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An awful lot of SUVs get used for short journeys in the town or city, but few of them are as perfectly suited to the urban jungle as the 2021 Buick Encore. The Encore is small and economical to run but it still has a decent amount of interior space for passengers and cargo. The Encore is also nippy, well-equipped and boasts pretty impressive safety credentials for such a pint-sized vehicle, and all this comes at a very reasonable price too.
There are only two trim levels of Buick Encore for the 2021 model year, but really there are three different versions of the Encore to choose between because, despite its size and city-dwelling design, you do still have the option of all-wheel-drive that many smaller SUVs are not bothering to offer these days.
The two trim levels are the base Encore and the Preferred, but if you do want the extra capability of all-wheel-drive for trips through Rock Run in the winter you don’t have the option of the base trim level as AWD is only offered with the Preferred trim.
It becoming quite normal for these smaller SUVs to stick with a single powertrain across all models and the Buick Encore is no exception. The engine powering the little Buick is a 1.4-liter turbo-four that puts out 138 horsepower and 162 lb.-ft. of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission sends the power to the front wheels in the Buick’s standard form, but the drivetrain can be upgraded to all-wheel-drive if you’d like the extra capability.
Small engines like this can sometimes be a little noisy when full loads are pushed under the hardest acceleration, but the ride quality and sound deadening of the 2021 Encore are excellent to produce a more comfortable and pleasurable experience than some might expect from a subcompact SUV.
The Encore is pretty good on gas with the EPA rating front-drive versions of the Buick at 25 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg combined, while the extra weight and capability of AWD see those numbers reduce slightly to 24/29/26 mpg, respectively. Whether you regularly travel up and down the 220 at highway speeds or spend most of your time in and around Stanleytown, Basset and Martinsville, you won’t be making too many stops at your local gas station.
There isn’t a huge difference in specification between the base Encore and the Encore Preferred trim level, but then again, there isn’t a great difference in price between the two either. The main difference between the two is the Encore Preferred offers far more scope for adding options that are just not available for the base model.
Levels of standard features and equipment are high anyway though. The base Encore comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, air conditioning, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot capability, a six-speaker audio system, cruise control, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system that’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible.
The Encore comes with a decent amount of standard and available safety features such as 10 airbags, a rear vision camera and a tire pressure monitoring system. The Buick scored well in IIHS crash tests and the NHTSA gives the Encore a full five-star rating for overall safety.
With its perky styling, lively turbo-four engine, excellent infotainment system, and perfect size for the town or city, the 2021 Buick Encore is a superb option for navigating the urban jungle. Come and see for yourself what a great little SUV the Buick Encore is with a test-drive from us here at GR Chevrolet, 930 Fairystone Park Highway, Stanleytown, VA.