The 2018 Buick Encore is now the previous model year, but this luxury crossover is still worth considering thanks to its refined exterior, maneuverability, attractive styling, and nice ride quality. As a small crossover, the Encore is not that spacious inside. However, it is a great option for those who want the features of an SUV without having to worry about gas-guzzling behavior.
Styling and Design
At $22,900, The 2018 Buick Encore continues the styling of the previous year’s update, complete with the lack of non-functional portholes and a simplified grille. Most reviews agree that the thick unpainted plastic line along the lower part of the crossover helps make it less demanding visually. The rear has a deeply diving roofline, and the vehicle has an overall narrow, tall appearance. The interior styling is clean and high-end. However, the lack of a central armrest in front is a point against this Buick for some.
Interior Comfort and Space
The interior of the Encore has a nice finish. Yet it is not the ideal model for those who need a lot of room. The front seats are supportive as well as comfortable. Meanwhile, the second row is best for just two adults, although they may feel a bit cramped. The rear seat has a reputation for questionable headroom and limited headroom, making it better suited to children than adults. In terms of cargo space, you get 19 cubic feet behind the second row of seats. However, folding that row down gives you up to 48 cubic feet, which is a reasonable figure for its size.
Standard and Available Features
The 2018 Buick Encore proves that the automaker aims to deliver a high standard of features. Every single model has an 8-inch infotainment system, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, OnStar concierge service, and 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities. You also will get a rearview camera, keyless ignition and entry, power accessories, cruise control, and 18-inch alloy wheels. For those who want more, the higher trims let you enjoy an LCD screen within the instrument cluster, floor mats, fog lights, unique styling, an auto-dimming interior mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, LED headlights, parking sensors, automatic wipers, Bose audio, a moonroof, navigation, and more.
Every Buick Encore uses a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a six-speed automatic. This engine delivers 138 horsepower plus 148 pound-feet of torque. There is also a variation of the engine with 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet that also improves fuel efficiency slightly. You can get front- or all-wheel drive on any trim, with the exception of the base version that only offers a front-wheel drive.
The 2018 Encore does come standard with a rearview camera and has an NHTSA five-star overall safety rating. However, it does not qualify as an IIHS Top Safety Pick due to its lack of automatic emergency braking. For its price and high-end feel, the fact that you cannot get rear-cross traffic alerts or blind-spot monitoring until the Encore Preferred II trim is a downside. Forward collision alerts and the parking sensors, both front and rear, do not arrive until the top Premium trim, although at least they are available.