2017 Buick Encore

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2017 Buick Encore Review: Refresh Works Wonders

by Gabe Beita Kiser

Buick was early to the subcompact crossover game, debuting the Encore for 2013 before everyone else jumped on the bandwagon. For the 2017 model year, Buick gives the Encore its first major refresh with styling now inspired by the Avenir Concept and LaCrosse. But underneath a refreshed exterior and interior, the platform and mechanicals remain the same as before. Buyers still have a choice between front- and all-wheel drive and two 1.4-liter turbocharged engines - a 138 horsepower base engine and a direct injection version offering 153 hp. For 2017 the Encore is priced between $22,990 - $32,870, so it's $1,075 cheaper, too, which places it in good stead against rivals like the Nissan Rogue Sport and Kia Niro and setting it aside from the Chevrolet Trax with which it shares underpinnings.

Read in this review:

7.9
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2017 Buick Encore Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2016 Encore?

For the MY 2017 Encore, Buick has updated both the exterior and interior design substantially. Ahead of the A-pillar, the sheet metal has been redesigned to feature a new winged grille design, new hood, and new fenders. The front fascia also features LED daytime running lights and new headlights with full LEDs on higher trim lines. There are newly styled 18-inch alloy wheels, body-color side mirrors, chrome exhaust tips, and new LED taillights as well. Three new colors are available for 2017, with Ebony Twilight Metallic, White Frost Metallic, and Black Cherry Metallic added to the options list.

The interior has also been redesigned with a cockpit-style design and more premium materials, along with chrome accents and contrast stitching. The instrument panel features a newly designed gauge cluster and a 4.2-inch color driver display. The center stack has been redesigned too, and the IntelliLink infotainment system is now an eight-inch touchscreen with available Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Push-button start is also new, along with keyless entry and an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat.

Pros and Cons

  • New interior design is less cluttered
  • IntelliLink infotainment system now touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality now equipped
  • Refined ride with great noise insulation at speed
  • Great fuel economy
  • Poor performance from both 1.4-liter engines
  • Lack of steering feel
  • Lacks driver engagement
  • Styling doesn't quite live up to Avenir Concept
  • Top trim price rivals bigger, more luxurious crossovers

Best Deals on 2017 Buick Encore

2017 Buick Encore Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Base
1.4L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$22,990
Preferred
1.4L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$24,365
Sport Touring
1.4L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$25,565
Preferred II
1.4L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$26,865
Essence
1.4L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$29,065
See All 2017 Buick Encore Trims and Specs

2017 Encore Exterior

2017 Buick Encore Front View Buick
2017 Buick Encore Rear Angle View Buick
2017 Buick Encore Forward Vision Buick
See All 2017 Buick Encore Exterior Photos

Dimensions

  • Length 168.4 in
  • Wheelbase 100.6 in
  • Height 65.3 in
  • Max Width 69.9 in
  • Front Width 60.6 in
  • Rear Width 60.6 in
  • Curb Weight 3,237.0 lbs

2017 Encore Performance

2017 Buick Encore Driving Front Angle Buick
2017 Buick Encore Rear View Driving Buick
2017 Buick Encore Exhaust Buick

Engine and Transmission

  • Engines
    1.4L Turbo, 1.4L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmission
    6-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Buick Encore rides tall - taller than hatchback-based crossovers like the Mazda CX-3 - and as a result, it feels like there is pronounced body roll around corners. However, the Encore is actually highly composed, even if it isn't the kind of crossover you'll be throwing around corners. It wouldn't give you much joy to do so, either, as the Buick Encore is a vehicle devoid of much driver enjoyment and involvement. The steering is light and direct and responds well to inputs, but it offers minimal genuine feedback.

