2022 Buick Encore

The Buick Encore is a Chevrolet Trax with luxury branding, barely representing the CUV segment

The Buick Encore returns for the 2022 model year with just one necessary change - that is the 1.4-liter engine tuned to put out a little more power. There are some other minor changes, including a further shortening of the trim list. But, is it enough for you to just go with it right away?

Overview

2022 Buick Encore Exterior
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In a competitive market like the U.S., compact crossovers are thriving and are busy setting new benchmarks. But, the Encore is now old wine in a new bottle. Being a part of its first generation that got introduced in 2013, the Encore represents the brand’s most compact crossover. It got a much-needed facelift in 2017, bringing a whole set of changes to the exterior and interior. But, it is still not there to make it appear more modern like the Volkswagen Taos or the Hyundai Kona. There are hardly any standard driver-assistance features available in the Encore. Even if you get the optional ones, there is no adaptive cruise control or even lane-keeping assist. But, the re-tuned 1.4-liter turbocharged four-pot now puts out 17 more horsepower than the model it replaces. The base trim has been dropped, so you will get the front-wheel-drive Preferred trim for $24,600, or you can get the AWD model for an additional $620. The once-good compact crossover is not a good option now as it lies far behind than what the competition is offering. So, should you avoid it altogether? Well, it is not all bad as you will get to know in this review.

Trims and Features

2022 Buick Encore Exterior
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The 2022 Encore is available in just one trim: Preferred. It packs a 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-four engine along with a six-speed automatic gearbox and front-wheel drive as standard. We have listed down the features and packages available with the new Encore:

Preferred:
Price: $24,600.

  • Halogen headlights
  • LED DRLs
  • 18-inch alloys
  • Keyless entry
  • Single-zone front air-conditioning
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • 6-way power-adjustable driver’s seat
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration
  • 7-inch touchscreen infotainment display
  • SiriusXM
  • Leatherette upholstery
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
2022 Buick Encore Exterior
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Safety Package:

  • 120-volt household power outlet
  • Blindspot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert system

Safety Package II:

  • Automatic rain-sensing wipers
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Forward collision mitigation
  • Lane-departure warning

Some of the standalone optional features available with the 2022 Encore would be:

  • Remote start
  • Moonroof

Exterior: Thanks to the facelift, it now looks more modern

2022 Buick Encore Exterior
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The Encore retains the same aggressiveness it once had. It looks upmarket and rugged due to the front and rear bumpers. Based on the Trax, the Encore looks better in our opinion with the sleek headlamp design and the sportier front bumper. The DRLs are LED, but the headlamps are still halogen. If you are aware, both, the Hyundai Kona and the Volkswagen Taos, come with a full LED set-up. It’s not that the Encore looks bad or something, but it is definitely not a looker. As standard, you will get roof rails, a roof spoiler, and 18-inch alloy wheels. The rear of the Encore, like the front face, is nothing extraordinary. The boxy taillights look dated but the plastic cladding on the rear bumper gives the rear a bit more rugged appeal. The facelift Encore indeed looks better than what it used to, but still, we would choose the Hyundai Kona because it looks sportier than most of its contenders.

2022 Buick Encore Exterior
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The Encore, as it is a compact crossover meant to be driven in the city, has compact dimensions as it should. It weighs more than both the Kona and the Taos at 3,237 pounds. The length is set at 168.4 inches, which is about three inches more than the Kona and about seven inches shorter than the Taos. The Encore has the shortest wheelbase, measuring just 100.6 inches. However, is the tallest with a height of 65.3 inches. It has a similar width to that of the Kona, measuring 70.1 inches. Even the ground clearance is similar to the other two crossovers. The Volkswagen Taos is slightly bigger in comparison to both, the Encore and the Kona, which reflects well on the interior.

2022 Buick Encore Exterior Dimensions
Model 2022 Buick Encore
Curb Weight  3,237 lbs.
Length 168.4 in.
Width  70.1 in.
Height 65.3 in.
Ground Clearance  6.2 in.
Wheelbase  100.6 in.

