The Encore is a premium small car with SUV styling. Buick is betting that a small car can be practical, fun and luxurious while getting excellent fuel economy.
The mileage starts with the engine, a 1.4L turbocharged 4-cylinder. It makes 138 horsepower and comes mated to a 6-speed automatic. This combination is good for up to 33 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg in the city. The Encore is front-wheel drive, though all-wheel drive is also available.
While the outside of the Encore features thoroughly modern styling, it's the interior that really shines. A large, 7-inch full color display is set in the dashboard and houses the standard IntelliLink voice-activated infotainment system, while a touch of blue ambient lighting and a wood- and chrome-trimmed dashboard lend the Buick an air of sophistication. The Encore's coolest trick however might be its QuietTuning system, which uses noise cancellation technology to give the small crossover an exceptionally quiet interior.
Buick has included a long list of standard features to go with its modern interior. On the base model those include a 6-way power-adjustable driver's seat, power windows and doors, a leather wrapped steering wheel, cruise control, a rearview camera, heated mirrors, 18-inch aluminum wheels and a 6-speaker AM/FM/satellite radio stereo with a CD player, auxiliary input jack and USB port. The stereo is also Bluetooth-compatible for selected phones.
There are four levels of Encore above the base trim. Convenience trim adds an electronically auto-dimming rearview mirror, remote start, fog lamps and dual-zone automatic climate control. Leather adds leather seating surfaces, a power passenger seat, heated seats, a heated steering wheel and a memory feature for the driver's seat. Premium includes rain sensing wipers, a premium Bose sound system, front and rear park assist, forward collision alert, a lane departure warning system and a cargo net. Options include navigation, a sunroof, chrome wheels and cross-traffic with blind-zone alert.
The Sport Touring trim is new for 2016 and features a 153 hp version of the 1.4L engine powering other Encores. The difference in power is mainly due to direct injection which has been added exclusively to the Sport Touring. Exterior details include 18-inch aluminum wheels, body colored door handles and a rear spoiler
Safety is enhanced by a total of ten airbags. This includes front and side impact airbags, knee airbags, thorax airbags and side curtain airbags. A rearview camera is standard and several radar based safety features are available on the lower models, but come standard with the Premium trim.