Buick has just introduced its 2013 Encore at the 2012 Detroit Motor Show — the fifth new Buick to be introduced in the last five years.
While the Enclave is a three-row, full-size SUV, the Encore slots in at the other end of the spectrum as a small crossover.
Smaller than the new Audi Q3—as well as the BMWX1, which has been delayed—the Encore is slightly larger in every direction than the compact Chevrolet Sonic from which it is derived.
Inside, there’s the usual appointments you’d come to expect in any car in these days, including 10 airbags, Buick’s IntelliLink voice-activated system, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, and the ability to connect the driver’s smartphone to the car’s high-resolution, full-color seven-inch LCD display.
More of the Encore’s comfort and luxury features – standard and available – include:
Remote vehicle start
Dual-zone automatic climate control
Bose premium sound system
Heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls
Six-way, power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar adjustment and driver memory.
Up front, there’s a dark-gray waterfall grille flanked by projector beam headlights that incorporate a blue ring similar in style to the Enclave.
The wheel wells are filled with standard five-spoke 18-inch painted alloy wheels with seven-spoke chrome wheels remaining an option.
The rear suspension uses a semi-independent torsion beam — the stuff of economy cars — but models from the Hyundai Elantra to the Volkswagen Jetta ride well enough with the setup, so we can’t knock it until we drive it.
As expected, the Encore features QuietTuning. This includes the use of sound-absorbing materials in the cabin, under the hood and in the wheel house liners; an acoustically-treated headliner with a tuned gap between it and the high-strength-steel roof panel.
The Buick Encore is powered by an efficient, power-dense Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission. It generates an estimated 140 horsepower (103 kW) and 148 lb.-ft. of torque (200 Nm) between 1,850 rpm and 4,900 rpm.
A Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic transmission backs the Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine. It is part of a family of six-speed front and all-wheel drive transaxles developed for small cars and crossovers.
The Buick Encore will begin arriving at U.S. Buick dealerships in the first quarter of 2013.