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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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.
Are the knobs still cheap feeling though?