Best & Worst Buick Encore Years

I've taken a closer look at every Buick Encore from 2013 until the latest model and categorized the best & worst years in this guide.

In this guide, I’ll analyze all Buick Encore generations, categorizing the best years for Buick Encore to buy and the worst Encore years to avoid.

We’ve thoroughly examined the Buick Encore’s performance over the years, focusing on reliability, safety, and owner satisfaction from trusted sources like the NHTSA, Consumer Reports, and Edmunds to provide accurate and valuable insights.

You’ll explore the intricacies of the Buick Encore generations, highlighting the evolution of its features, engine performance, reliability, common problems, recalls, and resale values.

Let’s dive right in!

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Table of ContentsShow

Buick Encore Generations

The Buick Encore, first introduced in 2013, marked Buick’s foray into the compact crossover SUV market.

This initial model was celebrated for its upscale interior, smooth ride, and compact dimensions suited for city driving.

Here is a brief overview of the Buick Encore generations from 2013 to 2022:

1st generation2013-2022

Understanding the generational shifts is key for anyone, as significant changes, particularly in technology, design, and performance, can significantly influence a buyer’s decision.

Buick Encore Best, Neutral, and Worst Years

In our analysis of the best and worst years for Buick Encore, we consider a comprehensive range of factors, including:

  • Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Safety ratings
  • Consumer Reports reliability scores
  • Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
  • NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
  • Edmunds owner ratings
  • JD Power owner ratings
  • Kelley’s Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
  • VehicleHistory owner ratings
  • owner ratings

This graph compiles ratings from all these sources, providing a holistic view of the Buick Encore’s performance throughout its years.

Buick Encore Car Smite Score Combined Overall Score

Below is a table categorizing all model years of the Buick Encore into best, neutral, and worst years based on thorough research and analysis.

GenerationBest YearsNeutral YearsWorst Years
1st generation2018

“Neutral Years” didn’t experience standout issues or exceptional achievements, making them a balanced choice for buyers.

It’s crucial to note that factors such as NHTSA recalls negatively impact our rankings. The greater the number of complaints and recalls, the lower the vehicle’s reliability tends to be.

Now, let’s dive into the best, neutral, and worst years of the Buick Encore.

Best & Worst Years for Buick Encore 1st Generation (2013-2022)

Buick Encore 1st generation 2013model
The 2013 Buick Encore

The first generation of the Buick Encore, introduced in 2013, combined luxury with practicality, offering an upscale interior, advanced technology, and city-friendly dimensions, appealing to those seeking comfort and convenience.

2015 is the worst Buick Encore model year of the generation to avoid, while the best Buick Encore years are between 2018 and 2022.

The Best Years: 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022

The best years for the first-generation Buick Encore – 2018 to 2022 – were marked by significant improvements in reliability and features.

These models were equipped with a 1.4L turbocharged I4 engine, producing about 138 hp and offering a smooth driving experience with an average fuel economy of around 27 city/33 highway MPG.

The 6-speed automatic transmission provided efficient and responsive gear shifts.

These years saw upgrades in infotainment systems, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, and enhanced safety features like blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

The higher trims, such as the Essence, offered lavish amenities like leather upholstery and heated seats.

The 2018 to 2022 Buick Encore models were well-regarded for their dependability, fewer mechanical issues, and customer satisfaction, making them the best Encore model years to buy.

The Neutral Years: 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017

The 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017 Buick Encore models are considered neither best nor worst model years.

They retained the 1.4L turbocharged engine with similar power output and fuel efficiency as the best years.

These models offered a comfortable ride with standard features like a touchscreen infotainment system and advanced safety technologies.

However, the 2013 and 2014 Buick Encore models faced engine-related issues, including turbocharger problems, which were less severe than the worst years.

The 2016 and 2017 Buick Encore models continued with minor engine issues but did not see widespread problems, maintaining a balance between luxury features and overall performance.

The Worst Years: 2015

The 2015 Buick Encore is recognized as the worst year to avoid in this generation due to several notable issues. Here are some of them:

Owners reported problems such as PVC valve cover leaks, excessive oil consumption, loss of power steering assist, and brake system failures.

These issues were critical, impacting the vehicle’s reliability and safety.

The 2015 Buick Encore was also subject to recalls related to power steering and frontal airbags, which further tainted its reputation.

These widespread problems significantly undermined the vehicle’s dependability, making the 2015 Encore a less desirable choice for buyers looking for the typical reliability and luxury of the Buick brand.

See NHTSA 2015 Buick Encore recalls and complaints.

Buick Encore Resale Values

This graph depicts the average resale values of the Buick Encore across different model years.

Buick Encore Average List Price


Which Buick Encore is top of the line?

After our thorough analysis, Buick Encore’s best years to consider are 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, offering enhanced reliability and features, while 2015 is the worst Buick Encore year to avoid due to its numerous issues.

Based on our review, which features of the Buick Encore do you value most for your needs?

Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Jonathan Eckert

Jonathan is an ASE-certified mechanic with over 22 years of hands-on experience in the automotive industry. His expertise spans a wide range of vehicles, but he specializes in diagnosing and repairing Japanese cars. His previous workplace highly commended his meticulous attention to detail, and that's exaclty what he uses at Car Smite to craft the best guides for each purpose.