The 2017 Buick Encore is a cute little crossover, but just big enough to be called one. However, it’s also small and light enough to not scare off the larger audiences. Since its introduction in 2013 the Buick Encore experienced a steady growth in sales numbers. Especially notable was the 2015 peak with a sale of around 70,000 units, which according to Buick accounted for a third of their total sales. Not bad at all, and at the same time triumphantly disproving the creed “bigger is better”.
Now, only four years after the car’s introduction, the Encore gets what is called its mid-cycle update. Some design changes and tech updates are added to the 2017 Buick Encore, just sufficient to remain a best-seller.
Starting at the front where the biggest change is found, in the grille. The stand-out winged Buick grille is new on the front and is embellished by the fresh tri-colour Buick emblem. The first Buick model to sport the warm appearance of the tri-colour emblem is the 2017 Buick LaCrosse. Then, the headlights are new, with higher trims getting LEDs as standard. Also, the taillights on every trim are replaced by LEDs too. Then, down below are some new foglights, in a different shape and with different lamps in it.
Another new exterior feature are side mirrors painted in the body colour with heated glass. Then, the wheels are now available in 18 inch rollers and there’s a new chrome exhaust outlet. Ebony Twilight Metallic, White Frost Metallic and Black Cherry Metallic are the names of the three new exterior colours that are added to the line-up.
All in all, these exterior updates take the look of the 2017 Buick Encore forward to a more contemporary appearance.
Buick is a brand that tries to focus on creating the best looking and most comfortable interiors. Especially the Encore, which is put in the market as a premium small crossover, gets special treatment by the manufacturer. Higher trims are rested with leather interior in multiple contrasting colour sets.
The Encore’s center stack features a new, frameless colour touch 8 inch infotainment screen and an updated instrument panel. That one has a gauge cluster with a 4.2 inch wide driver information screen, in full colour.
The interior has a flowing wrap-around dashboard, with silver accents. The infotainment system offers 2 USB-ports and an Auxiliary jack input. On higher trims, the steering wheel is wrapped in leather and comes with audio and phone controls.
Finally, all the trims get Active Noise Cancellation in the cabin and a standard six speaker audio system. The electrical and sound engineers from BOSE created a high quality seven speaker audio system, which is standard on the higher trims. We expect the 2018 Buick Regal to adopt the sleek, modern and simplistic interior of the Encore.
Then on to the engine of the 2017 Buick Encore. The standard engine is a 1.4 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with Variable Valve Timing, good for 138 horsepower. The same engine is directly injected on the Sport Touring, Preferred II, Essence and Premium trim, resulting in 153 horsepower. These higher trims also get an automatic start/stop system, all trims get a six speed automatic transmission.
All in all, the engine specs are quite good. The two engines offer at least a choice, although the amount of horsepower isn’t the best available. The decent and compact 2018 crossover Ford EcoSport offers a similar engine choice.
Standard on all trims is front wheel drive, with optional All Wheel Drive available on all models except the lowest 1SV, at a premium.
Standard tech specs are plenty on the 2017 Buick Encore. The infotainment section offers a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming. The IntelliLink infotainment software comes with things like voice recognition and a three months trial of SiriusXM digital radio, weather and data services. IntelliLink also offers compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for best synchronization with your smartphone.
Finally, all trims get the Keyless Unlock and Start package. This package comes with a keyfob that senses proximity and automatically unlocks the car. Then, when inside the vehicle and having a foot on the brake, the car starts with a push of the start-button.
Now on to the Encore’s safety features. All trims are rested with Buick’s StabiliTrak stability control system, which helps the car remain on track in low-traction conditions. Also, all trims get a rear vision camera. Higher trims are advanced with Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning. Finally, there’s Front and Rear Ultrasonic Park Assist. This feature uses beeps to indicate the proximity of the car to other cars or poles when parallel parking.
Price, release and sale date
Prices for the 2017 Buick Encore start at $23,915 for the 1SV, the lowest trim. Then, one trim higher is the Preferred, at a price of $25,290, followed up by the Sport Touring at $26,490. The Encore Preferred II starts at $27,790, add $2,000 and you have the starting price of the Essence, at $29,790. Finally, the highest trim, named Premium, starts at just over $30,000, at $31,390.
The 2017 Buick Encore has been on sale since December 2016 and is doing really well in the US.
The 2017 Buick Encore is the North-American twin of the European Opel or Vauxhall Mokka X, which has been on sale since earlier in 2016.