The Encore SUV, Buick’s best-selling North American vehicle, has more in common with a station wagon than a rugged sport-utility vehicle.
That said, the Encore is a dandy urban runabout. It’s easy to maneuver around a crowded parking lot or through city traffic. Light steering contributes to the Encore’s agility and the suspension delivers a compliant ride. The Sport Touring model, equipped with a more powerful engine, provides zippy acceleration. Despite the Encore’s small footprint, it’s big for its size in cargo carrying ability. However, shoulder room is a little tight.
Befitting a Buick, the Encore is generously equipped, including standard active noise-cancellation technology, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot and Bluetooth.
However, the Encore is behind the times when it comes to advanced safety features. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert are standard only on the top trim. Front and rear park assist, forward collision warning and lane-departure warning are optional on the top trim and unavailable on the lower three. Automatic emergency braking isn’t available on any trim level.
Base Price: $24,000
MPG: 27 city, 33 highway
Crash Test: 5 stars
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