Entering into a hotly-competitive field, Buick’s all-new five-passenger Encore is after family buyers who are looking for a luxury crossover that’s stylish, maneuverable, versatile, safe and fuel-efficient. According to Tony DiSalle, Buick’s U.S. vice president of marketing, the Encore “represents a luxury alternative for a new audience of Buick customers, and delivers features and flexibility not typically found in vehicles of its size today.”
Styling, comfort and luxury features
From its waterfall grille, chrome accents and surrounds, portholes on the hood, and painted lower panels, the Encore features signature cues similar to the larger Buick Enclave crossover SUV.
Such styling is evident in the blue-accented projector beam headlamps and detailed taillamps, and standard 18-inch five-spoke aluminum wheels. Seven-spoke chrome wheels are available.
On the inside, the Encore has a flowing instrument panel wrapping into the door panels, premium seats, bright trim and wood grain trim. Leather seats are available, along with heated front seats and heated steering wheel.
Of importance to family buyers, the Encore offers standard or available luxury and comfort features that include remote start, dual-zone climate control, rainsense wipers, Bose premium sound system, heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, and six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar adjustment and driver memory.
Storage capacity is always important to family buyers, especially in a crossover. The Encore has 18.8 cubic feet of storage behind the split-folding rear seat and 48.4 cubic feet of storage with the rear seat folded.
These dimensions come out on top in comparison with the 16.9/47.4 cubic feet storage capacity in the BMW X1 and 16.2/48.2 cubic feet storage capacity in the Audi Q3, two vehicles which, as TheCarConnection points out, aren’t currently sold in the U.S. MotorAuthority adds that the X1 is coming, and the Q3 is likely to follow.
In addition, the Encore’s front passenger seat folds flat to accommodate long items that wouldn’t normally fit in a vehicle this size.
Models and availability
The 2013 Buick Encore will be available in Encore, Convenience, Leather and Premium models. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available.
The Encore will begin arriving in dealerships in the first quarter of 2013. Pricing is not yet available.
Performance and safety
The 2013 Buick Encore is powered by a 140-horsepower Ecotec 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Safety technology in the Buick Encore includes 10 standard airbags, StabiliTrak electronic stability control, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and electronic brake force distribution, cornering brake control and brake assist, and OnStar with advanced crash response system.
Optional safety technology includes forward collision alert and lane departure warning, front and rear park assist, and rear vision camera.