By on March 22, 2016

2017 Buick Encore

General Motors has unveiled its refreshed 2017 Buick Encore, but you’ll have to muscle your way through a mob of leering frat boys in order to catch a peek.

Wait, that might misrepresent the Encore’s market just a little…

The smallest crossover in the GM fold gets a subtle makeover for 2017, trading its previous Buick waterfall front end for the new, corporate “winged” grille that adorns the restyled LaCrosse.

2017 Buick Encore front

Like the Chevrolet Sonic (whose Gamma II platform underpins the Encore), this new Buick benefits from subtle trim enhancements and improved connectivity, but unlike the Sonic, the Buick receives a boost in power.

Buick says most trim levels will come with GM’s upgraded direct-injection 1.4-liter four cylinder, which makes 153 horsepower and 177 pounds-feet of torque — a significant improvement over the previous engine’s 138 hp and 148 lb-ft. Start/stop technology is offered on the higher output engine.

2017 Buick Encore rear 3/4

Buick hasn’t announced the new engine’s fuel economy numbers, but the EPA lists the same engine, minus stop/start technology, as making a combined 30 miles per gallon in the front-wheel drive 2016 Encore (28 mpg city/34 mpg highway).

Inside the Encore, a redesigned gauge cluster, center stack and touchscreen keeps things current, while the vehicle’s upgraded connectivity will now support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

2017 Buick Encore interior

Standard OnStar 4G LTE with a Wi-Fi hotspot should cause passengers to forget painful childhood memories of boring, 10-under-the-speed-limit drives in their granddad’s LeSabre.

Given that it’s an uplevel brand, the Buick Encore offers more standard technology geared towards safety and comfort than its Chevrolet cousin, the Trax. Five trim levels, including a leather edition, should ensure the gap remains when the Encore goes on sale this fall.

[Image: General Motors Corporation]

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60 Comments on “2017 Buick Encore: The Smallest Child Gets Braces...”


  • avatar
    Hummer

    “a mob of leering frat boys in order to catch a peek.”

    Are fratboys with a Gilf fetish really a big enough thing to be a stereotype?

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      It’s funny that GM claimed they wanted to shake Buick’s “vehicle for seniors” image and then decided to sell the Encore, Cascada, and Verano. They just went from building cars for old men to building cars for old women.

      The entire current lineup is about as youthful as Medicare planning while sucking on a horehound candy.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Exactly.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        This is true. I don’t exactly see anyone in my age group (early 20s) going gaga over a Cascada when they could buy a Mustang or Camaro convertible for the same money.

        But it is a good answer to the departed 200 convertible and the I-can’t-believe-they-still-make-it Eos.

      • 0 avatar
        threeer

        And yet, old women have money. My mother bought (in cash) a new 2012 Verano (she was almost 70 when she bought it). Not sure why Buick would want to shake that image, as those are the ones paying the bills.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          ” old women have money.” Excellent observation.

          Also applies to a huge segment of senior citizens in America who live under the radar with their understated lifestyle.

          Read the book, “The Millionaire Next Door.”

          Old book. But it looks like a lot of old people today read that book decades ago and took it to heart.

          threeer is right. That’s where the money is. Those are ones paying the bills.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            The Greatest Generation buying Government Motors vehicles cobbled together with 40% to 80% foreign parts content, including much from China (whole engines and transmissions), and even on the cusp of seeing 100% Chinese assembled and Chinese parts-fabricated Buicks & Cadillacs invading U.S. shores.

            ‘Murica – where Hecho En Mexico Chevy Silverados roam country roads with that American Flag in the back window! Love it or leave it, partner!!

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “Greatest Generation buying Government Motors vehicles ”

            For many of that generation it was Detroit iron that they grew up with.

            For my dad, the ultimate car was to own a Cadillac before he died.

            But for me, my 2016 Tundra CrewMax 5.7 SR5 TRD 4×4 has made MY dreams come true, 18″ Michelins, skid plates and all.

            Different strokes for different folks.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          I’ll admit it too, my Mom just picked a Lacrosse and got a better deal than I could find anywhere. She liked a cuv/suv but they cost more and got poor fuel economy.

          • 0 avatar
            threeer

            I can’t reply directly to DW’s comment, but I tend to agree (partially) with him that it’s a sad fate regarding the foreign content (and soon to be direct-build) of some of GM’s product. I directed my mother to the Verano because it rated something like 80% domestic content by Kogod. That’s also one of the biggest reasons I wouldn’t let my wife go near a new Encore…the Korean/Chinese content was something like 70/20 (I don’t recall the exact numbers).

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            For anyonenagreeing with me, gird yourself for attacks from those who are convinced that I’m simply cynical, short-sighted, and need to just get down with the New World Order of Americans are no better than anyone else, therefore their leaders shouldn’t even try to protect, let alone elevate their American Constituents economic interests, and we should all prepare our children for direct competition from $1 USD per hour Cambodians.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            DW, we already know that Mercedes, BMW, and Lexus have come down to the $30K’ish level that GM had Cadillac and now includes Buick., that combining the pair have ~50,000 more units last year in the luxury/near-luxury segment.

