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2017 Buick Encore Review

The 2017 Buick Encore ranks at the top of its class, thanks to its great safety ratings, luxe interior, user-friendly infotainment system, and comfortable ride.

Pros & Cons

  • Luxe, quiet cabin
  • Smooth ride
  • Great fuel economy
  • User-friendly touch screen
  • Tepid passing power with the base engine

New for 2017

  • Refreshed exterior and interior styling
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto became standard

Rankings & Awards

The 2017 Buick Encore ranking is based on its score within the 2017 Affordable Subcompact SUVs category. Currently the Buick Encore has a score of 8.1 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 38 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

8.1

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.0
Performance: 7.7
Interior: 7.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.9
Safety: 9.8
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2017 Buick Encore Overview

Is the 2017 Buick Encore a Good Used SUV?

The Buick Encore is a great pick if you’re shopping for a used subcompact SUV. The Encore impresses with handsome styling inside and out, easy-to-use tech features like Apple CarPlay, great fuel economy, and a smooth ride even on rough pavement. It also provides a respectable amount of passenger and cargo space, and it rates highly for crash safety. There are a number of other great options in this class, including the sporty 2017 Mazda CX-3 and the super fuel-efficient 2017 Kia Niro. Still, the Encore deserves a test drive.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 38 Buick Encore reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2017 Buick Encore?

You can expect to pay between $16,800 and $25,000 for a used 2017 Encore. These figures are based on about 400 listings for the 2017 Buick Encore on our site. The average price is $20,100, but the amount you pay depends on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2017 Buick Encore Cost to Own?

The Encore’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be $22,300 – or about $4,450 per year. That’s lower than average for the subcompact SUV class.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Encore?

The 2019 Encore starts at $23,200, making it one of the pricier SUVs in this class. You can save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used 2017 Encore, especially if you want a base model with few options. You won’t miss out on any features by sticking with a used model either. The Encore saw no major updates for the 2018 or 2019 model years.

Read about the new Buick Encore »

You should also consider affordable new hatchbacks like the 2018 Honda Fit and 2018 Kia Soul, which start at around $16,200. Neither offers all-wheel drive like the Encore, but both hatchbacks offer superior practicality with more seating and cargo space.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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Which Model Year of the Buick Encore Is Best?

The Buick Encore arrived in 2013 as an all-new model. Its lineup has seen regular updates over the years including available blind spot monitoring for 2014, a Wi-Fi hot spot for 2015, and a stronger engine option with 153 horsepower for 2016.

However, the Encore’s most substantial updates arrived for 2017. These include refreshed exterior and interior styling, an easier-to-use infotainment system, and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You can save money by shopping for earlier 2013 to 2016 models, but the Encore’s 2017 updates make it a much more refined SUV and a better pick.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Encore »

How Reliable Is the 2017 Buick Encore?

The 2017 Encore has an above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Encore reliability »

2017 Buick Encore Recalls

At the time of this writing, there are two safety recalls for the 2017 Encore related to a software error with the vehicle’s airbag module. These issues could prevent the airbags from deploying in the event of a crash. Make sure these recalls have been addressed before you buy a used Encore.

See more information on Buick Encore safety recalls »

Which Used Buick Encore Model Is Right for Me?

The 2017 Buick Encore comes in six trim levels: Encore, Preferred, Sport Touring, Preferred II, Essence, and Premium. Most shoppers will be happy with Buick’s well-equipped base model. Standard features include an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, USB ports, a rearview camera, satellite radio, six speakers, a Wi-Fi hot spot, active noise cancellation, keyless entry, push-button start, and alloy wheels.

The Buick Encore Preferred adds no features, but it’s the first trim available with all-wheel drive (offered on all higher trims as well). The Sport Touring trim adds fog lights and remote start, and it’s available with a slightly more powerful engine, which is also optional in higher trims. The Preferred II trim adds blind spot monitoring and dual-zone climate control. The Essence trim gives you leather upholstery and heated front seats. Lastly, the Premium trim adds a seven-speaker Bose stereo and safety features like forward collision warning, lane departure warning, parking sensors, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

See 2017 Buick Encore trims and specs »

What Does Buick's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Buick offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Qualifying vehicles receive a one-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty after the four-year/50,000-mile new-car warranty expires. This warranty includes free maintenance for two years or 24,000 miles, and the original new-car powertrain warranty is extended to six years or 100,000 miles. Buick CPO models must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read Buick’s warranty page carefully.

