2013 was an exceptional year for Buick . GM ’s mid-level luxury brand sold a little over one million vehicles, posting a 15-percent increase over the previous year and its best annual figures yet (the previous record goes back to 1984). It’s true that about 80 percent of deliveries reached the Chinese market — only 222,138 units were sold to North American customers — but Buick’s uptrend is a reality that even the most fiery naysayers can’t deny.
With only five nameplates on the table, the brand’s performance is even more impressive. The key ingredients to Buick’s successful recipe for 2013 were its crossovers, the Encore and the Enclave . The ever-growing compact SUV segment and China’s appetite for foreign luxury helped pave the way for both vehicles, but especially for the Encore.
The Opel Mokka-based crossover’s sales surpassed all prediction in its first full year on the market, with nearly 100,000 examples making their way into people’s driveways. Sure, it’s nowhere near the BMW X1 ’s 150,000+ figure, but the Encore is proof enough that Buick’s struggle has finally come to an end.
Having been shipped to showrooms beginning the first quarter of 2013, the subcompact SUV is as fresh as it gets. Naturally, Buick’s updates for 2014 aren’t abundant, but the Encore continues into a new year with a few new safety and convenience features.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Buick Encore.
Exterior-wise, the Buick Encore hasn’t changed a bit for the 2014 model year. This means buyers will be getting the same sculptural design the brand has been embracing for a couple of years now. Nothing wrong with that, because the Encore features a sleek body that makes the BMW X1 look quite boxy. Granted, this vehicle stands out in a crowd of small crossovers, but a couple of new wheel sets, for instance, would have been nice.
The vehicle can be ordered in the same eight exterior colors that come with two lower accent colors. Five are available with a lower Dark Argent Metallic hue, while three are paired to a Satin Nickel Metallic accent.
For 2014, the Encore can be fitted with new hitch-mounted accessories, which are up for grabs at any dealership along with the familiar roof rack cross rails and roof-mounted carriers.
|Wheelbase (in / mm):||100.6 / 2555|
|Overall length (in / mm):||168.4 / 4277|
|Overall width (in / mm):||69.9 / 1775|
|Overall height (in / mm):||65.2 / 1656|
|Track (in / mm):||front: 60.6 / 1539 |
rear: 60.6 / 1539
|Curb weight (lb / kg):||FWD: 3190 / 1447 |
AWD: 3309 / 1501
|Minimum ground clearance (in. / mm):||front: 6.2 / 157 |
rear: 6.2 / 157
2014 Buick Encore - Standard Exterior Features
- 18" all-season, blackwall tires
- Acoustic laminated glass
- Body-color door handles with Chrome strip
- Compact spare tire
- Daytime Running Lamps
- Glass, deep-tinted
- Headlamps, halogen projector beam
- Outside heated power-adjustable, body-color mirrors with turn signal indicators
- Roof-mounted luggage rack side rails
- Solar-absorbing windshield
- Wiper, rear intermittent
- Wipers, front intermittent with pulse washers
The only important changes to the 2014 Encore are noticeable in the cabin, but don’t expect to find visual updates. Two new safety features are in place to help the driver, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Side Blind Zone Alert, while Siri Eyes Free and text message support add to the vehicle’s comprehensive list of techy amenities.
Compatible with iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and Android phones, Siri Eyes Free enables drivers to access Siri via the steering wheel controls to place calls, have their text messages read or call up music.
The lack of extensive updates doesn’t diminish the Encore’s premium feel, even if the base model misses a full leather seat treatment. Ambient cabin lighting is still provided by blue LEDs, with bright chrome and wood-grain trim adorning the dashboard and the instrument panel.
The latter incorporates a full-color, seven-inch LCD display for the voice-activated IntelliLink radio system and numerous switches, knobs and buttons. It’s a bit crowded if you ask me, but it shouldn’t be a problem if you like keeping them fingers busy.
