Buick has found a way to make luxury look smart.
The all-new 2013 Buick Encore luxury crossover is designed to make a statement in the rapidly growing compact crossover utility segment. In fact, it is one of the fastest growing segments in the industry.
To say the Encore makes a statement would be a monumental understatement.
Refined, elegant and capable of going toe-to-toe on luxury against its premier import competitors, from a consumer standpoint, the Encore is also one of the smartest buys on the road.
With spacious seating for five passengers riding tall on an SUV platform and a versatile cargo area that expands to more than 48 cubic feet with the rear seat lowered flat, the Encore meets and exceeds expectations for those wanting a small utility vehicle.
I was also impressed with the Encore’s performance — something I expected from a luxury vehicle.
What totally blew me a way, however, was the Encore’s fuel economy ratings.
Available in front- or all-wheel drive configurations, the Encore has an EPA fuel economy rating of 25 mpg city, 33 mpg highway for front-wheel drive models (23/30 respectively for all-wheel drive).
When I say the Encore is one of the smartest buys on the road it is because it allows you to ride in the lap of luxury and feel like a million bucks, but you don’t have to spend a lot of money to do it.
Powered by a super efficient turbocharged 1.4-liter I-4 engine and mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, you will be amazed at what this “little” engine can do.
If you didn’t look under the hood, you will think you’re driving a V-6. The performance is that impressive.
With a base price starting at $24,200, the all-new Encore is available in four trim levels — Encore, Convenience, Leather and Premium.
It also lives up to its billing as a luxury vehicle, filled with a long list of standard safety features, amenities and technology.
A short list of standard safety features includes 10 airbags, StabiliTrak stability control with traction control, rearview camera system, cornering brake control and brake assist, as well as OnStar Directions and Connections. Available systems include forward collision alert and lane departure warning system and front and rear park assist system.
Another standard feature on the 2013 Encore is Buick’s IntelliLink system, which integrates online services such as Pandora Internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio using hands-free voice activation via Bluetooth-enabled smartphones. The list of standard features is too long to list in this limited space, but it is loaded.
While the Encore is a smart buy, it is also a smart vehicle. One example is the Bose Active Noise Cancellation technology.
The Encore is a must for the test drive list!
Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 20 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association.
The Nuts and Bolts
2013 Buick Encore
5- seat luxury crossover
Front-, or all-wheel drive
Base, Convenience, Leather, Premium
1.4L turbo I4 (138 hp/148 torque)
EPA: 25/23 mpg city, 33/30 mpg highway (FWD/AWD)
FUEL: Regular unleaded
Electronic stabililty control with rollover mitigation and traction control system
LENGTH: 168.5 inches
WHEELBASE: 100.6 in.
WIDTH: 69.9 inches
HEIGHT: 65.2 inches
WEIGHT: 3190/3309 lbs.
FUEL TANK: 14 gallons
CARGO: 18.8/48.4 cubic feet (behind 2nd/1st row).