8 Best & Worst Buick Encore Years (With Pictures)

The Buick Encore is an elegant subcompact SUV that had a decent run from 2015 to 2022. 

It has a smooth ride, an intuitive infotainment system setup, and a spacious cabin. 

In this article, we’ll be checking out all of the best and worst model years of the Encore.

2018 Buick Encore

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Buick Encore Are:

The best Buick Encore model years are 2022, 2021, and 2020. The worst model years of this model are 2015, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2014, and 2013. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Buick Encore?

2022 Buick Encore

The 2022 Encore, a compact and versatile SUV, is the final model year ever produced. For 2022, the 1.4-liter turbocharged engine boasts 155 horsepower, up from the previous 138 hp, and introduces front seatback pockets for additional storage.

The model simplifies choices for consumers by offering a singular, well-equipped trim level – the Preferred. 

This trim features 18-inch wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system supporting both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Key available options include the Safety Package and Safety Package II, adding essential driver aids like blind-spot monitoring, forward collision alert, and lane departure warning. 

The Encore, known for its maneuverable size and excellent outward visibility, continues to be a strong contender for those seeking a compact SUV with a touch of luxury.

  • Edmunds: 3.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: 84 / 100

2022 Encore, Edmunds Review:

“This SUV is perfect for a family of four! Not much storage space, but the seats lay flat to allow for bigger items. Engine runs smooth for a 4 cylinder and definitely a gas saver! The cost is great if you are on a budget!”

2022 Buick Encore

2021 Buick Encore

The 2021 Encore entered the market with its refined, compact design, offering two distinct trim levels: the base 1SV and the top-tier Preferred. Compared to previous models, it has an improved suite of driver safety aids.

Both trims are equipped with a 1.4-liter four-cylinder delivering 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque, paired with a smooth six-speed automatic transmission. 

The base 1SV comes with keyless entry, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, an 8-inch touchscreen, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

Elevating the experience, the Preferred trim has additional options like all-wheel drive, remote start, a sunroof, and a 120-volt power outlet.

It also exclusively offers two safety packages, enhancing driving confidence with features like blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, and parking sensors. 

Despite facing stiff competition from newer rivals, the 2021 Encore maintains its appeal through a quiet cabin, easy maneuverability, and Buick’s signature blend of comfort and style.

  • Edmunds: 4.2 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: 81 / 100

2021 Encore, Edmunds Review:

“As a 3 time Honda owner, I was skeptical to even look at Buick?? SO GLAD I did!   This SUV is AMAZING!  Very underrated! Test drove it and didn’t look back.  Feels like a $40,000 vehicle. Wow!!  Just Wow!!! Two thumbs up!”

2020 Buick Encore

The 2020 Buick Encore offers a hushed cabin at highway speeds, generous standard infotainment features, and a maneuverable size. However, it sees the discontinuation of a more powerful engine option and minor tweaks to available options on the Sport Touring trim.

It comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and available luxury features like remote engine start and a heated steering wheel. 

This year’s lineup includes four trim levels: 1SV, Preferred, Sport Touring, and the top-of-the-line Essence, each powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine. 

The Essence trim notably elevates luxury with features such as heated leather seats, a heated steering wheel, and a remote starter. 

Additional safety and convenience options become available on higher trims, enhancing the Encore’s appeal for those prioritizing comfort and advanced technology in a compact SUV.

  • Edmunds: 4.2 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: 86 / 100

2020 Encore, Edmunds Review:

“It fits me. Wife likes it as much as I do too. I had a Verano before this, and there is no comparison…”

Consumer Scores For Best Buick Encore Years

Model YearEdmunds
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book
Consumer Rating
J.D. Power
Consumer Rating
2022 Buick Encore3.3 / 5.04.3 / 5.084 / 100
2021 Buick Encore4.2 / 5.04.3 / 5.081 / 100
2020 Buick Encore4.2 / 5.04.3 / 5.086 / 100

Related: 10 Most Common Buick Encore Problems (Explained)

What Are The Worst Years For The Buick Encore?

2015 Buick Encore

The 2015 Encore received a large volume of complaints for a variety of reasons.

These included:

  1. Power Steering Issues: Multiple incidents describe the power steering locking up or not functioning properly.
  2. Transmission Issues: Instances of transmission-related problems, such as error codes (e.g., transmission module 0700 and module 0073) and difficulty shifting gears.
  3. Random Electrical Shutdowns: The car’s electrical system, including the display screen and various gauges, seems to shut down unexpectedly while driving.
  4. Safety System Malfunctions: Problems with the airbags, including issues with the passenger presence module, and concerns about the airbags not recognizing passengers.
  5. Bluetooth and Infotainment System Problems: Complaints about the Bluetooth system, display screen, and radio malfunctions.
  6. Random Acceleration Issues: Reports of the engine revving up to high RPMs without driver input, leading to potential safety hazards.
  7. Intermittent Electrical Failures: Various incidents describe intermittent failures of different electrical components, creating safety concerns for the drivers.
  8. Loss of Power during Acceleration: Multiple incidents describe a loss of power when trying to accelerate, which can be dangerous and has almost caused accidents.
  9. Engine Shaking and Stalling: Complaints about the engine shaking and feeling like it wants to stall, especially during gear shifts or while waiting at traffic lights.
  • The 2015 Encore had a total of 45 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 162 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.

