What’s New in the 2020 Buick Encore?

The 2020 Buick Encore is a great pick for drivers who’re in the market for a crossover. A starting MSRP of $23,200 makes the Encore a superb value in comparison to its European counterparts. Excellent ride comfort and above-average reliability also help make this crossover an excellent choice. Here’s why you should consider buying a new Encore.

Performance Specs

For 2020, Buick decided to discontinue the Encore’s more powerful engine. This means every trim now comes standard with the same 1.4-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It’s rated to develop 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. Feeding power to the wheels is a six-speed automatic transmission.

When driving the new Encore, don’t expect it to pack a powerful punch. According to Car and Driver, it takes the crossover around 9.3 seconds to reach 60 mph. Despite not being a quick vehicle, the Encore is easy to drive. You’ll appreciate the responsiveness of the transmission, which helps enhance performance. Keep in mind that Buick does not recommend the Encore for towing.

On the road, the Buick Encore impresses with its superb ride quality. It soaks up the road like a far more expensive luxury vehicle. Predictable handling makes the Encore more enjoyable to drive. Moreover, a large stabilizer in the front helps minimize body roll when cornering.

Of course, drivers who live in the city will especially appreciate the Encore’s tight turning radius. They’ll have no trouble squeezing in and out of tight spots. Parking will be much easier than in a larger crossover.

The new Buick Encore is obviously not made for traveling off-road. However, an intelligent AWD system is on the list of options. It’s a must-have feature for drivers who live in snow-prone areas. With a ground clearance of just over six inches, the Encore is a bit more capable than most AWD-equipped sedans.

Fuel Economy

The 2020 Buick Encore is rated by the federal government to return 25 mpg city/30 mpg highway. This is about average for the class. Meanwhile, opting for AWD lowers efficiency to 24 mpg city/29 mpg highway.

Fortunately, Buick tuned the crossover’s engine to use regular unleaded gas.

Safety Features

Buick engineers the Encore to provide solid impact protection. The crossover took home a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA. In fact, it received top marks in every crash test.

The typical safety features come standard on the Encore. While a rearview camera helps when backing up, a StabiliTrak system helps you to maintain greater control when changing lanes and traveling on slippery pavement. A total of 10 airbags come standard, which gives you and your passengers more protection during a crash.

Another standard safety feature is GM’s OnStar communications system. In the event that your airbags are deployed during a crash, it can automatically call for help. The crossover also features a button that allows you to reach OnStar roadside assistance whenever needed.

Aside from the base model, all the other trims offer blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. If you desire more driving-assist safety features, step up to the range-topping Essence trim. It offers forward collision alert and lane departure warning in an optional safety package.

Entertainment Features

The base Encore 1SV packs enough standard equipment to satisfy the average car buyer. Buick’s infotainment system is a breeze to use. It provides a standard eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone support. You’ll be able to place hands-free calls and access many of your phone’s apps.

Another great standard feature is the Encore’s 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. It can support up to seven devices at once. This means all of your passengers can surf the web at high speeds.

A six-speaker stereo with satellite radio is standard on the new Encore. Drivers who demand a more powerful sound can step up to a Bose premium audio system. Built-in navigation is also offered.

Pros

A Strong Value

The 2020 Buick Encore is a strong value. Many popular features come standard, including advanced smartphone support and an OnStar communications system with built-in Wi-Fi.

The Encore is a great alternative to more expensive models like the BMW X1 and the Audi Q3.

Comfortable Daily-Driver

The new Encore scores high marks in the comfort category. Its soft ride and support seats help you to relax throughout the day. Upgraded amenities, like dual-zone automatic climate control and heated front seats, are found on the range-topping Essence trim.

Simple Interior Controls

Some of today’s new vehicles have complicated controls. Luckily, all of the Encore interior controls are simple to use. The climate control system and infotainment unit are extremely easy to operate.

Cons

Not a Good Vehicle for Off-Roading

Despite offering AWD, the new Encore is not a great made for adventure. Rather low ground clearance and a lack of undercarriage protection limit the crossover’s ability to go off-road.

Outdoor lovers should consider the more rugged Jeep Renegade Trailhawk.

Last Year’s Engine Upgrade Discontinued

Some drivers may need more muscle than the Encore can deliver. Last year’s optional turbo engine developed a healthier 153 horsepower, which noticeably boosted performance.

Final Thoughts

When shopping for a budget-friendly crossover, be sure to test drive the new 2020 Buick Encore. It feels more luxurious than other models in this price class.

Although the Encore may not be extremely powerful, you’ll appreciate its good fuel economy and smooth driving dynamics.

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