Is this what the 2017 Buick Encore will look like?

The Encore will receive a major midcycle refresh for the 2017 model year, and may look like this rendering based on the Opel Mokka X. Photo credit: AUTOWEEK
Jay Ramey is an associate editor with Autoweek, a sister publication of Automotive News.

The 2017 Buick Encore will debut at the New York Auto Show in April, but before that its European-market Opel Mokka X twin will premiere at the Geneva motor show.

The Encore has been on sale since 2012 and has proven to be a hit for GM's luxury brand that isn't Cadillac -- Chevrolet even rolled out its own version for 2015. But product cycles are product cycles, and Buick's surprise bestseller will receive a redesign.

So what's likely in store for the pocket-sized luxury crossover?

Opel released exterior and exterior photos of the 2017 Mokka X, which shows a modest refresh of the front and rear fascias; the amount of black plastic has diminished, leaving the Mokka X with more body-colored surfaces and a visually-shorter front fascia. Most of the changes are inside, though.

The interior of the redesigned Mokka.

Opel restyled the dash, currently similar to the one in the Encore, better integrating the infotainment system into the design of the dash itself. The Buick will also get a redesigned interior, but it should be more luxe-centric than the Opel: closer to the new LaCrosse than a Chevy Trax.

While exterior and interior design and equipment will be updated, don't expect any new engines from Buick. That means the Encore will likely keep the turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-four introduced in the 2016 Encore Sport Touring, good for 153 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque.

Expect the refreshed Encore to arrive in dealerships later this year as a 2017 model.

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