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Road Test: 2024 Buick Encore

Buick is revamping its styling to hopefully attract a younger generation of consumers. The first vehicle to receive the brand’s new look was the Encore (joined later by the Envista) during a mid-cycle refresh for the 2024 model year.

The Encore is available in three trims, the base preferred and the top tier Avenir. We tested the mid-range Sport, which has a starting price of $32,299. With a few options added to our tester, the final price was $39,609.

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2024 Buick Encore GX Sport

The additions included the $1,895 Experience Buick Package (panoramic power moonroof, 19-inch gloss black aluminum wheels), and the $1,295 Advanced Technology Package (wireless device charging, adaptive cruise control, rear park assist, HD surround vision).

The Cinnabar Metallic and black roof package were an extra $495 each.

Powertrain: The Encore is powered by a 1.3-litre 3-cylinder engine mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission.

The 155 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque from the engine are good enough for a vehicle this size and while the performance is far from exhilarating, it is suitable as an everyday driver in the city.

Buick says the Encore should achieve a fuel efficiency average of 8.8 litres per 100 kilometres, but my real-world experience resulted in an average of 10.6 L/100 km.

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2024 Buick Encore GX Sport

Exterior: Other than the new front end, the Encore is a holdover from the design introduced in 2020. The new fascia is quite handsome and sleek in its design, including nicely integrated and slim headlights.

I appreciated the two-tone exterior on our tester thanks to the optional exterior colours, elevating the overall look of the Encore.

Interior: The cabin received an update for 2024 as well, centered around the new 11-inch touchscreen (up from the previous 8 inch one). And much like the Envista we tested, the screen and digital instrument panel are housed under a singular glass panel, a nice modern look.

As nice as that is, the cluster of knobs and buttons for the ventilation system looks a little cheap by comparison – but it is functional.

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2024 Buick Encore GX Sport

The overall feel and comfort of the cabin is respectable, but definitely not as upscale as you might have expected from a Buick.

The leatherette seating, with heated front seats, is a bit firm for longer drives. The Encore also has a heated steering wheel as standard.

One thing that is good is the amount of storage space available in the cargo area, which is easily accessible through a power liftgate.

Infotainment: The Buick infotainment system is pretty good and is packed with everything one would expect from a modern vehicle.

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2024 Buick Encore GX Sport

You have satellite radio, as well as wireless compatibility for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Wireless device charging is included in one of the optional packages on the tester.

The 7-speaker audio system is ok, but nothing that will knock your socks off.

The system itself is easy to use, with clear menus that are easy to navigate and understand.

Drive: The overall drive feel of the Encore is quite good, with proper steering response and competent handling overall. Harsher bumps in the road will definitely make occupants uncomfortable, but overall, the Encore does a good job of keeping those inside isolated from road imperfections.

I did notice that the start/stop function of the engine can be quite aggressive, with the entire vehicle shaking when the engine kicks back on. Not ideal, but the system can be deactivated.

Conclusion: Overall, the Encore has many good qualities and a fresh new look that should draw in some consumers. It faces an uphill battle, however, against a number of competitors in the segment as buyers have no shortage of options to choose from.

2024 Buick Encore GX Sport
Price as tested: $39,609.00
Freight: $2,000.00
Configuration: Front engine/all-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 1.3-litre 3-cylinder/ 9-speed automatic
Power/torque: 155 horsepower/ 174 lb-ft of torque
Fuel (capacity): Regular (50 L)
Combined fuel economy ratings (L/100 km): 8.8 L/100 km
Observed fuel economy (L/100 km): 10.6 L/100 km
Warranties: 3-years/60,000 km (basic)
Competitors: Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona, Kia Seltos, Mazda CX-30, Subaru Crosstrek
Website: Buick Canada

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