2016 Buick Encore Premium
1.4L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine
6-speed automatic transmission
Seating Capacity: 5
Road Test Terrain: 60% city, 40% highway
Tested MSRP: $36,765 CAD
The 2016 Buick Encore is a small crossover that gives flexibility for drivers wanting extra cargo space without going to a large vehicle. While I really liked the versatility that the vehicle offered, I felt that the vehicle was under powered (however, this is comparable to similar vehicles in this category). The 1.4L engine is supported by the turbocharger, which gives it much needed power. The Encore also comes with OnStar and 4G LTE connectivity – a big bonus, in my eyes. OnStar is unmatched in its ability to aid in emergency response and with the add-on of 4G LTE technology, it turns your vehicle into an incredibly reliable hotspot with better reliability than what you get from your mobile phone.
The Encore’s chrome waterfall grille is Buick’s signature style, with blue-accented projector-beam headlamps – unmistakably Buick.
The wider lower body gives the vehicle an appearance of a bigger stance yet the overall exterior design still allowed the vehicle to be easily maneuvered… something I really appreciated while driving downtown Toronto!
When you’re in a Buick, there’s a certain amount of trim refinement that can be expected. The Encore stayed true to the expectation with its colour stitching and chrome accents.
The 2016 Buick Encore’s centre stack is too busy for me, personally. There are a lot of buttons between the audio and climate controls. For example, each climate control mode (defrost, front vents, floor) has its own button compared to other vehicles who have one button that you press to toggle between the modes.
In contrast, the steering wheel and instrument panel is minimalistic. I also appreciate the extra storage with the dual glove compartments!
Under The Hood / Basic Maintenance
The Buick Encore’s engine bay is more compact, and most basic do-it-yourself essentials are located within easy reach including the washer fluid filler neck, battery (in case you have to jump start), and engine oil dipstick.
What I like is that the fluid reservoirs are easily readable so that you can discern if they’re at the proper level. The coolant reservoir is shown below.
Child Car Seat
The UAS anchors are located at the edge of the cushion and easily accessible. In terms of installing a rear-facing child car seat, you may have minimal room for a front passenger in order to accommodate the car seat’s recline angle (depending on the size of the child car seat). This is common when installing a rear-facing child car seat in smaller vehicles. The rear seat bench is relatively flat and the cushioning is firm so installing to the correct recline angle should require a minimal use of pool noodles.
The headrest of the rear seats protrudes forward. When you install a forward-facing child car seat, you’ll want to remove the head rest so that the back of the child car seat will sit flush with the car’s seatback.
Storage / Trunk
There is ample space in the Encore’s trunk, given that it’s a hatchback. When you fold the rear seats down, you get lots of cabin space and the ability to carry objects as long as 2.4 metres.
The rear seats are also a 60/40 split so you can mix passenger and cargo anytime.
The Buick Encore is a good option for families who don’t want a big SUV, and are looking for the flexibility of cargo space that you wouldn’t get from a small sedan. Starting price for the 2016 Buick Encore is $28,605CAD.
About the author: Emily is a wife and mother of two, the owner of AutoNiche (a family-friendly auto repair shop in Markham, ON), a licensed auto service technician, certified child car seat technician, and automotive writer with Driving.ca.