Buick has one of the better CPO programs among affordable carmakers. According to our analysis, only Kia and Mini have better programs.

See the best CPO programs »

Read more about the Buick certified pre-owned program »

How Safe Is the Encore?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2017 Encore the second-highest rating of Acceptable for the passenger-side small overlap front crash test, but the Encore earned the highest rating of Good ratings in all other test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the SUV a perfect five-star overall rating. The Encore also earned five stars in the front and side impact tests, as well as four stars in the rollover test.

All Encore models come standard with a rearview camera. Available safety features include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and front and rear parking sensors.

See Encore safety scores »

2017 Buick Encore Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Buick Encore or 2017 Mazda CX-3?

It’s hard to go wrong with either the 2017 Encore or the 2017 Mazda CX-3. Both subcompact SUVs have great safety scores, advanced safety features, good fuel economy, similar cargo dimensions, and quality interiors. Ultimately, the choice comes down to the driving experience. The CX-3 handles more like a small car than an SUV, though its ride is a bit too firm on bumpy roads for some tastes. The Encore feels less athletic by comparison, but it’s a comfier cruiser. Both are great options in this class.

Which Is Better: 2017 Buick Encore or 2017 Honda HR-V?

The 2017 Honda HR-V is another good option. It stands apart from its rivals by offering class-leading rear-seat space and cargo room (a vast 58.8 cubic feet). The HR-V is comfortable to drive like the Encore, but there are a few compromises. The HR-V lacks some of the safety and tech features of the Buick, such as forward collision warning and Apple CarPlay. Its infotainment controls are somewhat clumsy as well. While the HR-V is a more practical people- and cargo-hauler, the Encore feels more refined. The Buick is the better pick of these two.

Compare the Encore, CX-3, and HR-V »

2017 Encore Performance

How Does the 2017 Buick Encore Drive?

The 2017 Encore is available with two engines: a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder with 138 horsepower, and an upgraded version with 153 horsepower. A smooth six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard with both setups; all-wheel drive (AWD) is available.

Both engines provide the Encore with adequate acceleration around town, but the standard four-cylinder feels pokier at highway speeds. For better passing power – especially when carrying extra passengers or cargo – it’s worth upgrading to the stronger engine. The Encore has a comfortable ride, yet it still feels reasonably agile and stable around turns. Responsive steering, tidy dimensions, and a tight turning radius make it a breeze to park.

Does the 2017 Buick Encore Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Encore gets 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway with its standard engine, which is good by class standards. With the same engine and all-wheel drive, the Encore returns 24/30 mpg city/highway. The Encore’s available turbo-four engine has an automatic stop-start system, which helps save even more fuel. It delivers 27/33 mpg city/highway (26/31 mpg with AWD).

Read more about Encore performance »

2017 Encore Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 Encore Seat?

The Buick Encore is a 2-row SUV with five seats. Up front, the seats are comfortable and provide a relaxed driving position with great forward visibility. The rear seats can fit average-sized adults on shorter trips, but snug rear legroom makes the backseat a better spot for kids and teens. Cloth upholstery comes standard. Heated and leather seats are available. The Encore’s interior dazzles with quality materials and handsome styling. The cabin remains very quiet at highway speeds as well, thanks in part to Buick’s great noise-cancelling speakers.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 Buick Encore?

The Encore has two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the SUV’s LATCH system an Acceptable rating for ease of use, noting that some of the anchors are hard to access or can be confused for other hardware.

2017 Buick Encore Features

Standard features include an 8-inch touch screen, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, USB ports, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and satellite radio. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard, allowing you to access your smartphone’s apps and functions while on the go. Available features include Bose speakers, a navigation system, and a moonroof.

The IntelliLink infotainment system is one of the easiest to use in this class. It features a touch screen along with simple buttons and knobs for the audio and climate controls.

See 2017 Buick Encore specs »

Read more about Encore interior »

2017 Buick Encore Dimensions

Buick Encore Cargo Space

The Encore has 18.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats, and 48.4 cubic feet with its rear seats folded. Both dimensions are about average for the subcompact SUV class.

2017 Encore Length and Weight

From front to back, the 2017 Encore is 14 feet long. Its curb weight is between 3,237 and 3,358 pounds.

Where Was the 2017 Buick Encore Built?

Buick built the Encore in South Korea, alongside the 2017 Chevy Trax.

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