Buick revealed the 2013 Encore compact luxury crossover earlier this week at the Detroit Auto Show. Essentially creating a new segment in the markeplace, Buick is looking to attract new customers with this crossover vehicle.
Based on the same platform as the Chevrolet Sonic, the Encore is very compact in its dimensions, appearing even smaller than expected in person. Unfortunately the exterior isn't quite as pleasing to the eyes as the interior. With a dark-gray waterfall grille up front and portholes on the hood, the overall shape of the Encore is somewhat awkward. The rear end is where the styling comes to a particularly difficult point, with upright wraparound taillights and awkward sculpting.
Once inside the Encore, almost all the styling mishaps on the exterior are forgiven. Quality materials cover every surface with a mix of leather, leatherette, and real wood. Even the plastic surfaces are nicely grained with a low sheen. Sitting atop the center stack is a standard seven-inch color LCD display, where all infotainment and climate control settings are shown. Buick's new IntelliLink voice-activated system is standard.
Power is provided by a 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder rated at 140 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission that will be offered, though the Encore will be available in both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive variants.