2017 Buick Encore Sport Touring

May 25, 2005
Northern Michigan
I was having a conversation with an elderly lady in the parking lot of the local supermarket today who was driving a 2018 Buick Encore. I asked her how she liked the vehicle and she said she really liked it....easy access/egress, easy to park, etc. It was an AWD model. She mentioned that her brother who passed several months ago also had one which was being sold under his estate. It is a 2017 Sport Touring AWD with 18,000 original miles. I've been doing some research on these vehicles as they seem to get pretty good industry and owner reviews. Although I haven't seen it, my research indicates that model has the newer LE2 engine vs. the older LUV engine (I'm also aware that, while having the same overall displacement, the LE2 was a clean sheet design introduced with the second generation Cruze that put out 15 more horsepower and 29 ft. lb.of torque than the older design and is the "one to get" for it's, better power and comparable fuel economy). Here's where the bubble bursts...the 2016.through 2018 versions of this engine had a problem with cracked pistons. Seems there was a problem with both the dreaded LSPI issue and perhaps an issue with the pistons themselves. It appears that a lot of the piston failures occur pretty early...
around 20k miles or so. I know that there are guys here that have a lot more familiarity with these than I do. Considering that this vehicle is out of warranty, should I even bother looking at it?
Unbiased review from CR.
Driving position

One of the Encore's biggest shortcomings is its cramped driving position. It's like driving a bus, sitting high and upright in a narrow space. While your right shin often rubs against the wide center tunnel, the footwell structure intrudes from the left, and there's precious little stretch-out space for the driver's legs. Since there isn't much room in the footwell, the left footrest winds up too far to the right, and it's also too high.

Front occupants have plenty of head room but there's little shoulder room, so two adults sitting up front may feel like they're rubbing elbows. The driver's seat has a fold-down center armrest, but the passenger does without.

Most of our drivers found they could adjust the tilt-and-telescope steering wheel to a good position, but short drivers found it to be too close, even when pushed in all the way. Short drivers did like the high seating position, which aided their view out.
Seat comfort

The small front seats are well-padded, but cushioning is a bit soft for long term support. Many drivers complained that the bottom cushion was short, reducing thigh support. Some wished the seats were wider, too.

Another common complaint concerned the seatback's manual recline adjustment. This adjustment should be powered, especially in a $30,000 car. To make things worse, the recline lever itself is hard to grasp.

Sitting in back feels like holing up in a cave, thanks to the narrow interior and small windows. However, two adults will find adequate space, with just enough knee room for average height grown-ups. But a short bottom seat cushion limits thigh support. While it's theoretically possible to seat three, the center position is very small, and three in the rear could easily provoke a mutiny.
The PCV is part of the intake manifold and prone to clogging. Other than that they're pretty slow but comfortable and smooth riding.
should I even bother looking at it?


look away
It does say a bit about GM that there is no extended warranty for this...
Unless you really want one, I would pass, seems like a big risk for an unexceptional vehicle.
Yeah...looks like a pass. GM never did a recall...just a tsb and repairs under warranty. Newer models beyond 2018 are supposedly ok.