Lastly, the 2014 model inherits Buick’s QuietTuning with active noise cancellation technology, a feature that’s very efficient in blocking sounds from entering the cabin and the Encore’s main upper hand over its segment rivals.
|Seating capacity (front / rear):||2 / 3|
|Headroom (in / mm):||front: 39.6 / 1006 |
rear: 38.8 / 985
|Legroom (in / mm):||front: 40.8 / 1037 |
rear: 35.7 / 907
|Shoulder room (in / mm):||front: 54.1 / 1374 |
rear: 52.5 / 1334
|Hip room (in / mm):||front: 51.7 / 1313 |
rear: 50.1 / 1273
|Passenger volume (cu ft / L):||92.8 / 2628|
|Cargo volume (cu ft / L):||18.8 / 532.4 (behind rear seat) |
48.4 / 1371 (rear seat folded)
2014 Buick Encore - Standard Exterior Features
- 2-way manual front passenger seat adjuster
- 6-speaker audio system
- 6-way power driver seat adjuster
- Air conditioning, single-zone manual
- Air filter, particle
- Antenna, roof-mounted
- Bluetooth® for phone and music
- Cargo storage, under rear floor
- Child restraint provisions
- Cruise control, electronic
- Defogger, rear-window electric
- Door locks, child security, rear, electrical
- Door locks, power
- Driver Information Center
- Flat-folding front passenger seatback
- Floor mats, color-keyed and carpeted front and rear
Hiding under the 2014 Encore’s hood is a turbocharged 1.4-liter Ecotec engine that generates 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. Sounds familiar? It should, because it’s the one and only unit the crossover was launched with more than a year ago.
Connected to a Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic transmission, the plant returns 28 miles per gallon combined with a front-wheel drive configuration, placing the Encore just above the 2014 BMW X1 sDrive28i. On the other hand, the X1’s four-pot is far more potent with 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque at its disposal.
2014 Buick Encore - Drivetrain Specifications
|Type||1.4L turbocharged DOHC I-4|
|Displacement (cu. in. / cc):||83.2 / 1364|
|Bore and stroke (in. / mm):||2.85 x 3.25 / 72.5 x 82.6|
|Block material:||cast iron|
|Cylinder head material:||cast aluminum|
|Valvetrain:||dual overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, double continuously cam phaser intake and exhaust (DCVCP)|
|Ignition system:||coil on plug|
|Fuel delivery:||sequential multi-port fuel injection with electronic throttle control|
|Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm):||138 / 103 @ 4900 (SAE certified)|
|Torque (lb.-ft. / Nm @ rpm):||148 / 200 @ 1850 (SAE certified)|
|Recommended fuel:||regular unleaded|
|Max engine speed (rpm):||6500|
|Transmission||HydraMatic 6T40 6-speed automatic|
Priced between $25,000 and $33,000, the 2014 Buick Encore is cheaper than the BMW X1 and will benefit from the same advantage once the 2015 Audi Q3 crosses the pond. However, it fetches nearly $3,000 more than the Mini Countryman it is being compared to by Buick.
Judging by its numerous standard features, the Encore seems like a good choice in today’s market, even when selected in its base trim.
|Buick Encore FWD||$25,085|
|Buick Encore AWD||$26,585|
|Buick Encore Convenience Group FWD||$26,710|
|Buick Encore Convenience Group AWD||$28,210|
|Buick Encore Leather Group FWD||$28,410|
|Buick Encore Leather Group AWD||$29,910|
|Buick Encore Premium Group FWD||$29,890|
|Buick Encore Premium Group AWD||$31,390|
Munich’s smallest crossover is offered in three trim levels and with a choice of two engines. Both units are larger than Buick’s tiny 1.4-liter and deliver more horsepower. The 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder comes with 240 horsepower, while the more impressive 3.0-liter inline-six is rated at 300 horsepower. More oomph means a higher sticker prices - the former starts at $30,900 and the latter beings from $38,800.
The BMW X1 is obviously not just about power figures. Updates include a slight facelift that makes it more attractive and sportier than the previous model. Additionally, the crossover comes with even more features, including the new ConnectedDrive service.
