Buick Encore Moving Off The Lots

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
buick encore moving off the lots

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.

Join the conversation
5 of 84 comments
  • Ponchoman49 Ponchoman49 on Apr 22, 2013

    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.

  • Buickman Buickman on Apr 22, 2013

    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.

  • MMH MMH on Apr 22, 2013

    "But the market is what makes the winners and losers in the end." +1000.

  • Cb299t Cb299t on May 14, 2013

    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!

    • Jcg40133 Jcg40133 on Aug 18, 2013

      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.