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2021 Buick Encore GX Overview on Everyman Driver

The Buick Encore brings a luxury feel to a subcompact SUV. It’s an excellent choice for folks who don’t need a lot of space or glamour but still want something that will have premium features and comfortably move them around town. The Encore operates smoothly, and parking is a breeze. It debuted in 2013 and is still in its first generation. Starting around $23,500, this little Buick presents a value compared to the rest of the luxury category.


  • Elegant and quiet interior
  • Impressive feature set
  • City-friendly proportions


  • Snug interior space
  • Smaller engine than rivals

What’s New: Buick dropped the Encore’s more powerful optional engine

The Buick Encore comes in four trim levels: 1SV, Preferred, Sport Touring, and Essence. The entry-level 1SV trim starts around $23,500 and comes with key features like 18-inch wheels, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, cloth upholstery, a leather steering wheel, a power driver’s seat, proximity keyless entry, climate control, a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, in-car WiFi, and an eight-inch touchscreen.

The Preferred model retails for about $25,000 and adds floor mats, a removable cargo cover, additional color schemes, and available all-wheel-drive. Those seeking extra style should check out the Sport Touring, which begins at about $26,000. It comes with a remote start system, fog lamps, unique 18-inch wheels, and an integrated rear spoiler.

The top-of-the-line Essence trim brings a price of about $29,500 and leather upholstery, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel.

A turbocharged inline 1.4-liter engine produces 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. It has a six-speed automatic transmission, with both front- and all-wheel-drive available. The EPA estimates 27 mpg combined with AWD and 26 mpg for FWD.

Since the Buick Encore is a luxury-themed cute-ute, there’s quality leather upholstery (optional), lots of soft-touch surfaces, Buick’s standard QuietTuning (acoustic headliner, foam insulation in the body structure, thicker side glass, acoustic-laminated windshield), and available Bose Active Noise Cancelation.

A set of microphones listen for noise inside the cabin, then directs counteracting sound waves toward the noise, through the crystal clear Bose speakers. Thanks to this system, the Buick Encore is surprisingly quiet, making it an oasis from the clamor of city life.

The subcompact crossover segment is growing fast, and Buick thinks that the Encore will help to attract younger customers. The Buick Encore is a well-executed Urban Utility Vehicle that’s perfectly suited to life in the city. This little CUV isn’t for everyone, but for some, it’ll be ‘just right.’

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