By on April 19, 2013

I admit that upon first viewing the Buick Encore, I was repulsed by its goofy proportions and the poor fit and finish on the interior of multiple examples (yes, they were production examples, not hastily slapped together pre-production cars). But the market is what makes the winners and losers in the end, and the baby Buick is putting up some solid numbers.

Cars.com reports that Encores took just 14 days to turn in March, well below the industry average of 50 days, and a segment average of 44 days. Despite my dislike of the Encore’s looks, it is an interesting value proposition for many people; a compact, fuel-efficient, premium SUV-like vehicle. There really is nothing like it in the USA, though we may see a Europe-style expansion of that segment if the Encore continues to succeed. In Canada, the Chevrolet Trax, which is the Encore’s platform-mate, is being billed as the “City-sized SUV”, an interesting marketing message in a country where urban centers are densely populated and gas prices are high, but the desire for SUVs, trucks and other vehicles with a high seating position is still strong.

I often like to crow about how the market proves that enthusiasts taste in cars is a fringe segment of the automotive landscape – but with the Encore, I got a taste of my own medicine. At least for now.

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85 Comments on “Buick Encore Moving Off The Lots...”


  • avatar
    dwford

    I sat in the Encoe at the NYC autoshow. I wasn’t very impressed by the interior at all – cheap looking plastics everywhere. Didn’t look much better inside than the Chevy Sonic.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      I think it’s based on the Sonic so it is cheap intrinsically. I can’t imagine any male buying one.

      • 0 avatar
        Secret Hi5

        Yeah, it’s possible that males whose masculinity is defined by their vehicles would shun certain models.

        • 0 avatar
          azmtbkr81

          I generally have no problem driving vehicles that are considered “girly” but I would never, ever drive this ridiculous thing and would be loath to ride in it as a passenger.

        • 0 avatar
          thornmark

          That’s a little extreme. Research has shown that cars that are designed to appeal or appear to appeal to women are generally shunned by men while cars that are designed for men appeal to both men and women and that women actually prefer the latter too.

          I believe that’s why VW butched up the Beetle. Like it or not, image is what sells cars and the Buick looks like it belongs in a Weeble set.

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          oy

          • 0 avatar
            thornmark

            “Yet, just the hint of being a “woman’s car” can prove the kiss of death. Despite their tremendous flexibility and functionality, minivans lost much of their cache, noted Nissan marketing executive Tom Smith, when they become known as “soccer-mom vehicles.” Chrysler tried to counter that image when it released its latest version of the Dodge Durango by dubbing it the “man van,” but with little success.

            Volkswagen blames the fall off in sales of the so-called “New Beetle” to the fact that the vehicle became known as a “chick car.” Jonathon Browning, head of Volkswagen Group of America, says the maker specifically wanted to make the latest version of the Beetle, introduced a year ago, “look more masculine.”
            http://lifeinc.today.com/_news/2012/10/26/14723981-honda-introduces-car-designed-just-for-women?lite

          • 0 avatar
            azmtbkr81

            Good points thornmark; even though the market segment continues to expand CUVs quickly becoming what minivans were in the late ’90′s minus the practicality.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      I, on the other hand, sat in it at the car show and thought it had quite a nicely finished semi-premium feeling interior.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      I sat in it as well and I really did not like the interior materials. I was surprised that the execution was so cheap looking. Not as crappy as the Jetta, but Buick is supposed to imply a certain level luxury…

      • 0 avatar
        Manic

        It’s Opel Mokka here in Europe (I guess it’s engineered and designed here as well, by Opel in Germany), so here it doesn’t have any luxury cachet at all. Just a typical plasticky small wannabe-citySUV. With this back round it’s a story of another non-luxury vehicle which will be sold in NA under luxury-ish brand, like other Opels=Buicks and Honda Accords with Acura patches.

    • 0 avatar
      Turbo-4

      Encore is a $12,000 discount on the BMW X1 and out brakes it. The baby Buick continues to beat the CX-5 in handling too.

      http://m.automobilemag.com/reviews/driven/1402-2013-buick-encore-awd-vs-bmw-x1-xdrive28i-comparison/

      http://m.motortrend.com/oftheyear/suv/1312_2014_suv_the_year_contenders/

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I’m pretty intrigued by the little Buick. Sat in one at Seattle car show and a Sonic LTZ was right across for it on the carpet. Anyone who says these two are the same is blind or has a huge case of confirmational bias. Definitely saw issues with fit and finish in the interior, the booth babe said it was a pre-production model. I saw two at a local Buick dealership and one of them CLEARLY had serious production issues. The driver door not lining up with the trim at all. GM definitely needs to improve in this spot.

