The Buick Encore debuted three years ago and quickly carved out its path. As the SUV market continues upward, the Encore is positioned nicely, offering the premium features typically associated with larger luxury vehicles but with better maneuverability.
The encore was Buick’s top seller in North America last year, accounting for nearly a third of overall sales. 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.
The 2017 Buick Encore takes a page from the Avenir and Avista concepts in the styling department. The new design is the “sculptural surfacing” effect, a common Buick trait, especially through the body lines. The winged grille, Buick’s new tri-color insignia, new front headlamps, and rear LED signature tail lamps finish the visual flow of the vehicle.
Next-generation IntelliLink (OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto) features an 8-inch-diagonal color touch screen and push-button start. The Buick team put great emphasis on material selection and placement and focused on subtle details like bright accents and contrast stitching. They worked on making the new center stack blend more with the instrument panel.
All 2017 Encore models seat five with up to 48.4 cubic feet of storage space with the 60/40 split rear seat folded.
A 1.4L turbo charged, direct injected four-cylinder powers the 2017 Buick Enclave. Stop/start technology, available on most trims, is expected to enhance fuel economy, although EPA estimates are pending. Front-wheel drive is standard with all-wheel drive available. Both are paired to a 6-speed automatic.
Buick’s exclusive QuietTuning is standard with Bose Active Noise Cancellation for a more comfortable ride.
Active safety features include Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Park Assist, Forward Collision Alert, and Lane Departure Warning.
My grandmother drove a Buick for years and raved about the dependability. My love of classics lead me straight to the Grand National, one of my bucket list cars to own. The Buick Regal these days is what catches my attention but this Encore strikes me too. If you are a small SUV fan and Buick enthusiast, then you have hit the jackpot.
“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.”
The 2017 Encore goes on sale this fall.
*Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.