2020 vs 2021: What's the Difference?
Rather than adding things to the Encore for 2021, Buick has actually taken something away. The number of available trims has gone from four to three; the Sport Touring is no longer available.
A minor change is found with the exterior paint choices. The company has added a dark blue and "cinnabar" to the available colors.
What Do the Various Trim Levels Offer?
Buick starts off the lineup with the Preferred trim. It looks quite elegant with its 18-inch wheels, fog lamps, and silver exterior accents. It can do a good job of protecting passengers, thanks to a number of driver-assist systems that are part of the standard Buick Driver Confidence safety package. It has a touchscreen and smartphone compatibility, so it's definitely attractive from a technology standpoint.
The next trim is the Select. Its notable technology upgrades include SiriusXM satellite radio and more monitoring systems that can be effective in preventing certain types of accidents. Several convenient features have been built into this trim, such as remote start, heated front seats, and an automatic climate system with two zones.
At the Essence level, the cabin is more sophisticated, as it has leather seats. Both of the Essence's front seats are power adjustable and have power lumbar support. A heated steering wheel and memory system for the driver's seat are other amenities that this trim has. Like the others, the Essence offers the option of getting the standard engine or one that's slightly larger and more powerful.
Which Trim is Right for Me?
Budget is certainly going to play a role as potential buyers look for trims that suit them best. If one's budget is tight, the Preferred would be a smart purchase. While it doesn't have all of the special upgrades that the other trims have, it still treats people to a touchscreen with smartphone connectivity and other high-tech features. Its cabin is comfortable and everything is functional, and the driver-assist systems are nice to have.
If people want to have their next vehicles feel more elegant, the Essence would be a good choice. Its leather seats and heated steering wheel are examples of the types of high-end amenities that some customers are specifically looking for.
The mid-level trim, which is the Select, can be considered a practical compromise. It doesn't have certain features that the Essence has, like automatic LED headlights or a power-adjustable front passenger's seat, but most people won't mind. They'll appreciate that it has a few amenities that can make the cabin more comfortable and upscale.
What Kind of Technology Does it Have?
All of the trims have eight-inch touchscreens. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can help the Buick's technology package attract some attention. When more than one device is in the vehicle, it can be helpful to have a pair of charging USB ports. In addition, every Buick Encore can function as a Wi-Fi hotspot. This is ideal for situations in which passengers want to stream media content, play games online, or get work done from the road.
With the Select and Essence trims, there is the option to get a head-up display and navigation. Navigation can provide drivers with turn-by-turn directions that take current traffic conditions into account, and the head-up display can keep drivers aware of important information.
How Does It Perform?
Standard on 2021 Buick Encore is a 1.2-liter engine. It's an EcoTec version that has a turbocharger. It gives the vehicle 137 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. With this engine, efficiency is a strength, as the vehicle can achieve up to 31 miles per gallon on the highway. The 1.2-liter engine can be used with either a front-wheel or all-wheel system. With all-wheel drive, efficiency is slightly lower.
The alternative is to get a 1.3-liter engine. Also a turbocharged EcoTec model, this engine comes with 155 horsepower. Torque is 174 pound-feet. Keep in mind that this engine is only available if all-wheel drive is selected.
It's true that the difference in power between the two engines might not be totally obvious. However, the improved performance may be more noticeable when the vehicle is fully loaded with passengers, accelerating quickly, or driving uphill. Regardless of what type of engine or drivetrain is selected, the Encore will use a continuous variable transmission.
Is It Safe and Reliable?
Buick has worked hard to build vehicles that are reliable and safe to drive. In this model, the company has put in automatic emergency braking to hopefully prevent frontal collisions. The Encore also has a following distance indictor, pedestrian detection, and an alert system to help in this area. One other standard driver-assist technology is lane keep assist. It comes with a warning system, and it gives the vehicle the ability to gently correct steering when it senses that it's drifting out of a lane.
On the higher trims, there's blind spot monitoring. This gives drivers more information about vehicles they can't see and ensures that they can change lanes at the right time.
What's the Interior Like?
As a compact crossover/SUV, the Buick Encore has a cabin that appeals to many people. Leg room in the back row is 36 inches, and behind those seats, there's a cargo area that has a volume of about 24 cubic feet. Buick has made it easy to fold the second-row seats down. They're set up as a 60/40 split bench, and when the whole row is lowered, total cargo capacity is about 50 cubic feet.
On the first two trims, the seats are covered with cloth and leatherette. On the Essence, there is leather upholstery on the seats. All trims have leather on their steering wheels.
What are the Alternatives to this Model?
It seems like the number of subcompact SUVs and crossovers is growing each year. Some choices that are similar to the Buick Encore are the Hyundai Kona, Mazda CX-30, MINI Cooper Countryman, and Kia Soul.
Note: All Buick Encore lease prices and dollar figures above are approximate amounts. Prices are subject to change without notice.