The 2021 Buick Encore is the company's smallest SUV. Matching this compact size is a competitive pricing structure, and the idea behind this model is to appeal to people who want versatile vehicles that feel fairly upscale. The Encore handles itself well and has many of the modern amenities that consumers are looking for. In many ways, it does a good job of filling the gap between non-luxury and luxury SUVs.
What's Different About the 2021 Model?
Buick has decided to cut back on the number of trims available. Now, there are two options, which are the base model and the Preferred trim. The other change is that a dark metallic blue and a deep cinnamon red have been added to the list of exterior paint choices.
The Buick Encore can be equipped with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. All-wheel drive can be ideal for people who live in colder climates, as it provides extra traction that can be crucial when driving on snowy and icy roads. All-wheel drive is available on the base model and standard on the Preferred trim.
There really aren't too many ways in which the Preferred trim is different from the base model. That makes sense, since the two are separated by less than $1,500 in terms of their starting prices.
One thing that sticks out though, is that the base model is limited to one exterior paint color, which is Summit White. Inside, its leatherette seats are an ebony color.
With the Preferred trim, consumers can choose from the cinnamon red and dark blue colors that were mentioned earlier. Other color choices are a silver, ebony, and white. For the interior color scheme, a customer can choose either ebony or shale.
The Preferred does have a removable rear cargo cover to add some privacy, and it also has carpeted floor mats that match the color of the vehicle. Besides that, it offers many opportunities to upgrade the vehicle. For instance, it has available features that include a moonroof, blind zone alert and other driver-assist technology, and a carrier hitch and roof cross rails to add extra ways to transport cargo.
Driving the Encore
Under the hood of the Buick Encore, there's a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine. This engine can generate a little over 150 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. Buick has decided to pair it with a six-speed automatic transmission. Power isn't going to be a real advantage with this model, but it's certainly easy to drive, especially if people are trying to park in smaller spaces. The Encore is also expected to be relatively efficient, able to achieve up to 30 miles per gallon on the highway.
It's helpful that the Encore has StabiliTrak. This is a system that enhances control and stability, and it comes with the SUV regardless of whether it has all-wheel drive.
Exterior and Interior Features
18-inch wheels are standard on this Buick. The side mirrors have heating elements to prevent frost from building up in the winter. Contributing to both form and function are LED Daytime Running Lamps. These are all elements that make the Encore feel a little more sophisticated than a basic SUV.
There is a similar feel when moving to the inside of the cabin. The leatherette seats are a nice touch, as are the chrome door handles and standard keyless open system. Drivers will appreciate that the Encore has a steering wheel wrapped in leather. It's soft to the touch, durable, and aesthetically pleasing.
As a two-row SUV, the Encore has a seating area that can be adjusted if necessary. The rear seats can be folded down to expand cargo capacity from approximately 19 cubic feet to about 48 cubic feet. The front passenger seatback can also be folded down flat in case a longer item needs to be stored.
Every Encore is capable of acting as a Wi-Fi hotspot. This is a huge bonus, considering how much people depend on the network these days. In addition, the Encore has a seven-inch touchscreen with smartphone compatibility. SiriusXM is standard as well, and this can give people a lot more choices when it comes to entertainment.
If anyone wants to have driver-assist technologies in his/her next vehicle, the Preferred trim needs to be chosen. It has several available driver-assist systems that can keep a watch out for potential problems. Those problems include situations when the driver is about to hit a car in front of it, change lanes when it's not safe to do so, or make contacts with objects when parking. Unfortunately, these features not available in the Encore.
The Encore is a solid option if anyone is considering getting a compact SUV. It has many attractive features and offers a good value.
Formula for Calculating Dealer Cost:
Total Dealer Cost - Rebate and Incentive + Taxes / Licensing Fees = True Dealer Cost. (You can get rebates and incentives here.)
Note: All Buick Encore MSRP, invoice and dealer cost dollar figures above are approximate amounts. Prices are subject to change without notice.
A note about rebates: Most rebates are subtracted from the "on the road" figure. In most cases, you can have the rebate if you are arranging your own financing or you are paying cash. If you decide to use the manufacturer’s low interest financing, you do not usually get the rebate. Ask your dealer for details.