Words: Calvin Chan
Published: March 22, 2016
NEW YORK CITY - This is an important year for Buick, and today they introduced the newly redesigned 2017 Encore, further bolstering and cementing its place as Buick’s best selling vehicle and a leader in premium sub-compact SUV sales.
The Buick Encore has always been a unique vehicle in that it offered refined good looks, a premium interior, great materials, and a host of standard features. For 2017 however, they’ve stepped up their game with a refreshing facelift and an injection of new technology.
We’ve seen the updated design language with the recent reveal of the Opel Mokka X overseas, but the new Encore brandishes a new winged grill, tri-colour insignia logo, and new lights that give it a sleek stance. It’s refreshing to the eye and looks even better up close in person.
Though it doesn’t exactly escape its Chevrolet Trax origins, the new Encore now appears much more premium and expensive than its sibling, adding to those high-class aesthetics with a chrome exhaust outlet, heated exterior mirrors, and unique 18-inch wheels.
“A whisper quiet cabin is a signature of all Buicks,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick Sales, Service, and Marketing. And if there is one thing Buicks have been known for, it’s that. The Encore is no different. A newly (and much needed) designed instrument panel integrates well with the display and center console, meaning no more awkward bulge sticking out of the dashboard. The bulky steering wheel and gear shifter have been carried over, but no longer does the cabin design feel like an afterthought.
Buick’s QuietTuning and active noise cancellation further keeps interior nose in check. To make the new Encore even more competitive, Buick has also integrated Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to the mix, as well as standard 4G LTE Connectivity.
Under the hood, the same 1.4-litre turbocharged engine gets carried over with direct injection and start/stop technology. The well packaged four-cylinder produces a respectable 153 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque, and a fuel consumption rating of 9.5 L/100km in the city and 7.2 L/100km highway. A less powerful 138-hp variant is available as well, and both are married to a six-speed automatic transmission.
The Encore also offers optional safety equipment, such as Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Park Assist, Forward Collision Alert, and Lane Departure Warning.
We’re truly excited to see where this takes Buick. With the mid-size SUV, the Envision, coming later this year that slots right between the Encore and Enclave, Buick will have models tackling each of the red-hot SUV segments. And if the Envision and Encore ride and drive anything like the Buicks of the past, they’re going to have a glowing cash cow in their catalogue. Keep the stellar models coming Buick, and we’ll keep demanding an encore.
NEW YORK – Buick today introduced the new 2017 Encore, strengthening the appeal of America’s most popular small SUV with more refined styling and new connectivity technology – including available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
A new front-end appearance and a new premium interior highlight the visual refinements, while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported by a next-generation IntelliLink system featuring an 8-inch-diagonal color touch screen.
Push-button start, keyless unlock via the exterior door handles and an 8-inch color touchscreen highlight the Encore’s roster of new standard features.
“The Buick Encore created the premium small SUV segment and remains the top choice for customers seeking premium features and dependability coupled with timeless design,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick Sales, Service and Marketing. “In a rapidly evolving segment, the Encore continues to lead with smart, purposeful updates and a new level of technology-infused elegance and refinement.
Introduced in 2013, the Encore quickly carved out a niche of its own, offering the premium features typically associated with larger luxury SUVs but with greater maneuverability. It quickly rose to the top of the fast-growing small SUV market, topping it in 2014 and 2015.
Encore was Buick’s best-selling vehicle in North America in 2015, accounting for nearly a third of overall sales. Its sales were up 34 percent for the first two months of 2016, extending a year-over-year sales increase streak to 26 months.
Overall, SUVs now account for approximately 60 percent of all Buick sales, up from 34 percent prior to the introduction of the Enclave in 2007. Starting this summer with the arrival of the Envision – which slots directly between the Encore and Enclave – Buick will offer SUVs in the market’s three most popular segments.
The 2017 Encore goes on sale this fall, initially offered in five trim levels: Encore (1SB), Encore Sport Touring (1SH), Encore Convenience (1SD), Encore Leather (1SL) and Encore Premium (1SN). Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive available.
It is the fourth all-new or significantly updated Buick coming in 2016, joining the Cascada convertible, Envision compact SUV and LaCrosse sedan.
The new design features the sculptural surfacing and elegant line work that continues to distinguish the Buick brand. The addition of the winged grille with Buick’s new tri-color insignia, new front headlamps and rear LED signature tail lamps contemporize the Encore and set up the visual flow around the entire vehicle. Uplevel models receive Buick’s full LED headlamps, which provide efficient, clear lighting of the road ahead.
“Sporting cues first shown on the award-winning Avenir and Avista concepts, the 2017 Encore embraces Buick’s modern design aesthetic,” said Holt Ware, design director, Buick Exteriors. “The Encore is a crossover known for its presence – the appearance is sleek, muscular and modern.”
Also new are a chrome exhaust outlet, body-color heated outside mirrors, a new 18-inch wheel design and three exterior colors: Black Cherry Metallic, Ebony Twilight Metallic and White Frost Metallic.
Building on Buick’s reputation for premium and quiet passenger environments, the 2017 Encore elevates with a new interior design and a greater emphasis on material selection, placement and subtle details like bright accents and contrast stitching.
An updated instrument panel flows across the interior and incorporates a new gauge cluster with a 4.2-inch-diagonal color driver information center. Also, a new center stack blends with the instrument panel to offer more intuitive access for the user interface and its new, frameless 8-inch color touch screen.
IntelliLink is designed to support the latest interface technologies, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Buick’s connectivity also includes OnStar 4G LTE with a Wi-Fi hotspot, which is now standard across the brand’s U.S. model line. With the 4G LTE connection, Encore allows passengers to connect up to seven devices to high-speed wireless Internet.
“As a representation of modern Buick styling, the Encore’s cabin is sophisticated in look and feel, and precise in its execution,” said Liz Wetzel, design director, Buick Interiors. “The instrument panel and center stack forms are artfully sculpted, while offering an effortless interface with the infotainment technologies.”
All 2017 Encore models offer room for five and up to 48.4 cubic feet (1,371 liters) of storage space with the 60/40 split rear seat folded. Standard features include 10 air bags, StabiliTrak stability enhancement and a 1.4L turbo four-cylinder/six-speed automatic powertrain EPA-rated at 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway (FWD models).
A unique 1.4L turbo with direct injection, more power, more torque and stop/start technology, helping it offer an EPA-estimated 28 mpg city and 34 mpg highway (FWD models), is available on most trims.
Buick’s exclusive QuietTuning is standard on all models and includes Bose® Active Noise Cancellation technology. Encore also offers available active safety features including Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Park Assist, Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning.
FAST FACT: Encore was named Best Compact Crossover/SUV in Kelley Blue Book’s 2016 5-Year Cost to Own Awards – the third consecutive year for the accolade.