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Buick's Smallest Crossover Is Losing Its Best Option

Engine / 6 Comments

Blame buyers for not taking advantage of a great deal.

As sub-compact crossovers go, the Buick Encore is a pretty good one. With a starting price of just $23,000, fuel economy figures of up to 26-mpg in the city and 31-mpg on the highway, and nearly 19 cubic feet of storage behind the rear seats, the Encore is a nice value with good practicality. And with tons of incentives from General Motors, you can likely buy a brand-new Encore with a massive discount.

The current Encore has been on the market since 2012 but it received a significant refresh in 2017. There is a second generation model that has already been revealed for the Chinese market alongside a larger Encore GX model, but it seems like Buick will keep the current model on sale in the US at least through the 2020 model year.

According to Cars Direct, order guides for the 2020 Encore show that it is essentially a carryover model with almost no changes. There is one major absence though, as the 2020 Encore will lose its optional 1.4-liter turbocharged engine producing 153 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. This will leave the base power plant, also a 1.4-liter turbocharged mill, as the lone engine, producing just 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque that goes out through a six-speed automatic to the front wheels or all four on AWD models.

In addition to being more powerful, the optional engine was only a $250 upgrade and was more efficient, with a combined 28-mpg compared to the base mill's 27-mpg rating. We thought the optional engine seemed like a good value, but a Buick spokesperson confirmed that the engine was discontinued because it was ordered on less than 12% of Encores.

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With the optional engine, the Encore was able to hit 60 mph in a respectable but leisurely 7.8 seconds. Now the Encore will take over nine seconds to reach 60 mph. We may not be happy with the move, but GM knows how to identify its most profitable models and it doesn't make sense to keep an engine that only 12% of buyers are choosing.

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