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Buick’s 2017 Encore brings a dash of European flair to New York

Buick is giving the hot-selling Encore crossover a facelift in time for the 2017 model year. The Botoxed soft-roader will make its public debut at the New York Auto Show that’s kicking off tomorrow.

If the 2017 Encore looks familiar, that’s because it bears more than a passing resemblance to the 2016 Opel Mokka X that was introduced earlier this month at the Geneva Auto Show. That’s not a bad thing, because the update brings sharper-looking headlights, a bold, shield-shaped grille with a wing-like insert, and a hood with three ripples. Around back, the updates are more minor and largely limited to new-look LED tail lamps and a redesigned bumper.

The cabin receives a more streamlined dashboard and a revised instrument cluster that now includes a configurable screen. The dozens of buttons previously found on the center stack have been sent back to the parts bin and replaced by an 8-inch touch screen that runs the latest generation of Buick’s IntelliLink infotainment system. The Encore also adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and the list of standard features has been expanded with the addition of a push-button ignition and keyless entry.

Buick’s technical details are vague at best. All we can tell you at this point is that the entry-level engine is a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder that’s bolted to a six-speed automatic transmission. Most trim levels can be upgraded with a direct-injected 1.4-liter turbo four that brings more power, more torque, and a standard start/stop system that keeps fuel economy in check. In other words, it doesn’t sound like Buick has made any major mechanical modifications.

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The 2017 Buick Encore is scheduled to land in showrooms in the fall. When it goes on sale, it will be offered in five trim levels called base, Sport Touring, Convenience, Leather, and Premium, respectively. Pricing information will be published closer to the crossover’s market launch