Every time I book a Buick Encore for testing I don’t give it much thought. It’s a subcompact SUV that needs to be covered because of its reasonably good sales, but it’s not the type of vehicle that elicits a lot of passion. And then once inside I’m reminded of how nice it is, and on the way home how easy it is to drive.
I must say it’s even better for 2017, in every respect. GM just gave it a thorough mid-cycle update that I’ll be reviewing in detail soon, but for now let’s just say it’s frontal styling has seen significant improvement (the grille is modernized, headlights filled with LEDs and silly hood-mounted “ventiports” are gone), its interior gets a number of styling and technical enhancements (keep reading for the latter), and it still drives very well.
My tester was in base Sport Touring trim so it featured the slightly less potent 138 horsepower version of the 1.4-litre turbo four, and it was only configured to drive the front wheels as tested (AWD is optional). I’ll go over its driving dynamics more thoroughly in my review, not to mention its comfort level, roominess, and more.
Of note, all 2017 Encores receive standard proximity-sensing access with pushbutton ignition, a feature that’s optional with most competitors, while great sounding Bose audio is also standard, as is electronic noise cancellation that helps keep Buick’s renowned “Quiet Tuning” as hushed as ever. Another feature worth noting is integrated Wi-Fi via 4G LTE internet connectivity, capable of turning this little subcompact SUV into a rolling hotspot.
Additionally, a new 4.2-inch colour TFT multi-info display rests within the redesigned primary gauge cluster, and an even more intriguing 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen featuring an updated Buick IntelliLink digital interface now includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for enhanced smartphone connectivity.
Will all these changes be enough to push the little Encore back up Canadian sales charts? You’ll get an up-to-date sales comparison along with all the usual road test details and a comprehensive photo gallery when the upcoming review is published, so keep your eyes on these pages…
Just ahead of a major refresh, the 2016 Encore remains a strong seller that’s easily up to subcompact luxury SUV standards. Sporting a fuel-efficient 138-hp turbo four, 6-speed auto and FWD with optional…
Buick hasn't had a lot of hits outside of the Chinese market in recent years, but they can be proud of the Encore's North American success. Those in charge can also take a collective pat on the back for transforming the brand from purveyor of massive land yachts to a serious contender in the eco-friendly subcompact and compact market.
Its two most popular models in our market include the Verano compact sedan and the Encore subcompact SUV I'm covering here, followed by the near full-size Enclave SUV when comparing yearly sales totals or the new compact Envision when just totaling up September's numbers, with the Regal and LaCrosse following way behind due to slowing mid-size and large car sales compared to SUVs. It's a shame the Canadian division is joining the U.S. market in cancelling the Verano, as we're snapping it up at twice the rate per capita, the opposite occurring with larger models like the Regal and Enclave whereas the LaCrosse is almost four times as popular south Read Full Story
Buick asks a lot for its Enclave SUV, base trim costing more than the better-equipped Infiniti QX60 and, with AWD, nearly as much as the way more advanced Acura MDX, but it still sells quite well. Why?…
General Motors does giant business with the Enclave in the U.S., having sold 62,081 last year and a near identical 62,300 the year before, this placing it in third in overall luxury SUV sales and first as far as seven-passenger utes go, but here in Canada it's an entirely different story. When calendar year 2015 came to an end the Enclave had only found 3,361 Canadian buyers, which is slightly more than half of its U.S. sales per capita, making it seventh most popular in the same category and fourth amongst three-row crossovers, beaten by the BMW X5, Acura MDX, and Infiniti QX60. Why such a big discrepancy between markets?
One reason is pricing. You can buy a base Enclave for under $40k south of the 49th, which is a slightly decontented version (no leather) of the same SUV that costs close to $50k here. The latter number means it's the lowest priced seven-passenger luxury branded mid-size crossover utility in the U.S., and not quite as competitive here in Canada.
When you think of innovators amongst automotive brands, does Buick come to mind? Certainly in its formative years the 112-year old brand had its fair share of breakthroughs, its "valve-in-head" engine design, known since as the overhead valve (OHV) engine, might be its most significant, but that took place even before most of its current LaCrosse owners were born (tongue firmly in cheek). Still, my 50-something age group remembers larger than life semi-luxury family sedans and wagons with pillow-top upholstery in tufted velour, slabs of faux woodgrain interior trim and sometimes a similar woodie treatment used for the exterior, plus a cloud-like ride and boat-in-the-water handling, not to mention fuel economy similar to a mega yacht's.
Stuck in our dated pasts, some of us forget that we're only as old as we think we are, and Buick, which is in the process of truly reinventing itself, is now being discovered by a whole new generation of buyers that never knew the company for anything Read Full Story
If you’re a fan of the Buick Enclave you’re not alone as it’s a strong seller amid 7-occupant luxury CUVs. Today we review top-line Premium AWD trim that features adaptive cornering HID headlamps,…
If you haven't driven a Buick lately, you really should. Of course, the brand's attractive yet conservatively luxurious styling has to work for you. It's more traditional than modernistic, targeting a market where Lexus used to be before it got all edgy, an elegantly rounded place where creased and creviced Cadillac will never venture. Still, there are a lot of buyers looking for more classic designs that don't necessarily break the mold, where luxury is still expressed in curvaceous bodywork, chromes, leathers and woods. That's Buick, and they're doing a fine job of carrying this torch forward.
As you probably know, the General Motors entry-level luxury division sits below Cadillac and above Chevrolet (and GMC depending on the model in question), and to its credit GM has done a pretty good job of differentiating Buick models from those riding on the same platform architectures. For the most part Cadillac is a separate entity sharing only two models with Buick and GM's more mainstream Read Full Story