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U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Buick Encore Performance Review


Performance: 7.0

The 2020 Buick Encore has an underpowered engine, but it delivers a smooth ride and balanced handling. Fuel economy is typical for the class.

  • "The Encore's small size makes for impressive maneuverability in urban traffic and parking lots, but its base engine leaves the little crossover wanting more when it comes time to enter the freeway." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "As one might expect from a premium compact crossover SUV, the Buick Encore delivers exceptional ride and handling characteristics, and its little 1.4-liter EcoTec turbocharged engine delivers power when needed while still returning near class-leading fuel economy." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "More importantly, it really does feel like a Buick, meaning that it offers a supple ride thanks to soft, cushy suspension. No, the Encore isn't a sports car around the corners, but we suspect that most buyers would rather have the better ride." -- Autotrader (2015)

Acceleration and Power

For 2020, the only powertrain in this Buick is a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 138 horsepower. The engine is OK for city driving, but it struggles at highway speeds or when you load the SUV with passengers or cargo. It's paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

This Buick earns fuel economy estimates of 25 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. With all-wheel drive, it gets 24/29 mpg city/highway. Those are typical estimates for a subcompact SUV.

  • "Performance is an issue with the Encore, however. The standard engine's acceleration is anemic, regardless of whether you're comparing the Encore to mainstream or luxury models. A 9.5-second 0-to-60 mph time just doesn't cut it." -- Autotrader
  • "The Buick Encore does well as a city commuter car. It's nimble in traffic and gets away from a stoplight quickly. But power is lacking for stress-free highway acceleration and passing." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "The tiny 1.4-liter Ecotec turbocharged engine does its best to deliver power when needed, but it struggles when the Encore's passenger count exceeds two persons." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)

Handling and Braking

Overall, the Encore handles well. It’s agile and composed while also providing a cushioned ride on most roads. However, some may wish for a heavier steering feel or more feedback from the road. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

  • "The Encore is relatively comfortable. It's quiet on the highway, which is one of its best features, and the ride quality is relaxed without being wallowy." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "The Buick's body roll and ride quality were exceptional – not easy to do in such a tall, short package like the Encore's – and its steering rack, although a touch too light in the feel department, offered up satisfactory feedback from the road." -- Motor Trend (2017)
  • "Handling is fairly agile and the ride is silky smooth, but steering lacks feel." -- Car and Driver (2017)
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Buick Encore

MSRP: $23,200 - $30,800

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