Buick's lineup continues to expand with their all-new Encore small luxury crossover.
Buick is still currently enjoying a wonderful new era in design and enthusiasm. Ever since their Enclave large CUV debuted a few years back, it was evidently clear the historic automaker was entering a new and more youthful design stage. And now, Buick hopes that magic (and sales figures) continues with their all-new Encore small crossover. Just making its official Detroit debut, the Encore is aimed towards younger buyers in the quickly growing small CUV luxury segment.
Buick describes it as a "great-looking, smart choice for those who want a luxury crossover amenities in a more maneuverable and agile vehicle." We say it looks like an inflated Chevrolet Sonic with larger wheels. And what a coincidence: the Encore is based on a similar Gamma II architecture as the Sonic. In fact, Buick is so confident that their latest offering is best in its class, they claim that it's ready to take on the likes of the BMW X1 and Audi Q3 (funny enough, neither of those two models are sold in the U.S.). It's powered by the same 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder with 140hp and 148lb-ft of torque that's in the Sonic and is mated to a six-speed auto.
With seating for five, Buick is promising a hush-hush interior along with 48.4 cubic feet of storage space with the rear-seat folded. Along with 10 airbags standard, other features that can be found include Buick's voice-activated IntelliLink, a full-color, seven-inch LCD display, SiriusXM satellite radio, and something new called QuietTuning, which features the brand's first use of active noise cancellation technology. The exterior is adorned with Buick's signature design cues such as the waterfall grille, chrome accents and surrounds, and the infamous portholes on the hood.
Resting on standard 18-inch five-spoke painted aluminum wheels, the overall appearance isn't bad, but we have to admit that it looks smaller than what we first predicted. No word yet on pricing, but we think around a $24k base price sounds about right. Along with the Verano small sedan, Buick is quickly moving into market segments that are aimed at younger buyers who were previously never interested in (read: willing to be seen in) driving something favored by their grandparents. Expect for the 2013 Encore to reach showrooms sometime next summer.