    Right now my weatherbeater minivan is too big, and becoming too thirsty for my daily needs. My neighbor has a Mini (the Encore I guess is only about 6″ longer than a Clubman) and it really got the gears turning when I saw the Mini in the garage on space. Parking weatherbeater in the heart of Seattle is a huge problem now.

    I don’t need a rocketship, I have that as a toy. I’m still bouncing around for 2015 – 16 to go with a hybrid, electric (if there are improvements), or a B-segment vehicle (I guess you could kind of say the Encore kind of sorta is B-segment).

    Right now, the vehicle is on my list – after quality data comes out in a couple of years, may come off – clearly fit and finish issues with the examples I saw.

    But – when I saw it at the Seattle Car Show, I immediately felt that GM had a big winner on their hands that was going to sell well.

  • avatar
    bfisch81

    It will have some, if limited competition when the FIAT 500L shows up in June and the 500X shows up next year sometime.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      If the 500 interior materials (and design!) are anything to go by, it won’t exactly be competing with the Encore.

      The Audi Q3 will be, though, if Audi brings it over.

  • avatar
    James Courteau

    I’ve seen a few of these buzzing around lately. Mostly by young ladies wearing name tags from Wells Fargo, US Bank, et cetera.

  • avatar
    xflowgolf

    Between this and the article the other day about the growth of “compact luxury CUV’s” I would think GM would be wise to get a mini-me luxury CUV built off the Alpha/ATS architecture asap. Same footprint/awd/drivetrain options as an ATS, but make it shaped like what the market wants.

    In all reality these make a lot of sense for the customer who wants the “sit up high” appeal of viewpoint, the practicality of fold down seats and cargo room/hatch (without driving a wagon), and a reasonable size so as not to suck down gas. It’s almost approaching rationality.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I believe that GM is indeed working on a Cadillac crossover to be based on the RWD Alpha platform. It’ll probably be closer in size to the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLK and Range Rover Evoque, but if it’s as good as I suspect–and if it goes global–it’ll give all of those vehicles a run for their money…

      • 0 avatar
        Secret Hi5

        Conversely, should the Encore prove successful, then will other automakers have compact XUVs that they can quickly bring to the US market?

        • 0 avatar
          MeaCulpa

          the VW group has, sort of, an alternative with the cross polo but that might not cut it. Honda has killed it’s miniature SUV:S. Nissan already sells the Juke in the US. Fiat/Chrysler/Suzuki has the Sedici/SX4. Toyota the Urban Cruiser. KIA the Soul. Ford the EcoSport

  • avatar
    Flybrian

    Not for nothing, but duh. Maybe because I’m in a market (West Central Florida) where Buick is popular anyway, but I know that middle-aged and retired folks who are force themselves into Tucsons Limiteds and Sportage EXs (the older ones, not the new-fangled whipper-snapper ones) who don’t care for or need the bloat of the newer RAV4 and CRV and don’t have the Mariner to cross-shop anymore welcome a ‘premium’-trimmed alternative.

    • 0 avatar

      Is this any smaller than RAV4, however? I understand that it’s smaller than GM Lambdas, but RAV4 is not that big.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        Yes, the Encore is a foot shorter in length than the RAV4. Its also two inches lower and 2.5 inches narrower.

        It is not particularly comfortable for 3 adults in the back seat for long periods of time–but two adults are fine. Its due to the width…not the leg room. This vehicle is for younger people with no kids or perhaps a young kid OR empty-nesters.

        MPG is very good…utility/versatility is good and ride height is like any crossover.

  • avatar
    cognoscenti

    My wife is shopping, so we took an Encore for a lengthy test drive last night. Paint (a bright pearl white color) and interior (brown leather they call “Saddle”) were excellent. Turbo lag there but brief off-idle and minimal. My wife loved the car, actually. Personally, I’d prefer a BMW X1 for this size, but that is not apples to apples because the Bimmer starts $5K higher and goes up in cost even faster as you check option boxes. I’ve been telling people that there are strong reasons this vehicle can be a sales success. It really is in a segment by itself!

