Making its debut in 2012, the Buick Encore has been the best-selling model for the brand in the United States in recent years.
This subcompact SUV is easy to maneuver due to its small dimensions and offers flexible seating for up to 5 passengers and customizable cargo space.
If you’re researching the Encore, you might be wondering what its average lifespan is.
We’ll cover all that and more in this article, read on to find out…
Table of Contents
Here is the Short Answer to How Long Buick Encore Last:
The Buick Encore is a small, robust SUV that can easily last up to 200,000 miles when driven conservatively and well maintained. Based on driving 15,000 miles per year the Encore is expected to last approximately 13 years before requiring a replacement due to costly repairs or breaking down.
How Many Miles Can You Expect from a Buick Encore?
Unlike rival Japanese cars, Buick’s are not best know for achieving high mileages – however in recent years the Encore has scored solid reliability reviews.
Our deep dive into Buick Encore forums and articles has led us to find many reports of Encore units still going strong at 50,000 – 70,000 miles, with a few owners claiming that they have reached 100,000 miles with no major issues.
Since the Encore was only introduced in 2012 and subsequently offered in the United States in 2013, there are few reports of units that have made it past the 200,000-mile mark – which is to be expected.
However, we believe a fair, realistic mileage target for the Encore is around 200,000 miles, assuming the vehicle is regularly maintained and cared for.
Of course, with exceptional maintenance and smooth driving habits there is no reason why these figures could not be exceeded.
To get the most life from your Encore we advise:
- Keeping up to date with factory scheduled service intervals
- Keeping the vehicle clean both inside and out
- Performing regular routine checks such as fluid levels and tire pressures
Owners should be mindful not to overload the Encore, as a smaller vehicle powered by a 138-hp engine, it’s not rated for towing or moving excessively heavy loads in general – doing so will strain the transmission and accelerate wear and tear of components.
How Soon Should You Expect Rust on a Buick Encore?
There have been no widespread reports or concerns regarding premature rusting of Buick Encores.
The Encore should fare just as well as its competitors in terms of resistance to corrosion with newer models being more resilient to rust. Factors such as location and vehicle care will affect the rate at which rust occurs.
We found a couple of reports regarding small rust particles forming along the tailgate of owners’ Encore units, but this does not seem to be a trend and should not be reason for concern.
Residents of cold-weather states that use a heavy dose of salt in the winter should take extra precautions, as salt can drastically accelerate rusting.
Similarly, those living by the coast where salt in the air is prevalent should also be mindful.
Owners residing in drier, hotter states such as Arizona are far less likely to experience rusting issues – although paint fading is more common.
Rust can spread quickly if not taken care of, if its beyond a DIY fix contact your local dealer or body shop and have them take a look.
We recommend the following tactics to help reduce rust:
- Wash the vehicle regularly, this includes the underside – especially after exposure to salt, dirt and rain
- Consider a ceramic coating to protect your Encore from external paint damage
- Use an anti-rust spray
- Store the vehicle in a garage or under shelter out of the elements. Alternatively use a car cover.
- Have a rust proofing treatment applied by a reputable professional
How Long Do Buick Encore Last Compared to Similar Models?
Below, we look at how the Buick Encore fares against its subcompact SUV competitors.
Buick Encore vs. Hyundai Kona
The Encore offers better fuel economy and is known to be a little roomier, however the Kona is easier to maneuver out of tight spots due to its smaller turning radius.
In terms of longevity, the Encore and Kona are both projected to last up to 200,000 miles or approximately 13 years.
For 2021 models, J.D. Power gave the Encore a higher reliability rating of 85/100 Vs 81/100 for the Kona.
The Encore and Kona annual maintenance cost is about average for the segment at $466 and $468 receptively, according to Repair Pal.
You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Hyundai Kona Last?
Buick Encore vs. Jeep Renegade
The Renegade has the higher MSRP of the two and offers a little more horsepower.
The Encore is slightly narrower and will be easier to fit into tight parking spots although has less cargo space.
While we estimate the Encore to last up to 200,000 miles / 13 years, the Renegade is projected to last up to 150,000 miles / 10 years.
According to J.D. Power, the 2021 Renegade has a reliability score of 80/100 while the Encore secured a rating of 85/100.
The Encore and Renegade are nearly identical in terms of annual repair and maintenance costs at $466 and $468, respectively.
You may also be interested in our article: how long do Jeep Renegade last
Buick Encore vs. Mazda CX-30
The CX-30 is one of the Encore’s toughest competitors – Car & Driver ranks the CX-30 as its first choice in the segment whereas the Encore is ranked in 11th.
While Encore owners can expect 200,000 miles of service, the CX-30 offers a longer lifespan with our estimates indicating an average of 250,000 miles (17 years).
The 2021 CX-30 scores a reliability rating of 80/100 from J.D. Power whilst the 2021 Encore scores slightly higher with 85/100.
The CX-30 and Encore have similar annual repair costs at $462 and $466 respectively.
You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Mazda CX-30 Last?
Model Comparison Table
|Make & Model||Reliability Score (2021)||Annual Maintenance Cost(RepairPal)||Average Lifespan (Miles)|
How Reliable is a Buick Encore?
From our research into various car review sites we can safely say the Buick Encore is a very reliable subcompact SUV
According to RepairPal, the Encore’s reliability rating is 4.0 out of 5.0, ranking it in the 5th spot among its direct competitors.
For the 2021 model J.D. Power gave the Encore a ‘great’ quality and reliability rating of 85/100.
Over the course of the past 5 years, it has scored an impressive average of 84/100 from the same outlet.