On the fuel efficiency front, the X1 28i is just a couple of mpgs below the 2014 Encore, but fares extremely well when its 240 horsepower are taken into consideration. Who wouldn’t spare one or two miles per gallon for an extra 62 horses? Not to mention that the X1 is available in an M Sport trim that can’t matched by Buick.
Inspired by the Cross Coupe quattro Concept , the 2015 Audi Q3 wears the company’s distinctive Singleframe grille and narrow headlamps. In short, it’s a smaller Q5 and another piece in Audi ’s boring design puzzle. The cabin, on the other hand, makes a great case for the Q3.
It’s both roomy and comfortable and offers an array of standard premium features, including heated power seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and white LED ambient lighting coming from every corner.
The 2015 Audi Q3 will begin its American adventure with only one engine under the hood. We’re talking about a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that churns 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. Naught to 60 mph is to be achieved in less than seven seconds, with top speed set at around 145 mph. A six-speed Tiptronic transmission will be in charge with sending all that power to the wheels. Of course, Q3 customers will be able to opt for a quattro all-wheel drive system.
Pricing has yet to be announced, but the crossover is expected to start from $31-32,000.
Set to hit US dealerships this fall, the 2015 GLA-Class is rather unique in appearance thanks to its swoopy CLA-inspired lines and muscular body. Bolted on the same 106.3-inch wheelbase as the CLA , the crossover also gained the sedan’s interior and all the pricey options that come with it, including leather seats, a seven-inch multimedia display and driving-assist technologies.
Motivation will be provided by 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque coming from a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine connected to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The optional 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system will also add Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) and an off-road mode to the GLA, which, in this configuration, will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds on its way to a top speed of 145 mph.
Prices are still a mystery, but the entry-level GLA should wear a $31,000 sticker, with a fully-equipped model to fetch at least $38,000.
The other three competitors are more suited to do battle with the top-line trims of the Encore, but the Mini Cooper Countryman is a better suited apples-to-apples competitor. The Countryman kicks off at $22,895, which is about $2k cheaper than the Encore, and peaks at $35,745 in the John Cooper Works model.
The 1.6-liter four-pot under the Countryman’s hood produces 121 horsepower in its base format, 181 horsepower in the S and S ALL4 models, and 208 ponies in the JCW garb. Respectively, theses models and sprint to 60 mpg in 9.8 seconds, 7 seconds, 7.3 seconds and a redonkulous 6.6 ticks.
From the looks of things, the Encore is really best suited to do battle with the base Cooper Countryman, given the power output other three Mini variants. Maybe one day Buick will add some power to the Encore, but that day will not come in 2014.
Gallery Mini Countryman
The 2014 Encore is the obvious choice if you’re looking for a small SUV that has a welcoming and quiet cabin and plenty of safety and convenience features for the buck. However, once you sign up for this model you must be aware that the encore is a little slow compared with its German rivals. If money is no object, you might as well go with a 200+ horsepower import.
- Quiet interior
- Well equipped
- Good fuel economy
- No engine options
- Cramped center console
Gallery Buick Encore
The Buick Encore returns for 2014 with new safety features that complement the luxury amenities, refinement and signature Buick style for this unique crossover. The new features include Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Side Blind Zone Alert.
Encore is maneuverable, versatile and efficient, offering a uniquely sized package that’s unmatched in the luxury segment. With room for five and up to 48.4 cubic feet (1,371 liters) of storage space when the rear seats are folded, it delivers substantial cargo capacity along with a confident, higher driving position and available all-wheel drive. Buick’s exclusive QuietTuning is standard and includes active noise cancellation technology.
Additional standard features include 10 air bags, StabiliTrak stability enhancement and a 138-horsepower (102 kW) Ecotec 1.4L turbo four-cylinder/six-speed automatic powertrain, along with technologies such as Buick’s voice-activated IntelliLink. It uses Bluetooth or a USB to connect the driver’s smartphone to a seven-inch, high-resolution, full-color display radio.