  • avatar
    andyinatl

    At same price you can get a loaded up Mazda CX-7 with Skyactiv engine and the much praised new automatic transmission. I know it’s a bit bigger, but it’s still smaller than CR-Vs, RAV-4s, etc. and drives much better than any of them. I’m currently a Fiat owner, but could see myself as Mazda owner in the future.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      I am assuming you mean CX5 (CX7 replacement) and it is about the same size internally as the CRV and RAV-4 with over 100 cu ft of interior space. Trunk space is a little smaller (10% or so). Agree it drives better and is more fuel efficient and most head to head reviews give the Mazda the nod. Hence its recent uptick in sales (adding 2.5L engine also did not harm).

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      They don’t sell a CX-7 anymore. The CX-5 is much larger – people want the smaller package. The one thing that really amazed me about the Encore was its tiny foot print on the outside and a very spacious cabin on the inside. Historically this has not been a strong suit for GM, which has created dimensionally large vehicles where interior volume doesn’t add up for how cramped they are (first and second Gen CTS, Camaro, last gen Grand Prix, current Malibu and Regal as examples). The Encore, Verano, Cruze, and Sonic have great cabin feel.

      The CX-5 may be physically larger – but there is other issues at play. Parking has become such a nightmare in Puget Sound, a CX-5 would be too small.

      Case in point, yesterday I was driving behind a Yaris – taxi. Yes, a Yaris!

      • 0 avatar
        andyinatl

        Sorry, meant to say CX-5. I owned CX-7, which was larger than CX-5, but smaller inside (go figure…). CX-5 is about 10″ longer than Buick Encore, so I guess for city dwellers baby Buick would perhaps make more sense if parking was number one priority.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        “Parking has become such a nightmare in Puget Sound, a CX-5 would be too small.”

        I think you meant: “too large”.

        The CX-5 is really nice, but it’s noisy (according to CR), while their “First Drive” impression of the Encore is that it’s a quiet, solid ride. For banging around pothole-riddled city streets and being able to listen to the radio without blowing one’s ears out seems to me to be a stress-reliever in its own right. You’ll give up some fuel mileage for that, though, as with the Cruze.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Decent looking. Atrocious plastics inside. Seriously…it’s a step up to a Mitsubishi….

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      Atrocious? I thought it was quite nice inside with lots of soft touch plastics. Looked great in the two-tone gray

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      You can’t be serious. Mitsubishi uses some of the lowest grade plastics and carpeting I have ever encountered. This Buick is light years better than any Mitsubishi interior I have ever sat in.

  • avatar
    amca

    I agree that Encore looks awkward in photos. Some cars are like that. But on the floor at the Chicago auto show this year, it looked much better to me.

    And I was actually kinda impressed with the rich feel of the interior, and didn’t notice any quality flaws.

    Love Encore or hate it (and I fall at neither of those extremes), cross your fingers and hope its success give Buick the courage to do up a Buick version of the Opel Adam.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Went down to the GMC/Buick/(formerly) Pontiac dealer to ask about the 75,000 mile service on my wife’s Pontiac Vibe. To their credit the service guys told her it didn’t really need service till the 100,000 mile mark and the solicitation sent her for 75,000 mile service was just that.

    She’s been smitten by the Encore and wanted to give one a test drive. Went down and talked to our favorite salesman he said they couldn’t keep them in stock. They got three in their first shipment and they flew off the lot. They’re waiting for another allocation.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      There were at least two on the lot yesterday I noticed at the Buick dealer here in Pgh. Its very tall and odd in person vs the Verano I test drove.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I’d much rather have a Turbo Verano too but the wife is a CUV/SUV/XUV type buyer/driver. That whole X-chromosome makes you want riding high, go anywhere, active lifestyle thing…

        • 0 avatar
          shaker

          I’ll admit that my single “X” chromosome has me liking the Encore, but I’m still holding out for a possible EV purchase – but entirely job dependent right now :-(

  • avatar
    Featherston

    While I’m not a fan of anything within the greater Canyonero market segment, I do like the fact that the Encore doesn’t look angry. It reminds me of a baby pachyderm, and baby pachyderms are kind of cute in an ungainly way. My prediction is that in three years’ time, GM will worsen the design with a mid-cycle facelift that angries up the look. Auto writers, in turn, will praise the restyle for making the Encore look more “masculine” and “aggressive.”

