Although Buick arrived in New York ready to ride the buzz wagon with the Avista concept painted with a deep, merlot looking red hue, the real news surrounds a vehicle that will actually be produced: the 2017 Buick Encore.
We had some time in the refreshed Encore, and we’re happy to report it feels like a well-executed refresh with plenty of extra premium inside and out.
Buick’s new face looks at home here
Say goodbye to the bulging headlights and plastic cladding, the 2017 Buick Encore is here to bring in refinement. Buick consistently told us it looked long and hard at consumer feedback, and wanted to dial up the refinement and premium features wherever it could. Regarding the exterior, Buick purposely scaled back the plastic cladding up front to fit in with the brand’s new corporate face, making the sub-compact CUV feel less bargain bin. The darkened Buick waterfall grille with winged chrome looks well placed, and the tri-color logo is a welcome return for a splash of color.
Out back, the LED taillights also radiate a more premium feel, and again, less plastic cladding on the bumper seals the deal for a refined, well thought out look.
Consumers inspired infotainment integration
It’s easy to open the door to the 2017 Buick Encore, take a quick glance and say, “looks much better.” Digging deeper, Buick stated many of the changes were inspired directly from consumer feedback. Specifically, the infotainment has been integrated for smoother and transparent operation, ditching the clunky IntelliLink system from the current Encore, and bringing in Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also looks quite good with its frameless touchscreen display.
Soft-touch materials are aplenty
Everywhere our hands graced inside the 2017 Encore struck something soft, especially where Buick knows consumers’ main touch points are. Stitching across the dashboard pumps up the premium, too, and ditto for the door inserts. Like the 2017 Chevrolet Sonic, though, we dislike the piano-black inserts here. They look great when they’re clean, but they don’t stay clean very long.
Also new is the gauge cluster with a larger driver information system. The analog gauges in particular look much more upscale, providing a cleaner look altogether. We also enjoyed the cream and gray interior of this particular model.
Plenty here to keep its best-seller status
Buick is proud on its gamble to bring the Encore to the U.S. into a segment it technically created. However, the brand stated it will stay humble and continue its pursuit to offer the best in the segment. We feel the 2017 Encore is a well defined examples of this attitude, and its best-seller status likely won’t be torn away any time soon.