Yet another luxury compact crossover enters the fray. General Motors has launched a new model at the last Auto Show in Detroit to increase its market share in this growing niche. The 2013 Buick Encore will compete especially with the BMW X1 and Audi Q3, which will arrive later this year. However, we will have to wait until early next year to purchase the Encore.
Beware of appearances: this 168.5″ vehicle is shorter than a Toyota Matrix (172″), but a tad longer than a Nissan Juke (162.4″). With the rear seatbacks folded, the load volume of 48.2 cubic feet outperforms the X1 and Q3.
Buick says that the 2013 Encore can seat five people, but if you want my opinion, the three in the rear will feel rather stuck.
For the Encore, GM uses its universal compact car platform called Gamma II, the same that is borrowed by several of its small cars around the world, including the new Chevrolet Sonic. All Gamma II model development takes place in Korea. Moreover, it is in this country that will be assembled the 2013 Buick Encore for the North American market.
We will find under the hood, a turbocharged Ecotec 1.4 L and a 6-speed automatic transmission. Rest assured, the design remains true to Buick. The exterior, beautifully carved, recalls the great Enclave and integrates visual keys specific to the brand, including the waterfall grille and air intakes on the hood.
Inside the enveloping decor of the cabin, the central console features a LED screen of 7 inches. Customers can purchase luxurious amenities such as heated steering wheel and seats, leather upholstery, remote start, dual-zone air conditioning, a Bose audio system; the driver’s seat with lumbar support has six settings and the IntelliLink electric voice control system. It uses Bluetooth or USB to connect the driver’s smartphone to the multimedia interface of the Encore.
In addition to the ten airbags, standard equipment will include Buick Quiet Tuning technology. For the first time, it will build on an active noise control: ceiling microphones detect engine noise and a computer will produce attenuating sound waves through speaker boxes and the sound system.
Buick continues to favor a mixture of light and dark tones, such as pale beige and chocolate brown. One of the designers of the 2013 Buick Encore, the young Magdelena Kokoszynsku, seems not at all represent the typical Buick buyer, but she proves the opposite: “Our generation does not have the same relationship with Buick as do our parents. For us, this is practically a new brand, she said. I’ve never thought of the Buick as old people cars. To me, this is a young, dynamic and full of potential company.”
If Buick opts for classic elegance in designing its interiors, Kokoszynsku sees no obstacle to attract a younger crowd. She claims that Buick simply wants to create beautiful products and the attraction of beauty is not limited to a particular age group. “I love my Buick! “Exclaimed the bubbly designer, who drives a black Regal Turbo.[nggallery id=18]