Which Buick Encore Years to Avoid and Why? (Explained)

Since 2012, Buick Encores have started rolling off the manufacturing line at General Motors factories. Despite the fact that Buick is no longer a household name, it remains a viable alternative for car buyers looking for a secure, affordable, and sophisticated vehicle.

However, each Buick model and year has a number of pros and cons. After just one model year, the second-generation Buick Encore is already plagued by flaws and complaints. The most commonly encountered faults with first-generation automobiles include battery issues, non-deploying airbags, and engine problems.

In this in-depth research, I’ll look at the best Buick Encore years to buy and the worst Buick Encore years to avoid, so you can acquire the best model.

Buick Encore Years to Avoid (List of Years)

There were some bumps on the road for the Buick Encore when it was originally launched in the United States in 2013.

As a result of this, the number of complaints against Buick’s vehicles dropped dramatically.

According to reviews on several websites, I advise you to stay away from the following Buick Encore year models:

  • 2013 Buick Encore
  • 2014 Buick Encore
  • 2015 Buick Encore

These Encore model years have a history of having more engine and braking problems, recalls, and interior faults, so if you do decide to buy one of these cars you should be prepared.

The 2013 model also had engine troubles, including slow acceleration and low power. Many drivers had to have their turbochargers replaced, which is a costly fix.

The most common issue was a dead battery, especially with the 2014 model. Some drivers experienced problems with their car batteries after a few years or even months. Something was causing the battery to decrease more faster than usual, and in some cases, even a new battery did not fully address the issue.

The 2017 model year has also received concerns about engine and brake issues. Therefore, it would be prudent to avoid this year as well.

Worst Year of Buick Encore:

According to CarComplaints, the 2014 Buick Encore is the worst model year for the vehicle.

Complaints totaled 45, closely followed by Encore’s 2013 model (46 recorded complaints).

However, even though the 2013 Buick Encore has the most total complaints, the 2014 model year is worse due to other relevant causes, such as a greater repair cost or more problems at lower mileage.

The 2014 Encore users regularly found themselves in a situation where the battery abruptly died out, and this problem was particularly common.

What Makes These Buick Encore Years Worth Avoiding?

2013 Buick Encore Problems:

Because of its high maintenance costs, pricey troubles, and short average mileage at which these problems might arise, the 2014 Buick Encore is certainly the worst model in the lineup.

The NHTSA had a lot to say about the engine that year, but the interior and different electrical faults were the most common complaints.

The model is also the victim of  six recalls, which tarnished its image. Both airbags and the car’s front seats are the subject of large-scale recalls, affecting over three million vehicles each.

Airbags are supposed to protect you in the event of an accident, but in the encore 2014 model, they were unable to deploy in the event of a collision, which is a very severe concern.

The chairs, on the other hand, had a more serious issue: they wouldn’t remain in place and make your driving difficult. The model’s battery issues are most prominent.

There were also issues with the doors, specifically the locks that didn’t function.

2014 Buick Encore Problems:

The 2014 year’s Buick Encore is a great example of why you should never buy the initial model of a new car series. This model had a slew of engine issues and four recalls when it went on sale.

Even while many of the recalls only touch a few thousand vehicles, the most serious one was concerning the front seats not being anchored in the event of an accident.

Door locks are the most common issue with the 2014 Buick Encore’s interior accessories. Many people who own the Encore said that they couldn’t open the door with their key fob.

The 2014 model have the same problem as earlier models. For example, the power cable for the engine block heater was broken, which could cause the driver to get an electric shock.

There was leaking and rough running in the engine. There was not enough power, and the turbocharger was going to fail at the same time. All of this would lead to engine failure, necessitating the purchase of a new one by the owner.

2015 Buick Encore Problems:

The brakes, air conditioning, and electrical problems that the NHTSA received reports of in the 2015 Buick Encore.

The vehicle was also the subject of four separate recalls, including the front airbag problem, where the airbags failed to deploy.

One of the most frequent issues with the 2015 Buick Encore’s brakes is the risk of an accident. Owners have reported hearing strange noises when driving or braking.

When driving, it would shake and jerk and make an audible buzzing sound that ruined the pleasure of riding in the automobile.

In addition, for electrical concerns, a dead battery as well as multiple warning lights and console lights have been recorded.

Which Buick Encore Years are Safe to Buy?

Like any automobile, certain model years have a better track record in terms of dependability and technical concerns.

All of the following Encore models are safe and reliable, with few user complaints. So, if you’re looking for an Encore, these are the best years to buy:

  • 2016 Buick Encore
  • 2018 Buick Encore
  • 2019 Buick Encore
  • 2020 Buick Encore
  • 2021 Buick Encore

The 2020 and 2021 Buick Encore are the greatest models in the series, with no complaints at all, according to my analysis.

The Buick Encore had a makeover in 2017 and a new generation in 2020. While certain model years are better than others, most Encores are recognized for being reliable and a fantastic used car option.

Each model year of the Buick Encore shows a distinct trend of progression. Carcomplaints.com has received virtually no complaints since 2018. Buick appears to be committed to discovering and fixing any faults with its vehicles.

Here is a fast complaint chart that I obtained from carcomplaints, so that you can determine for yourself which model is the best and worse.

Model YearComplaints RecordedRecalls
2013 Buick Encore466
2014 Buick Encore454
2015 Buick Encore394
2016 Buick Encore202
2017 Buick Encore222
2018 Buick Encore60
2019 Buick Encore52
2020 Buick Encore00
2021 Buick Encore00


The Buick Encore may have had a rough start, but it looks like it has figured things out and fixed the big problems it was known for.

Since then, Buick’s SUV portfolio has become one of the most well regarded in the industry, with models like the 2020 Buick Encore, which is perfect.

Despite the fact that the 2014 model is plagued with issues and challenges, the Buick Encore has an overall reliability rating of 4.0 out of 5.0.

Despite the fact that I highlighted the years you should avoid and the best year to buy a Buick encore, I still advise you to proceed with care if you are considering purchasing a Buick Encore from any of these years and to have it thoroughly inspected by a skilled technician.

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