The 2014 Buick Encore may be small, but it doesn't deliver the fuel efficiency you might expect from a subcompact car. The Encore is rated at 28 miles per gallon combined (25 mpg city, 33 mpg highway) in its standard front-wheel drive configuration. Add all-wheel drive, however, and that falls to 26 mpg combined (23 mpg city, 30 mpg highway).
During a four-day test drive that comprised about two-thirds highway miles, we achieved 28.1 mpg in the AWD Encore. That's still significantly lower than the 31 mpg combined rating for the Chevy Sonic that uses the same engine, and it points out the penalty of the Buick's added weight, equipment, and available all-wheel drive.
Buick says the Encore earns the best gas mileage ratings for any crossover from a domestic carmaker. That may be true, but it leaves out the Subaru XV Crosstrek, which matches the Buick with a combined rating of 28 mpg.
Buick points to the MINI Countryman, at 27 mpg combined, or the Volkswagen Tiguan, at 23 mpg. We'd also suggest the Nissan Juke, rated at 29 mpg combined--or 27 mpg with all-wheel drive--although in our experience, the all-wheel-drive Juke returned significantly lower real-world mileage than its rating.
The Encore's numbers just aren't that high, when a Ford Escape with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine gets 26 mpg (or 25 mpg with all-wheel drive) in a larger, more capable vehicle with an interior just as nice.