Buick's tiny Encore is no stranger to exceeding expectations, most notably ride comfort and interior quality for a $25,000 small SUV. The subcompact SUV can easily add winter drivability to its list of accomplishments. After a storm dumped around 19 inches of snow on Chicagoland, my test all-wheel-drive 2015 Encore surprised me by proving it was up to the task.
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With the Encore buried up to its front bumper and the undercarriage flattening the big snow mound underneath, the car clawed for traction and pulled itself up and over piles of snow with an almost Subaru-like confidence. Cars.com's long-term Jeep Cherokee test car with the basic all-wheel-drive system didn't muscle through the same snow pile as confidently the Encore.