  • avatar
    SV

    The Encore is an intriguing option, honestly I’m not surprised to see it doing well. I still don’t understand why Chevy won’t sell the Trax in the US though; it would be less expensive and thus avoid comparisons with the CX-5/Escape/CR-V crowd as well as appeal to a larger/poorer market.

  • avatar
    Marko

    People just like easy entry and exit and a high seating position – this includes people of every age. Don’t take that the wrong way – it just means Buick has a winner for a large audience.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Do we have actual sales numbers? Are they at full production in spite of all the quality issues? I’ve seen a couple Sparks on the road, but no Encores as yet.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Here is review of the Trax done in Australia.

    They test drove a Canadian Trax.

    From what I can get out of it the 1.7 diesel version would be the one to have.

    It seems to be an average offering. We already have vehicles like the Yeti in Australia, so it will have some stiff competition.

    http://www.caradvice.com.au/195276/holden-trax-review/

  • avatar
    alexndr333

    A couple of decades ago VW ran an ad about the old Beetle, harking back to its introduction in 1949. At a faked auto show, one of the other brands sang, “Longer…Lower…Wider. The ’49 Hudson is the car for you….” I’ll be than anyone over 40 or so, and most every auto enthusiast still prefers their cars to look that way. But what about all those who are younger or non-enthusiasts? Is “shorter, taller, narrower” the new look for driving and parking (as opposed to racing and cruising)?

  • avatar
    reclusive_in_nature

    I think a lot of Buick’s recent success can be traced to their efforts in making quiet cabins. I know it’s borderline taboo to say this amongst enthusiasts, but myself, and many others, LIKE being isolated from the road. Especially, considering most driving is to and from work in loud, congested freeways.

    • 0 avatar
      Summicron

      +1

      If I can’t be isolated from the whole damn city, I want to at least be isolated from the cratered ribbon of rot that’s beating on my car in the city.

  • avatar

    I’ve sold a few, all to women. the thing is too small, feels as if it would roll like tumbleweed in a brisk wind. back seat is useless and the Korean assembly makes me say get a Terrain or Equinox.

    • 0 avatar
      SherbornSean

      The Rothchilds own Korea.

      • 0 avatar
        threeer

        I’d be appalled to have to sell this thing as a Buick…there is precious little that is “Buick” about this, other than the badge they slap on it. Made in Korea with 18% Chinese content…will most certainly “pass” on this, but it does show that Americans care very little about their fellow citizen manufacturing workers, as they seem to be snapping up this thing in fairly decent numbers.

      • 0 avatar

        not North Korea. they and Iran are the only two countries left without a Rothschild Central bank. we know what happened to Iraq and Libya. forget airplanes, the Colonel sealed his fate along with Saddam by demanding payment other than in dollars. but then, most people are asleep and have no clue why we give up our kids’ lives, our fiscal solvency, and our Constitutional Rights.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          As much as this is true, I can’t pity Gadaffi, he was a jag off from way back who finally got his… ditto for Saddam. Now as for some others who deserve theirs and never seem to get it, well here’s hoping.

          What about some of the “stans”… Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan? Has the octopus ensnared them yet?

  • avatar
    ixim

    I’m cross shopping this with the new RAV4. Incredibly, despite the MSRP differential, the lease rates are close. While the Buick is more posh, wit a few more goodies, the RAV4 has 75 cu. ft. Of cargo space vs 48 for the Buick. I need some of that for the beach. The slight difference in length is meaningless, even for NYC parking needs (who wants the bumper rash?). Both are tight in the back for 3 adults. GM really should have gone for the RAV/CRV form factor.

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      ‘GM really should have gone for the RAV/CRV form factor’

      They have the Equinox/Terrain for anyone who finds the Encore too small. Equinox/Terrain come in a bit bigger than the RAV4 but it would be silly for GM to have a RAV4 sized vehicle when they already have the successful Equinox/Terrain.

      • 0 avatar
        ixim

        Sunridge, you caught me. What I’d really like is a Buick version of the Equinox/Terrain. something GM would have done back in the bad old days. I like the quiet-tuning. However, the Chevy would lease a lot cheaper, so I’ll be shopping there, too. Same dealer as the Buick, BTW.

