Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Buick goes small with the Encore crossover

Buick Encore - Subcompact Culture
Yes, I mentioned "small" and "Buick" in the same phrase. The Encore was just unveiled at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. It's got a 100.6-inch wheel base (1.2-inches longer than a Chevy Sonic), and an overall length of 168.5-inches, which slots it directly in between a Sonic hatch and sedan in terms of size. GM claims it's got more room than the BMW X1 and the Audi Q3, for what it's worth.

This small crossover will be powered by the GM 1.4-liter turbo engine making 140 hp and 148 ft./lbs. of torque. It will be mated to a six-speed automatic , also alá Sonic and Cruze. It will be available in front-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations, too. Unlike the Sonic or Cruze, it'll be made in GM's South Korean factory.

I don't know about you but I certainly didn't see a vehicle like this coming from the Buick line. I happen to think it looks pretty good, though. I'm not a fan of the hood vents and the grill is a bit one the chrome-heavy side, but overall it's still appealing.

So there you go: Even Buick is jumping on the small car wagon. It will certainly be interesting to see how this does on the American market. You know, an all-wheel drive, turbocharged crossover from Buick made in South Korea. Like I said, should be interesting.


nlpnt said...

Looks very Matrix-ish. Appropriately, since this is osmething the dealers probably clamored for as a Vibe replacemnt.

Yeah, I'm disappointed it's not an Opel Corsa with 6-speed manual and a diesel option. You?

Duke said...

I like it, although I think it's a bit over styled. Yes, I just called a Buick over styled. Still, as much as they're trying to move away from an "old person's platform", I can't help but think about how this would be perfect for my Mom. She's driven small cars all her life but is starting to find it difficult to get in and out of her Honda Civic. She's been considering getting an SUV, something I've successfully talked her out of for the time being. But this little Buick...might just solve the problem all together.

My only question right now: How much is this thing going to cost, and how much will it depreciate over the first 2 years?