The 2017 Buick Encore Sport Touring is a modern subcompact crossover. I’ve been obsessed with this type of car this year as it’s a good size vehicle for roaming around the city or going on an adventure. With parking spots getting smaller and smaller in the downtown core, you don’t have to worry about figuring out if you’ll fit in the small spots. I tested out this vehicle for the week to get a feel for the pros and cons of the Buick Encore.
The side profile of the vehicle isn’t bulky at all. With it’s small size, it has impressive maneuverability and handling in city traffic and crowded parking lots. A big plus if you drive in and out of the city core.
With this model of Encore, you’ll notice the rear sport spoiler that gives it a bit of an edge.
The metal likes on the outside give it nice sleek feel. Also, 18″ Midnight Silver aluminum alloy wheels and fog lamps come with this model. Very handy when drive outside of the city.
The interior is sleek with the dark and metal accents like the exterior. With the Buick Encore Sport Touring model, it comes with the Remote Keyless Entry which not only starts the engine, but also turns on the rear-window defogger and heated outside mirrors automatically, if needed. A very nice feature.
The rear seats are a bit narrow, so if you are tall, it will be a little uncomfortable.
There is a hidden cup holder in the middle console to store drinks because sometimes vehicles lack them.
The rear seats do fold nice and flat when you’re moving large pieces of cargo. I never really need to use this feature unless I’m buying furniture.
On the downside, they significantly reduce the amount the front seats can move and recline back if folded all the way down.
If you have the rear seats folded up or laying flat, you do have ample amount of cargo room, but still not the same amount of space compared to larger SUVs.
One big plus for the 2017 Buick Encore is the inclusion of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is now standard. I live off my iPhone and it helps bring my personal preferences into the car. It changes the functionality of the 8-inch colour touchscreen with maps, music and phone a huge win. With the laws in Canada, going hands-free is so much easier and prevent you from accidentally breaking the law.
In terms of other technology, the safety package is good to have as it gives you side blind zone alert and rear cross-traffic alert. One point of improvement would be the quality of the rear vision camera, it was blurry and not as crisp compared to others. They have also received a five-star overall rating for safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Driving the Buick Encore was very smooth when going through the flat city roads and some bumpy roads. It takes corners with ease and rides comfortably over uneven pavement thanks to its stable suspension.
With the1.4L/153-hp/177-lb-ft turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4 engine, I did feel the engine could be more powerful especially going up hills. Once you start filling up the vehicle with more people and cargo, the base engine struggles to accelerate. There is an engine upgrade if you want more power and torque to deliver better acceleration to easily get up to highway and passing speeds.
The 2017 Buick Encore is an excellent subcompact SUV. It’s good for those who are young and style-conscious buyers who want to escape the city on weekend trips or those who want their next upgrade from a sedan to an SUV without the large size of a traditional SUV. At first it reminded me of the Chevrolet Trax as it had similar pros and cons, but the Encore has a few more luxury features and a higher price tag. If you’re in the market for a compact SUV, definitely add the Buick Encore to the list.