Four years after its launch, the Buick Encore, Buick’s smallest crossover is set to receive a mid-cycle refresh. The crossover will receive a number of visual upgrades, interior updates and it will feature some new technologies. Though not extensive, the changes will help it gain attention from buyers.
After its launch, the model has been consistently gaining sales. It sold 67,500 units in 2015 from 48,900 in 2014. According to the automaker, the Encore sales represent a third of its total sales by units. The current mid-cycle refresh is set to take the sales even higher.
The 2017 Buick Encore sits at the top of this premium small SUV market segment. This is courtesy of Buick’s timeless design, smart upgrades and a high level of technological refinement. These factors enable the Encore to offer a high-riding experience of large SUVs but without the massive size.
2017 Buick Encore Exterior
Compared to the outgoing model, most of the new updates are on the front fascia. To start with, the grille is modified and is hooked up with Buick’s winged design. The grille is also integrated with Buick’s new tri-color emblem. The headlights and fog lights have been modified to enhance its premium look. Higher trim levels get LED headlights.
Unlike the headlights, LED taillights are offered on all trim levels. The exhaust tip is also new. On the sides, there new body-colored side mirrors which feature heated glass. The small compact crossover rides on a set of 18-inch wheels. Three new exterior color options have been added. They are White Frost Metallic, Ebony Twilight Metallic and Black Cherry Metallic. The new Encore weighs 3,300 pounds.
2017 Buick Encore Interior
Sliding inside, you will find a well designed cabin which offers room for five adult passengers and a respectable room for cargo. The rear seats have a 60/40 split-folding capability which helps increase cargo space. With the rear seat folded, the cargo space expands to 48.4 cubic feet.
At the front, the dashboard has been redesigned using more premium materials. The gauge cluster has been upgraded and now features a 4.2-inch information display screen. The center stack on the other hand has been integrated into the horizontal dash resulting in a more premium look.
The cabin also features a new 8.0-inch infotainment screen that features a frameless screen design. The screen is used to display and manage the vehicle’s IntelliLink infotainment system. This system integrates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The system also offers an OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. To make the cabin quiet and serene is Buick’s “QuietTuning” along with a Bose Active Noise Cancellation system.
For entertainment, the vehicle comes with a premium audio system with satellite radio, FM/AM radio, CD player and a USB port.
For improved safety, the vehicle features traction and stability control, autonomous braking, upgraded airbags and a number of driving aids
Engine Specs and Performance
Just like the outgoing version, the 2017 Buick Encore comes with a single engine. The popular turbocharged 1.4 L 4-cylinder engine which is transversely mounted produces 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque. This version is offered on lower trims.
The top trims (Sport Tporing Editon, Leather and Premium) feature the same engine but engine but its power is boosted to 153 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. This is due to addition of direct fuel injection and other engine upgrades.
The engine is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission system that channels power to the front wheels. However, in the snowy regions, there will be an option for AWD to improve traction.
EPA ratings for the 2017 model are not yet out. We don’t expect fuel economy ratings for the current model to change from those of the outgoing version. Currently, models with the less powerful engine are EPA rated at 25 mpg city and 33 mpg on highway on FWD models. AWD decreases fuel economy to 23 mpg city and 30 mpg on highway.
On the other hand, the more potent version of the engine returns 28 mpg city and 34 mpg on highway while AWD models return 26 mpg city and 32 mpg on highway. With these numbers, Buick proves that adding power doesn’t have to hurt fuel economy.
Price and release date
We first saw the Buick Encore earlier in March at the Geneva Motor Show. In this show, it was wearing the Opel Mokka X face. Buick uses this name to sell the Encore in European markets.
The compact luxury SUV Encore made it debut in the US at the recently held New York Auto Show. Sales will commence later in the year. Buick has not released official prices of the New Buick Encore. However, don’t expect it to vary much from the current model’s MSRP of $ 24,065.
The main rival to the 2017 Buick Encore is the Volkswagen Tiguan which is slightly expensive than the Encore. The Mini Countryman which costs much lower than the Encore and Tiguan will also pose some rivalry.