Review: 2017 Buick Encore

– Pittsfield, Massachusetts

The Buick Encore was a surprise hit. I remember attending the original launch event and thinking, “Yeah, this is a fine little car, but does Buick really expect to move a lot of them?” With hindsight on my side, I think it's safe to say that not even the company that builds the Encore was prepared for its popularity.

Among the tens of thousands of buyers during the subcompact's first years on the market was my own mom. She liked the ride height, and the look, and the fact that she could get navigation. But best of all was that she could get that stuff for a very reasonable price. It's been a few years now, and her little brown Encore's lease is almost up. While she toys with competitive vehicles and talks about getting the bigger Envision, I've discovered that her next car is, in fact, another Encore.

 

 

Pros

  • I spent the first several months of my mom's Encore ownership fielding questions about the terrible infotainment system. Buick loaded the original Encore's center stack down with what felt like dozens of haphazardly placed individual buttons and knobs. Buick wisely did away with this design catastrophe during the 2017 refresh. The interior team ditched the old, non-touch, seven-inch IntelliLink display for a new eight-inch touchscreen (with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay) that delivers far better graphics – the new display finally looks and feels modern. Then, the designers pulled the screen down from the tip top of the dash and essentially ...