Buick offers the 2017 Encre in six trim levels. The base Encore features the lower powered 1.4-liter turbocharged engine with 138 horsepower on tap and front wheel drive, with no option to upgrade to either the more powerful motor or all wheel drive. It is however well equipped, offering cloth upholstery, power adjustment for the driver’s seat, an 8-inch IntelliLink infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, a rearview camera, a Wi-Fi hotspot, keyless entry, and push-button start. It’s a good entry point and covers the basics that most families will require in the segment.
The Preferred trim takes the base model and adds accessories like floor mats, but also allows for the Encore to be upgraded to all-wheel drive, making it the ideal ‘base’ model in colder climates.
Sport Touring is next up, and allows for a choice between front and all-wheel drive and also gives the buyer the option of upgrading to the more potent 153 hp motor - which is recommended. The Sport Touring trim also adds front fog lights and remote start capability. Preferred II is once again an add-on, but this time for Sport Touring models, equipping dual-zone climate control as well as blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert. The Sport Touring is our pick of the bunch, but the additional safety from the Preferred II make it worth considering. Neither comes with leather upholstery.
The leather is however available on the Essence trim, which also adds heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, power adjustment for the front passenger, and memory function for the driver’s seat.
The top of the range Encore is the Premium, which includes leather upholstery, a 7-speaker Bose audio system, and is the only trim to offer forward collision warning, lane departure warning, parking sensors, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.