        • 0 avatar

          they should have kept the Rendezvous name, just as they should have never stopped making a LeSabre. GM is managed by incompetents. well maybe that gives the term management a bad name. more appropriately I’ll say run by incompetents. no wonder so much talent has disappeared under Akerson and Reuss that one might suppose John Galt is back in action.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    This vehicle has no practicality. A small sedan like a Mazda3 is much more practical. This Buick probably has no trunk space wi the second row up.

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      Huh? 18 cu feet behind rear seat of Encore vs 12 cu feet in the Mazda3. You can easily fit 6 bags of groceries/several suitcases.

      Rear seats fold flat in the Encore for 48 cu feet.

      http://www.buick.com/encore-luxury-crossover/interior-photos.html#galleryitem03

  • avatar

    I am watching the Encore with great interest. It was designed specifically for China and Europe. Buick brought it over to the US just because it was already for sale in China. There is a big market for smaller CUVs in China and Europe. The Encore sold 6500 units in China in its first full month and has been selling nearly 10,000 units a month since then. The Mokka is a huge hit in Europe with 80,000 pre orders. The Mokka has helped Opel/Vauxhall beat the overall market this year. China will get all three gamma crossovers, Encore, Mokka and Chevy Trax.

    It won’t make much sense to bring the Trax to the US where it might steal some sales off the more profitable Nox and Terrain. The Encore currently has fewer selling days in the US because the supply is limited. With GM slowly ramping production, I wont be surprised if sales plateau in the 5000 unit range. The market for small CUVs is very small in the US. Price is a limiting factor too. 25% of the Encores on cars.com are priced above $30,000. Similar sized Juke, tiguan and Soul can be had for several thousand less. No question that the Encore will be successfull and nearly outsell the entire Lincoln brand month after month, but I can’t help but wonder how much more successful a Theta based Buick will sell. If the Nox can outsell the Traverse 2 to 1, we are talking about 10,000 units a month for a Theta Buick. Make it a stylish and masculine alterative to the Lexus and the Theta Buick would lay waste to the RX.

    The Peugeot 4008 is a very stylish crossover. If I ran Buick, I would use the same design for a Theta Buick. Throw in some LEDs and Polished rims for good measure and you have a RX/RDX killer.

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      Theta Buick? They have one..its called a GMC Terrain. Buick/GMC sales channel doesn’t need two thetas.

      The Encore was going to come to the US all along…it was just going to be a Saturn instead of a Buick when it was originally planned…just as the Verano was going to be the new Saturn Aura.

      • 0 avatar

        Buick/GMC sales channel does not have a problem selling two lambada crossovers. If Buick can differentiate the styling very well, I don’t see why they cant sell a theta based CUV. The mid-size segment is the sweet spot for both cars and crossovers in the US. It is the reason why the more expensive Camry and Accord outsell the yaris and fit by a huge margin. Same for the Fusion, Malibu and Altima. The CUV segment is no different. The RAV4, CRV, Escape and Nox are big sellers. I would say the market for midsize CUVs is at least 6 times larger than the market for a small cuv and 3 times larger than a large cuv. Buick needs to offer a product in the largest segments. There is plenty of room for a Rav4 sized CUV between the Encore and Enclave. Make it Apha based if you want to differenciate further.

        • 0 avatar
          th009

          RAV4, CRV, Escape and Tiguan are all derived compact cars, not midsize ones — Corolla, Civic, Focus and Golf, respectively. (Escape is on a CUV-only platform.) All of these CUVs are substantially smaller inside than the current generation of midsize cars, and I would classify them as compact CUVs.

          • 0 avatar

            RAV4 is on its own platform too. The original RAV4.1 in the 1990s took pieces from Corolla, but in two generation there was nothing common left. Oddly enough Toyota didn’t build anything else on RAV4 platform. They could’ve done an MPV or a sedan, but didn’t, not even for JDM (they have something called “Vanguard” there which is what we know as RAV4 in the U.S.; sort of like Mitsu Outlander vs Outlander Sport).

      • 0 avatar

        badge engineering. they don’t know how to build a Buick anymore.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I do agree but evidently they at least figured out how to build a Skylark… test drove a Verano last week very much liked it.

          Regal, Lacrosse, and other associated crap well those aren’t what I picture as Buicks.

  • avatar
    nrd515

    In a really ugly category of vehicles, it’s the pageant winner. That isn’t saying much, I guess. It doesn’t come off nearly as “girly” as it does boring.

  • avatar
    Summicron

    Just saw the Encore ad with the dinosaurs again.

