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2017 Buick Encore KBB Expert Review

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KBB Expert Rating 8.1 / 10
This Car - 2017 Buick Encore
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Consumer Rating 8.9 / 10

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KBB Expert Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor

For style-conscious young buyers, as well as empty nesters looking to downsize but not compromise, Buick’s 2017 Encore compact SUV makes a tempting prospect. Although it shares the same platform as the Chevrolet Trax, Buick’s take on the 5-door SUV brings a decidedly upscale flavor more in line with the Mazda CX-3, Mini Countryman and Jeep Renegade Limited. Though it may be tight on interior space, the Encore delivers big in the areas of luxury, efficiency and high-tech. When equipped with the optional all-wheel drive (AWD), the Encore becomes a winter warrior ready to tackle Mother Nature’s worst. We think so much of the Encore we awarded it Best Compact Crossover in KBB’s 5-Year Cost to Own segment.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for a small, efficient SUV with year-round driving comfort, but you don’t want to sacrifice on style or frills, the 2017 Buick Encore compact SUV is bound to impress.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Luxury doesn’t come cheap and Buick’s Encore for 2017 has a much higher starting price than the Kia Soul, Jeep Renegade or Mazda CX-3. Those who need rear-seat and cargo space might be better off with a larger SUV like the Honda CR-V or Buick Envision.

What's New for 2017

For 2017 the compact Buick Encore SUV receives freshened styling inside and out, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an updated gauge cluster with 4.2-inch Driver Information screen, keyless entry and push-button start, plus redesigned 18-inch wheels and some new paint colors.

Driving It Driving Impressions

While Buick’s 2017 Encore SUV does share many parts with other GM products, we would never accuse it of being a “parts-bin” car. Buick uses the best of GM’s global design to its advantage, massaging the Encore’s European-derived suspension just enough to smooth it out without giving up agility, handling or stability. The tiny 1.4-liter Ecotec turbocharged engine does its best to deliver power when needed, but it struggles when the Encore’s passenger count exceeds two persons. All-wheel drive adds even more weight, although it also adds an added measure of security when driving in snow or rain. Things improve slightly with the more powerful engine offered on the Sport Touring and higher trims, but you’ll have to pay an extra $900 premium to get it. Regardless of engine choice, the Encore’s fuel economy is near best in class as are the interior’s fit, finish, equipment level and overall comfort.

Favorite Features

To keep the Encore’s cabin in line with Buick’s high standards, the company employs Active Noise Cancellation technology combined with ample insulation and Quiet Tuning engineering. By using the car’s speakers, Active Noise Cancellation sends out noise-canceling sound waves that help hush wind, road and engine noise.

Buick’s Active On-Demand all-wheel drive allows the 2017 Encore SUV to deliver maximum traction when it detects wheel slip or when starting from a standing stop. When driving conditions are normal, only the front wheels receive power resulting in improved fuel economy.

For vehicle details and pricing notes… Read More
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