The 2022 Buick Encore Offers Only 1 Trim, a Smaller Screen, and a Puny Power Boost

The smallest SUV in the Buick lineup offers some upgrades for the 2022 model year. Fans might be interested in the modest power increase, the change in trims, and the new electric heater in the 2022 version. The good news is that the new Buick Encore offers a few more features for the same price as last year’s model.

The 2022 Buick Encore is a decent premium subcompact SUV. But is it worth the MSRP?

The 2022 Buick Encore comes in a single trim

A black 2022 Buick Encore premium subcompact SUV parked outside a storefront
2022 Buick Encore | Buick

For 2022, Buick eliminated the base trim for the Encore. The Preferred is now the sole model, and it starts at $24,600. It’s the same price as the 2021 Preferred. According to Kelley Blue Book, it’s a price bump simply because the base model that cost $23,200 has been cut.

The fact that the Encore comes in only one trim has led to speculation that it might be discontinued soon. There’s another subcompact SUV in the Buick lineup. The Encore GX boasts better interior tech, more space, and a more exciting driving experience for just $1,000 more. There’s been no official word from the automaker on the Encore’s fate yet.

Usually, a vehicle on its way out can be bought for significant savings. It’s not a normal period of time for the auto industry, though, with the ongoing pandemic and chip shortage. Vehicle production is only a third of what it normally is, and prices have risen sharply as a result.

Is the Buick Encore a premium SUV?

The 2022 Buick Encore is categorized as a small premium SUV. It gets a slight power boost and a few new convenience features. But is it truly a premium SUV? 

In a market saturated by SUVs, Buick sells more Encore units than anything else in its lineup, KBB reports. That’s impressive, and it just might be why Buick decided not to make too many changes to its subcompact SUV. The aging Encore, however, is last on the KBB rankings of the best luxury compact SUVs. One of its rivals in the same class is its teammate, the Encore GX.

For the 2022 model year, the Encore gets a new electric heater and defroster and map pockets on the seatbacks of the driver and passenger seats. There’s also the addition of active noise-canceling technology to help keep the cabin quiet. The 7.0-inch touchscreen is smaller, but you do get standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It also now shows you the temperature outside.

However, you’ll have to pay extra for advanced safety features. Choose from two safety packages. With one, you get blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. With the other, you get forward collision alert, lane-departure warning, parking assists, and rain-sensing wipers.

The latest model packs a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine making 155 hp.

Is it worth the price?

Is the 2022 Buick Encore worth the money? It offers only one trim, one powertrain option, and a paltry power increase of 17 hp over the 2021 model.

The 2022 mode’s standard configuration is front-wheel drive, but you can upgrade to all-wheel drive. If you go with AWD, it will cost you an additional $2,020. With the same six-speed automatic transmission as the 2021 models, you get reliable performance even though it’s the slowest SUV in its segment.

For fuel economy, the standard FWD Encore gets 24/32 mpg city/highway and 27 mpg combined. If you opt for an AWD model, you’ll get 23/30/26 mpg.

The latest Buick Encore didn’t get the big changes it could’ve used to be more competitive. If you bought the 2021 model, there’s not enough of a change in the latest edition to justify buying it. But if you’re looking for a good deal on a small premium SUV, you might find the reliable Buick Encore worth it.

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