Other common problems:

  • Display screen issues
  • Air conditioning stopped working
  • Grinding brakes
2015 Buick Encore

2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016 Buick Encore

The 2019 to 2016 Encore model years had significant engine and cooling system issues. 

Reported symptoms included:

  • Engine misfiring
  • Loss of power during acceleration
  • Shaking and stalling when in gear
  • Frozen PVC valve leading to oil leaks
  • Surging while idling
  • Smoke from the hood and vehicle fire
  • Recurring engine issues leading to the vehicle going into “limp mode”

Many owners also reported turbocharger failures, leading to dangerous situations such as reduced power at high speeds and engine seizure. 

Despite Buick acknowledging turbocharger issues, some owners’ claims for repairs under the special coverage were denied, adding to their frustration.

Some vehicles even experienced complete engine shutdowns while driving, significantly increasing the risk of accidents. 

“The contact stated while driving 55 mph, the vehicle accelerated independently with unknown warning lights illuminated. The vehicle started smoking and overheating. The contact was able to pull over on the side of the road and shut off the vehicle. The contact attempted to restart the vehicle however, the vehicle would not restart…” – CarProblemZoo.com

  • The 2019 Encore had a total of 10 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 58 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.
  • The 2018 Encore had a total of 7 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 61 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.
  • The 2017 Encore had a total of 23 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 76 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.
  • The 2016 Encore had a total of 23 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 79 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.

Other common problems:

  • Brake pads failed
  • Windshield easily cracks
  • Steering pulls to the side
  • Faulty side sensing alert module
  • Poor fuel efficiency
  • Airbags did not deploy
  • Check engine light on
  • Headlights do not work properly
  • Mirror auto-dimming feature not working
  • Engine stopped working
  • Transmission slipping
  • Low voltage when engine goes into fuel saver mode
2016 Buick Encore

2014 and 2013 Buick Encore

The 2014 and 2013 Encore models faced a variety of engine and cooling system problems, affecting the driving experience and raising safety concerns. Many owners encountered overheating engines, often accompanied by abnormal sounds and illuminated check engine lights. 

The turbocharger emerged as a frequent culprit, with several instances of necessary replacements due to cracks or failures, leading to hefty repair costs.

Other prevalent issues included sluggish acceleration, power loss, especially on inclines, and stalling vehicles. 

Diagnostic codes like P0200 pointed towards significant engine malfunctions. The recurring theme of turbocharger underboost led to power reduction, affecting the Encore’s performance.

Additionally, there were reports of the vehicle losing motive power and stalling while in motion, creating dangerous situations for drivers on highways and busy roads. 

Engine light activation and shuddering at various speeds were common, indicating deeper mechanical failures.

“The contact stated that while driving at 25 mph, the vehicle made an abnormal sound and overheated. The check engine warning light was illuminated. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, who informed the contact that the turbo charger needed to be replaced…” – CarProblemZoo.com

  • The 2014 Encore had a total of 47 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 79 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.
  • The 2013 Encore had a total of 52 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 67 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.

Other common problems:

  • Lack of power
  • Excessive battery drain
  • Turbocharger went out
  • Bubbling paint

Related: How Long Do Buick Encore Last? (Solved & Explained)

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

Model YearComplaints
2022 Buick Encore020
2021 Buick Encore040
2020 Buick Encore0132
2019 Buick Encore10582
2018 Buick Encore7610
2017 Buick Encore23762
2016 Buick Encore23792
2015 Buick Encore451624
2014 Buick Encore47794
2013 Buick Encore52676

What Problems Do Buick Encore Have?

  • Lack of power
  • Excessive battery drain
  • Turbocharger went out
  • Bubbling paint
  • Door locks not working
  • Display screen issues
  • Air conditioning stopped working
  • Grinding brakes

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Buick Encore?

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Kia Soul8.5$19,990 – $24,290City: 28 – 29 /Highway: 33 – 35
Kia Seltos8.4$24,390 – $29,990City: 25 – 28 /Highway: 27 – 34
Mazda CX-308.4$24,995 – $36,800City: 22 – 26 /Highway: 30 – 33
Hyundai Kona8.2$24,100 – $33,150City: 24 – 30 /Highway: 29 – 35
Volkswagen Taos8.1$24,155 – $34,535City: 25 – 28 /Highway: 32 – 36
Buick Encore GX8.0$25,600 – $33,500City: 26 – 30 /Highway: 28 – 31
Honda HR-V7.9$24,100 – $29,700City: 25 – 26 /Highway: 30 – 32
Subaru Crosstrek7.9$24,995 – $31,995City: 26 – 27 /Highway: 33 – 34
Chevrolet Trailblazer7.8$22,100 – $27,700City: 26 – 29 /Highway: 30 – 33
Nissan Kicks7.8$20,290 – $22,850City: 31 /Highway: 36
Hyundai Venue7.6$19,500 – $22,750City: 29 /Highway: 33
Mini Cooper Countryman7.6$32,650 – $43,800City: 23 – 26 /Highway: 30 – 33

Source: cars.usnews.com, edmunds.com

Related: Buick Encore In Snow & Winter Driving? (Solved & Explained)












  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...