Car and Driver Buick Encore 1.4L Turbo FWD Review In almost each certainly one of our evaluations of Buick’s small Encore since the subcompact crossover went on sale in 2013, we’ve termed out its extraordinary resemblance to a shiny potato. There, we did it once more, but now the Encore continues to be refreshed for 2017, dare we rename it a sweet potato? That’s because the cumulative effects of the alterations increase the appeal which has previously manufactured the Encore Buick’s best-selling model.
Car and Driver Buick Encore 1.4L Turbo FWD Review
If you are owning problems grasping how Buick offered far more than 67,000 Encores last year-more than its three immediate subcompact luxury-crossover competitors mixed, the bigger BMW X1, Audi Q3, and Mercedes-Benz GLA-class-it’s not that tough. The Buick has an beautiful, $23,915 base selling price; it’s undeniably cute; the seating place is higher; as well as view out of the windshield panoramic. Even though the Encore’s size and value probable disqualify it as a genuine competitor to a Mercedes or BMW, the interior-particularly in its refreshed state-is of large good quality, as well as the total execution is a phase over run-of-the-mill subcompact crossovers.
Buick has extra some creases and edges for the Encore’s rotund entire body for 2017, squaring up the front end with blockier headlights and its new corporate waterfall grille. Subtle updates to your rear sum to little additional than revised taillights. That is all conventional refresh stuff, however. What genuinely does the heavy lifting in elevating the Encore’s luxury pretensions is surely an all-new dashboard with soft-touch supplies along with a extra sweeping layout. It appears vastly far better than the previous, upright dash. The past clutter of buttons along with the fiddly, knob-operated central display is gone, as well, replaced by a high-resolution eight.0-inch touchscreen. Embedding this infotainment display inside the dash itself as an alternative of inside a pod on top rated also clears the way in which for an even more expansive see through the windshield.
Car and Driver Buick Encore 1.4L Turbo FWD Review - Interior:
The most notable change for 2017 would be the expanded availability from the higher-output, 153-hp one.4-liter turbo four-cylinder engine launched final yr towards the mid-level Sport Touring trim. The additional potent engine boasts direct fuel injection and it is now an $895 option about the Sport Touring, as well as the Preferred II, Essence, and Premium trims. A 138-hp turbo four (also displacing 1.4 liters but of an older, port-injected style and design) stays typical across the board. Shooting previous the $23,915 Encore 1SV as well as the Encore Favored towards the Sport Touring trim using the optional powerplant prices $27,395, or $1275 less than final year’s Encore Sport Touring.
The Preferred II example tested here commences at $27,760. The more potent engine and a single other solution, $395 Quicksilver Metallic paint, brought its MSRP to $29,080. We’ve been skeptical of Buick’s ambitious pricing for that Encore since it very first went on sale in 2013, and virtually $30,000 to get a crossover this small lacking a prestigious badge about the hood is practically nothing if not ambitious. Wholesome sales paint a diverse actuality, and within this alternate buy, provided you’re presently taking a look at a higher-spec Encore to start with, the improve engine seems worth each and every bit of its $895 cost.
Advancing the 153-hp engine’s situation is easy for those who do not dawdle within the left lane, as this Encore is the quickest we’ve ever examined. It reached 60 mph in seven.eight seconds, compared with 9.two seconds for your all-wheel-drive ’16 Sport Touring and 9.three seconds to get a front-drive 2013 Encore using the (now) base engine. Acceleration across the board, from your quarter-mile to 30-to-50-mph and 50-to-70-mph passing times, was notably zippier. Together with the burlier engine, the Encore feels peppy and never just about as underpowered since it does with all the base one.4-liter four. Component on the deal, as well, is often a fuel-saving stop/start characteristic that can not be turned off. It is a great issue the engine smoothly and quietly restarts soon after going dark at stoplights and when stopped in hefty targeted traffic.
Car and Driver Buick Encore 1.4L Turbo FWD Review - Features:
For those who don’t need all-wheel drive, the Encore helps make a reliable case for sticking with all the common front-drive configuration. Our 2017 check car or truck weighed 130 pounds much less than that all-wheel-drive 2016 Encore Sport Touring and posted more powerful check success for skidpad grip (0.81 g versus 0.78 g) and braking (172 feet from 70 mph in contrast with 177). The EPA estimates that-regardless of drive configuration-the new engine will return two mpg better fuel economy from the city than its lower-output option (and an extra one mpg about the highway with all-wheel drive); we recorded 19 mpg due to a hefty routine of lead-footed driving. The AWD 2016 Sport Touring posted a far thriftier 25 mpg, and pre-refresh front- and all-wheel-drive Encores with what is now the base engine every single posted 24 mpg in our hands. As always, your mileage will vary, but clearly the Encore with both engine is capable of productive motoring.
The new engine’s only sin is that Buick did not simply just make it standard throughout the Encore lineup. Provided that the hotter four-cylinder is shared with the less-expensive, latest-generation Chevrolet Cruze, how challenging could that selection definitely happen to be? There otherwise stays very little to fault within the Encore. The rear seat ably holds two grownups while in the outboard positions-there is actually a third seatbelt, but you could potentially fit only a small bag of potatoes there-and the lower cushion features a nice chairlike height, plus there is plenty of headroom and legroom. A surprising 19 cubic feet of things can match from the cargo spot. And while the suspension keeps entire body roll plus the stubby body’s fore/aft rocking more than velocity bumps very well ample in check, the dynamic trait of higher consequence to customers on this space is quietness, one thing the Encore has in spades.
As long as buyers hold hankering for Lilliputian luxury potatoes (we needed to sneak in one more spud plug), the Encore’s updated appears, interior, and offered energy need to preserve Buick’s dealers busy for a couple of many years to come.