A Small-Scale Makeover For A Small-Scale Buick
Buick’s smallest crossover now gets an update on the eve of the the 2016 New York International Auto Show, becoming the fourth model the brand will launch in 2016. The Buick Encore, the nation’s best-selling small CUV and the automaker’s best-selling model, that has been redesigned for 2017, featuring styling cues from both the Avenir and Avista concepts.
The new Buick Encore’s dashboard is punctuated by a redesigned center stack which is, in turn, highlighted by an updated model of the automaker’s 8-inch Intellilink infotainment. That big, color touchscreen is a standard feature and is presented along with a ‘frameless’ design. The wireless data connection can be leveraged to provide Wi-Fi hotspot internet access for up to 7 devices and provide connectivity to the dashboards functions. The hardware is backed up by the latest version of the Intellilink software and also OnStar 4G LTE data connectivity.
The front end has been completely redesigned, with a new grille, front bumper, headlights, and foglights. The lights have been given a new shape, with the turn signal resting just to outside of the sharp and angular DRLs. The headlights now feature LED lights on the top 2-trim levels. The grille forgoes the vertical chrome slats in favor of the winged design and tri-color triple-shield insignia that was first seen on the Avenir and Avista concepts. The foglights have been integrated into the bumper, and no longer seem out of bulky and place.
In all, it’s a relatively small-scale update for a small-scale Buick. But the Encore looms large in the context of the brand’s U.S. portfolio, so Buick had better hope the changes are enough that keep sales strong in a segment that’s seeing a lot more interest.