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  • Drew Dowdell
    Drew Dowdell

    2013 Buick Encore

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    Buick today introduced their new compact crossover due to be on sale in 12 - 13 months. The Encore comes standard with a 1.4 liter turbo charged 4-cylinder engine good for 140 horsepower and 148 ft-lb of torque. The standard 6-speed auto has a steep first gear and and a tall final gear to allow for a wide spread of gear ratios. The wider spread gears allow for better around town acceleration while still providing fuel efficient highway cruising. Front wheel drive is standard with all wheel drive optional.

    On the inside, it is all Buick with lots of soft touch materials and Buick's quiet tuning. On the Encore, QuietTuning gets a boost with active noise cancellation. The system uses 3 ceiling mounted microphones attached to the Encore's audio system to direct the sub-woofer to send out noise cancellation sound pulses.

    Encore rides on the same Gama platform that underpins the Chevrolet Sonic. The Sonic recently achieved a 5 star crash test rating from the NHTSA, so we expect the Encore will match that.

    After sitting in the Encore, I was surprised how roomy it feels inside for such a compact vehicle outside. If feels roomier than both the Juke and Clubman, two compact SUVs I expect might be cross shopped with the I found that with the front seat adjusted for my 5 foot 10 inch frame, I was still able to sit very comfortably in the rear seat with more than enough knee room. Additionally, none of the pictures, the press picture or my own, do the car justice. Quiet, comfortable, and fuel efficient, the Encore isn't a car for gearheads, but it will be perfect for their wives. I think that marketed correctly, Buick could have a big hit on their hands.

    Press release on page 2

    2013 Buick Encore Takes the Stage

    All-new luxury crossover is versatile, efficient and continues brand’s growth

    DETROIT – Buick today introduced the all-new 2013 Encore – a luxury small crossover that delivers Buick’s signature style, interior acoustic refinement and collection of luxury amenities in a maneuverable, versatile and efficient package.

    The Encore is on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit through Jan. 22, and goes on sale in early 2013.

    “Buick Encore is a great-looking, smart choice for those who want luxury crossover amenities in a more maneuverable and agile vehicle,” said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of Buick Marketing. “It represents a luxury alternative for a new audience of Buick customers, and delivers features and flexibility not typically found in vehicles of its size today.”

    Buick models continue to gain in popularity, with two consecutive years of higher retail sales. The Encore joins Verano – Buick’s third all-new sedan in three years – to round out the brand’s lineup and continues the momentum established by the Enclave crossover almost five years ago.

    With room for five and up to 48.4 cubic feet (1,372 liters) of storage space with the rear seat folded, the Encore offers substantial cargo capacity along with the confident, higher driving position, all-wheel-drive capability and contemporary styling of a crossover. In fact, its cargo space compares favorably against similar-sized international competitors:

    Rear Seat in Place

    Rear Seat Folded

    Buick Encore

    18.8 cu. ft. / 533 liters

    48.4 cu. ft. / 1,372 liters

    BMW X1

    16.9 cu. ft. / 480 liters

    47.4 cu. ft. / 1,350 liters

    Audi Q3

    16.2 cu. ft. / 460 liters

    48.2 cu. ft. / 1,365 liters

    Additional features include 10 standard air bags and an Ecotec 1.4L turbo four-cylinder/six-speed automatic powertrain, along with standard and available technologies such as Buick’s voice-activated IntelliLink – which uses Bluetooth or a USB to connect the driver’s smartphone to a high-resolution, full-color seven-inch LCD display radio.

    And because it’s a Buick, QuietTuning is standard on the Encore, which also features Buick’s first use of active noise cancellation technology.

    Contemporary design offers versatile spaciousness

    In keeping with the global design language that has come to symbolize the brand, the Encore’s sculpted and elegant styling traits – including sweeping character lines – make it instantly identifiable as a contemporary Buick. Signature cues include a waterfall grille, chrome accents and surrounds, portholes on the hood and painted lower panels, similar to the Enclave.

    “The Encore brings Buick’s timeless, sculptural design to the crossover segment in a way that blends elegance, efficiency and utility,” said David Lyon, executive director of design. “There’s confidence in its athletic stance and elemental beauty in its rich details.”

    Blue-accented projector-beam headlamps and detailed taillamps enhance the premium appearance; and 18-inch, five-spoke painted aluminum wheels are standard. Seven-spoke chrome wheels are available.

    Inside, the Encore’s organic styling carries over to a flowing instrument panel that wraps naturally into the door panels. A prominent central instrument panel houses the large, full-color, seven-inch LCD display for the IntelliLink voice-activated radio system. It also features displays for the SiriusXM satellite radio, as well as available navigation and rear camera systems.