Likewise, the suspension doesn't really communicate much through to the driver. It filters small bumps and changes in camber out of the drive completely and does a superb job of ironing out larger bumps too. It isolates the occupants from the road with impeccable damping at any speed and on any surface, even mild dirt roads. Despite the comfort levels, it's not a particularly wallowy ride, showing utmost composure at any sane speed. At low speeds, the Encore is highly maneuverable and the commanding view and direct steering make maneuvering tight spots a breeze.

The Encore's party trick is the refinement of its ride and the noise insulation. Noise-canceling speakers and loads of sound deadening do a fine job of keeping wind and road noise out of the cabin, which only becomes truly apparent when you reach highway speeds in near silence. Between the insulation, uncommunicative steering, soft, cosseting suspension, and the smooth automatic gearbox, the Encore completely isolates occupants from the drive.

2017 Encore Interior

2017 Buick Encore Central Control Panel Buick
2017 Buick Encore Steering Wheel Detail Buick
2017 Buick Encore Start/Stop Button Buick
See All 2017 Buick Encore Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 40.8 in
  • Front Head Room 39.6 in
  • Rear Leg Room 35.8 in
  • Rear Head Room 38.8 in

2017 Encore Trunk and Cargo Space

2017 Buick Encore Trunk Space Buick
2017 Buick Encore Top View Buick
2017 Buick Encore View Out Back Buick

2017 Encore Safety and Reliability

Warranty

  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    6 Years \ 70,000 Miles
  • Rust-Through:
    6 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Corrosion:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    6 Years \ 70,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2017 Buick Encore a good SUV?

It's a great pity the best safety features are saved only for the top-tier Premium trim, as it's price pushes it into the category of a larger, more premium vehicle, and safety should be more widely available. But that aside, the Buick Encore is, as it has been since 2013, a solid luxury proposition in the subcompact crossover segment. We recommend the Encore in Essence trim with the more powerful engine upgrade, but that said, we only recommend it for those who want an appliance to get from A to B. If an involving drive is what you're after, you'd be better off looking at something else, perhaps the Mazda CX-3 which offers a more engaging driving experience.

2017 Buick Encore Comparisons

Buick Envision Buick
Honda HR-V Honda
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Buick Encore155 hp24/32 mpg$24,600
Buick Envision 228 hp24/31 mpg$31,500
Honda HR-V 141 hp28/34 mpg$21,870

2017 Buick Encore vs Buick Envision

The Buick Envision is plus-minus $10,000 more than the Encore at the base level but is a more premium offering and sits in a larger segment than the Encore. There are both naturally aspirated and turbocharged engines available within the Envision lineup, both more powerful than the Encore's. They are, however, moderately less economical than the Encore's as a result of the Envision's larger size. The Envision is heavily outfitted with features overall as well as with luxury-focused trim elements from the base level trim onward. Moving up the trim ladder compounds on the luxury aspect of the Envision even further. It is also rated for towing with a maximum tow capacity of 1,500 lbs, which with its 26.9 cubic feet of trunk space make it far more practical than the Encore. Deciding between which Buick to opt for comes down to two things; pricing and practicality. As the two models' pricing points represent their relative value quite accurately, the decision comes down to how much the buyer is willing to spend. In terms of practicality, however, the Envision is the no brainer.

See Buick Envision Review

2017 Buick Encore vs Honda HR-V

Although the Encore is technically a premium product courtesy of the Buick badge, it has the humble bones of the Chevrolet Trax; some premium finishes can't hide this. Where this starts to show is in comparison with a product like the Honda HR-V. Despite being $3,000 cheaper in base guise, the HR-V feels more premium in general, with the plastic panels feeling of a higher quality. The HR-V is more enjoyable to drive, too, providing more communication and enjoyment than the Buick. It's more spacious, boasts a greater cargo volume, and even boasts comparable gas mileage estimates. It may be lacking in the infotainment stakes and ultimate luxury features, but with several grand in savings, the value for money aspect is impossible to consider. That aside, the HR-V is comprehensively better than the Encore.

See Honda HR-V Review

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