Buick Encore 2013-2023: Pros and Cons, Common Problems

By Vlad Samarin January 12, 2024
2019 Buick Encore interior 2019 Buick Encore interior.
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The Buick Encore is is a compact crossover SUV. Known for its luxurious and quiet interior, the Encore offers a comfortable driving experience with upscale materials. Its compact size makes it easy to maneuver and park, and the fuel-efficient powertrains contribute to fuel cost savings. While the Encore may have limited cargo space and a small engine, it compensates with advanced safety features and stylish interior.


  • Compact Size: The Buick Encore's compact dimensions make it easy to maneuver and park.
  • Luxurious Interior: In higher trims, the Encore offers a well-designed and upscale interior with quality materials.
  • Quiet Cabin: The Encore is known for its quiet and refined cabin, contributing to a pleasant driving atmosphere.
  • Fuel Efficiency: The compact size and efficient powertrains contribute to lower operating costs. The 2016-2018 Encore with AWD and the 1.4-liter engine is rated at 26/31 mpg city highway.
  • Forward Visibility: The tall seating position provides a good view of the road ahead.
  • Advanced Safety Features: Higher trim levels in later model years come equipped with advanced safety features.


  • Limited Cargo Space: The Encore's compact size may result in limited cargo space, especially when compared to larger SUVs in its segment.
  • Engine Power: The Encore's performance may be considered modest, and some drivers may find the acceleration to be less spirited compared to competitors with more powerful engines.
  • Infotainment System: In older model years, the infotainment system is not as advanced as in more modern vehicles.
  • Reliability: The Encore will have more problems as it ages and some will be expensive to maintain. The turbo engine will need some repairs at higher mileage.
  • Resale Value: The Encore will experience faster depreciation compared to some rivals.
  • Rear Visibility: The compact design and rear styling of the Encore results in limited rearward visibility, making parking and lane changes challenging for some drivers.
2013-2023 Buick Encore Common Problems: Common problems include oil and coolant leaks, Check Engine light issues, overheating, engine driveability issues, stalling, minor electrical and infotainment system glitches. The engine intake manifold, PCV system and the valve cover (camshaft cover) will likely need some repairs down the road. More expensive potential problems include a failing turbocharger, a blown head gasket and a failing catalytic converter. Read below some examples of the common problems.
The service bulletin 16-NA-405 describes the problem with icing in the PCV hose and other areas can cause trouble codes P0299, P0234, P2227, P00C7 to set in cold temperatures. The bulletin recommends a number of modifications as a solution. Here is the link to the bulletin at the NHTSA website.

This Service Coverage N232395300 covers the problem with a purge valve in the 2020 Buick Encore for a period of 15 years or 150,000 miles (240,000 km). The purge valve is the part of the emission control system.
2019 Buick Encore 2019 Buick Encore.
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According to the service bulletin 20-NA-047, front or rear crankshaft oil leak, with the Check Engine light code P1101 could be caused by higher than normal crankcase pressures, due to a plugged positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) orifice. The bulletin provides diagnostic steps and recommends inspecting the camshaft cover and cleaning and replacing orifice if needed.


The Buick Encore is a comfortable stylish around-town vehicle. A luxurious quiet interior with many advanced features is a big plus. It's the type of vehicle that you want to keep clean in and out and maintain it well to last. In general, small turbocharged engines don't last for as long as non-turbo engines of comparable power. This means you want to buy it with low mileage and sell it before problems start to show up.

The key to the longevity of the engine is to keep the oil level and coolant topped up and repair any leaks as soon as possible. Consumer Reports rates only the 2020 Encore 'above average' for reliability. Other model years are rated 'below average' or 'average'. Problem areas, according to CR, include 'Engine' and 'Fuel System/Emissions'.

If you are buying a used Buick Encore, verify that all the maintenance has been done regularly and all recalls are completed. Given the likelihood of engine problems, consider getting an extended warranty, at least for the powertrain (engine + transmission) with no limit per claim. Our recommendation is the 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine over either of the 3-cylinder motors. Use only premium synthetic oil and keep all the maintenance receipts in case some warranty work is needed.

We know that GM warranty coverage is generally good and they may repair some of the common problems under one of their warranty extensions. If you have a problem and you think it's common, research it ahead of time if there was a warranty extension that will cover it; check with your GM dealer.

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