2021 Buick Encore

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2021 Buick Encore Review: Long In The Tooth

by Aiden Eksteen

The 2021 Buick Encore remains part of the first generation that was introduced to the US market all the way back in 2013. That's a really long time ago and while the compact crossover utility vehicle (CUV) has received a significant facelift and some minor changes here and there, its age has definitely caught up to it. Its 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is evidence of this, providing a mere 138 horsepower to the Encore's standard front-wheel drivetrain or optional all-wheel drivetrain.

Nevertheless, the Encore CUV is still a genuine semi-premium cruiser that delivers a tranquil ride to its driver and passengers in a reasonably commodious cabin. But with myriad dynamite SUVs and crossovers within the all-popular classification, including the Kia Soul, Honda CR-V, and even the Encore's closest cousin, the Chevrolet Trax, is this enough to keep the Encore relevant?

Read in this review:

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2021 Buick Encore Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2020 Buick Encore?

For the 2021 model year, the Buick Encore CUV gains two new exterior colors called Dark Moon Blue Metallic and Cinnabar Metallic. The bigger news is that in addition to the Safety Package ($495), which adds blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, one can now also add the Safety Package 2 on top of this for an additional $695. This all-new package adds lane departure warning, rain-sensing windshield wipers, forward collision warning, and parking sensors front and rear. However, the top-tier Sport Touring and Essence have been dropped from the model lineup. The new colors and safety features above can only be specified on the now-top-tier Preferred trim.

Pros and Cons

  • Serene and supple ride quality
  • Easy to drive and maneuver
  • Commodious interior
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Good safety rating and reliability expectations
  • The engine is beginning to feel outdated
  • Advanced safety systems are pricey extras
  • Doesn't pack a lot of value for the money

Best Deals on 2021 Buick Encore

2021 Buick Encore Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
1.4L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
1.4L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2021 Buick Encore Trims and Specs

2021 Encore Exterior

2021 Buick Encore Front View Buick
2021 Buick Encore Driving Back View Buick
2021 Buick Encore Front Angle View Buick
See All 2021 Buick Encore Exterior Photos


  • Length 168.4 in
  • Wheelbase 100.6 in
  • Height 65.3 in
  • Max Width 70.1 in
  • Front Width 60.7 in
  • Rear Width 60.6 in
  • Curb Weight 3,237.0 lbs

2021 Encore Performance

2021 Buick Encore Driving Front Angle Buick
2021 Buick Encore Rear View Driving Buick
2021 Buick Encore Rim Buick

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine
    1.4L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmission
    6-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

2021 Encore Interior

2021 Buick Encore Steering Wheel Detail Buick
2021 Buick Encore Start/Stop Button Buick
2021 Buick Encore Charging Ports Buick
See All 2021 Buick Encore Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 40.8 in
  • Front Head Room 39.6 in
  • Rear Leg Room 35.8 in
  • Rear Head Room 38.8 in

2021 Encore Trunk and Cargo Space

2021 Buick Encore Front Seats Buick
2021 Buick Encore Back Seats Buick
2021 Buick Encore Trunk Space Buick

2021 Encore Safety and Reliability


  • Warranty Note:
    Preliminary 2021 Warranty \ 
  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Rust-Through:
    6 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Maintenance Note:
    1 Year \ 1 Visit

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2021 Buick Encore a good CUV?

When the Encore first entered the market, it was undoubtedly an appealing, upmarket alternative to other small 5-door CUVs like the Chevrolet Trax, but it has since fallen behind even some of the most affordable newer offerings. With the 2021 Encore relegated to the now-outdated, low-hp, turbo-four engine and with its top-spec trims having been deleted from the lineup, it's just a dull-performing CUV with a second-rate cabin impression and very few modern features. Yes, it does remain notably pleasant on the road and its cabin is spacious, but at the 2021 Buick Encore CUV's price of $23,200, there are now many equally or more refined and commodious CUVs to buy that also offer better performance and plenty more value for the money. In review, the 2021 Buick Encore just doesn't make the cut against the myriad exceptional vehicles in the segment, and the reasons are too obvious to disregard. Buick needs to either completely overhaul the Encore or drop it altogether. Until then, it'll remain a tough car to recommend.

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