2017 Buick Encore: The Smallest Child Gets Braces

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
2017 buick encore the smallest child gets braces

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.

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.

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.

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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  • RideHeight RideHeight on Mar 22, 2016

    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.

    • See 5 previous
    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Mar 23, 2016

      @RideHeight That's a shame as I know you are a general fan of Honda and the segment. One would think Honda would just copy the successful CR-V to miniaturize it.

  • SC5door SC5door on Mar 22, 2016

    Are the knobs still cheap feeling though?

  • Sgeffe Why on Earth can’t you just get the torque specs and do it yourself if you’re so-inclined?!
  • Sgeffe As was stated in another comment, the FAA nominee went down in flames. But the NTSB chairwoman certainly didn’t, and she’s certainly not qualified either!Lots of this kind of stuff going on both sides of the aisle—Ben Carson would have arguably made a better Surgeon General than HUD Secretary under Trump, for example.
  • Art Vandelay Interesting, the Polestar 2 I had as a rental utilized Android Automotive which is what GM said it is going to exclusively, yet it still offers Apple CarPlay according to this. Wonder if GM will do the same.
  • Stuart de Baker EVs just aren't ready for prime time for those with a single car and who take road trips. Being able to charge as soon as you arrive at a charging station, and even the chargers working on your car is a crapshoot. In the former case, you could have to wait for nearly an hour while someone else is charging.I also don't find EVs particularly fun to drive (I've driven a Tesla Model S and an Ionic 5.) I LOVE driving my '08 Civic (stick). I love the handling, the feel and responsiveness of the engine, the precise steering (the Michelin Pilot Ultra Sport tires help, but even with the snows on, the car is a joy). I have 152k on the clock, and hopefully another 25 years or so of driving (I was born early in the Eisenhower Administration and I have exceptionally healthy habits), and I'm going to try to keep the Civic for the duration.My Civic causes a less global warming emissions than some of these humongous battery operated trucks.
  • FreedMike They should throw in a Lordstown pickup with every purchase. Make it the “vapor twofer.”