The 2018 Buick Encore is ranked third in its subcompact SUV class. As one of the highest-ranking subcompact SUVs, it has one of the nicest interiors in its class and an impressive list of standard features. The Encore also boasts nice engine power and composed handling. Some of the highlights on the 2018 Encore include a user-friendly infotainment system, nice handling, and good fuel economy, a roomy, well-appointed interior featuring a smooth ride and high-quality cabin materials, and a solid list of standard features. The Buick Encore hit the market in the 2013 model year, was nicely refreshed in 2017, and has seen no major changes for the 2018 model year.
The Encore’s cargo space offers a nice amount of storage, on par with the rest of its subcompact class and gives about 19 cubic feet behind the rear seats with an additional 48 cubic ft with the seats folded down. The Encore comes standard with satellite radio, a WiFi hotspot, and the Buick intellilink infotainment system that has an 8” user-friendly touchscreen. Two USB ports, Bluetooth, and Siri Eyes Free round out the technology on the 2018 Buick Encore. The 2018 Buick Encore’s main appeal lies in its maneuverability and fuel efficiency and in its above average styling features. The Encore is offered in six trim levels: 1SV, Preferred, Sport Touring, Preferred II, Essence, and Premium.
For those looking for a reliable family vehicle, the 2018 Buick Encore remains a good choice and consistently receives a four out of five predicted reliability rating from J.D. Power and Associates – one of the highest ratings in the subcompact class. The Encore subcompact SUV has a 5-star overall vehicle score for safety. The 2018 Encore offers a warranty of a four-year/50,000 mile warranty and a six-year/70,000 mile powertrain warranty.
The Encore’s safety features include drivers, passengers, front head, rear head, front side, and rear side airbags, 4-wheel ABS, 4-wheel disc brakes, electronic stability control, daytime running lights, child safety locks, integrated turn signal mirrors, and traction control. The available side blind zone alert uses radar to detect vehicles entering your blind spot and gives you a visual warning in the outside rearview mirror when this occurs. Available lane keep assist technology helps drivers avoid unintentional lane drifts when their turn signals are not activated by reading lane markings and guiding the vehicle back into its lane using light steering inputs. Also available is forward collision alerts to help prevent front crashing by sensing when you are approaching a detected vehicle in front of you too quickly and alerts you with both an audible and visual warning.
The onboard infotainment system is easy to learn how to use and when combined with the OnStar system it provides a nice list of features. Android and Apple CarPlay are included standard, as well as WiFi connectivity that provides a connection for up to seven smartphones, tablets, or laptops letting passengers stay connected while on board. With Android Auto, you can make hands-free calls, access your favorite SiriusXM Satellite radio stations and more from the Buick infotainment system. You can also get directions and access real-time traffic data, and save favorite routes and destinations – all with available built-in navigation. There is a My Buick app that lets you perform a number of vehicle functions right from your mobile device. Lock and unlock doors, remote start your vehicle, check tire pressure and get real-time diagnostics from any location.
Along with connectivity and navigation, the technology onboard the 2018 Buick Encore provides drivers with a step above when it comes to comfort and style. The Encore is one of the most luxurious crossover SUVs on the market. Heated front driver and passenger seats, keyless entry options, and more push the Encore to the top of its class. Advanced technology helps to give the Encore it’s high safety rating. Available blind zone alerts, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, rearview camera system, antilock disc brakes, and stability control system technologies are testaments to the Encore’s commitment to passenger and driver safety.
One of the first things you will notice when you test drive a 2018 Buick Encore is that the cabin ride is very quiet, even at highway speeds. QuietTuning technology combines triple door seals, specific suspension tuning, and an acoustic laminated windshield and front side glass to help reduce, absorb, and block out exterior noises and vibration. You will also notice the high-quality of materials used. The front seats in the Encore offer good visibility, while the rear seats are roomy enough for two adults. The Encore looks compact from the outside, but this crossover SUV offers an impressive amount of cargo and storage space. With seats folded up you’ll have 18.8 cubic feet of space to store groceries, kid’s gear, and anything you might need on daily runs. With the second-row seats folded down you will get an additional 48.4 cubic feet and with the front passenger seat also folded down you can haul cargo up to 8 feet long. The Encore seats five people and the standard version offers cloth upholstery, storage under the front passenger seat, six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and a tilt-and-telescopic leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Available upgrades include leather upholstery, heated front seats, six-way-power adjustable front passenger seats, driver memory settings, and a heated steering wheel. For those concerned with car seat capabilities, the Encore has LATCH child-seat systems in the second-row outboard seats. Front seats will need to be moved forward to fit rear-facing seats.
Additional available features on the Encore include remote start capability, a moonroof, rear-cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, auto-dimming rearview mirror, forward collision alert, and lane departure warning, and a seven-speaker sound system. The standard intellilink infotainment system is easy to use and is simple to master quickly.