What Is It?
The 2017 Buick Encore is the city dweller’s smart compact crossover. Sure, it can stretch to the suburbs, but the modest dimensions make life so much easier in tight streets and limited parking spaces. And the elevated driving position means good visibility.
For the 2017 model year, the Encore (Buick’s best seller) has been updated with a new grille and a more premium interior. New standard features include keyless entry/push-button starting and an 8-inch color touchscreen that works with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Tech takes a front seat in general, with Bose active noise canceling as standard, along with 4G LTE cell connection and a mobile Wi-Fi hot spot that can handle seven devices. Higher trim levels get LED headlamps.
Advanced safety features are also available, such as a blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning and forward-collision warning. The Encore even has 10 airbags as part of its standard equipment.
Buick hasn’t mentioned any specific changes in the engine bay. The 2016 model has a turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder in two states of tune: 138 horsepower or 153 hp. Average fuel consumption is in the mid-to-high 20s. The 2017 versions probably won’t stray far from there. Front-wheel drive is the default setup; all-wheel drive is optional.
The price has yet to be announced. The 2016 Encore starts at around $25,000.
When Can You Get It?
The 2017 Buick Encore will go on sale in autumn of 2016.
Add It to Your Shopping List Because…
While there’s a choice of excellent small crossovers, not many of them are quite as upscale as the Encore.
Other Cars to Consider
2016 Mazda CX-3 — The CX-3 punches above its weight quality-wise and drives like a champ.
2016 Honda HR-V — The HR-V is more utilitarian, perhaps, but it’s also reliable and practical.
2016 MINI Cooper Countryman — The Countryman provides personality and driving talents aplenty.
2016 Chevrolet Trax — The Trax is based on the same platform as the Encore. A cheaper base price brings the opportunity to go for the highest trim level: the LTZ.
Used BMW X1 — Not just “kind of” premium but really premium, a used X1 comes with punchy engines and nimble handling as part of the deal.