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GREEN | 7 out of 10
2013 Buick Encore: 25 miles per gallon city, 33 mpg highway, 28 mpg combined
fuel economy of the portly Buick Encore is merely adequate at an EPA rated 25 mpg City/33 mpg Highway in its front-wheel-drive configuration.
After a few hundred miles in the Encore, the digital readout showed 25.9 mpg.
the automaker's Hydra-Matic six-speed automatic that mixes a short first gear with a long overdrive in an effort to improve initial acceleration and fuel economy
the upside of its smallish powertrain is thrift
It's a stretch to call it a crossover vehicle, we think, but Buick says the 2013 Encore earns the best fuel economy numbers of any crossover from a domestic automaker.
At 25 miles per gallon city, 33 miles per gallon highway, and 28 mpg combined, the front-wheel drive model of the Encore does beat out some of the higher-rated domestics--including GM's own 32-mpg-highway Chevy Equinox. Add all-wheel drive, however, and the ratings fall to 26 mpg combined, made up of 23 mpg city, 30 mpg highway.
The 2013 Ford Escape is rated as high as 26 mpg combined with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine--and offers significantly more interior space--but an all-wheel-drive Escape with the same engine loses 1 mpg, falling to 25 mpg combined.
The Chevy Sonic, which shares the Encore's powertrain but weighs in a few hundred pounds lighter, is rated by the EPA at 31 mpg combined with the same engine and transmission as the Encore.
Buick points out other competitors such as the MINI Countryman, at 25/32 mpg, and the VW Tiguan, at 21/26 mpg. We'd also add the Nissan Juke to the pile, at 27/32 mpg, or 29 mpg combined--better in most measures than the Encore, and more or less similarly sized, if not really the premium experience promised by the Encore.
The Encore's gas mileage reads well on the page, but it's just on par with much more roomy crossovers.