July 25, 2021

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2022 Buick Encore

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The 2022 Buick Encore doesn’t offer the safety or luxury bona fides it needs to stand out.

What kind of car is the 2022 Buick Encore?

The 2022 Buick Encore is a small crossover, the oldest in its brand lineup. It’s been surpassed by rivals that include the Chevy Trax and Hyundai Venue, not to mention Buick’s own attractive and well-equipped Encore GX.

Is the 2022 Buick Encore a good car?

Review continues below

We give the 2022 Encore a TCC Rating of 4.7 out of 10. Safety equipment is lacking. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What’s new for the 2022 Buick Encore?

It’s now sold only in base and Preferred trim, with a 155-hp 1.4-liter turbo-4 and a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.

Compact size and touchscreen infotainment only get you so far; so the 2022 Encore proves. It’s an outlier in the Buick lineup: smaller, slower, and lacking in automatic emergency braking, it exists primarily to offer new-car shoppers a low price tag with a premium badge.

Only, the Encore makes few concessions to that premium badge. It’s sluggish and doesn’t have much back-seat space. The lack of automatic braking is troubling, despite decent crash-test scores–but Buick compounds it by making blind-spot monitors an expensive option only on the more expensive Encore Preferred.

Every Encore comes with power features and good fuel economy ratings. The 3-year/36,000-mile warranty comes up short against rivals. 

How much does the 2022 Buick Encore cost?

Prices aren’t out yet for 2022, but last year’s Encore started at about $25,000. With a power driver seat, a 7.0-inch touchscreen, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, it’s best to keep the Encore inexpensive.

Where is the 2022 Buick Encore made?

In South Korea.

The Encore now blends into the background.

Is the Buick Encore a good-looking car?

It’s aging, and Buick’s newer Encore GX takes the same themes and draws them much more handsomely. We give the Encore a 5.

It’s tall and short, so the Encore has a stubby stance that’s tough to reconcile with the other sleeker Buick SUVs. A few touches of chrome and a shield on its grille tie it in loosely, but the Encore looks economical, not premium. The interior’s plain but neatly organized, and its 7.0-inch touchscreen sets in a dash that helps create an airy and inoffensive interior.

Review continues below

Turbo-4 power can’t wake up the Encore.

Is the Buick Encore 4WD?

All-wheel drive is available on the Preferred model.

How fast is the Buick Encore?

It’s not fast. It comes with a 155-hp 1.4-liter turbo-4, but it works hard with the Encore’s 6-speed automatic to overcome a curb weight that ranges from 3,195 lb in front-drive form to 3,314 lb with all-wheel drive. That’s before people and their belongings are factored in. Acceleration’s leisurely, in the nine-second 0-60 mph range.

It’s been a minute since we drove an Encore, but its ride quality struck us as a cut above its station in the Buick lineup when it was new. The suspension can get busy when it encounters pavement seams and potholes, but it’s competent enough to cope with the urban roads it’s best suited to cruise.

 

Review continues below

Adults will squeeze into the Encore’s narrow cabin.

The Encore earns a 5 for comfort and utility, picking up a point for useful cargo space, and losing it to poor rear seats.

The Encore is narrow and short, with room for two adults in front and their stuff in back. The front seats have decent support and adjustment, but no center console between them. Its rear seats have stiff cushions and limited head and leg room. There’s hardly room for car seats, which reduces the Encore’s usefulness.

The back seats fold down to boost the 18.8 cubic feet of cargo space to 48.4 cubic feet.

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The Encore lags in safety gear and warranty coverage.

The Encore comes in just two trim levels, and neither has that standard safety equipment we consider vital. Its infotainment is good; offsetting each other, that leaves the Encore at a 5 here.

Which Buick Encore should I buy?

If you choose the Encore over the better Encore GX, you should keep it inexpensive. The base model costs about $24,395, and comes with power features, a power driver seat, Bluetooth, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen.

How much is a fully loaded Buick Encore?

Priced from about $25,795 (or $26,415 for AWD), the Encore Preferred only adds floor mats and a cargo cover. But you have to step up to it to get the optional blind-spot monitors and forward-collision warnings—and no automatic emergency braking. It’s $2,590 extra that would be better spent on the Encore GX.

The Encore carries Buick’s middling 3-year/36,000-mile warranty.

Review continues below

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