Buick has come a long way in the production of sport utility vehicles (SUVs). Notably, the demand for SUVs has skyrocketed in the last couple of years, and most car manufacturers are working extra hard to meet customer needs. These days, Buick offers SUVs of all kinds and sizes, some of which include the Encore, the Envision, and the Enclave.
But if we look closely, Buick excels at producing compact vehicles that meet the needs of daily drivers, and this tradition goes way back. The Encore was the first subcompact crossover SUV this prominent American brand introduced to the world. That was almost ten years ago.
Since it was launched, the Buick Encore has been aimed at a specific niche that seeks practicality but not necessarily excessive passenger and cargo space. As such, the Encore gained a lot of attention over the years, which only inspired Buick to continue developing this compact SUV.
A careful examination of the 2022 Buick Encore reveals that the SUV has changed significantly in comparison with the first model. Let's take a trip from the present down memory lane in an analysis of the evolution of the amazing Buick Encore.
The First Generation Of The Buick Encore
The first-generation Encore debuted in 2012 and went on sale at the end of the same year, but it was marketed as the 2013 model. Until 2015, customers could choose between four models: Base, Convenience, Leather, and Premium. All featured the 1.4-liter turbocharged DOHC I-4 engine with an output of 138 horsepower at 4,900 RPM, paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Generally speaking, the first-generation Encore is an efficient daily ride with decent handling and adequate comfort. Although not anywhere near being a power machine, the first Encore is quite stylish, fun, and roomy for a compact SUV. It also helps that the first-generation is soft and nice-looking inside, with plenty of features for an enjoyable cruise.
Buick Encore Received A Nice Facelift In 2017
In 2016, Encore got a little more power to address customers' needs for a less sluggish acceleration, reaching an output of 153 horsepower at 5600 RPM. But the real facelift arrived in the next year. Unfortunately, that didn't include more power, but customers did have an option to choose the 153 hp turbocharged engine on higher trim levels.
The facelift got reflected mostly in the overall design. The 2017 Buick Encore received a new fascia with a more subtle grille, LED headlamps, and tail lamps. Inside, the model got a more modern styling with a sleeker dashboard and a 4.2-inch color information center.
The Second Generation Of The Buick Encore Arrived In 2020
The second generation of the Buick Encore arrived in 2020, but it oddly didn't introduce many new features. In fact, the 2020 Buick Encore dropped the more powerful inline-four engine and kept the less impressive 138 hp version. Also, the model dropped some package features, particularly in the Sport Touring.
To give Buick some credit, the 2020 Encore did introduce a more luxurious interior with a bigger screen and some nice accents. But in summary, Buick could do better with the new generation and make it more appealing than the previous versions.
The bright side of the story comes in the form of the Buick Encore GX, though. The all-new Encore model is a little roomier, more powerful, and more stylish than its cousin.
How Did The Subcompact Crossover Change Over 2021 And 2022?
To be completely honest, the 2021 Buick Encore didn't change much compared to the previous years. Unlike what everyone was probably expecting, Buick didn't return the more powerful engine option. The 2021 Encore is still stuck with the 138 hp inline-four powerplant.
What's even more surprising is that this model got downsized to only two trims. Between the Base and the Premium trim, only the latter has all-wheel drive. Buick also added some extra color options to its palettes, as it now include the Dark Moon Blue Metallic and Cinnabar Metallic, but that's about it. The manufacturer probably focused all the energy on the Encore GX, and we have no other explanation for this lack of updates.
Maybe Buick did eventually listen to the critics, as the 2022 Buick Encore once again feature the 155-hp turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine. But that's still not a reason for too much excitement. In retrospect, this amount of power was available for years.
Surely, the 2022 Buick Encore is more modern, with quite a few high-end tech features, but it still doesn't offer any significant updates. In the end, it's the same compact and visually appealing SUV that does very well on commutes, but lacks the power to be an exciting car. Therefore, if you want to save a few bucks on your new buy, you may as well consider getting a used Buick Encore of any year.