2020 Encore New Car Test Drive
The 2019 Buick Encore is a cute compact crossover in an increasingly crowded arena. Now in its sixth model year in the United States market, the 2019 Encore is the smallest Buick crossover, and arguably one of its more enticing models.
Nothing notable has changed for the 2019 model year, other than a narrowing of the trim-level selection. The basic design was freshened in 2017, toning down the grille and front end to bring it closer to Buick's current, subdued styling themes.
Models include base (1SV), Preferred, Sport Touring, and Essence. Two versions of the turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine are available. In standard form, the turbo-4 makes 138 horsepower. The upgraded version with start/stop technology, available for most trim levels, develops 153 horsepower.
All Encores use a 6-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard. All except the base model can be equipped with all-wheel drive for an additional $1,500.
Crash-test scores have been admirable, but the Encore falls short in standard and optional active-safety features, including automatic emergency braking.
The NHTSA gives the Encore a five-star score overall, as well as for both frontal and side impacts. The IIHS rates the 2019 Encore's crash protection as mostly “Good,” except for the more stringent passenger-side small impact collision, where it earned an “Acceptable” rating.
Despite its snug interior and small footprint, Buick's interior designers managed to carve out a reasonable amount of passenger space for the Encore.
The Encore's options list includes a $940 Safety Package that provides lane-departure warnings and forward-collision warnings, as well as front/rear parking assist and rain-sensing wipers..
Prices do not include $995 destination charge.
Base Encore 1SV ($23,200) comes only with front-wheel drive, including a six-way power driver's seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless ignition, Bluetooth connectivity, 4G LTE hotspot, and 18-inch wheels.
Preferred ($24,600 with front-wheel drive, $26,100 with all-wheel drive) adds a rear cargo cover and front/rear floor mats.
Sport Touring ($25,800 with FWD, $27,300 with AWD) gets distinctive 18-inch wheels, a rear spoiler, foglights, and remote start.
Essence ($29,300 with FWD, $30,800 with AWD) adds leather seat upholstery, blind-spot monitors and rear cross-traffic alerts, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel..