The Buick’s first subcompact SUV and 4th Sports Utility Vehicle overall, all under the watchful eye of General Motors.
The Buick Encore is a 5-person SUV that has enough power, speed, performance, technology & style to handle whatever comes your way, offering versatility and convenience that is on a whole new level.
The first model of the Buick Encore hit stores in 2013, and while the lineup would take a few years to gather its bearings and get its footing, it would eventually become a great and well-regarded luxury vehicle.
Given this history, I should talk about the best and worst years for Buick Encore and rank the years accordingly.
Best Years for Buick Encore:
Worst Years for Buick Encore:
Now I will talk about why I have ranked these years and address the various questions you may have regarding the lineup.
List Of The Best Years For The Buick Encore: What Years To Buy
Comfortable, powerful, and responsive. That’s what the best years of the Buick Encore offer.
#1 Best Year: 2020 Buick Encore
The initial few years of the Buick Encore gave the series a rough start and built up a bad reputation for the lineup.
However, slowly but surely, the car reduced the complaints and issues the customers had against it, and the efforts of the company culminated in the manufacture and release of the 2020 Buick Encore, which has little to no issues at all.
This is why I am placing this year at the top of the list. This year, there were four different trims of the Buick Encore. While there were no significant changes in this year’s model, it cut down on the many problems in its predecessor, which helped it secure this spot.
The small size of the vehicle made it quite a city-friendly vehicle, but the size of the car did not have hurt cargo space, having front passenger seats which could fold down for more cargo space.
Talking about the seats, they had good positioning, which allowed for great visibility and accompanied a good amount of headroom. This was packed together with a 138 HP turbo 4-cylinder engine available in AWD & FWD systems.
#2 Best Year: 2019 Buick Encore
While the 2019 Buick Encore is the same as the, it had a few extra issues and concerns that the company did not address, which is why this year is ranked second on this list and is beaten by 2020.
Many of the same positives of the 2020 model also apply to the 2019 Buick Encore, such as the small size, which makes it easy to navigate in the city, and a good amount of cargo space, headroom, and visibility.
This year there were also four different trims. Safety package II was also introduced, including rain-sensing windshield wipers, parking sensors, lane departure warning, and forward-collision warning.
This package was only, however, available for select trims. The SUV also came in with many technological features, which also helped people gravitate towards it and helped earn it a second place on this list.
#3 Best Year: 2018 Buick Encore
Available in 6 different trims and with not many significant changes from the model before it, the 2018 Buick Encore is another solid year for the series but features a few more problems than the year after it, which is why I decided it was best to place this year at 3rd place.
The Buick had created a solid reputation for itself by being a small yet spacious car, having a lot of cargo and passenger space inside, and being small enough to navigate through the tightly packed streets of the city.
This year, the Buick Encore also took a comfortable hit as there was little back seat legroom. Overall, it felt like the car was sacrificing a lot of comfortability for techy features and more.
These tech-related features such as Android Auto, AppleCarPlay, and an 8-inch touchscreen did, however, add a nice feel to the car.
#4 Best Year: 2021 Buick Encore
Moving on to the latest lineup models, I present the 2021 Buick Encore, which has been on the market for quite some time but not enough to fully assess.
While it has some great features and upgrades that I will get into, it is too early to declare it the perfect car as major problems can arise once the car has traveled a good amount, which is why I am placing this at 4th place.
This model is equipped with ten standard airbags and various driver-assist features.
The interior offers a lot of flexibility and versatility, allowing for a good amount of cargo storage and the latest in technology, all packaged together with a 1.4L turbo engine that delivers sporty performance and great mileage.
The car is also available in 6 different colors, which also helps it stand out.
#5 Best Year: 2022 Buick Encore
Taking a look at the most recent model the company has put out, the 2022 Buick Encore stands tall and proud with a variety of features and upgrades but is similar to the 2021 model.
This model comes with standard LED daytime running lamps and a moon roof. The model also has a quieting technology that prevents traffic sounds from entering the car.
This also enhances the experience of the premium sound system that the car comes with. The car also boasts high performance and swift responsiveness.
