Buick’s smash hit gets a mid-cycle refresh

Buick is giving its smallest crossover a mid-cycle refresh only four years after its initial debut. The 2017 Buick Encore now sports a new face, an updated interior, and some new in-dash technology. The changes aren’t drastic, but should help keep the compact crossover in the spotlight for shoppers.

The Encore has been a big hit for General Motors, selling 67,500 examples in 2015. That’s up from 48,900 units in 2014 and 32,000 units in 2013. Buick says the Encore accounts for a third of its total vehicle sales, so the 2016 model year will likely be another record-breaking year, as well.

“The Buick Encore created the premium small SUV segment and remains the top choice for customers seeking premium features and dependability coupled with timeless design,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick Sales, Service and Marketing. “In a rapidly evolving segment, the Encore continues to lead with smart, purposeful updates and a new level of technology-infused elegance and refinement.

While it’s highly debatable if the Encore created the premium small crossover segment, the Encore offers consumers the high-riding feel of larger crossovers and SUVs without the bulky size. Still, the Encore offers room for five and with a decent amount of cargo room. Folding the rear seats down results in even more room.

Like its Chevrolet Trax counterpart, the Encore’s 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and available AWD offer the right amount of power for the 3,300-pound vehicle. These mechanicals aren’t changing for the 2017 refresh, but there’s plenty to talk about. Keep reading for the full run-down of Buick’s updates.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Buick Encore.

  • 2017 Buick Encore
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    six-speed automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    138
  • Torque @ RPM:
    148
  • Displacement:
    1.4 L
  • 0-60 time:
    9 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    120 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    25000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2017 Buick Encore High Resolution Exterior
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The majority of changes for the 2017 Encore are found up front. The new grille features Buick’s winged grille design with the new tri-color Buick emblem. New front headlights and restyled fog lights give the crossover a more upscale look. Higher trimmed Encore models even get full LED headlights.

The LED treatment continues out back, with full LED taillights on every trim. There’s also a new exhaust tip, body-color exterior mirrors with heated glass, new 18-inch wheels, and three new exterior color options. They include Black Cherry Metallic, Ebony Twilight Metallic, and White Frost Metallic.

Interior

2017 Buick Encore High Resolution Interior
- image 670165
The Encore’s interior digs are also refreshed with a new dashboard design and more premium material usage

The Encore’s interior digs are also refreshed with a new dashboard design and more premium material usage. The driver now has an updated gauge cluster with a 4.2-inch color information screen. The center stack is better blended into the horizontal dashboard for a more upscale look. There’s also a new eight-inch infotainment screen with a frameless screen design. Buick then loaded the latest version of its IntelliLink infotainment software into the system, giving the Encore Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Like other IntelliLink-equipped vehicles, the system offers OnStar’s 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.

The second row and cargo area carry over unchanged for the 2017 model year, though most Buick fans won’t complain. The Encore offers up to 48.4 cubic feet of cargo room with the second row folded flat. The 60/40 split bench offers room for three across, though most will be more happy only loading two passenger in back.

Buick’s “QuietTuning” with the Bose Active Noise Cancellation system carries over as well, making the interior quieter than its Chevy, Opel, or Vauxhall cousins.

Drivetrain

2017 Buick Encore High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The Encore’s sole engine option is the familiar 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. The transversely mounted engine offers 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque on lower level trims. Opting for the Sport Touring Edition, Leather, or Premium trim levels boosts power to 153 horses and 177 pound-feet thanks to direct injection and other upgrades. The high-tune version also comes with an automatic engine start/stop system.

Opting for the Sport Touring Edition, Leather, or Premium trim levels boosts power to 153 horses and 177 pound-feet thanks to direct injection and other upgrades

Regardless of tune, the engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that powers the front wheels. Those in northern climates might find the available AWD system handy, as the system automatically transfers power to the rear axle when traction becomes an issue.

The EPA rates the 2016 Encore at 25 mpg city and 33 mpg highway for the base-tuned 1.4-liter with FWD. Adding AWD decreased fuel economy to 23 and 30 mpg respectively. The Encore proves adding power doesn’t always hurt efficiency, as the 153-horsepower version is EPA-rated for 28 and 34 mpg on the city and highway loops with FWD and 26 and 32 mpg with the AWD. These numbers aren’t expected to change for 2017.

Prices

Pricing for the updated Buick Encore shouldn’t change all that much from the current model, which is priced starting at $24,065. We’ll bring you updated pricing info once Buick released it.

Competition

Volkswagen TIguan

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan High Resolution Exterior
- image 645787

Buick lists the Tiguan as the main rival to the Encore. The Tiguan does cost a little more, starting at $26,255, but it is also a slightly larger vehicle with a more powerful engine. Power comes VW’s proven 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 200 horsepower.

Read our full review of the Volkswagen TIguan here.

Mini Countryman

2015 Mini Countryman High Resolution Exterior
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Starting at $22,750, the Mini Countryman is another vehicle that the Encore is positioned against. The Countryman has less of a premium look and feel than the Encore or Tiguan, but it does offer a trio of engine options, ranging from the base 121-horsepower model to the John Cooper Works model with its 208-horsepower output. Along with the Nissan Juke, the Mini Countryman has a sportier attitude than most other subcompact crossovers.

