Discover Best Used and Worst Buick Encore Years to Avoid

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

Are you considering purchasing a used small SUV with some premium features to enjoy regular outdoor adventures with friends and family? Welcome to the world of Buick Encore car!

Before you go all out to get your excellent vehicle, let’s remind you there are some model years to be avoided due to common issues that may cause you headaches and heavy repairs.

The 2013, 2014, and 2015 Buick Encore models are some years with significant problems! Don’t let a problematic Buick Encore cause you headaches and stress. Keep reading to find out every detail to land your dream car.

Identifying the Worst Buick Encore Years

This section will outline the worst Buick Encore years to help you make an informed decision.

Buick Encore Years to Avoid

2013 Buick Encore

This was the first year for the Encore, and as expected with many first-generation models, it had several issues.

The 2013 Encore had 46 recorded complaints, which is relatively high for this model year. It is best to avoid this year due to the potential problems you might encounter.

2014 Buick Encore

The 2014 Encore is considered the worst year for the vehicle, with many complaints (45) and expensive issues.

The 2014 model has problems with high repair costs and a low average mileage when these problems occur. So, it’s wise to steer clear of this model year.

2015 Buick Encore

One primary concern with the 2015 Encore is its faulty airbags and seatbelts.

General Motors was forced to recall over 3.6 million vehicles, including the 2015 Encore, due to faulty airbag sensing and diagnostic module (SDM) software.

This poses a significant safety risk, making it essential to avoid this year as well.

2016 Buick Encore

While the 2016 model has fewer reported issues than the previous years, it is still advisable to be cautious when considering this year. Some 2016 Encore models are also affected by minor mechanical problems.

2017 Buick Encore

Though more problematic than earlier models, the 2017 Encore still experiences occasional issues.

Since the later models have significantly improved, you should consider options beyond 2017 for a better ownership experience.

Common Problems

Engine Issues

You may encounter engine problems with the Buick Encore, particularly in the 2013, 2014, and 2015 models.

These issues can manifest as a lack of engine power, which can be frustrating and potentially dangerous while driving. Addressing these issues as soon as they arise is essential to prevent further complications.

Electrical Problems

The Buick Encore has been known to have some electrical system-related troubles. Some of the more common electrical faults include door locks and non-deploying airbags.

These problems can result in inconvenience or even safety hazards, so having them checked out and resolved is vital.

Battery Issues

Battery problems can be a common annoyance in Buick Encores. Some of these vehicles have experienced battery failures before reaching 12,000 miles.

A faulty battery can leave you stranded, and it is essential to keep an eye on your battery’s health and replace it as necessary.

Turbocharger Problems

Another issue you may face is related to the turbocharger system. The Encore has a turbocharged engine designed to improve performance and efficiency.

Unfortunately, some owners have reported problems with the turbocharger system, such as grinding, delayed shifting, and slipping.

Regular maintenance, like timely transmission fluid replacement, can help decrease the risk of these problems.

buick encore problems

Recalls and Safety Concerns

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Recalls

One of the primary years to avoid is the 2015 Buick Encore due to several recalls issued by the NHTSA.

According to NHTSA bulleting, the 2015 model, there were a few significant issues to be aware of:

  • Electrical problems: Some owners reported various electrical issues that could impact your driving experience.
  • Air conditioning issues: Faulty air conditioning systems led to discomfort during hot summer months.
  • Brake problems: Loud grinding noises and the potential risk of accidents were associated with brake issues in the 2015 model.

This year, we faced four recalls, including one for non-deploying airbags. The main recalls and safety risks for the 2015 Buick Encore revolved around:

  • Airbags: The front airbags failed to deploy in certain instances, posing a significant safety risk during a collision.
  • Seatbelts: Some seatbelt issues were also identified, which could compromise passengers’ safety in the event of an accident.
  • Brakes: As mentioned earlier, brake problems were prominent in the 2015 model, putting drivers at risk for potential accidents.

In addition to the 2015 model, the 2013 and 2014 Buick Encore models should also be avoided, as they have higher reported incidences of issues, such as a lack of engine power and door lock problems.

Reliability and Repair Costs

Repair Costs and Factors

Some Buick Encore models, particularly the 2013, 2014, and 2015 models, have been reported to have various issues that could lead to high repair costs.

For example, fixing engine problems on Buick Encore SUVs can cost an average of $1,200, and AC/heater problems on the 2015 model may cost around $1,000.

Some common factors that can contribute to high repair costs include:

  • Lack of engine power
  • Door lock issues
  • AC/heater malfunctions
  • Engine starting problems

Dependability and Ratings

Despite issues with some earlier models, the Buick Encore has generally shown improvement in dependability over the years.

After the 2018 model, customer complaints have been minimal, and the brand has pledged to find and fix any problems through continuous development. The 2016, 2018, and 2019 models have received positive user reviews for reliability.

Not every Buick Encore model will experience these issues, but it is essential to be aware of potential problems when seeking a dependable and cost-effective vehicle.

Carefully weigh the factors that may impact the vehicle’s reliability and repair costs to ensure you make an informed decision.

Buick Encore Best Year to Buy

Based on the information gathered, the best years for Buick Encores include 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022. Let’s explore the reasons why these years stand out.

2018 Buick Encore

The 2018 Buick Encore is highly recommended due to its improved reliability and minor issues reported on

With its upgraded performance and features, this model year is an excellent choice for those searching for a reliable vehicle.

2019 Buick Encore

Similarly, the 2019 model offers enhanced performance and better dependability than its predecessors. With numerous improvements in design and features, you’ll be satisfied with the refined driving experience this model year provides.

2020 Buick Encore

The 2020 model marked the beginning of a new generation for the Buick Encore, which brought significant updates and improvements over the earlier years.

As part of this new generation, expect better overall performance and advanced features that make this a reliable and attractive option.

2021 Buick Encore

Continuing the trend of refinement, the 2021 model also boasts improved reliability and modern features.

You’ll find powerful performance, impressive fuel efficiency, and user-friendly technology, making this model year a wise and reliable choice for your new vehicle.

2022 Buick Encore

Lastly, the 2022 Encore is another solid choice as it builds upon the previous years’ improvements in performance, reliability, and user experience.

With advanced technology and modern design, you can confidently consider this model year when searching for a Buick Encore.

Advice and Considerations for Used Vehicle Buyers

To make the best decision, you must familiarize yourself with specific model years to avoid.

Steer clear of the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Buick Encore models, as they are known for having more engine issues, braking problems, and interior faults.

On the other hand, you should consider the 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 Buick Encore years, as these models have shown better reliability and fewer reported complaints.

In addition to avoiding specific years, you should also be cautious about purchasing a Buick Encore with a high mileage. Lower mileage vehicles are more likely to have fewer issues and longer life spans.

  • Cargo space: Ensure the Encore model you’re considering offers enough space for your needs.
  • Technology: Ensure the vehicle has convenient features like Android Auto and parking sensors.
  • Safety features: Look for advanced safety features like lane departure warnings.

It’s worth noting that General Motors has issued recalls for the Buick Encore over the years.

For example, the 2017 model had four recalls, while the 2021 model had six recalls. When considering a used vehicle, check its recall history and whether the necessary repairs have been made.

Lastly, take the car for a test drive to assess acceleration, listen for abnormal noises, and check if the vehicle handles well over bumps on the road.

Try testing the key fob, door locks, and front seats in the test drive. Any issues with these components could indicate a dead battery, a common problem in some Buick Encore models.


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