There’s a new entry coming to the
compact subcompact luxury crossover category. The 2013 Buick Encore will debut later in 2012 as a 2013 model. Currently Buick has only the Enclave 7-seat crossover in its SUV lineup. However, instead of going compact and basing the model off the platform used by other GM models such as the Chevy Equinox, Buick is going subcompact with its new crossover, as the Encore will be built of a modified version of the Chevy Sonic’s platform.
Interior Space & Features
At just 168 inches long, the five-seat Buick Encore is only 6.7 inches longer than the Mini Cooper Countryman and 3 inches shorter than the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque. And with just 48 cubic feet of cargo room with its rear seats folded flat, it has less room than the upcoming 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek.
Despite its small size, the Encore boasts a host of standard luxurious features such as active noise cancellation, laminated glass, sound absorbing materials, and 18-inch five-spoke wheels. The model also features Bluetooth, OnStar, and Buick IntelliLink, which has a seven-inch LCD screen.
Other available features include remote vehicle start, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bose premium sound system, Rainsense wipers, heated, leather wrapped steering wheel with audio control, and six-way power seats with driver memory.
The Encore also has great safety features such as 10 standard air bags, cornering brake control and brake assist. Available features include lane departure warning, forward collision alert, front and rear park assist, rear vision camera, and all-wheel drive.
Engine & Fuel Economy
The Buick Encore features a modified version of the 1.4-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine used in the Chevy Cruze and Sonic. In the Encore, it produces 140 horsepower and 148-pound-feet of torque. This is not a lot of power for a model that weights 3,309 pounds. In comparison, the 2012 Honda CR-V LX weighs 3,305 pounds and sports a 185 horsepower engine. A Hydramatic six-speed automatic transmission is standard in the Encore.
The Encore’s fuel economy figures have not been released, but with a fuel-efficient 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, the model should be one of the most fuel-efficient crossovers on the market. The base Mini Cooper Countryman, with a 1.6-liter 121 horsepower engine has fuel economy of 27-mpg city and 35-mpg highway.
Pricing & Competitors
The pricing for the 2013 Buick Encore has not yet been announced. A starting price in the mid 20Ks is likely. Currently, Buick’s most inexpensive vehicle is the compact Verano sedan, which starts at $23,470. However, the Encore has less passenger room and a less powerful engine than the Verano.
Buick is claiming the Encore is a pioneer in the premium U.S. subcompact crossover market. In Europe, models such as the BMX X1 and Audi Q3 compete in this segment but they are not sold in North America. In the U.S. the Encore will compete against models such as the Mini Cooper Countryman, up-level trims of the Nissan Juke, and hope to attract compact SUV buyers.
For photos and more information, see the Encore page on Buick’s website.
Author: +Jason Nelson