2017 Buick Encore previewed in Opel Mokka X
Ready to roll into the Geneva show, the Opel Mokka X should provide a good indication of what what’s in store for the new 2017 Buick Encore that will bow in April in New York. The current versions of these two compact crossovers share platforms, styling and many other features, and that common thread is expected to carry forward.
The most prominent exterior changes on the restyled Mokka X -- the new “X designation” emphasizing a “more adventurous and rugged personality” -- are found up front. A new fascia with edgier contours features a revamped grille treatment set off by the same the same wing-shaped grille insert seen on Buick’s recent Avista and Avenir concepts along with revised headlamps that now offer an adaptive full-LED option and are framed by new double-wing angled LED daytime running lights. The tail gets a more subtle tweaking, but does introduce new LED-style lamps that also incorporate the signature double-wing design. Opel also will amp up the youthful appeal of the new Mokka X by adding a number of new high-profile colors like Amber Orange and Absolute Red to the palette, although it’s not clear whether or not Buick will follow suit.
Inside, the new Mokka X boasts a more refinements highlighted by an all-new dash/center stack that borrows cues from the new Astra. Cleaner and decidedly more user-friendly, the remake brings a new infotainment system with 7.0-inch/8.0-inch high-res capacitive touchscreens and nets a significant reduction in button count. Along with the latest OnStar telematics boasting an available 4G LTE hotspot, the Mokka X will feature smartphone support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
While basic mechanicals don’t change with this mid-cycle revamp, Opel’s compact 5-seat crossover does bolster its powertrain roster with GM’s new high-output 1.4-liter turbocharged Ecotec 4-cylinder engine introduced on the 2016 Encore Sport Touring model. We’ll see how closely the 2017 Buick Encore parallels the new look and upgraded features found on the Mokka X. But if history is any indicator, a good deal of what’s here also should appear on its Buick-badged corporate cousin.
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