2017 Buick Encore: The Smallest Child Gets Braces

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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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?

  • 28-Cars-Later "The unions" need to not be the UAW and maybe there's a shot. Maybe.
  • 2manyvettes I had a Cougar of similar vintage that I bought from my late mother in law. It did not suffer the issues mentioned in this article, but being a Minnesota car it did have some weird issues, like a rusted brake line.(!) I do not remember the mileage of the vehicle, but it left my driveway when the transmission started making unwelcome noises. I traded it for a much newer Ford Fusion that served my daughter well until she finished college.
  • TheEndlessEnigma Couple of questions: 1) who will be the service partner for these when Rivian goes Tits Up? 2) What happens with software/operating system support when Rivia goes Tits Up? 3) What happens to the lease when Rivian goes Tits up?
  • Richard I loved these cars, I was blessed to own three. My first a red beauty 86. My second was an 87, 2+2, with digital everything. My third an 87, it had been ridden pretty hard when I got it but it served me well for several years. The first two I loved so much. Unfortunately they had fuel injection issue causing them to basically burst into flames. My son was with me at 10 years old when first one went up. I'm holding no grudges. Nissan gave me 1600$ for first one after jumping thru hoops for 3 years. I didn't bother trying with the second. Just wondering if anyone else had similar experience. I still love those cars.
  • TheEndlessEnigma A '95 in Iowa, I'm thinking significant frame and underbody rust issues.