Based on 139 customer reviews, Kelley Blue Book awarded the Encore with a reliability rating of 4.5/5.0.
You may also be interested in our article: Buick Encore in snow and winter driving
Reliability Compared to Other Subcompact SUVs
|Honda HR-V||5.0 / 5.0|
|Mazda CX-3||4.5 / 5.0|
|Kia Soul||4.5 / 5.0|
|Jeep Renegade||4.0 / 5.0|
|Buick Encore||4.0 / 5.0|
|Chevrolet Trax||4.0 / 5.0|
|Nissan Juke||4.0 / 5.0|
|Avg. Subcompact SUV||4.0|
Related: How Long Do VW Taos Last?
The Best and Worst Years for the Buick Encore
The Buick Encore has been sold in the United States since 2013 and had a bit of a rough start during its first few years.
However, Buick ironed out many of these issues in later models and the number of complaints tapered off significantly.
Below we’ll outline the best and worst years…
Buick Encore Worst Model Year
Based on data from Car Complaints, the worst model year for the Buick Encore is the 2014 model.
A total of 44 complaints were recorded, closely followed by the 2013 Encore (42 recorded complaints).
The most frequent issue with the 2014 Encore was the battery, with owners frequently finding themselves in situations where the battery suddenly dies out.
Secondary complaints involved issues with door locks and insufficient power.
Buick Encore Best Model Year
Based on our research, we have identified the 2020 and 2021 Buick Encore as the best versions in the vehicle line, recording no complaints at all.
Having survived a full year with no registered complaints and offering the latest features and technology Buick has to offer, the 2020 and 2021 Encore is our recommended choice.
Both model have also received good all-round scores from automotive sites such as J.D Power, Car and Driver and US News.
Below are the number of complaints per model year from the Car Complaints database.
|Model Year||Recorded Complaints|
|2013 Buick Encore||42|
|2014 Buick Encore||44|
|2015 Buick Encore||35|
|2016 Buick Encore||6|
|2017 Buick Encore||18|
|2018 Buick Encore||3|
|2019 Buick Encore||3|
|2020 Buick Encore||0|
|2021 Buick Encore||0|
What About Recalls for the Buick Encore?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) database, the Buick Encore has been recalled a total of 22 times, with most recalls occurring for the earlier model years.
Recalls are manufacturing repairs that are offered at no cost to the consumer.
Here are the total number of recall campaigns per year for the Buick Encore since 2013.
|Model Year||Recall Campaigns|
|2013 Buick Encore||6|
|2014 Buick Encore||5|
|2015 Buick Encore||4|
|2016 Buick Encore||2|
|2017 Buick Encore||2|
|2018 Buick Encore||0|
|2019 Buick Encore||2|
|2020 Buick Encore||1|
|2021 Buick Encore||0|
Buick Encore Model Year List
Below is a list of Buick Encore units per model year, based on the US market:
First Generation (2013 – 2019)
- 2013 Buick Encore
- 2014 Buick Encore
- 2015 Buick Encore
- 2016 Buick Encore
- 2017 Buick Encore
- 2018 Buick Encore
- 2019 Buick Encore
Second Generation (2020 – Present)
- 2020 Buick Encore
- 2021 Buick Encore
Are Buick Encore Expensive to Maintain?
According to Repair Pal, the average annual cost of repairs and maintenance for a Buick Encore is $466.
This is exactly the same as the average for subcompact SUVs, and slightly less than the annual maintenance cost average across all vehicles ($652).
|Model||Avg. Annual |
Repairs (per year)
|Probability of |
|Avg. Subcompact SUV||$466||0.2||9%|
How Long Do the Brakes of Buick Encore Last?
The brakes of the Buick Encore can last anywhere from 30,000 to 70,000 miles (if you drive 15,000 miles annually, this equates to 2 – 4 years).
Controlled and smooth braking will help make your brakes last longer.
If you drive in a lot of stop-and-go traffic your brakes will likely wear out sooner.
How Long Do the Tires of Buick Encore Last?
The stock tires of the Buick Encore should last you up to 50,000 miles / appoximately 3 years.
- Maintain the correct tire pressure as specified by your owner’s manual.
- Have your tires rotated regularly to ensure even wear.
How Long Do the Transmissions of Buick Encore Last?
According to our estimates, you can safely expect your Buick Encore’s transmission system to last up to 200,000 miles.
Ensure fluid levels are topped up and fix any problems immediately to keep the transmission running smoothly.
How Long Do the Spark Plugs of the Buick Encore Last?
The stock spark plug of your Buick Encore should be healthy for 30,000 miles (or roughly 2 years, based on 15,000 miles of driving per year).
Spark plugs are responsible for creating the spark that ignites the air/fuel mixture, causing the explosion which makes the engine produce power.
They are usually inspected and if needed, replaced when you go for a tune up.
You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Buick Enclaves Last?
What About Insurance Cost of the Buick Encore?
The Buick Encore’s annual insurance costs $1,414 on average, or around $118 per month.
Insurance costs can vary from person to person; be sure to shop around to find the best possible deal.
Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Buick Encore
- Keep up to date with factory scheduled maintenance.
- Keep fluids topped up and check fluid levels regularly
- Drive smoothly, use controlled acceleration and braking
- Check your tire pressures at regular intervals
- Check engine oil every two weeks
- If possible, keep the vehicle stored in a garage, out of the elements
- Use good quality parts and fluids
- Invest in a ceramic coating to protect against contaminants and minor scratches
- Consider all rust-proofing options
- Wash the vehicle regularly particularly when encountering salt and snow
- Do not overload your vehicle