Interior: Simply carried out and decently comfortable

2022 Buick Encore Interior
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If you look closely at the inside of the Encore, you will notice it to be highly influenced by the Trax. Not that the design is completely the same, but the switches, buttons, and even the infotainment display are. Also, it is a Buick, so the hard plastics have been majorly replaced with soft-touch materials. We liked the cabin of the Encore. It looks like it is well-made and has decent features for its price tag. The dashboard top reminded us of the Alfa Romeo Giulia which has a similar flowing design from the left to right. The steering wheel is leather-wrapped and feels good to hold. Despite its resemblance to the Trax, the quality is very different (thanks, Buick). The instrument console is an analog-digital setup with a small driver information display at the center. The center console has been kept clean with just a drive selector and the climate control knobs placed on the lower part of the dashboard, for better accessibility. The twin cupholders are placed beside the emergency brake lever, nothing bothersome but we feel that the placing is not ideal.

2022 Buick Encore Interior
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The Encore will serve well to a small family with its decently spacious cabin. The leatherette and cloth mixed seats do the job. The driver seat offers six-way power-adjustability, but heated seats are not offered; not even as an option. As expected from a compact crossover, the front row is quite spacious with up to 39.6-inch headroom and 40.8-inch legroom. The rear, on the other hand, offers 38.8 inches of headroom a compact 35.8-inch legroom. Sure, the rear seating comfort is better with the Encore than the Hyundai Kona but the Volkswagen Taos takes the trophy. If you have friends or family members who are taller than the average height, be ready to disappoint them. Or, you can choose the Taos.

2022 Buick Encore Interior
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The Encore offers the smallest cargo capacity with just 18.8 cubic feet, which is not bad considering the size of the vehicle. The Kona offers roughly a cubic foot more, but the Taos offers a much bigger, 27.9 cubic feet cargo space behind the rear seats. The interior features of the 2022 Buick Encore are as follows:

  • Single-zone AC
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Cloth/leatherette upholstery
  • 120-volt household power outlet
  • 6-way power-adjustable driver’s seat
  • Moonroof (Optional)
2022 Buick Encore Interior Dimensions
Model 2022 Buick Encore
Seating Capacity 5
Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches) 39.6/54.2/40.8
Second Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches) 38.8/52.5/35.8
Cargo Capacity  18.8 cu.ft.
2022 Buick Encore Interior
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GM’s infotainment system interface is widely known for its intuitiveness. The Encore has the same seven-inch touchscreen display which we found inside the Trax. The display is fairly crisp and lag-free although the interface is not visually appealing. However, you get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay baked in the system, along with satellite radio. A few of the important infotainment features of the 2022 Buick Encore are as follows:

  • A six-speaker audio unit
  • WiFi connectivity
  • SiriusXM

Performance and Handling: A slight upgrade is always better

2022 Buick Encore Exterior
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Powering the Encore is a 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-four engine that now puts out 155 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque.

Thanks to the engine enhancements, the power figures see a rise of 17 horsepower and 29 pound-feet of torque with the 2022 model year. Like the outgoing model year, the engine is mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox and drives the front or all four wheels, depending on your choice. As the default and only engine option available, the choice of installing a turbocharged engine was wiser. The Kona has a naturally aspirated engine under the hood which is not as powerful as the Encore. The Taos, on the other hand, has a slightly powerful engine that puts out 158 horses. As a result, the Taos is faster when it comes to acceleration, but the Encore is not far behind. Car and Driver acceleration tests proved that the Encore does a 0-60 miles per hour in 8.4 seconds and 16.6 seconds to a quarter-mile has been recorded too. But, unlike the Kona, both the Encore and the Taos have just one engine on offer.

2022 Buick Encore Exterior
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The driving impressions of the Encore are very positive with little to no complaints. For most of its life, the Encore will drive around the city and, perhaps, sometimes on the highways. The steering is not as heavy as we thought it would be, at least in the city. It is a compliment because it will allow you to change lanes and take turns much more easily. We were surprised by the cabin insulation of the Encore. So, if you want a comfortable and silent drive with your family, the Encore will ensure that, mostly. You can get the AWD if you want, for increased all-weather capabilities. The braking performance was adequate, we would say. The vehicle doesn’t like hard braking at all, but the lower-speed braking performance is good.

