Reviews

2017 Buick Encore Walk Around


The Encore is as much small hatchback as it is crossover SUV.

Revisions for 2017 give the front end a more appealing appearance. LED headlights and the hood has a cleaner look, while the latest grille abandons the previous waterfall-style bars, substituting a wing-shaped chrome strip. Portholes are gone, and the hood has a single line down its center. Lower air intakes aren’t as prominent now.

The rear half of the Encore looks less jaunty and more traditional than the front. An S-shaped curve extends through each door panel. A spoiler atop the tailgate extends the roofline slightly.

Interior

Despite its small size, with a cabin that feels narrow, space is fairly generous. Adding the new touchscreen for 2017 made the control layout more user-friendly, and the interior seems less cluttered.

Soft-touch surfaces and metal trim help impart an upscale, premium feel, complementing the comfortable seats. Active noise cancellation helps keep engine sounds in check, but some tire and wind noise enters the cabin. Still, the cabin stays way calmer than a typical subcompact.

Up front, passengers might feel a bit fenced-in by the narrow interior, but the driver gets a fine position, enjoying a commanding view past the short front end. A low dashboard and tall roof boost the sense of spaciousness, even though shoulder room is lacking and the wide central console might contact passenger knees.

Front seats are comfortable, helped by nicely shaped seatbacks, though bottom cushions are a bit short on support. The back seat can readily hold two adults, but a third is basically out of the question. Knee room is passable, helped by modest depressions formed in the front seatbacks. A folding armrest contains cupholders. Folding the back seat expands cargo capacity from 18.8 to nearly 50 cubic feet.

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