Overall the 2002 Buick Encore is shaping into a solid car, but only time will tell. It is still too early to say that the car will not suffer from any major problems, which is why it was safer for me to put this year at last place on this list.
List Of The Worst Years For The Buick Encore: What Years To Avoid
The worst years for the Buick Encore have many different problems and should be avoided at all costs.
#1 Worst Year: 2014 Buick Encore
The 2014 Buick Encore is infamous for having the most problems and complaints in the entire series, and this along with high repair costs, expensive issues, and a low average mileage where these problems can occur, you have undoubtedly the worst model in the lineup, which is why I am placing it at the first place.
The problems the year faced were mostly related to the interior and various electrical issues, while the NHTSA had a lot to say about the engine.
The model also suffered from 4 different recalls, which hurt its reputation. The main two recalls, which affected three million+ & 124,000 cars, respectively, were related to airbags and the car’s front seats.
The airbags had an issue that prevented them from being deployed in the event of a crash which makes you wonder why the airbags were there in the first place.
The seats, however, had a more egregious problem where the seats would not stay anchored in the event of a class. The model’s battery had a lot of problems and would die fairly quickly.
The doors also received many complaints, particularly the locks, which would not work.
#2 Worst Year: 2013 Buick Encore
The 2013 Buick Encore is a prime example of why you should never buy the first model of any lineup. This care came into the market with many engine problems and suffered from 6 different recalls, which earned it the 2nd spot on this list.
While many of the recalls affected less than 50,000 cars, the biggest recall that affected the car was about the front seats not staying anchored if a crash happened.
This issue would persist for the 2014 model as well. Smaller recalls were for issues such as seat belts not staying locked or the engine block heater’s power cord getting damaged and risking electrical shocks.
When it came to the engine, there was leakage and rough running. The power was inadequate, and the turbocharger would also go out. All of this would result in engine failure, requiring the owner to purchase a new one.
#3 Worst Year: 2015 Buick Encore
The NHTSA had various complaints about the brakes, the air conditioning, and electrical issues in the 2015 Buick Encore, which are the main reason I am placing it a 3rd place.
The model was also affected by four different recalls, including the front airbag issue regarding the airbags not deploying. The main issue regarding the brakes was that they would make a grinding sound when deployed, which was very loud and annoying.
It would shake and jerk when driving and give out an audible humming sound which hurt the experience of riding in the car.
When it came to the myriad of electrical problems, the dead battery was the first thing to be pointed out, with the multiple warning lights and console lights being on coming straight after.
The turbocharger in the engine had not been fixed, and the engine was lacking power in general.
#4 Worst Year: 2017 Buick Encore
The 2017 Buick Encore had seen a lot of improvements compared to the years placed above it but was a step down compared to the 2016 model, which had even fewer problems. This, along with two recalls, forced me to place this year at 4th place.
The 2017 Buick Encore was still suffering from front airbag deployment issues and was still posing a risk to drivers and passengers at the front of the car.
The engine was also, quite literally, suffering as it would give out a loud squealing noise. The check engine light would also be on, and engine failure was fairly common with the model.
The rear brakes were not up to standards and not properly tested as they would groan in wet & humid weather and, similar to the engine, be squealing in general. Apart from this, there were a few miscellaneous problems surrounding the model.
#5 Worst Year: 2016 Buick Encore
Was it not for the two recalls that affected the model and many engine problems?
The 2016 Buick Encore would have made a fantastic model. Still, unfortunately, these problems affected a lot of vehicles which is why I am placing this year at the last place on this list.
It was to be expected when it is present in the model, which came after this, that this year would also be afflicted with front airbag deployment issues.
Regarding this issue entirely, two different recalls occurred and affected more than 3.6 million cars. The engine received the most criticism as it should since the engine would randomly stop working without reason.
The engine was also quite rough when the car was idle and hesitated when accelerating. Blown gaskets and intercooler failure were also quite common, along with the turbocharger issue, which had still not been fixed as was causing problems.
What Are The Most Common Problems With The Buick Encore?
The early models of the Buick Encore had many problems and issues, many of which persisted through multiple models. I will be discussing the most common problems affecting the Buick Encore.
