Buick can make you feel as though you’re driving a high-end luxurious car without paying $100,000. At half the price, it can still be hard to choose between purchasing a 2017 or 2016 vehicle, especially if you aren’t sure paying more will give you a better, upgraded car. These are some of the biggest changes in Buick’s most popular models to help you choose which one is perfect for you.
The Verano is the smallest passenger car introduced by Buick, and the 2017 model is the last of this line. One of the main differences you’ll notice with the 2017 Verano is the weight. The new model is much lighter, which could increase the fuel economy and handling of the vehicle, giving it a Chevy Cruze vibe.
Another huge change is the outside since the interior grew in volume, which is great for anyone looking for a little more space. The larger cabin is also expected to bring improved materials and design to make the Verano feel even more luxurious than its predecessor.
Finally, the Verano will remove the 2.4-liter I4 LEA Ecotec engine for a smaller, more efficient, turbocharged four-cylinder unit. It’s possible it could be fitted with a 1.4-liter or 1.5-liter EcoTec, like the one seen in the 2016 Chevy Malibu, though it’s also possible it could be replaced with the 2.0-liter LTG I4 turbo. At the moment, the price point is unknown, but the 2016 Verano saw a starting MSRP of $21,065.
The 2017 Encore also saw a major overhaul, with improvements to its technology and appearance. Now redesigned with 18-inch wheels and brand new paint colors, the Encore looks better than ever. It’s also fitted with a winged grille and a sculpted hood to give it a sleek look that you’d expect from a high-class compact SUV.
Another huge upgrade was the 4.2-inch Driver Information screen and the introduction of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Plus, the 2017 Encore now has keyless entry and a push-button start to accompany the Buick IntelliLink telematics software, which was introduced in the 2016 model.
Other features that followed the 2016 Encore to the newer model include Bluetooth connectivity, Wi-Fi hotspot, and a rearview camera. The 2017 Encore did drop in fuel economy slightly to 27 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway, compared to the previous year which had 28 mpg/34 mpg. Even with all these new features, the 2017 Encore saw a price decrease from $24,065 to the new starting MSRP of $22,990.
The LaCrosse saw a complete overhaul this year of its exterior, interior, and technology. The exterior is longer and lower than the 2016 model, but it also did away with the oversized waterfall grille, slab sides, and boxy rear for a more cohesive design. The interior is also much different, with the quality of the materials improving drastically to be on par with competing full-size sedans.
Despite being lower to the ground, the center console is now taller and hovers over a large bin area that has more accessible cup holders and a simpler climate-control design. It also comes with the newest IntelliLink upgrades and an 8-inch touch-screen interface. The 2017 LaCrosse also comes with a standard rearview camera, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.
Changes did cause a decrease in fuel economy compared to the previous model. The 2017 LaCrosse gets an estimated 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, whereas the predecessor got 25 mpg/36 mpg. The best thing about the new LaCrosse is that the price didn’t increase much. The new MSRP starts at $32,065 compared to the 2016 model’s price tag of $31,065.