There was a good reason for Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick Sales, Service and Marketing to be beaming as he unveiled the new 2017 Buick Encore subcompact SUV at a pre-auto show event in New York. The 2016 version of the Encore already leads its burgeoning segment in sales, outdoing even the best of the import brands, and now the 2017 edition is set to go to market in the fall with a new look and an additional arsenal of popular equipment.

“Encore is our best-selling vehicle, accounting for a third of our sales. Having the opportunity to introduce a new Encore means we can go even further from here,” Duncan told us. “We’re really excited.”

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto added

The Encore created the premium small SUV segment three years ago, as some scoffed that it was an SUV too diminutive to have any chance of success in America, but now manufacturers from around the world are flocking to the segment, trying to match Buick’s success. The added equipment for the 2017 model, including available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, will go a long way in preventing that from happening.

Also: See the New and Redesigned Cars of 2016

Enabling smartphone interface on the dash of the small SUV, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported by a next-generation IntelliLink system featuring an 8-inch-diagonal color touch screen. Buick’s connectivity also includes OnStar 4G LTE with a Wi-Fi hotspot, which is now standard on every Buick model in the United States. The 4G LTE connection allows passengers to connect up to seven devices to high-speed wireless Internet, on the wish list of young singles and married couples as their lives change.

The 2017 Encore also offers push-button start and keyless unlock via the exterior door handles for the first time.  Its 8-inch color touchscreen is supplemented by a 4.2-inch-diagonal color driver information center, part of a completely renewed instrument panel that offers a more legible gauge cluster. The new “center stack” complements the instrument panel to offer more intuitive access for the user interface, which means the buttons are easier to read than before.

Upscale exterior

In addition to useful interior features, the 2017 Encore also has a revised exterior that creates a more upscale presence. The addition of the “winged grille” with Buick’s new tri-color insignia, new front headlamps and rear LED tail lamps all give the small crossover a strong resemblance to other vehicles in the Buick line. Uplevel models are also equipped with Buick’s full LED headlamps, yet another functional upscale touch.

Though the 2017 shares the same small footprint as the 2016 Encore, it offers significant carrying capacity.  There is room for five and, with the back seatback folded, up to 48.4 cubic feet of storage space. On the safety front the Encore features 10 air bags, StabiliTrak stability enhancement and available active safety features that include Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Park Assist, Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning. 

Also: Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards of 2016

While you might expect a small vehicle to be less refined than a larger SUV, we believe the 2017 Encore will continue to offer quiet and comfort that have been a Buick Encore calling card. Buick’s exclusive QuietTuning array of refinement techniques is standard on all models and includes Bose® Active Noise Cancellation technology.

Turbo power

Under the pert hood of the Encore is either a 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder or a more powerful direct injection 1.4-liter four that also uses stop-start technology. The base engine with six-speed automatic delivers an EPA-rated 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway while the direct-injection powertrain delivers an EPA-estimated 28 mpg city and 34 mpg highway, and for the first time it is available on most trims.

Since the Encore was named Best Compact Crossover/SUV in Kelley Blue Book’s 2016 5-Year Cost to Own Awards – the third consecutive year for the accolade – we expect the revised version will more than live up to high expectations. Which is another reason Buick’s Aldred is smiling a lot these days.


 

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