    A contemporary mix of dark and light tones distinguishes the cabin, which is accented with ice blue ambient lighting, select use of bright trim and wood-grain trim. Premium seats featuring high-density foam for greater comfort on long drives are trimmed with either a contemporary cloth/leatherette motif or available leather. Heated front seats and a heated steering wheel are available. The rear seat features a fold-down armrest with cup holders.

    More of the Encore’s comfort and luxury features – standard and available – include:

    • Remote vehicle start
    • Dual-zone automatic climate control
    • Rainsense wipers
    • 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.

    Encore also features plenty of storage capacity and storage compartments. It offers 18.8 cubic feet (533 liters) of storage behind the split-folding rear seat and 48.4 cubic feet (1,372 liters) with the rear seat folded. With the rear seat in place, there’s room for at least six full grocery bags and with the rear seat folded, there’s room for golf clubs and overnight bags for a weekend getaway. Even the front passenger seat folds flat to extend the cargo length and accommodate long items that would not normally fit in a vehicle of this size.

    Nine exterior colors and three interior color combinations will be offered.

    QuietTuning gets ‘active’

    QuietTuning is the process of defining Buick quality, sound and vibration characteristics and designing and refining the vehicle following a three-point strategy of reducing sounds at their source, blocking sounds from entering the cabin and absorbing any remaining sounds.

    For the Encore, specific content was applied to achieve 40 sound benchmarks for refinement, including Buick’s first application of active noise cancellation. With it, ceiling-mounted microphones detect engine noise, the frequencies of which are processed by a computer that directs counteracting sound waves through the audio system’s speakers and subwoofer.

    Additional standard QuietTuning features include:

    • Acoustically treated headliner with a tuned gap between it and the high-strength-steel roof panel
    • Sound-absorbing materials used in the cabin, under the hood and in the wheel house liners
    • HydraMatic 6T40 six-speed transmission with neutral gear disengagement
    • Quiet-tuned 18-inch Continental tires
    • Aero-optimized outside mirrors
    • Ultra-quiet engine alternator
    • Acoustic-laminated windshield and thicker 5mm side window glass
    • Foam baffle insulation at the opening of body structure cavities.

    ‘One-tire’ philosophy sharpens ride and handling characteristics

    The new Encore is built on a global small-crossover platform and engineered with a “one-tire” philosophy. Everything is optimized around a single 18-inch tire specification, designed for more precise suspension tuning, driving refinement, quietness and a feeling of control.

    The Encore’s 100.6-inch (2,555 mm) wheelbase and wide stance – 60.6-inch (1,540 mm) front and rear tracks – contribute to a more confident-feeling driving experience, while a strong structure enables greater suspension precision and a quieter ride. Tuned engine, including two hydraulic mounts, are tailored to the engine’s inherent torque axis to disrupt the transmission of vibration and noise. This configuration also helps control the transfer of momentum, resulting in improved dynamic balance.

    A MacPherson strut front suspension is used with coil springs, a large stabilizer bar and side-load-compensated front strut modules. The rear suspension incorporates a compound crank (torsion beam) design, with a double-wall, tubular V-shape beam profile with gas-charged twin-tube shocks. It combines all the advantages of a conventional torsion beam axle, including minimal space requirements, with low weight and consistent camber control. Urethane spring isolators are used to dampen noise.

    The Encore also features a column-mounted, variable-effort electric power steering system. It contributes to a 36.7-foot (11.2 meters) turning diameter, while also saving fuel compared to an engine-driven power steering pump.

    Safety technology helps protect occupants

    Encore is designed with technologies – including radar-based features – to help avoid crashes and protect occupants in case one occurs. Technologies that help avoid them include:

    • Standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control
    • Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and electronic brake force distribution
    • Cornering brake control and brake assist
    • Available all-wheel-drive system that seamlessly shifts power to the rear wheels when required for better traction and handling
    • Available forward collision alert and lane departure warning
    • Available front and rear park assist
    • Available rear vision camera.

    When it comes to occupant protection, the Encore’s body structure forms a protective cage around the passenger compartment. Sixty-three percent of the underbody structure is comprised of high-strength steels, while 57 percent of the upper body uses high-strength steels, including ultra-high-strength steel. That protection is complemented with 10 standard air bags, which include:

    • Driver and front passenger frontal air bags
    • Driver and front passenger knee air bags
    • Front and rear thorax air bags (all outboard positions)
    • Side curtain air bags for front and rear outboard passengers.

    Encore’s suite of safety features is rounded out with exclusive OnStar technology, which includes the Advanced Crash Response System, emergency assistance and more.