Read our full review of the Mini Counryman here.

Conclusion

2017 Buick Encore High Resolution Exterior
- image 670167

The upgrades on the 2017 Encore should help it gain an even larger following. The little crossover has proved a very valuable asset for Buick, as the brand has suffered from relatively slow sales over the past decade.

Though the front looks much more handsome, most will remember the changes to the interior. The upgrades are far more than we expected with a Cadillac-like dash that looks far more premium than before. The new gauge cluster and infotainment system are far better looking and should help sell Encores to more discerning buyer, likely boosting its sales figures to yet another record-setting year.

  • Leave it
    • Plenty of lower-priced options on the market

Spy Shots

2017 Buick Encore Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Buick Encore Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Buick Encore Exterior Spyshots
- image 633142

Press Release

Buick today introduced the new 2017 Encore, strengthening the appeal of America’s most popular small SUV with more refined styling and new connectivity technology – including available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

2017 Buick Encore High Resolution Interior
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A new front-end appearance and a new premium interior highlight the visual refinements, while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported by a next-generation IntelliLink system featuring an 8-inch-diagonal color touch screen.

Push-button start, keyless unlock via the exterior door handles and an 8-inch color touchscreen highlight the Encore’s roster of new standard features.

“The Buick Encore created the premium small SUV segment and remains the top choice for customers seeking premium features and dependability coupled with timeless design,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick Sales, Service and Marketing. “In a rapidly evolving segment, the Encore continues to lead with smart, purposeful updates and a new level of technology-infused elegance and refinement.

Introduced in 2013, the Encore quickly carved out a niche of its own, offering the premium features typically associated with larger luxury SUVs but with greater maneuverability. It quickly rose to the top of the fast-growing small SUV market, topping it in 2014 and 2015.

Encore was Buick’s best-selling vehicle in North America in 2015, accounting for nearly a third of overall sales. Its sales were up 34 percent for the first two months of 2016, extending a year-over-year sales increase streak to 26 months.

Overall, SUVs now account for approximately 60 percent of all Buick sales, up from 34 percent prior to the introduction of the Enclave in 2007. Starting this summer with the arrival of the Envision – which slots directly between the Encore and Enclave – Buick will offer SUVs in the market’s three most popular segments.

2017 Buick Encore High Resolution Interior
- image 670165

The 2017 Encore goes on sale this fall, initially offered in five trim levels: Encore (1SB), Encore Sport Touring (1SH), Encore Convenience (1SD), Encore Leather (1SL) and Encore Premium (1SN). Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive available.

It is the fourth all-new or significantly updated Buick coming in 2016, joining the Cascada convertible, Envision compact SUV and LaCrosse sedan.

Sculptural Beauty

The new design features the sculptural surfacing and elegant line work that continues to distinguish the Buick brand. The addition of the winged grille with Buick’s new tri-color insignia, new front headlamps and rear LED signature tail lamps contemporize the Encore and set up the visual flow around the entire vehicle. Uplevel models receive Buick’s full LED headlamps, which provide efficient, clear lighting of the road ahead.

“Sporting cues first shown on the award-winning Avenir and Avista concepts, the 2017 Encore embraces Buick’s modern design aesthetic,” said Holt Ware, design director, Buick Exteriors. “The Encore is a crossover known for its presence – the appearance is sleek, muscular and modern.”

Also new are a chrome exhaust outlet, body-color heated outside mirrors, a new 18-inch wheel design and three exterior colors: Black Cherry Metallic, Ebony Twilight Metallic and White Frost Metallic.

Premium interior

Building on Buick’s reputation for premium and quiet passenger environments, the 2017 Encore elevates with a new interior design and a greater emphasis on material selection, placement and subtle details like bright accents and contrast stitching.

2017 Buick Encore High Resolution Exterior
- image 670166

An updated instrument panel flows across the interior and incorporates a new gauge cluster with a 4.2-inch-diagonal color driver information center. Also, a new center stack blends with the instrument panel to offer more intuitive access for the user interface and its new, frameless 8-inch color touch screen.

IntelliLink is designed to support the latest interface technologies, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Buick’s connectivity also includes OnStar 4G LTE with a Wi-Fi hotspot, which is now standard across the brand’s U.S. model line. With the 4G LTE connection, Encore allows passengers to connect up to seven devices to high-speed wireless Internet.

“As a representation of modern Buick styling, the Encore’s cabin is sophisticated in look and feel, and precise in its execution,” said Liz Wetzel, design director, Buick Interiors. “The instrument panel and center stack forms are artfully sculpted, while offering an effortless interface with the infotainment technologies.”

Core features

All 2017 Encore models offer room for five and up to 48.4 cubic feet (1,371 liters) of storage space with the 60/40 split rear seat folded. Standard features include 10 air bags, StabiliTrak stability enhancement and a 1.4L turbo four-cylinder/six-speed automatic powertrain.

A unique 1.4L turbo with direct injection, more power, more torque and stop/start technology is available on most trims.

EPA estimates will be announced at a later date.

2017 Buick Encore High Resolution Exterior
- image 670167

Buick’s exclusive QuietTuning is standard on all models and includes Bose® Active Noise Cancellation technology. Encore also offers available active safety features including Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Park Assist, Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning.

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