Detroit: 2013 Buick Encore Pioneers Small Luxury Crossover Segment

Buick has completed a remarkable transformation in just a few short years. The Buick today is nothing like the brand was just five years ago. Few companies are able to complete a turnaround so quickly.

Generation X and Y are considering Buick when they never thought they would. The transformation began with the Buick Enclave, and it is has spread to the LaCrosse, Regal and Verano. Now the Encore joins the fray – an offering courtesy of General Motors’ international operations. Buick and Opel are pretty much sharing partners now, and this is the result of it. Small Buicks! Who would have ever thought? The Encore is probably considered a subcompact – it is a category many manufacturers thought buyers in the United state would never be interested in. Buick is taking the initiative by introducing the first luxurious small crossover of this size in the U.S.

At 168.5 inches long, with an 100.6-inch wheelbase, the Encore is smaller than even the Verano. There are only a few ways you can shape an CUV of this size, and Buick has done its best to make the Encore stylish. The signature waterfall grille, blue-ringed headlights and portholes are all here. Buick’s styling stands out in the market.

The interior shown in the photos is gorgeous, finished in a two-tone leather combination called Saddle. The colors, stitching, lighting and wood work together so well. It is very rich looking and distinctive from what other manufacturers are doing. We like it Buick. Unique colors and trim are really having an emphasis put on them at GM, and particularly at Buick and Cadillac.

Less visible is a more advanced version of Buick’s “QuietTuning” technology. In the past it has involved things like acoustic glass and sound deadening stuffed everywhere (very scientific, we know). This time though there is an active component; microphones in the ceiling that detect engine noise, which are processed by a computer.

Counteracting (inaudible) sound waves are then pumped through the Encore’s speakers and subwoofers. This helps mute the sound of the engine. Its a first for Buick, and expect this to spread to other cars in the lineup. Speaking of engine sounds, the Encore is motivated by a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder making 140 horsepower and 148 pound feet of torque. Weighing 3190 pounds, this should provide adequate power and return excellent fuel economy.

Buick cites competitors like the Audi Q3 and BMW X1, which aren’t even on the U.S-market. Overall, the Encore shows forward thinking on Buick’s part. Check out Buick’s baby CUV in our gallery below.

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