Not many brands have received more dramatic changes in recent years than Buick, and the Encore along with its sibling Envision is one reason the GM premium makers are attracting many new young buyers. This Buick’s smallest utility vehicle offers a nice mix of features at affordable prices. It’s also available with optional all-wheel drive, a must in wet and snowy weather. Despite its small size, the Encore cabin is also reasonably roomy and surprisingly quiet. With a full redesign in 2020, the 2019 Buick Encore brings relatively modest changes this year.
If you shop for a small but stylish SUV with a long list of features you would normally expect from a luxury brand, the 2019 Buick Encore is definitely worth a try. Its offered in four trim levels: 1SV, Preferred, Sport Touring and Essence.
Notable standard features includes 18-inch alloy wheels, a tilt-telescoping steering column, push-button start, air conditioning, cruise control, a power driver’s seat, Buick IntelliLink telematics with an 8-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi hotspot and a rearview camera. The Sport Touring gets a rear spoiler and foglights, while the Encore Essence adds LED headlights, heated steering wheel, leather trim, heated front bucket seats and a power passenger seat.
Under the hood, every the 2019 Buick Encore is powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged Ecotec engine. There are two versions, and the optional upgrade adds direct fuel injection that increases the power from 138 to 153 hp and torque from 148 to 177 lb-ft. The upgrade cost $900 and popular for those who want a bit more of a sporty ride. The upgrade engine also adds the ability to manually shift the 6-speed automatic transmission on front-drive (FWD) models. All-wheel-drive is also available as an option. The base 4-cylinder Ecotec engine offers some of the class best fuel economy numbers. You’ll take a slight hit with the upgraded engine and AWD. In track testing, the 2019 Buick Encore Preferred FWD with engine upgrade went to 60 mph from zero in 7.8 seconds. The Sport Touring AWD is a bit slower at 8.4 seconds.
1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4 (base, Preferred)
138 horsepower @ 4,900 rpm
148 lb-ft of torque @ 1,850-4,900 rpm
EPA fuel economy city/highway: 27/33 mpg (FWD) and 26/31 mpg (AWD)
1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4 (Sport Touring, Essence)
153 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
177 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-4,000 rpm
EPA fuel economy city/highway: 25/33 mpg (FWD) and 24/30 mpg (AWD)
The 2019 Buick Encore is arriving now and has Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts at over $24,000. The Encore Preferred around $25,600, the Sport Touring at $26,800, while the Essence under $31,800. AWD cost an extra $1,500.