "collector" street, the beeps didn't go off. The salesperson though it was either due to the speed (~30ish) or the conditions (lots of driveways).

    Didn't notice or play with the traction control stuff.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 4,677
    "would love to hear your latest comments. It's hard to know if stuff you notice on test drives really matters when you live with one a while and I probably missed a lot of pluses)."

    We've had our '14 Encore FWD for 6 months now and both of us really like it. We tend to reach for the keys to the Encore if we have a choice. Pluses and minuses:
    1. Really nice interior. Seats are plush and really comfortable. It's a vehicle you feel good being inside. We have the convenience trim with sunroof. I usually like leather but these leather trimmed cloth seats are really nice. Controls feel solid and well made. The controls seem busy at first but are actually quite simple to operate. Six rows of presets is pretty nice -- 36 in all. We do like Sirius but I don't know if we will keep the Onstar or not. I didn't get the Nav as Google Maps in my iPhone works fine. Minuses: I would prefer push button start and Homelink, but those aren't deal breakers.
    2. It is really quiet and the Bose stereo is good. I have never driven a small car with so little road noise. I love the seating position and it is surprisingly roomy for such a small vehicle.
    3. It's got just enough power and with the turbo it's completely fine. The plus is the gas mileage which is better than expected -- I am getting 27-28 around town and 35 highway. Transmission is very smooth and brakes are good.
    4. Only dogs are in our back seat and so back seat comfort isn't an issue. Again, more room than you think -- we've had a Golden, a Lab, and a Brittany all back there. The cargo area also holds more than you think. We've carried six bags of mulch easy. We also got a power washer in there by just folding the top half of the seats back -- it didn't have to lie flat although they can.
    5. Handling is terrific. Never feels tippy, takes curves well, and parking is a breeze. The rear cross traffic alert is wonderful. Visibility is surprisingly good probably because we leave the back headrests folded down.
    6. Exterior. Love the look. Looks more SUVish than just a raised hatch. I get a lot of compliments on it. The carbon black metallic is really sharp and doesn't show dirt as much as I thought it would. I even like the Buick accents like the blue ringed lights, the grill, and even the ventiports. They're distinctive and not in a cartoonish way like the Juke. And I've never owned a GM car so I'm not predisposed to them the way I would be towards Honda or Mazda.
    7. What would I like to see? Our '14 didn't have backup camera lines and I really miss them. Would like push button start and homelink would be nice. Even better fuel economy. Maybe a controls interface with less buttons. It's a pretty great all around vehicle.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 2,538
    If your wife is like my wife or many of the other middle-aged women I met a the dealership she definitely will go for the Encore. My daughters have a 2015 RDX and Terrain and recently a 2014 Escape. Nice vehicles in their own right, but we believe they are too big and not as luxurious as the Encore.

    We have the 2014 saddle-leather trim level with all the goodies except for the 6-speaker Bose stereo--in hindsight a big mistake. Since my wife is the primary driver of the Encore I merely tag along for the compliant and quiet ride.

    The vehicle is spacious enough for 4 adults but certainly not five; and I agree with everything that @suydam said. The GPS and infotainment system is very intuitive, at least for me, since I also own a Buick LaCrosse. However, the GPS address entry is cumbersome. We do not use that feature, instead we rely on voice command or Onstar. The voice recognition is great, very infrequently do we have to repeat instructions. Nonetheless, the high resolution 3-D map is first rate. Kudos to Intellilink.

    One major and two minor complaints. My wife believes that the liftgate should have an automatic feature. When it is raining it is very inconvenient to manually open the lift gate. Although the Encore looks and feels upscale it lacks push-button start and directional grid lines in the back-up camera. Not a deal breaker but it would have been a nice touch.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 4,677
    The '15 Encore has grid lines. I wish we could get an upgrade that adds them! I forgot about the liftgate -- a powered one would be desirable.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    Yeah, the current van is the first one we've had with power sliders and that kind of stuff really spoils you fast.

    Was interested in the Escape but the "too big" comment is telling. That was part of the issue with the CX-5 and the CR-V. Really would like to go a bit smaller.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 4,677
    I have been pleasantly surprised at how practical the Encore is turning out to be. I figured we don't haul much stuff on a routine basis so cargo capacity was not one of the must haves on our car shopping list. But the Encore has proved more versatile than I realized. So far it has easily accommodated (at different times) a power washer, 2 6 ft. tables, and 6 bags of mulch ( that trip with 2 large dogs in the back seat). The seats are really easy to lay flat and the front passenger seat also folds down.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 4,677
    Took the Encore in for its first oil change. A little over 7500 miles. Love the 2 years free maintenance!
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    Saw one in traffic yesterday and thought of you. The Encore looked a little taller that I remembered. My wife didn't recognize what it was, lol. :)
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 171,185
    stever said:

    My wife didn't recognize what it was, lol. :)

    I suppose that helps your case in getting the Soul, doesn't it?

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and let us know! Post a pic of your new purchase or lease!


    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6R / 2014 MINI Countryman S ALL4

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