Encore’s 33-mpg (FWD model) highway estimate is greater than competitors such as the Mini Countryman S (EPA-estimated 25 city / 32 highway with the automatic transmission) and the Volkswagen Tiguan (EPA-estimated 21 / 26). Its combined fuel economy of 28 mpg also beats the combined EPA fuel economy of Ford’s most efficient version of the Escape crossover (26).
The 2014 Encore is offered in front-wheel and available all-wheel-drive configurations in four trim levels: Encore (1SB), Encore Convenience (1SD), Encore Leather (1SL) and Encore Premium (1SN).
Encore’s sculpted styling identifies it as a contemporary Buick. Signature cues include a waterfall grille, chrome accents and surrounds, portholes on the hood and painted lower panels. Standard body-color door handles with chrome strips and a styled, stainless steel exhaust tip add to the premium look.
Blue-accented halogen composite projector-beam headlamps and detailed taillamps further enhance the Encore exterior; and 18-inch, five-spoke painted aluminum wheels are standard. Seven-spoke chromed aluminum wheels are available.
All eight exterior colors include a lower accent color: Quicksilver Metallic, Satin Steel Gray Metallic, Carbon Black Metallic, Ruby Red Metallic and Brilliant Blue Metallic (with Dark Argent Metallic lower accent); Cocoa Silver Metallic and Deep Espresso Brown Metallic (with Dark Cocoa Ash lower accent); and White Pearl Tricoat (Satin Nickel Metallic accent).
Inside, the Encore’s distinctive styling carries over to a flowing instrument panel that wraps naturally into the door panels. A prominent central instrument panel houses the seven-inch, high-resolution, full-color display for the standard IntelliLink voice-activated infotainment system. It also features displays for the SiriusXM satellite radio and standard rearview camera, as well as the available GPS-enabled navigation system.
An all-Ebony or contemporary mix of dark and light tones distinguishes the cabin, which is accented with ice-blue ambient lighting, select use of bright chrome and woodgrain trim. Premium seats feature high-density foam for greater comfort on long drives. They are trimmed in either a cloth/leatherette or available premium leather. The 60/40 flat-folding rear seat features a fold-down armrest with cup holders.
Designers filled Encore with ample storage, including eight beverage holders, storage in all four doors, four bins in the dash, pockets in the seatbacks and bins under the rear load floor around the spare tire. It offers 18.8 cubic feet (532 liters) of storage behind the split-folding rear seat and 48.4 cubic feet (1,371 liters) with the rear seat folded.
With the rear seat in place, there is room for at least six full grocery bags. When the rear seat is folded, there’s room for golf clubs and overnight bags for a weekend getaway. Even the front passenger seat folds flat to extend the cargo length and accommodate long items – up to eight feet long – that otherwise would not fit in a vehicle of this size.
Interior upholstery and color combinations include: upscale cloth with leatherette accents in a choice of Ebony or Medium Titanium with Ebony accents; and leather-appointed seats in a choice of Ebony, Medium Titanium with Ebony accents, and Saddle with Cocoa accents.
Encore interior and exterior – standard and available features
The Encore (1SB) is generously equipped with these and more standard features:
Ten standard air bags, including side curtain and knee air bags
StabiliTrak electronic stability control
QuietTuning with Buick’s first use of Bose Active Noise Cancellation technology
Four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with electronic brake force distribution
OnStar ( with six months of Directions and Connections service)
Electronic cruise control
Ice-blue interior ambient lighting
Upscale cloth seating with leatherette accents
Heated outside rearview mirrors
Six-way, power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar adjustment
Power windows with driver express up/down and front/rear passenger express down
Seven-inch, high-resolution, full-color display radio with Buick IntelliLink, AM/FM/Sirius XM (three months of service) SiriusXM Travel Link and Tune Select (requires subscription), stereo with CD player, auxiliary input jack, six speakers, USB port and Bluetooth wireless connectivity for select phones
Leather-wrapped, three-spoke steering wheel with infotainment and cruise controls, as well as a locking feature to deter theft
Color-keyed, carpeted front and rear floor mats
Rear cargo cover
Roof-mounted luggage rails
Variable-effort electric power steering
Eighteen-inch painted cast aluminum wheels
Compact spare tire with mechanical jack.