    Where DO they get all these well-proportioned tiny people for the current car ads?

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    I think this will be a coup d’etat for Buick. The combination of small, quiet, and fancy seems like a winner. The customers for this are Buick buyers, not Mini, or Nissan buyers. Buick stands for soft, easy and QUIET. Not gimmiky. It will be a slam dunk.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Apparently it doesn’t take much to impress today’s lowered expectation consumers. The moment I sat and drove in one of these I knew right away that it wasn’t a Buick I was driving but a Korean Chevy that someone on the assembly line goofed up and put the wrong badges on. Even the lackluster 1.4 was a poor fit and the lack of a real center console screams economy car. The cheap feeling vinyl/fake scratchy cloth seats for 29 large really gave me pause. It’s very obvious GM is dumping what should have been a Pontiac/Saturn or Olds on Buick these days and the sales of the Regal and Lacrosse reflect that. If gas goes down further I doubt the sales momentum will really keep going strong into next year.

  • avatar

    General Motors is as poorly run as ever, maybe worse. this little thing should be a Chevy and the Impala should be a Buick, heck it even looks like one from the side. i am so glad to have gone into Real Estate and to not have to deal with these incompetent and corrupt, interfering and bothersome people. besides that, Reuss and company can’t harass me anymore by threatening my employer. sold a house in St Clair yesterday and didn’t have to worry about any rebate for someone’s Aunt Sally landing on the moon last Tuesday.

  • avatar
    MMH

    “But the market is what makes the winners and losers in the end.”

    +1000.

  • avatar
    cb299t

    Since there are so many comments here from “experts” who have spent 5 seconds with the car to confirm their preconceptions, I thought it might be of interest to hear from an actual owner.

    We bought our Encore (Leather group, with sunroof) about a month ago, and have put 1K miles on it so far. We’re lovin’ it.

    My last car was an Acura TL (on which I put 155k miles in 7 years), before that Audis. For this car we wanted: AWD, comfort, quiet, good mileage. (We live in northern Vt., 700 ft up a mountainside.)
    We got all that and more. (BTW we paid list, $29,760.)
    Our main comparisons as we shopped were: RAV4, CRV, and Forester. All about the same price.

    The fit and finish whines I see in this page have no basis in our experience – we have noticed NO SUCH PROBLEMS.

    The car is the quietest I’ve owned (amazingly so for its size) , and the interior is very pleasant and comfortable. There are some places where they could have made it more luxurious, I guess, but overall the feel is really nice. It’s just a pleasure to ride in. Maybe that’s a difference of the Leather Group model.

    The ride and handling are also very good. I’ve seen reviews criticizing the ride on rough roads. We compared the CRV and RAV4 as we shopped. CRV was similar; RAV4 was noticeably harsher.

    The mileage is BETTER than promised. So far we are AVERAGING >30mpg! And we live up a steep hill. Try that in your RAV4.

    The power level is definitely modest; if you want good mileage that’s the price you pay. The car picks up when you punch it (at a huge cost in mileage). But you hear it working.

    Looks. I’ve again seen all these smirks about how it looks. All I can say is, I thought it looked funny at first glance, now I like it. The only other car whose looks I actually liked was the RAV4; the CRV is distinctly odd looking and the Forester is totally boring and ugly. IMHO of course.

    My only complaint is the “infotainment” system which seems designed to check as many feature boxes as possible without any regard to its useability. It irritates the daylights out of me and I really fault Buick for inflicting this on their entire customer base (it’s common to the line). But from the reviews I see, most makes of car suffer from this. At least the sound is great.

    So, I hope at least this one datapoint of actual experience will be helpful to you!

    • 0 avatar
      jcg40133

      I’m with you. A barrage of self-avowed experts who dismiss the car as another disappointment from Buick, which couldn’t be further from the truth since their revamped line beginning in 2008 with the Enclave as skyrocketed Buick’s reputation. While I can’t say that I have ever seen a single Encore anywhere on the road, just on dealer lots, and I too look at the pictures and thought the car didn’t look very good, when I attended the 2013 L.A. Auto show???…the Encore was all the rage….I couldn’t believe my eyes having had to stand in a line just to get in it. And on that note, once I did, I was extremely impressed. I thought it was beautiful inside and out! Very nicely done compact SUV. I loved it and never thought I would. If I was in the market for a new car right now, particularly and SUV, the Encore would absolutely be in my top three.


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