The Buick Encore has been a major hit for the automaker since its debut. The current model has been on sale since 2012.The vehicle was overly successful last year making the automaker opt not to fix too much of what isn’t even broken. As such, the 2016 model comes with minimal touches.
However, Buick has added a new trim dubbed the “Sport Touring trim”. The new lineup is as follows; Base Encore, Convenience Group, Sport Touring Group, Leather Group and Premium Group.
2016 Buick Encore Exterior
The 2016 Buick Encore features just some minor improvements to its exterior profile compared to the outgoing models. The vehicle still comes with its signature waterfall grille with chrome surrounds and accents. Its hood still retains portholes while the rear panels are painted just like the current models. The grille is flanked by a pair of halogen composite projector beam headlights.
On the sides, the Encore features heated body-color side mirrors which are manually folded and are integrated with turn signals. The sides also feature chromed body-color handles. The vehicle’s front intermittent wiper also features pulse washers. Other features include a solar absorbing windshield and a roof-mounted luggage rack. The vehicle will ride on a set of five-spoke, 18-inch painted cast aluminum wheels.
The 2016 Buick Encore is available in nine different colors: The Convenience trim adds fog lamps while the Sport Touring trim adds a Sport rear spoiler and 18-inch Midnight Silver accented aluminum alloy wheels.
2016 Buick Encore Interior
The interior of the new Buick Encore 2016 has received mild updates. Lower trim levels will be upholstered in quality cloth while top trims will feature leather upholstery. Its interior is availed in a light/dark or all-ebony color scheme which is enhanced by ice-blue ambient lighting. You will also find doses chrome and wood-grain trim in this cabin.
The cabin accommodates 5 passengers comfortably. Many will love the car’s standard 7-inch IntelliLink infotainment system which integrates 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity and OnStar telematics with a Bluetooth interface. This system gives the driver access to the rearview camera, SiriusXM Satellite Radio and GPS navigation.
The cabin also features 8 beverage holders and offers a cargo capacity of 18.7 cubic feet when the rear seats are up and expands to 48.4 cubic feet upon folding the rear seats. To further increase the space, the front passenger seat can also be folded down.
For entertainment, all trims except the Premium trim will feature a 6-speaker CD/MP3 player integrated with satellite radio and auxiliary audio input. The Premium trim will feature a 7-speaker Bose premium sound system. The vehicle will also feature GPS navigation and a power sunroof. Higher trims will feature heated and power-adjustable front seats, heated and leather wrapped steering wheel and a dual-zone climate control (manual air conditioning for the base trim).
On safety matters, the Encore features traction and stability control, 4-wheel antilock brakes, OnStar emergency alerts, a post collision safety system, and a package of airbags all as standard. The convenience and higher trims add remote antitheft system and fog lights while the Premium trim adds lane departure warning with forward collision alert.
Engine Specs and Performance
For 2016, all trim levels are equipped with the same power-train except for the new Sport Touring trim which features the same engine but tweaked to produce more power.
The standard engine is a turbocharged 1.4 L, 4-cylinder engine. The engine comes good with 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired to a 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission system that channels power to either the front wheels or all wheels. In terms of fuel economy, the engine is estimated to return similar numbers as the outgoing models. These are 25 mpg in city, 33 mpg on highway and 28 mpg on combined drives for FWD models and 23 mpg city, 30 mpg highway and 26 mpg on combined drives for AWD models.
The automaker has been criticized in the past for not offering enough power to the Encore. In response to the critics, the automaker has decided to introduce the Sport Touring trim with a more powerful engine. The trim retains the base engine but it is tweaked to produce 153 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. This engine is expected to improve the standard engine’s uninspiring 9.8 seconds acceleration from 0-60 mph.
Price and release date
To get your hands on the wheels of the 2016 Buick Encore you will have to pay $ 24,065 MSRP for the base model with FWD and $ 25,565 for the base AWD. Moving up, the convenience trim will set you back $ 26,355 for an FWD model and $ 27,855 for an AWD model.
Further up, a Sport Touring with FWD has a $ 27, 350 price tag and $ 28,850 for an AWD while the Leather trim with FWD sells at $ 28,300 and $ 29,800 for AWD. The top-of-the-range Premium trim with FWD has a $ 29,785 price tag while its AWD variants go for as much as $ 31, 285.
The model is expected to make a debut at the New York Auto Show in April. However, its European-market twin the Opel Mokka X will make an early debut at the Geneva Motor Show.