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Buick's Encore, Sonic-Based Crossover

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On: Tue, Jan 10, 2012 at 3:08PM | By: Chris Salamone

Buick's Encore, Sonic-Based Crossover

Over the past few years Buick sales have steadily increased – making the company a silent, but deadly, contender brand in the luxury market. But those years of unrecognizable nameplates and wish-washy styling are over. With the Encore, an all-new luxury small crossover, Buick’s former marketing strategy of covert operations just went nuclear, simply because it will be impossible to keep the Encore below the radar.

The 2013 Encore uses the same underpinnings found in today’s Chevy Sonic. Even the Sonic’s 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder can be found in both vehicles. So what makes the Encore worthy of a second glance?

How about class-leading luxury, fuel economy, and a maximum storage capacity of 48.4 cubic feet? What we have here is a miniature luxury crossover which doesn’t pretend to be functional like the Smart, won’t cost a fortune like the Aston Martin Cygnet, and actually manages to look somewhat sporty…unlike the Fiat 500.

Some of the Encore’s most exciting features include active noise cancellation and the Buick IntelliLink system which incorporates a seven-inch LCD screen with hands-free calling, Pandora, and Stitcher integration.

“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, US 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.”

But let’s say you’re not 100% sold. Let’s pretend the Encore’s Sonic-based platform somehow cheapens the unveiling of an all-new, American made vehicle. Buick shared a couple sentences of pure, 24 karat, gold in the company press release which might serve to throw a little spice in the metaphorical Encore stew: “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.”

But don’t expect to hear anything about an all-wheel drive Encore in the near future. The first series of Encores will almost certainly remain strictly front-wheel drive, causing us to sit back, wait patiently, and see if efficient, micro-luxury soft-roaders ever make it to market. After all, the true beauty of noise cancellation can’t be appreciated without a proper gravel road to test on.

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Stephy21 | 9:50AM (Wed, Jan 11, 2012)

Glad to hear that Buick has improved cause for a while i thought they weren't in business anymore but i guess i was wrong.

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