    Ecotec turbo engine drives efficiency

    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. The wide rpm range for the maximum torque – a specific trait of turbocharged engines – helps it deliver a better driving experience and performance.

    The 1.4L’s turbocharger is integrated within the exhaust manifold, for reduced weight and greater packaging flexibility. A reinforced crankshaft and forged connecting rods deliver additional strength to support the engine’s pressurized power and torque over a wide rpm band.

    Several of the engine’s features contribute to the Encore’s overall fuel efficiency, including:

    • A high-efficiency alternator
    • Regulated voltage control
    • Electronically controlled returnless fuel system
    • Deceleration fuel cut-off.

    They complement other vehicle-wide systems and components that also help improve efficiency, including low-rolling-resistance tires, electric power steering, neutral idle feature and optimized aerodynamics.

    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. It has a unique design, with the planetary gearsets positioned on the same axis as the engine crankshaft centerline, making the entire powertrain unit shorter fore-to-aft. This design enables a shorter overall vehicle length, increased interior space, enhanced safety crush zones and lower weight.

    The Hydra-Matic 6T40 offers a “steep” first gear and a “tall” overdrive top gear to achieve a wide ratio spread of 6.14:1. This allows the Encore to achieve robust acceleration, as well as fuel efficiency and lower engine noise at highway cruising speeds. A neutral-gear disengagement feature helps enhance smoothness and efficiency.

    The Buick Encore will begin arriving at U.S. Buick dealerships in the first quarter of 2013.

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    Not really my thing, too stubby, but kudos to Buick for going after an untapped segment, since the X1 and Q3 aren't sold here...yet. Hopefully its successful for them.

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    Think about the target market for this car and then think about the other offerings in the US right now (very few) and you'll see the potential Buick has here.

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    My Wife will LOVE THIS!!!! Woman who want a small AWD CUV with a bit of Luxury and quite interior will love this CUV!

    I personally like the look, but would be interested in how cramped my 6'6" body will be in it. I know my 5'8" wife will fit.

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    Isn't Mercedes bringing the B-class over?

    I think so..and Audi already has the A3 here, which is a similar 5dr hatch configuration...and Ford's B-Max is likely coming as well...

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    Just more to the party of small AWD CUV Options. At least GM will have it here earlier than later and that should help them grab a good share of the market. :P

    Rock ON GM with Buick. :metal:

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    I was a vocal critic over at Buick's FB page during the tile reveal adventure lead-up, but now that I've seen it in whole, I do like it. It certainly blazes a new trail in the market. GM is more often than not behind in new market segments... this time it's different.

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    I don't get the point of it @ this size as a Buick. No thank you.

    2015 CAFE standards. World vehicle. Future growth niche. Lots of reasons. I am surprised to see a Buick Gamma CUV before a Chevy version, though.

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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    Just get your oil change ramps and drive it into the trunk of your B59. It could be your dinghy.

    It is a bit of new-think as far as what Buick has always been defined as... but I think it will work out fine.

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    This car taps into the female segment all the way. It has all the things they like or want.

    It sits high

    It has AWD

    It has a lot of cargo room

    It will be easy to drive and park

    It carries many of the traits of a Minivan and SUV in one small package.

    It will have luxury of a larger SUV but not the bulk.

    My wife wants a SUV like vehicle but she does not want a Tahoe or Enclave. She said they are a lot bigger than she needs or wants to drive daily. The Nox or Terrain are what she likes sizewise. But even those are larger than many females want or like to drive. Keep in mind many of them can't drive vehicles that are not easy to see out of. The size and visiability of this one will play to those who want the comfort but without the bulk. This untapped market will take off with the Encore and I expect others will soon follow.

    Lets face it the Escape and Honda are not much for comfort.

    If a guy here got to the point where he would say I have got to have one of these I would think he is already stranded in a Minivan already. This is not a car that I would expect anyone here to buy. But with that said we here no longer are the main focus of the market anymore.

    Edited by hyperv6
    • Upvote 2

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    Wow, I surprisingly like this car. It's a personal pseudo-luxury crossover that provides both agility and isolation for urban environments.

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    More generic boringness for Buick. Should be perfect for the type of person that used to buy Lexus.

    The shame is some of the most profitable cars are the most boring or lest fun.

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    More generic boringness for Buick. Should be perfect for the type of person that used to buy Lexus.

    The shame is some of the most profitable cars are the most boring or lest fun.

    Hopefully growth in profit of appliances will lead to a continued supply of fun vehicles for enthusiasts (V-series models, SS models, Corvettes, etc)..

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