Encore trim levels progressively add standard equipment with packages available in both front-wheel and all-wheel-drive models:
Encore Convenience (1SD) – Adds Convenience package : new Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Side Blind Zone Alert , remote vehicle starter system, electrochromic inside rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, 120-volt outlet and fog lamps.
Encore Leather (1SL) – Adds Leather package: leather-appointed seating,heated steering wheel, power passenger seat, heated front seats and driver memory package.
Encore Premium (1SN) – Adds Rainsense wipers, premium Bose seven-speaker audio system, front and rear park assist, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, cargo net and cargo mat.
Options include the premium Bose audio system (Encore Convenience and Leather); GPS-enabled navigation (Encore Convenience, Leather and Premium); 18-inch chromed aluminum wheels (Encore Convenience, Leather and Premium); sunroof (Encore Convenience, Leather and Premium); and an oil pan heater.
Available dealer accessories include all-weather floor mats, carpeted cargo mat, cargo tray, front and rear splash guards, roof rack cross rails and roof-mounted cargo, bike, ski and kayak carriers. And new for 2014, Encore will offer new hitch-mounted accessories (hitch platform not designed for trailering).
Buick IntelliLink details
Buick’s intuitive IntelliLink system is standard across the Encore lineup, including those equipped with the available GPS-enabled navigation. IntelliLink is easy-to-use and integrates online services such as Pandora ® internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio ™ using hands-free voice activation via Bluetooth-enabled smartphones.
New features for 2014 include text message support and Siri Eyes Free. With text message support, the driver is able to be alerted to new messages and can have them read aloud, view and respond to them (functionality depends on the smartphone). Siri Eyes Free enables iPhone4S and iPhone 5 users to access Siri via the steering wheel controls and check calendar entries, have text messages read and respond to them, place calls or call up music.
Android phone users can use the steering wheel controls to access their phone’s voice recognition features, including the calendar, text message review and response, placing calls and calling up music.
Owners pairing the Pandora internet radio app interface with a smartphone can tune to a favorite station by giving a voice command. Likewise, saying “More like this” while an iPod or other USB media device is playing uses Gracenotes media database technology to generate a random music playlist based on the current song. Gracenotes album cover art display capability also includes genre and artist art.
SiriusXM Satellite Radio service offers SiriusXM Tune Select, which lets drivers and passengers tag an artist or song name to trigger an on-screen notification when a favorite tune plays on any SiriusXM channel. Another feature, SiriusXM Travel Link, offers nearby fuel prices, movie theater show times and weather reports. All services require a current SiriusXM subscription.
Seven-inch, high-resolution full-color color display radio
Bluetooth with hands-free (for phone calls) and audio-streaming protocol support
Address book download
Auxiliary audio input port
Redundant steering wheel controls
Enhanced voice recognition and voice command control
AM/FM/Audio CD/MP3 player
SiriusXM Satellite Radio (with three months of service), SiriusXM Travel Link and SiriusXM Tune Select (requires XM subscription)
Supports playback of MP3 files stored on flash memory drives.
A premium, seven-speaker Bose audio system with amplifier is available on Convenience and Leather models and is standard on the Premium model.
QuietTuning gets ‘active’
Buick’s exclusive QuietTuning is designed to block or absorb sound and dampen or eliminate vibrations. For the Encore, specific content was applied to achieve 30 sound benchmarks for refinement, including Buick’s first application of Bose Active Noise Cancellation. It uses ceiling-mounted microphones to detect audible engine noise, the frequencies of which are processed by a computer that directs counteracting sound waves through the audio system’s speakers and subwoofer.
Additional standard QuietTuning features include:
Acoustically treated headliner with a tuned gap between it and the high-strength-steel roof panel
Sound-absorbing materials in the cabin, under the hood and in the wheel house liners
Quiet-tuned 18-inch Continental tires
Aero-optimized outside mirrors
Ultra-quiet engine alternator
Acoustic-laminated windshield and thicker, 5mm side window glass
Foam baffle insulation at the opening of body structure cavities.
