An all-new Buick Encore will be unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show next week before making its way to our shores, probably before the end of the year. With its replacement being pretty much in sight, Kelley Blue Book took the 2019MY SUV out for a spin.
Positioned in the subcompact SUV segment as an alternative to the likes of the BMW X1 and Volvo XC40, it’s Buick’s smallest high-riding vehicle. However, its dimensions and pricing, which starts at $23,200, actually place it against non-premium small crossovers such as the Toyota C-HR, Nissan Kicks, Mazda CX-3 and Chevrolet Trax.
There are four trim levels to choose from. The base Encore features LED taillights, keyless entry&go, a 4.2-inch driver information center and an 8-inch infotainment system. The Preferred grade starts from $24,600 and adds smartphone connectivity and a bunch of other items, while the Sport Touring brings a rear spoiler and 18-inch wheels, front fog lamps and remote starter system for an MSRP of $25,800. The top-of-the-line Essence starts at $29,300 and adds leather seats with heating function at the front, a heated steering wheel and rear cross traffic alert.
You might want to stay away from the base 138 horsepower engine, though, and choose the 153 hp 1.4-liter turbo instead, which will make overtaking much easier. Also, the all-wheel drive system is a $1,500 optional extra, so if you live in cold climate states, then you should consider ticking that box.
Overall, the 2019 Encore has a nicely designed interior, average boot space with the rear seats both up and down, and a cramped rear bench that won’t make tall occupants happy. The tiny storage spaces weren’t appreciated by the reviewer, and neither was the stop/start feature that cannot be disabled. For the rest of her notes and to see if the outgoing Encore is worth buying over the competition, you should check out the video right after the jump.