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Buick's small crossover gets an Encore presentation in New York

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Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Buick's smallest crossover gets an update on the eve of the the 2016 New York International Auto Show, becoming the fourth new model the brand will launch in 2016. The 2017 Buick Encore's, ahem, encore presentation gets a revised design inside and out, new smartphone-friendly tech and more.

The new Encore's dashboard is punctuated by a redesigned center stack which is, in turn, highlighted by an updated version of the automaker's 8-inch Intellilink infotainment. That big, color touchscreen is a standard feature and is presented with a "frameless" design. The hardware is backed up by the latest version of the Intellilink software and OnStar 4G LTE data connectivity. The wireless data connection can be leveraged to provide Wi-Fi hotspot internet access for up to seven devices and provide connectivity to the dashboards functions.

Smartphone fanatics will be pleased to learn that the 2017 Encore will also feature plug-and-play Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity as standard features at launch.

Just ahead of the driver, a new instrument cluster design features a 4.2-inch color information display. Meanwhile, new push-button start, smart keyless entry and the automaker's QuietTuning blend of active and passive sound-cancellation technologies add a level of convenience and a modern edge to the small crossover.

Outside, the Encore gets a resculpt of Buick's familiar design language with a tighter, cleaner front end design and new lighting. All 2017 Encore models will get new LED rear lighting design and front LED daytime running accents, but only the higher trim levels will see the availability of new LED headlamps. Between those new eyes is Buick's winged grille, which is punctuated by the brand's new, enlarged tricolor insignia.

All new Encores are powered by 1.4-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engines, but there are two varieties of that engine to chose from. The entry-level powerplant is good for an estimated 25 mpg city and 33 mpg highway when mated with the standard six-speed automatic gearbox in the front-wheel-drive configuration. Last year, this engine made 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque, but Buick hasn't stated if those numbers will persist for the 2017 model year.

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Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

The upgraded 1.4-liter turbo comes from last year's Sport Touring special edition and adds direct injection and start-stop anti-idling technology to the mix. This enhanced version of the engine boasts "more power, more torque and more efficiency" according to Buick, but again the automaker has not stated specific numbers beyond early fuel economy estimates of 28 mpg city and 34 mpg highway. If last year's model is any guide, expect 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque.

All-wheel drive will be an available option for all trim levels.

Advanced driver aid features are a must-have for premium vehicles, and the usual suspects are present in the Encore's list of available options. Expect a rear camera system with rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision alert, lane-departure warning and rear proximity park assist to grace the options list when the 2017 Buick Encore hits the road later this year.

The 2017 Encore will be joined onstage at the 2016 New York auto show by the new Buick Envision, Enclave and Cascada models and a tweaked version of the Avista concept, which will feature a new paint and interior materials scheme.

 

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