We’re still about a week shy of the vernal equinox, so snowy reviews are still fair game in our book. A Motor Trend writer braved the polar vortex in a 2014 Buick Encore and was very impressed with how it handled the white, fluffy stuff.
One feature of the Encore that would be tough to live without in winter is the remote start. Despite sub-zero temperatures, MT said the car never failed to start. By the time they left the house and walked out to it, the windshields were easy to clear and the inside was “toasty warm.” Granted, the Encore will only stay on for ten minutes after remote start, and if you make a habit of letting it warm up, you’re going to see that reflect negatively on your fuel economy. When it’s that cold, though, we think it’s worth it.
The Encore driven in this review was front-wheel drive. It’s available with all-wheel drive, but the writer found two wheels was enough to get through the slush safely. They appreciated the high ground clearance giving them a lift over the fresh powder, but they also liked how the Encore’s narrow breadth made it easier to negotiate the road with snow piles encroaching on either side. The 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder engine also provides more than adequate power to traverse those streets.
Safety tech becomes even more important in adverse conditions, and MT was glad to say that the Encore’s blind-spot monitoring system was a big help in dealing with frosted mirrors and inexperienced winter drivers. The interior is suitably cozy, and for a luxury crossover, this Buick is quite reasonable.