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2018 Buick Encore: Our Flash Review and Photo Gallery

We tested out the 2018 Buick Encore to see if it can, despite its small size and relatively affordable price tag, provide the kind of premium experience the automaker’s larger models deliver. The compact crossover is no longer one of the fresher entrants in its class, and there’s no doubt it would benefit from a revamp in the near-future.

That said, for what it is, the 2018 Encore is a valid choice in the subcompact SUV class it competes in (check out our new Top 10 ranking of subcompact SUVs in 2018).

What we liked:

+ Nimble handling
+ Great maneuverability in the city
+ Well-designed overall for the urban environment
+ Optional bigger engine up to the task
+ Affordable starting price
+ Fuel-efficient
+ Able highway cruiser
+ Quiet ride (thank you Bose Active Noise Cancellation)
+ Competent suspension system
+ Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration (though as an option)
+ Good number of storage spaces throughout the cabin and in the back cargo area
+ Front passenger seat can be folded flat to fit in long objects

Photo: D.Boshouwers

What we liked less:

- Base engine just too meek
- Too many drive-assist and safety assist features are only options
- Meaning, the cost can climb quickly (top-end Premium AWD version lists at $38,620!)
- A five-person vehicle in name only
- No way around it, this vehicle is small
- Age is starting to show (despite its substantial 2017 redesign)
- Not enough lateral support from front occupant seats
- No centre armrest in front
- Just a bit too much plastic in the cabin

The last word
One of the most frequently asked questions on search engines regarding Buick, is whether it’s a luxury brand or not. In a nutshell, how you answer that question probably determines how you feel about the Buick Encore. If the answer for you is ‘no’, this crossover incorporates more premium elements than the mass-market competitors that surround it, but with extra pain on the cost front. If you answer ‘yes’, then this is a more-affordable alternative to the pricy European small utes, but with more bargain-basement finishing.

Road Tests and Reviews

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2018 Buick Encore
buick encore 2018
2018 Buick Encore
Review this Vehicle
Styling
Accessories
Space and Access
Comfort
Performance
Driving Dynamics
Safety
General Appreciation
Name
Email
Comment
Password
Forgot your password? Click here
Cancel
Photos:D.Boshouwers
Photos of the 2018 Buick Encore