1. Airbag Deployment
This issue was present in around half the models of the lineup and was quite a dangerous problem as it caused the front airbags to not deploy at all in the event of a crash. This affected more than 3 million cars is a very common problem.
2. Seats Poorly Anchored
Another massive problem that affected a lot of models was the bad and poorly anchored front seats which had the possibility of detachment when the car would crash. This issue also led to a major recall which affected more than 150,000 cars.
3. Engine Issues
The engine of the car is often the source of many problems, and this is very true when talking about the Buick Encore, whose engine had a lot of different issues ranging from oil leaks, broken gaskets, and general clunkiness to straight-up engine failure, which is a very big problem.
4. Brake Problems
The brakes are yet another reported and complained part of the Buick Encore. Many people experienced problems at as little as 13,000 miles and suffered from excess pedal vibration and abnormal noises.
The customers also complained about the brakes not having enough stopping force, which led to longer braking.
5. Noise Problems
The Buick Encore has amassed a reputation for giving out a lot of different sounds, which are both unintentional and annoying.
Components such as the engine and brakes are known for squealing sounds. This is also usually accompanied by heavy vibrations and shaking, hurting the riding experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Buick Encore?
The average lifespan of the Buick Encore should be around 200,00 miles, but it can easily be a lot higher if you put in the time and effort.
The Buick Encore has won awards for its reliability and dependability, so you can be sure that it will last you a long time if you give it the proper maintenance it requires, with which you can easily push 300,000, as reported by many owners.
Related: How Long Do Buick Encores Last?
Q2. Which Is Better Chevy Equinox Or Buick Encore?
When compared along the lines of efficiency and convenience, the Chevy Equinox dominates in both regards, having superior mileage in city streets and highways.
The car also has more interior cargo and a bigger fuel tank which will get you around more. This extra space results from a bigger vehicle which means a beefier engine. All signs point to the Chevy Equinox being the superior vehicle.
Q3. Are There Any Recalls On Buick Encore?
The Buick Encore has suffered from various recalls, many of which affected multiple models of Buick Encore. The biggest recalls that the series suffered from was regarding front airbags not deploying, which affected more than 3 million cars.
Another huge recall that affected more than 150,000 cars was regarding the car’s front seats not being properly anchored. Both of these posed heavy risks and could cause a lot of injuries.
Q4. Is The Buick Encore Good In The Snow?
The Buick Encore is available with AWD functionality, perfect for traveling in the snow as it offers a lot of stability. The Buick Encore also comes with StabiliTrak, which helps it perform well in the snow by adjusting engine output and enhancing control.
All of this should generally help your Buick Encore dominate in snowing weather, even without the AWD, and you can enjoy driving in the snow with confidence.
Q5. Does Buick Encore Hold Its Value?
With a depreciation value of nearly 54% in the first five years alone, I cannot say that the Buick Encore has a good reputation when it comes to reselling.
This vehicle is durable and reliable, so it should easily last you a long time. However, I don’t think you can sell it for a good price as the car loses more than 80% of its base value by ten years, which is a huge hit.
The Buick Encore may have hit a rough patch right out the gate but seems to have gotten a hold of the situation and fixed the various problems it was known for.
Now the lineup is one of the most respected SUV lineups in the market and features top-of-the-line models such as the 2020 Buick Encore, which is by all regards flawless.
However, let’s not forget the 2014 model, full of flaws and issues. These two models are the main years for discussion when discussing the best and worst years for Buick Encore.
Hi there! I am Tahir Azam, and this is my blog. WVDOT Automotive is a website dedicated to creating high-quality content for car enthusiasts. I am also an avid car driver. I own and drive a Porsche for my daily tasks. It is the perfect vehicle for my family. I am a proud father of two boys. I spend my mornings and evenings catering to clients at my very own software hub. After getting home, I dedicate a few hours of my time to create an article every day. Well, this is a short introduction about me and I am also a publisher on Amazon. I hope you enjoy reading through my articles, and I also hope that I may have helped you choose an upgrade for your vehicle.