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2015 Buick Encore Review

The 2015 Buick Encore has an upscale interior, many standard features, and a cushy ride, but its poor reliability rating and weak engine push it toward the bottom of the subcompact SUV class.

Pros & Cons

  • High-grade cabin
  • Generous standard features list
  • Smooth ride
  • Poor reliability rating
  • Sluggish acceleration

Rankings & Research

The 2015 Buick Encore's #7 ranking is based on its score within the 2015 Affordable Subcompact SUVs category. Currently the Buick Encore has a score of 7.4 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 29 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 7.8
Performance: 7.5
Interior: 7.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Buick Encore Overview

Is the 2015 Buick Encore a Good Used SUV?

The 2015 Encore is a decent subcompact SUV. It comes standard with numerous comfort and tech features and boasts lots of soft-touch surfaces and a comfortable ride. The meager 138-horsepower engine is fine around town, but it lacks the muscle to quickly get the Encore up to speed or to overtake vehicles on the freeway.

Why You Can Trust Us

To give you a complete overview of the 2015 Encore – and make your car-shopping experience easier – we analyzed 29 Buick Encore reviews alongside reliability ratings, safety scores, and more.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our crew has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our objectivity, we do not accept expensive gifts from carmakers, and an external company manages the ads on our site.

How Much Is the 2015 Buick Encore?

Based on more than 1,200 listings for the 2015 Buick Encore on our site, the average list price is $17,200, which is about average for the class. Prices range from about $14,000 to $21,000 and vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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How Much Does the 2015 Buick Encore Cost to Own?

The 2015 Encore's projected five-year costs for fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs are roughly $22,590, or around $4,520 per year. Those are below-average estimates for the class.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Encore?

The 2019 Encore has a starting price of $23,200 and features several improvements over the 2015 Encore, such as refreshed interior and exterior styling, a larger touch-screen infotainment system, standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a fuel-efficient Sport Touring trim, and simplified trim levels. That said, the 2015 Encore does come with a good number of features, and it costs considerably less. If your budget allows for the new 2019 Encore, you’ll get a better vehicle with more-modern features, but the 2015 model is a decent choice for those who can live without the technology upgrades.

Read about the new Buick Encore »

If you'd prefer a new SUV, but the 2019 Encore is out of reach, consider the 2018 Nissan Kicks. It’s available for around the same as an average-priced 2015 Encore, but it comes with better fuel economy estimates, more passenger and cargo space, and plenty of features – including standard forward collision warning and automatic braking.     

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Which Model Year of the Buick Encore Is Best?

The 2015 Encore is part of a generation that debuted for the 2013 model year and includes the 2019 Encore. Encores from the 2013 to 2016 model years are similar to one another. The 2017 Encore, however, introduced a host of changes, including refreshed exterior and interior styling, a larger touch-screen infotainment system (8 inches, up from 7 inches in older models), and standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. We recommend shoppers start with this model, as it’s a great combination of value and price. The 2018 Encore offers no significant upgrades, just a higher price tag.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Encore »

How Reliable Is the 2015 Buick Encore?

The 2015 Buick Encore has a poor reliability rating of two out of five from J.D. Power. That's the lowest rating J.D. Power gives out, and it's one of the worst ratings in the class.

Read more about Encore reliability »

2015 Buick Encore Recalls

At the time of this writing, there are three open safety recalls for the 2015 Encore. One recall addresses front air bags that may not deploy. Another deals with the potential loss of electric power steering, while the third corrects some missing rim-size information. Make sure a Buick dealer has addressed these recalls before purchasing a 2015 Encore.

See more information on Buick Encore safety recalls »

Which Used Buick Encore Is Right for Me?

Buick offers the 2015 Encore in four trims: Encore, Convenience, Leather, and Premium. The base trim is a great choice and offers lots of features, including a Wi-Fi hot spot, satellite radio, Bluetooth, and an IntelliLink infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen. Opt for the Convenience trim if you're interested in additional safety technology, such as rear cross traffic alert and blind spot monitoring. The Leather trim adds leather upholstery and heated front seats. The top-of-the-line Premium trim has a premium sound system and even more safety features, such as lane departure warning and forward collision warning.