            With the platform sharing GM is making money, hand over fist

      • 0 avatar
        dwford

        I just like that GM is still using the “It’s not your father’s Oldsmobile” riff in the new Buick commercials. One girl says “My grandpa had a Buick” and when the hot guy gets out of the Encore (as it that would ever happen) her friend says “That’s not your grandpa.”

        30 years later, same basic pitch.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          I’ve seen that Buick commercial but I have never seen any “young people” driving an Encore, or any other Buick for that matter.

          Those slogans and visual settings (scenes) remind of the ads for those Caribbean all-in resorts with all those young people partying showing off their tight buns and wrinkle-free skin. Delightful!

          Then when you get there, it’s all old people, all wrinkly and nasty looking.

          Makes you want to get out an iron and ironing board and iron the wrinkles out of their skin.

          Disgusting!

          • 0 avatar
            jimmy2x

            You know what – if you are really fortunate you may live long enough to get a few wrinkles yourself. Time and gravity do not pass anyone by. In the end one learns to live with both factors, and to do it with a certain amount of grace. And maybe, not to be so judgmental of other people based upon their appearance.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            JimmyJimmy, DUDE!

            NEXT MONTH I TURN 70 YEARS OLD. AND I’M ALL WRINKLY AND NASTY.

            And no less disgusting.

            This was all about the lying that goes on in advertising and how far removed it is from the real-world truth.

          • 0 avatar
            tankinbeans

            I’m young, 28, and periodically drive a Buick, but it’s old. I have 2003 Century that is primarily available for mom to drive, but I take it once in awhile to keep it limber. It has the typical body rot along the rockers, but it’s decent enough.

            For awhile in my teens I had a 91 LeSabre. It was probably my favorite of my hoopties.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            tankinbeans, as long as you can keep that car running and functioning, it can serve as another mode of transportation.

            And it has to be cheaper than making payments on another new or used car.

            I see this as the motivation that many people have who choose to keep their older cars around, perhaps even until they have too many.

            Such was the case when I bought that 1989 Camry V6 from my best friend.

            He simply had too many old cars he had kept in running condition while buying brand new cars (2012 Grand Cherokee, 2015 Avalon) to upgrade his stable of cars.

            And he still holds on to his 1993 S10 ExtCab 4.3 Tahoe. But he told me that is because he has so much money sunk into it to keep it running that he can’t afford to let it go.

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          Pitching a chitbox Lumina as “not your father’s Oldsmobile” was boneheaded as only GM in the 80s could be. If your father was any kind of car guy he probably had either had or wanted an Oldsmobile and it had a Rocket V8 in it.

          Running away from Buick in 2016 at least makes sense in that by now nobody remembers Buicks that weren’t punchlines.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    C&D said the Chevy was better than the Buick, but both are just about worst in class.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      Didn’t GM invent this particular idea of the micro-cute-ute-near-premium-empty-nester-step-up-car-wagon? I thought the Encore was pretty unique in the US market at least at the time.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Outsells the HR-V with it’s poor North American reception.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        As the guy above said, the Encore and Verano are for old ladies.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          …that’s right the Verano doubles the Acura ILX sales.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Not quite double, but probably about 80% more just from looking.

            2015 USDM 31,886 / Canadian 6360 = 38246

            http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2011/01/buick-verano-sales-figures.html

            2015 USDM 18,531 / Canadian 2551 = 21082

            http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2011/12/acura-ilx-sales-figures.html

            GM also apparently has about 1,900 BPG dealers vs about 300 Acura shops.

            “Buick and GMC customers nationwide are discovering how a more welcoming dealership atmosphere enhances the experience of buying a new car or servicing a vehicle. More than 1,900 dealers, many in major markets, are showing the way.”

            http://media.buick.com/media/us/en/buick/
            news.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2012/Jan/0130_buickgmc.html

          • 0 avatar
            SC5door

            And how many sales of the Verano were to rental fleets, and the Encore for that matter?

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            @sc5door

            Buick fleet sales is only 13%

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            28, add it up since 2012 when they were both introduced and ILX was never a contender with led updates and allot of competition like CLA and A3.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The ILX never sold particularly well since is was a Civic with new front end and trunk sheet metal but identical Civic doors (and the same Civic powertrain). The current generation’s sales should be interesting since they changed it up a little.

            The Buick also had the benefit of 1900 dealers and going on sale a full model year earlier. Between the two, I prefer Verano vs gen 1 ILX and so did most buyers not named Dave in Calgary.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            Buick Verano has also won every major comparison test against the Acura ILX. Motor Trend even compared them twice, once with performance engine and another with base engine.

