Crossover & Midsize

Buick Missed a Big Opportunity With the 2021 Buick Encore

Buick has made mostly minor changes to its 2021 lineup. One vehicle received an extensive redesign. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the Encore, the automaker’s best-selling compact crossover. Will it cost Buick brisk sales this year? Only time will tell.

MotorTrend recently listed Buick’s lineup changes for the 2021 model year. There’s not much new to report for the Encore, but a few items are on the way. Let’s take a look at what this crossover offers. 

What’s new for the 2021 Buick Encore?

The 2021 Buick Encore is still essentially the same as its 2013 model year. This subcompact crossover has seen a few minor changes along the way. The 2017 model got some refreshing new items, but there’s been little to write home about since then. This year brings more small updates, including paint colors and safety features. 

The Buick Encore already comes in many colors, but the automaker added two new ones. Now you can choose Dark Moon Blue Metallic or Cinnabar Metallic to spruce up your ride. 

Buick also added the Safety Package Ⅱ program. You won’t find it on entry-level Encore models, but it’s available on the Preferred trim. It includes features such as front and rear parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers, and forward collision alert. 

What does the Encore offer then?

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Despite the lack of upgrades this year, the Encore is still a good crossover. It offers a comfortable interior with plush materials on the higher trims and an intuitive, responsive infotainment system. 

With a rating of 25 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, the 2021 Buick Encore’s fuel economy isn’t bad. This might be due to its 1.4-liter, turbo four-cylinder engine, generating 153 hp. MotorTrend like that it’s fun to drive. 

Cargo space isn’t bad either. The Encore provides 18.8 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats. And if you fold them down, you get up to 48.4 cubic feet. Legroom is also a plus. The front seats offer 40.8 inches of space to stretch your legs. You get 35.6 inches in the back seat. 

Could Buick have done better?

Though the Encore offers plenty of inspiring features, improvement in a few areas could’ve made this vehicle even better. For the most part, it offers a quiet ride, but expect the cabin to get pretty noisy on windy drives. 

The suspension could also use some adjustments. When driving on broken pavement, this crossover offers a bumpy ride that vibrates the cabin. A quiet ride becomes a frustrating one instead. 

The Buick Encore’s base model is an affordable $23,200. But its lower-level trims don’t feel as premium as the higher ones. For the base MSRP, you get a less than desirable interior. 

Even the back seat seems cramped, MotorTrend reported. However, the Premium trim offers more luxuriousness, and it costs only a few thousand dollars more

Buick offers a decent subcompact crossover in the 2021 Encore. Still, its lack of needed upgrades is a missed opportunity if the carmaker wants to be a real competitor in the market. Let’s hope that’ll soon change for the Encore.