Revealed at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show and headed for the showrooms starting early next year, the 2013 Buick Encore is a compact luxury crossover the division sees as an ideal candidate to strengthen its portfolio while reaching out to a whole new generation of buyers. Embodying the latest in Buick design and technology, including a sophisticated twist on the division's signature Quiet Tuning, the five-passenger Encore will enter the segment with an impressive roster of standards and numerous upscale options to complement its base, Convenience, Leather and Premium trim grades.
The first vehicle to be built using GM's new "small compact crossover architecture," the exterior styling of the 2013 Buick Encore displays a more youthful interpretation of established divisional cues. Softly sculpted lines help create an organic but still well-tailored look that's set off with subtle detail elements - including faux portholes on the hood -- and a single-spec wheel/tire fitment that impressively matches 215/55 Continental tires on 18-inch alloy wheels. Those decidedly substantial boots coupled with the Encore's extremely rigid body structure, 100.6-inch wheelbase and 60.6-inch track dimensions should give it a solidly planted feel. And standard features like StabiliTrak stability control, variable-effort electric power steering and four-wheel ABS disc brakes with Brake Assist, Cornering Brake Control and Electronic Brake-force Distribution will add even more confidence under all driving conditions.
Well-finished, well-appointed and offering room for five, the cabin of the 2013 Buick Encore reflects the division's current design themes, matching dark and light tones with ice-blue accent lighting set off with bright and wood-grain accent trims. The seats - plush buckets up front and a split/folding rear bench -- are covered in cloth/leatherette or optional leather and dropping the aft perch increases capacity of the Encore's cargo bay from 18.8 to 48.4 cu ft.
In addition to a full array of power assists and 10 airbags, the Encore's long list of standard/optional equipment contains features like a 7.0-inch LCD display that controls the Intellilink voice-activated radio, dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers, remote starting, rear-view camera, front/rear park assist, premium Bose Audio and a navigation system.
One other key feature to be found in all 2013 Encore models is Buick's Quiet Tuning. This comprehensive suite of sound rejection/abatement elements that's become a signature of the brand gets a new facet in the Encore with the addition of Buick's first active noise cancellation system. It employs sound waves generated by the Encore's audio system speakers to effectively counteract unwanted engine noise in the cabin.
The 2013 Buick Encore will be available in front-wheel drive and optional all-wheel drive configurations, the latter automatically shifts power to the rear axle as traction conditions warrant. All versions of this new Buick crossover will share a common engine and transmission pairing. Motivation will come from a turbocharged version of GM's 1.4-liter EcoTec four-cylinder set to make an estimated 140 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque, the latter from 1,850-4,900 rpm. It will be backed by a six-speed automatic transmission with a deeper first gear and a taller overdrive cog to help the Encore accelerate more quickly from a stop but deliver better fuel economy at freeway cruising speeds. No word yet as to the Encore's anticipated EPA numbers.