See 2015 Buick Encore trims and specs »

What Does Buick's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Buick offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Qualifying vehicles receive a one-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty after the four-year/50,000-mile new-car warranty expires. This warranty includes free maintenance for two years or 24,000 miles, and the original new-car powertrain warranty is extended to six years or 100,000 miles. Buick CPO models must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read Buick’s warranty page carefully.

Buick has one of the better CPO programs among affordable carmakers. According to our analysis, only Kia and Mini have better programs.

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How Safe Is the Encore?

The Insurance Institute for Highway safety named the 2015 Buick Encore a Top Safety Pick and gave it the highest rating of Good in five tests. It earned the second-highest rating of Acceptable in the passenger-side small overlap front test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the 2015 Encore a five-out-of-five-star overall rating, with five stars in frontal and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover test.

The Encore comes standard with a rearview camera. Some models may also feature rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, fog lights, front and rear parking sensors, forward collision warning, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

See Encore safety scores »

2015 Buick Encore Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2015 Buick Encore or 2015 Honda CR-V?

The 2015 Honda CR-V is a compact SUV, and it carries a higher average list price than the Encore. It’s worth the extra expense. The CR-V has a lot more passenger and cargo space than the Encore, which translates to a more accommodating cabin. The CR-V also gets a slightly better reliability rating. You'll find more standard features in the Encore, but the CR-V is a more well-rounded choice.

Which Is Better: 2015 Buick Encore or 2015 Chevrolet Trax?

The 2015 Chevrolet Trax and Buick Encore have much in common. Both feature the same feeble powertrain, easy maneuverability, and a comfortable ride. The Trax's above-average reliability rating and low average list price give it an edge over the Encore. That said, you'll want to stick with the Buick if you're more interested in interior refinement and space for cargo and passengers.

Compare the Encore, CR-V, and Trax »

2015 Encore Performance

How Does the 2015 Buick Encore Drive?

The Encore delivers a cushioned ride on both rough and smooth surfaces. It also maintains its composure around turns. This crossover SUV features a 138-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine that's paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. This engine delivers sufficient power for city driving, but it struggles to get the Encore up to highway speeds. Also, the transmission is sometimes slow to shift. All models come standard with front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is available.

Does the 2015 Buick Encore Get Good Gas Mileage?

The 2015 Buick Encore gets 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway, which are above-average fuel economy estimates for the class. Opting for all-wheel drive slightly lowers those ratings to 23/30 mpg city/highway.

Read more about Encore performance »

2015 Encore Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 Encore Seat?

There's seating for five people in the Encore. Both rows have a respectable amount of space, but the rear middle seat is best left for children. The Encore has a refined cabin filled with upscale materials. Cloth upholstery and a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat are standard. Some models come with leather upholstery, heated seats, a heated steering wheel, driver's seat memory settings, and a six-way power-adjustable passenger seat.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2015 Buick Encore?

There are two sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and an upper tether anchor on the rear middle seat.

2015 Buick Encore Features

Standard features include a Wi-Fi hot spot, satellite radio, a USB port, Bluetooth, a six-speaker audio system, voice recognition, and an intuitive IntelliLink infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen. Available features include a navigation system and a premium audio system. You’ll want to make sure your devices can connect to the Bluetooth system, as technology standards have changed over the years.

See 2015 Buick Encore specs »

Read more about Encore interior »

2015 Buick Encore Dimensions

Buick Encore Cargo Space

The Encore has 18.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 48.4 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. These estimates are on par with those of class rivals.

2015 Encore Length and Weight

The 2015 Encore is roughly 14 feet long. Its curb weight is around 3,240 to 3,360 pounds.

Where Was the 2015 Buick Encore Built?

Buick built the 2015 Encore in South Korea.

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