Reviews

2018 Buick Encore

MSRP: From $TBA

Horsepower: 138 hp to 153 hp

MPG: Up to 27 city / 33 highway

Dimensions: 168” L, 70” W, 65” H

Curb weight: 3,327 lbs.

The 2018 Buick Encore is a reminder that Buick remains an innovator. Its pint-size crossover bridges the gap between mainstream and megabuck luxury. Its take on downsized but still premium accommodations has been copied by several other brands, but the Encore remains competitive.

We’ve scored it a 6.2 out of 10, with credit due to the Encore’s classy feel, but some demerits for its tight back seat, narrow interior, and limited advanced safety features. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

This year, Buick mostly leaves the Encore alone after popping in a new infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto last year. The range-topping Premium model now includes an air ionizer to further filter the outside world, while all models lose their fuel caps in favor of a capless system. In other words, if you find a bargain leftover 2017, go for it.

The 2018 Buick Encore is offered in base, Preferred, Sport Touring, Preferred II, Essence, and Premium trim levels with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive. That’s a wide array of models, but all share the same basic bones like a 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4 available in two different power outputs and a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Even base models are well-outfitted for their price, while the Premium lacks little. The sweet spot for this segment lies somewhere in the middle of the lineup where the Encore significantly undercuts competitors like the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, but offers a remarkably similar level of refinement.

The Encore’s crash-test scores have been good, but it is definitely behind the times when it comes to collision avoidance tech. Only the Encore Premium can warn drivers of an impending collision, but it can’t automatically apply the brakes like so many rivals can.