2017 Buick Encore Review
Pros & Cons
- Quiet interior on the highway
- Excellent crash-test scores
- Small engines deliver solid fuel economy
- Long list of tech and safety features
- Tepid performance from base engine
- Small cargo area can't swallow much luggage
Edmunds' Expert Review
Driving the 2017 Buick Encore is an experience very much in line with what you'd expect from Buick. The cabin is extremely quiet for the segment with extensive sound-deadening materials and active noise-cancelling technology. The suspension is also tuned to favor comfort over handling, and so not surprisingly it soaks up most bumps with little drama. The short wheelbase does mean the ride can get choppy over freeway expansion joints, however.
On the handling front, the Encore feels confident if not particularly sporty, a setup we suspect will suit most buyers just fine. On the upside, this SUV's small size and tight turning radius give it a nimble feel larger compact SUVs can't match.
When equipped with the standard 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder 138-hp engine, the Encore feels a little too slow for our tastes. Unless you're interested in maximum fuel efficiency, we would advise you to consider the optional 153-hp engine.
The 2017 Buick Encore features comfortable front seats and a high seating position that offers a commanding view of the road. In back, the seats offer enough head- and legroom for 6-footers but there's no denying that it's a tight fit for both adults and rear-facing child seats. The interior layout includes a number of storage spaces, including a drawer under the front passenger seat on cloth-upholstered models that's useful for stashing valuables you'd rather not leave out in plain sight.
As for the surroundings, the Encore's cabin has a high-end atmosphere on higher trim levels, featuring soft-touch materials and handsome simulated wood and metal trim. Aside from a smattering of similar-looking buttons, the controls are fairly intuitive and easy to access. A high point for this year is the improved layout of the center stack controls, including the updated 8-inch center touchscreen for the IntelliLink infotainment system.
The interior also comes up short in the cargo-carrying department, with 18.8 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 48.4 cubic feet with the seatbacks folded down. Those numbers are similar to subcompact SUV competitors, but fall far short of more popular compact crossovers like the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V. The Encore's standard fold-flat front passenger seat does give it some added flexibility.