2022 Buick Encore Performance Stats
Model 2022 Buick Encore
Engine Type 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4
Drive Type FWD/AWD
Transmission 6-speed shiftable automatic
Power  155 hp @ 5,600 RPM
Torque  177 lb-ft @ 2,000 RPM
0-60 (mph)  8.4 seconds
Quarter-mile 16.6 seconds
Top Speed 120 mph
Braking Distance (70-0 mph) 166 ft

Fuel Economy

2022 Buick Encore Exterior
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With its smaller engine size, the Encore is definitely not a gas guzzler. However, it is not the mileage king either. We think that the 1.4-liter engine needs more refinement and GM should work on it closely to make the amendments. The EPA ratings for the FWD Encore are 24 miles per gallon for the city, 32 miles per gallon for the highways, and 27 miles per gallon, combined. The Volkswagen Taos, with its slightly more powerful engine, has been rated to 28/36/31 for city/highway/combined. The Kona, with its naturally aspirated base engine, has a city mileage rating of 30 which is so much better than both the Taos and Encore. However, the Encore packs a 14-gallon gas tank which will return about 380 miles.

2022 Buick Encore Fuel Economy
Model 2022 Buick Encore
MPG (City) 24
MPG (Highway) 32
MPG (Combined) 27
Tank Capacity (Gallons) 14.0
Range (City, Highway, Combined) 336.0/448.0378.0

How safe is the 2022 Buick Encore?

2022 Buick Encore Exterior
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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has crash-tested the Encore and the results are pretty good with a five-star rating. We are afraid to say it’s not the same with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ratings. It seems that the agency was very critical during the tests and hence the results are not so good. There are “Acceptable” ratings for the passenger-side small overlap and the updated side test. Also, it scored “Basic” in vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention. Unlike the Kona, the Encore comes with zero advanced driver assistance features as standard, which is already a downgrade considering what other car brands are offering. However, the Taos has IQ.Drive as a $995 option and you can unlock features like lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and more. Some of the standard safety features include cruise control, stability control, post-collision safety system, emergency braking assist, and four-wheel ABS. Some of the advanced driver assistance features are available through packages, they would be:

- Blindspot monitoring

  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Automatic rain-sensing wipers
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Frontal collision mitigation
  • Front and rear parking sensors

Should you consider the 2022 Buick Encore?

2022 Buick Encore Exterior
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The 2022 Encore doesn’t make sense now, especially after removing the leather seats, automatic climate control, and other optional luxury goodies. As a luxury interpretation of the Trax, it is not quite there, we would say. The Volkswagen Taos is so much better with a more powerful engine, better cabin tech, and good space. But, if you require a small crossover, only for city driving, then the Encore might be a good choice for its easy maneuverability. Also, we found that Buick managed to cut maximum outside noise inside the cabin which is always a plus point.

FAQ

What is the price of the Buick Encore?
The standard Encore will cost you $24,600, without the destination charges.

Is there a new Encore coming soon?
There are no official claims in support of the statement but as the present Encore is quite an old CUV, we expect that Buick will come up with a new model year.

How good are the EPA ratings for the 2022 Encore?
With FWD, you will get 24/32/27 for city/highway/combined as per the EPA.

Will Buick discontinue the production of the Encore?
In 2023, it is predicted that the Encore will be discontinued as it will be a ten-year-old CUV without any new generation.

Amreetam Basu
Amreetam Basu
Automobile Journalist
After working predominantly as a freelancer at CarHP/CarIndigo, Amreetam joined the TopSpeed team as a journalist in September 2021. In a world where SUVs are booming, he favors sedans and adores BMWs and Mercedes, with a special spot for Lexus and Genesis. He is currently pursuing Master of Arts in History and is 23 years old.  Read full bio
About the author

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