The 2017 Buick Encore is not entirely new, but it has been refreshed and updated in an effort to maintain its relevance in the increasingly competitive segment. Buick’s subcompact SUV is currently on display at the 2016 New York International Auto Show. It’s a five-passenger model that’s set to hit showrooms this fall.
The top changes for the 2017 Encore have a lot to do with its exterior, especially the front fascia. In particular, a winged grille parallels the new design language coming to Buick this summer when the next-generation Buick LaCrosse debuts. The sweeping framework is joined by new headlamps in an effort to refashion the appearance, and full LED headlamps are found on up level models. Similar updates were also applied to the rear combination lamps.
Concept Vehicle Styling Cues
Taking styling cues from a pair of concepts — the Buick Avenir and Avista — the Encore’s body features sculptural surfacing and distinct character lines. Also new for 2017 are body-colored heated side mirrors, a chrome exhaust outlet and three new exterior colors. Overall the look is at once cultivated as it is dynamic, bringing a high-end touch to the category.
Inside, the Encore’s cabin receives a much welcomed rejuvenation to the instrument panel, including a gauge cluster highlighted by a 4.2-inch full-color digital driver’s information center. An all-new center stack display brings in a frameless 8-inch color touch screen for a more sophisticated and polished appearance.
Buick IntelliLink and OnStar 4G LTE
The 2017 Buick Encore also benefits from the latest update to Buick IntelliLink, the brand’s infotainment system. The system supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and includes OnStar 4G LTE with a Wi-Fi hot spot. The LTE connection now permits Encore passengers to access high-speed Internet with as many as seven devices.
Offering room for five, the Buick Encore provides supportive bucket seats up front and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available. The SUV’s storage capacity comes in at 18.8 cubic feet, and expands to 48.4 cubic feet with the rear seat folded.
All Encore models are powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine making 138 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission completes the powertrain. Notably, this SUV is currently EPA-rated at 28/34 mpg city/highway; those numbers should carry forward for 2017.
Buick Encore Safety Features
The Encore’s standard safety features include 10 air bags and a rearview camera. Moreover, a collection of active safety features are available, bringing in rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, rear park sensors and forward collision warning. The current model is also a Top Safety Pick award recipient from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
One of Four New or Updated Models
The Encore is Buick’s best-selling model and one of four updated or new models appearing this year. The Buick Cascada recently debuted and will be followed by the aforementioned 2017 LaCrosse. The all-new Buick Envision SUV will also arrive around the same time as the LaCrosse this summer.
Buick is a rarity among automotive brands as it straddles the line between mainstream and luxury manufacturers. It’s a strategy that has worked especially well for General Motors’ premium make, as evidenced by more than two years of consecutive month-over-month sales increases for the top-selling Buick Encore.