The Buick Encore is a 5-seater subcompact crossover SUV, and it is the brand’s first in the popular class of vehicles. Moreover, it is the entry-point to Buick’s SUV lineup and is intended to compete with non-luxury SUVs.
The 2021 Buick Encore is a continuation of the same facelift carried out in 2017, but the number of trims is lower. With the Encore, you have the option of just one engine and two trims.
2021 Buick Encore Base
The only engine available is a turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-4 engine producing 138hp and 148lb-ft of torque. It pairs with a 6-speed automatic gearbox with a manual mode, and the power goes only to the front wheels.
The interior looks upscale, although there is no shortage of hard and black glossy plastic. However, it should be quiet and comfortable. The controls are easy to use, and the driving position is high, bringing good visibility. The rear passengers’ legroom is also good for the category. However, Buick only offers ebony seat covers.
The 2021 Encore comes standard with features such as a 4.2-inch Driver Information Center, a 7-inch diagonal color touch-screen infotainment system, Wi-Fi capability, 6-speaker audio system, a 6-way power driver seat, 60/40 split-folding rear bench seats, cruise control, powered door locking, and windows, keyless entry, active noise cancellation, heating, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, chrome door handles, clothed seats with leatherette trim, but the air conditioning is single-zone.
Standard safety equipment includes 4-wheel antilock disk brakes, 10 airbags, an electronic stability control system with traction control, and a rear vision camera.
The NHTSA gave the 2021 Buick Encore a brilliant overall safety rating of five out of five stars. It got five stars in the NHTSA’s crash tests and four stars in the roll-over test.
Meanwhile, the IIHS gave the 2021 Encore the highest possible rating of “Good” in five out of six crashworthiness tests that they conducted.
The 2021 Encore’s EPA rating is 27mpg combined, with a 25mpg city and 30mph highway. Moreover, 0-60mph takes about 9 seconds, and a quarter-mile is achieved in 16.4 seconds.
Meanwhile, the braking distance from 60mph is 126ft, and the cargo volume is 19 cubic feet which can go about to about 48 cubic feet with the rear bench folded.
The reliability rating from J.D. Power is 4.0 out of 5.0.
2021 Buick Encore Preferred
Powertrain and Numbers
Buick continues to not offer the optional 153hp engine, so you’ll still get the same standard 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and transmission. The main change here is that you can choose an optional all-wheel-drive system.
As the power-to-weight ratio is similar, so are the numbers. However, should you pick the AWD system, the EPA-rating will decrease by 1mpg for the city, 2mpg for highways, and 1mpg combined.
The only difference in the interior is that you can equip it better. Not many interior options are available, but some of them are rain-sensing wipers, a 120-volt power outlet, and all-weather floor mats. Furthermore, you can opt for a cargo area tray, an accessory carrier hitch, a cargo net, and a premium cargo mat.
The standard offerings are the same as above. To spruce up the safety, you can add systems like Front and Rear park assist, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and Side Blind Zone Alert.
The 2021 Buick Encore Base model starts at $24,195 and is equipped with some rudimentary features, and you don’t get to customize it with options. You can also get it in just Summit White paint, which is quite appalling. The safety equipment is also sparse, and there are no upgrades available.
The 2021 Buick Encore Preferred is the same as the Encore Base model but with options, priced at $25,595. GM offers a complimentary maintenance visit within the first year of ownership. Apart from that, you get two warranties; the Limited warranty, which will cover 4 years or 50,000 miles, and a Powertrain warranty, which will cover 6 years or 70,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Exterior and Color Options
The 2021 Buick Encore, if you go with the Preferred trim, is available with the following optional exterior colors: Cinnabar Metallic, Dark Moon Blue Metallic, Quicksilver Metallic, Ebony Twilight Metallic, and White Frost Tri-coat. All of them cost $495, except for the White Frost color, which costs $1,095.
Meanwhile, 18″ aluminum wheels with Technical Gray pockets come as standard, along with body-colored door handles with a chrome strip, deep-tinted glass, roof-mounted side rails, LED daytime running lamps, and a roof-mounted antenna. Available on the Encore Preferred is a powered moonroof and roof rack cross rails.
2021 Buick Encore vs. 2021 Buick Encore GX
The Encore is often confused with its larger sister. However, while the Buick Encore GX has several things in common with the Encore, it still has more passenger and cargo space, more standard safety features, and a much better engine than the Encore’s underpowered unit. The base price difference is about $1500. The Encore GX is also more reliable and a better handler on the road.
For the 2021 Encore, Buick has favored fancier infotainment and comfort over advanced driver-assistance and other safety features.
There is a reason why Encore’s sales fell in favor of the Encore GX; the latter comes equipped better as standard, with more safety and driver-aids, a larger cabin, better handling, and performance. Besides, the GX is just slightly more expensive.
However, the Encore is still comfortable and roomy, despite its diminutive size. If you like it for its size, the Preferred trim might be your best bet.
|Body Style(s)||Sport Utility Vehicle|
|Displacement||1.4L /85.4 cu. in.|
|Horsepower @ RPM||155 @ 5600|
|Torque @ RPM||177 @ 2000-4000|
|Fuel Injection||Direct Injection|
|Drive Wheels||FWD, AWD|
|Fuel Economy – City||24 MPG|
|Fuel Economy – Hwy||32 MPG|
|Fuel Economy – Combined||27 MPG|
|Passenger volume (cu.ft.)||92.8|
|Cargo volume (cu.ft.)||48.4|
|Curb weight (lbs)||3237|
Wheels & Tires
|Wheel size||18″ x 7″|