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Buick’s Encore Sport Touring benefits from a new turbo four and a spruced-up interior

Eager to increase its presence in the lucrative compact crossover segment, Buick has added a new trim level called Sport Touring to the Encore lineup for the 2016 model year.

The Sport Touring model stands out from the run-of-the-mill Encore thanks to an all-new 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that uses both a small turbocharger and direct fuel-injection to make 153 horsepower and 177 foot-pounds of torque, increases of about 11 and 20 percent, respectively, over the stock encore’s 1.4-liter turbo four.

The chain-driven engine will power a long list of Opels on the other side of the Atlantic, including the all-new Golf-fighting Astra hatchback, and it could also find its way under the hood of other Buick and Chevrolet models in the coming months. Built largely out of aluminum, it features a steel crankshaft that reduces vibrations, a variable-flow oiling system that automatically adjusts the amount of oil supplied by the pump, and tiny oil jets designed to cool the pistons.

A standard start/stop system keeps the turbo four’s fuel economy in check, but official figures have not been published yet. Power is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission, and a weather-beating all-wheel drive system can be ordered at an extra cost.

Visually, the encore Sport Touring gains a small roof-mounted spoiler, fog lights up front, body-colored door handles, and 18-inch Y-spoke alloy wheels wrapped by Continental tires. The interior has been spruced up with a 120-volt power outlet, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, dual-zone A/C, and a remote starter, while the list of safety-focused upgrades including features like Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

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The 2016 Buick Encore Sport Touring will go on sale across the nation this fall. How much of a premium it will carry over the standard Encore has not been announced yet.