2020 Buick Encore vs. 2021 Buick Encore

March 8th, 2021 by

The Encore might be the smallest SUV in the Buick lineup, but good things come in small packages. It offers the same upscale look and feel as its larger siblings, with comfortable seats in the front and the back, modern technology features, and lots of safety equipment. The 2021 Encore arrived with just a few small changes to set it apart from the 2020 model. It has a streamlined trim lineup and a new Dark Moon Blue Metallic exterior paint color. Let’s take a look at the 2020 Buick Encore vs. the 2021 Encore.

The Trim Levels

2021 Buick Encore Blue

Image via Flickr by Truckhardware

The 2020 Encore has two more trim levels than the 2021 model. Both lineups start with the 1SV as the entry-level trim. It has 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless proximity entry, LED running lights, rear privacy glass, and roof rails. 

The 2020 Encore then moves to the Sport Touring trim. This adds fog lights, a rear spoiler, a remote start, and some sporty styling elements. Buick dropped this trim from the 2021 model, which bumps from the 1SV right to the Preferred.

 The Preferred trim for the 2020 Encore is a mid-level model and adds to the base with a cargo cover, floor mats, and the option for several packages to add features. One of the most major differences between the two model years is the Preferred is the top-level trim for the 2021 Encore. It has the same standard equipment as the 1SV, but it adds a sunroof and some additional features in the cabin. It also offers a few packages if you want extra safety equipment. The 2021 Encore Preferred options include:

  • The Safety Package. This add-on comes with a blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert.
  • The Safety Package II. Add this for a forward collision alert system, lane-departure warning, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and front and rear parking sensors.

These packages are not available for the 2020 Encore Preferred, but the 2021 model year has a top-level Essence trim. It adds LED headlights, comes standard with the features of the Safety Package, and offers the Safety Package II equipment as an option.

Power and Performance

Power for the Encore, whether you have the 2020 or the 2021 model, comes from a 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder gas engine that generates 138 horsepower. Buick gives this engine a six-speed automatic transmission to work with, and it comes with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is optional for the 2021 Preferred and the higher 2020 trims.

Whether you have the 2020 or the 2020 Encore, it provides a smooth and gentle ride over any road surface. The suspension eats up road imperfections, and the small size makes the Encore easy to maneuver. You’ll feel just a minimal amount of body lean around tight corners, and if you need to slip to a tight parking spot, this little SUV will do it with ease.

If you’re looking for a fuel-efficient ride, either the 2020 or 2021 Encore will deliver. You can expect to get up to 25 mpg in the city and 30 mpg when driving on the highway in an Encore equipped with front-wheel drive.

The Cabin Features

The 2020 Encore and 2021 Encore both have room for five people and have a surprisingly spacious cabin for such a compact vehicle. Buick has a reputation for upscale, premium vehicles and the Encore delivers, no matter which model year or trim you have. Standard features for the 1SV include a power-adjustable driver’s seat, a combination of cloth and simulated leather upholstery, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The 2020 Encore Essence adds dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, and a six-way power-adjustable passenger seat. It also has heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and it comes with a heated steering wheel and memory settings for the power-adjustable driver’s seat. These features are not available for the 2021 Encore, which tops out with the Preferred.

Cargo space in both model years is impressive, with 18.8 cubic feet behind the rear seats and just over 48 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. The front passenger seat also folds down flat, which creates a longer space when you need to transport large items.

The Technology

Whether you have the 2020 Encore or the 2021, it comes well-equipped with the latest tech features. The entry-level 1SV comes standard with:

  • An 8-inch touch-screen display.
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
  • Bluetooth.
  • Voice recognition.
  • Satellite radio.
  • A Wi-Fi hot spot.
  • Siri Eyes Free.
  • Two USB ports.
  • A six-speaker Bose stereo system.

The 2020 Encore Sport Touring trim adds a seven-speaker Bose stereo system and HD radio as part of an optional package, and the Essense comes standard with a 120-volt power outlet. This top-level trim for the 2020 model year also offers the option for the Experience Buick Package with navigation, and you can also add the Bose stereo with the Essence.

With the removal of the Essence trim from the 2021 model, most of these extra tech features are not available, except for the 120-volt power outlet, which Buick added to the 2021 Preferred as a standard feature.

The Safety Features

All of the Encore models come standard with a rearview camera, dual front air bags, and side curtain air bags. Front knee air bags also come standard for both the 2020 model and the 2021 model. OnStar is another standard safety feature for every trim in both model years.

The high-end 2020 Encore Essence comes standard with a blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert, with the optional Safety Package II adding forward collision alert, a lane-departure warning system, and front and rear parking sensors. You’ll also get an advanced cabin filter with this optional package.

Buick didn’t make many changes to the 2021 Buick Encore, but what did change is significant. Stop by United Chevrolet Buick GMC to take a drive in either a 2020  Encore or the 2021 model. We have a variety of trim levels to choose from and both model years so you can find the Encore that fits your lifestyle and has the features that you want.

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