          • 0 avatar
            Featherston

            @ 28-Cars-Later – Not that it disproves your overall point, but the ILX actually has had unique drivetrains vs the Civic. Pre-facelift, the ILX’s basic engine was a 2.0, which gave it a slight bump in torque over the Civic’s 1.8. Post-facelift, its basic powertrain is a 2.4 with an 8-speed DCT as opposed to the Civic’s 1.5T/CVT commbo.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Featherston

            You are correct but worth noting the ILX/auto gen 1 does share a motor with CR-V, and both ILX gen 1 and Civic Si did share the 2.4 in manual at the time. In the gen 2 I believe the 2.4 is still shared with Civic Si but I’m not sure as Si may have changed.

            @Norm

            Did MT test the second generation ILX or just the first? Honda seems to have addressed some of the ILX’s issues in the second generation.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            28, in June 2015 the ILX A-spec was tested again by MT to be almost a half of a second slower to 60 mph and worst fuel economy than EPA suggests.

          • 0 avatar
            Fred

            Every thing said about the Verano vs ILX is true, but the reliability of the Acura product is much better. That has to be worth something, actually a lot in my book.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Fred

            I would take a period Verano over a period ILX when it first came out, but now I think the Buick’s main merit is pricing since Acura “fixed” the ILX.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Norm

            Those are fair points but as a buyer I know EPA fuel economy is a guide and not law, while half a second on 0-60 is m’eh to me.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      C&D also said the Honda HR-V was ranked just ahead of the Chevy/Buick. Behind the Fiat 500whatever, Jeep Renegade, Kia Soul, Juke and the class-leading Mazda CX3.

      They also said of the newly revised ILX A-Spec, “We’ll wait for the B-spec, thanks…entry level luxury is more university than junior high”

      Are you sure this was the right article for you to be throwing stones?

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        So C&D ad spend and wine and dine budget in that issue from least to most…

        Buick
        Honda
        FCA (gee the 2 FCA products came in order of each other, shocked I tell you)
        Kia
        Nissan
        And the biggest ad spend…Mazda

        C&D reviews have about as much value as toilet paper.

        I mean who in God’s name even buys a Juke, and Fiat can’t give away the 500.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          “C&D reviews have about as much value as toilet paper”

          I agree APaGttH, but since a certain commenter here loves to quote C&D rankings whenever it suits him (yay Honda! Boo everyone else!), I thought a counterpoint using this source was appropriate.

          And apparently Honda doesn’t spend nearly as much for the HR-V as they have giving the Accord a guaranteed reserved seat on the 10 best.

  • avatar
    RHD

    Chrysler called, they want their corporate logo back.

    They said GM can keep the cheap plastics in the interior, though. FCA has plenty of that on hand already.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I never thought the Encore was particularly good-looking, but this front fascia is much improved…I must say.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      Individual items may look good, but the overall shape and size of this thing stikes me as off balance. Too short, too tall, too narrow I don’t know what but it just don’t look right.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Yes, it—like the rest of its Gamma-II siblings—is quite narrow. My mom was going to buy a new one in 2013 to replace her 2005 Murano (with which there was nothing wrong; she just wanted something new). I went with her to the Buick / GMC dealership. Shoulder room was decidedly at a premium. I’m of fairly slight build, and even I said “no”.

        As far as the shape, I agree. In particular, I hate that crease in the C-pillar. I mean, I see what they were trying to do, but it looks like an unintentional dent from certain angles.

    • 0 avatar
      SSJeep

      Buick sales are up across the board, so they are doing something right, and the Encore seems to be catching on. 68000 were sold last year, and Buick is outselling Audi, Infiniti, Lincoln, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Huge improvement over the waterfall. Shame about what is behind the grill though.

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    It appears that the Ventiports have vanished from the hood too. It’s a bit more bland, but a much more cohesive design. Inside looks much improved too. The outside is much less Buick Rendezvous Jr now and I think the Buick wears this new design better than the Chevy Sonic does. I thought the old Sonic was distinctive looking with the quad lights, now it’s rather bland.

    If they would have offered the Sonic for the “less than your cell phone plan” lease on the Sonic, there’d be one in my driveway instead of the Cruze Limited I have. But the salesman said the Sonic never leases like the Cruze does.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    God, I wish this were made by Honda or Toyota. I adore it.

    But I prefer the waterfall front; it’s clean, simple and distinctive.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Honda does make a similar model, I’m surprised you’re not in one.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        The HR-V is a stone disappointment to me. It’s only 2″ taller than my wife’s Fit with microscopically more ground clearance but less cargo capacity because of roof-plummet past the B-pillar and rearward visibility is atrocious.

        It’s People’s Exhibit A of how CAFE will ruin CUVs in another few model generations. In that way, it’s a predictor and an industry leader.

        The only good thing about the one I tested was the Misty Pearl Green paint job which I love.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      I like the old grille a little more, but actual color on the trishield makes up for this one.

  • avatar
    SC5door

    Are the knobs still cheap feeling though?


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