Ecotec turbo engine drives efficiency
Buick Encore is powered by an efficient, power-dense Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission. It generates an SAE-certified 138 horsepower (102 kW) and 148 lb.-ft. of torque (200 Nm) between 1,850 and 4,900 rpm. The wide rpm range for the maximum torque – a specific trait of turbocharged engines – helps it deliver a better driving experience and performance.
With combined EPA-estimated fuel economy of 28 mpg on FWD models (25 city / 33 highway), Encore delivers the highest fuel economy of any crossover from a domestic automaker.
The 1.4L’s turbocharger is integrated within the exhaust manifold, for reduced weight and greater packaging flexibility. A reinforced crankshaft and forged connecting rods deliver additional strength to support the engine’s pressurized power and torque over a wide rpm band.
Several of the engine’s features contribute to the Encore’s overall fuel efficiency, including:
Regulated voltage control
Electronically controlled returnless fuel system
Deceleration fuel cut-off.
They complement other vehicle-wide systems and components that also help improve efficiency, including low-rolling-resistance tires, electric power steering and optimized aerodynamics.
A Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic transmission backs the Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine. It is part of a family of six-speed front- and all-wheel-drive transaxles developed for small cars and crossovers. It has a unique design, with the planetary gearsets positioned on the same axis as the engine crankshaft centerline, making the entire powertrain unit shorter fore-to-aft. This design enables a shorter overall vehicle length, increased interior space, enhanced safety crush zones and lower weight.
The Hydra-Matic 6T40 offers a “steep” first gear and a “tall” overdrive top gear to achieve a wide ratio spread of 6.14:1. This allows the Encore to achieve robust acceleration, as well as fuel efficiency and lower engine noise at highway cruising speeds.
‘One-tire’ philosophy sharpens ride and handling characteristics
Encore is built on a global small-crossover platform and engineered with a “one-tire” philosophy. Everything is optimized around a single 18-inch tire specification, designed for more precise suspension tuning, driving refinement, quietness and a feeling of control.
The Encore’s 100.6-inch (2,555 mm) wheelbase and wide stance – 60.6-inch (1,539 mm) front and rear tracks – contribute to a more confident-feeling driving experience, while a strong structure enables greater suspension precision and a quieter ride. Two hydraulic engine mounts are tailored to the engine’s inherent torque axis to disrupt the transmission of vibration and noise.
A MacPherson strut front suspension is used with coil springs, a large stabilizer bar, hydraulic ride bushings and side-load-compensated front strut modules. The hydraulic ride bushings in the front control arms provide a smoother ride, better noise isolation and wheel control.
The rear suspension incorporates a compound crank (torsion beam) design, with a double-wall, tubular V-shape beam profile with gas-charged twin-tube shocks. It combines all the advantages of a conventional torsion beam axle, including minimal space requirements, with low weight and consistent camber control. Noise-damping urethane spring isolators are used to improve ride isolation and dampen noise.
The Encore also features a column-mounted, variable-effort electric power steering system. It contributes to a 36.7-foot (11.2 meters) turning diameter – a tighter turning diameter than the Mini Countryman. It also saves more fuel than an engine-driven power steering pump.
Safety technologies help protect occupants
Encore is designed with technologies – including available radar-based features – that help avoid crashes and protect occupants in case one occurs. Technologies that help avoid crashes include:
Standard rearview camera
Standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control
Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and electronic brake force distribution
Cornering brake control and brake assist
Available all-wheel-drive system that seamlessly shifts power to the rear wheels when required for better traction and handling
Available Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning
Available front and rear park assist.
The Encore’s body structure forms a protective cage around the passenger compartment, with 66 percent of the structure composed of high-strength steels, including ultra-high-strength steel. This structural protection is complemented with 10 standard air bags, including:
Driver and front passenger frontal air bags
Driver and front passenger knee air bags
Front and rear thorax air bags (all outboard positions)
Side curtain air bags for front and rear outboard passengers.
Encore’s safety and security features also include exclusive OnStar technology with Advanced Crash Response System, emergency assistance and more.