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2012 NAIAS: Buick Encore

January 10th, 2012

2013 Buick Encore

      Buick has been teasing us for the last several weeks by slowly revealing bits of their newest crossover. Buick has also chosen to tease those of us with a long memory by choosing the moniker ‘Encore’ for this crossover. That name was last used on a much unloved Renault hatchback marketed in the 1980’s alongside its Alliance sedan counterpart at AMC dealerships. No matter, the Encore name likely was chosen due to its audible similarity to Buick’s large Enclave crossover. Unexpectedly, the Encore is based on the Chevrolet Sonic rather than the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain.
      The diminutive Buick certainly looks right at home amongst its stable-mates complete with signature venti-ports. Just how small is the Encore? It rides an amazingly short 100.6 inch wheelbase. Buick promises to maintain luxury levels of ambient interior noise by integrating what is dubbed ‘QuietTuning’. Among the active components of QuietTuning are an acoustically treated headliner with a tuned gap between it and the roof panel, an ultra-quiet engine alternator, an acoustic-laminated windshield, and thicker 5mm side window glass. The Encore is powered by a 140 hp 1.4L turbocharged four mated to a conventional 6-speed automatic. With Audi showing of the Q3 Vail on the other side of Cobo Hall it seems that Buick may be ahead of the curve by offering the smallest luxury crossover yet. And judging by the list of standard features the Encore promises to be more than just a badge engineered Sonic. Expect the Encore to hit Buick showrooms in about a year.

Photos by Jason Muxlow

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