• Oct 31st 2012 at 4:21PM
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  • 2013 Buick Encore in Cocoa Silver
  • 2013 Buick Encore in Cocoa Silver
  • 2013 Buick Encore in Cocoa Silver
  • 2013 Buick Encore in Cocoa Silver
  • 2013 Buick Encore blue-accented projector beam headlamp
  • 2013 Buick Encore
  • 2013 Buick Encore with Saddle interior
  • 2013 Buick Encore in Cocoa Silver
  • 2013 Buick Encore in Cocoa Silver
  • 2013 Buick Encore with Ebony interior
  • 2013 Buick Encore with Saddle interior.
  • 2013 Buick Encore in White Pearl Tricoat
  • 2013 Buick Encore in White Pearl Tricoat
Buick is taking a gamble with its 2013 Encore. General Motors' near-luxury brand has enjoyed great success attracting conquest buyers to its larger Enclave crossover, but it has never offered something quite like this small CUV.

Very early signs suggest that the gamble might be working. According to Mark Reuss, President of General Motors, the automaker expected about 1,500 initial orders from its dealers for the Encore, but it's tracking closer to 9,000 units. Alluding to the fact that historically, Buick has shared similar products with GM's other brands, Reuss says that Buick dealers are "thrilled to have an exclusive." The automaker already markets almost identical models in other markets as the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka and Chevrolet Trax, but The General's other brands won't offer a twin to the new baby Buick.

The new Encore is based on the Gamma architecture that underpins the Chevrolet Sonic, and it shares the economy car's available turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine. With standard front-wheel drive and available all-wheel drive, GM says its Encore will be pitted against competitors like the BMW X1 and Audi Q3, both of which are much more expensive but also much more powerful.

Some industry watchers – including members of Autoblog – have openly wondered whether the Encore is a good fit for Buick, as GM has been steadily working to turn the brand into a more premium marque to tackle the likes of Acura and Lexus. Those same pundits have suggested that the Encore's small size and limited power would perhaps play better under the Chevrolet banner, especially as there would appear to be enough white space below Bowtie's very popular Equinox CUV. Autoblog approached Reuss with this notion at a media roundtable today, and the executive bristled, stating categorically that the Trax "would have never worked" in the US because of financial and packaging reasons, not to mention the fact that the model doesn't wear Chevrolet's new design language (as seen in the 2014 Impala).

Certainly, GM will be able to ask more money for the Encore with a Buick Tri-Shield badge on its nose than it would with a Chevrolet emblem – the range will start at $24,950 when it launches in the first quarter of 2013 – and strong early orders suggest that the automaker may indeed have the last laugh.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 50 Comments
      Street King
      • 2 Years Ago
      They did good with this in going against Acura and Lexus rather than making it another faceless and misunderstood Chevy.
      mikeybyte1
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think it could have worked either way - low priced Chevy or entry-lux Buick. I agree with others on here that the Verano is a success because, among other things, it does not have the same engines as the Cruze. That is not the case with the Encore. It has the Sonic's engine. That may or may not matter. People looking for a small CUV with some luxury touches may like this. It is a niche market. So although they might sell more if this were a stripper Chevy, they will probably make just as much cash selling a lower volume at a higher profit. I am curious to see it in person. The last few Buicks I sat in were very impressive.
      normc32
      • 2 Years Ago
      I just picked up a '13 AWD version for $24,000 and am seeing right under 40 mpg while cruising on the highway at 60 mpg. With only 100 miles on the odometer it should loosen up a bit during break-in. There is no gasoline, awd vehicle sold that see consistently in the 30 mpg range, regardless of drivetrain, than the Encore. The BuickForums the results are similar 30+ mpg in mixed driving. I took my first off highway ramp sweeper and was shocked just how composed and responsive it was especially when I trail-braked for the turn at the end. Truely a fun, quick ride once up to speed. Though not as quiet as my Turbo Verano, not even the Lacrosse is either, it is very good chassis dynamics and noise control. Most public has the stodgey image of Buick images of yore but I would not have purchased two if they did not perform. You have to drive them against the bigger competitors to see this small package performs. And it is not really that small at about 65 cubic feet of storage with the front passenger seat folded down.
      Walt
      • 2 Years Ago
      Aging baby boomers. No need for a large vehicle and high fuel costs, but they still enjoy luxury touches and in the Northern U.S. appreciate the advantages of AWD. GM has - once again - read the market correctly. Bravo!
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Walt
        [blocked]
      jessesrq
      • 2 Years Ago
      The interior looks more Chevy than Buick, especially with the aqua lighting and lack of a center armrest. GM keeps putting out these interiors with pleasing forms, finished with awful color and trim selections. Drop the fake wood or at least choose more contemporary grain patterns; lose the ribbed dashboard patterns that look like 80s lower body cladding on a Pontiac Transport (Malibu); stick to white lighting; choose matte or polished metallic accents, not both; and quit it with the fake "stitching" on the dashboards (ATS).
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jessesrq
        [blocked]
        dan1malk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jessesrq
        Your are correct, though I'd say LOTS of cars suffer these issues, and they are not unique to Buick.
      Andrew Zotos Breslin
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't understand their target audience for this and the Verano. Overpriced, compact, "luxury" vehicles with design safe enough for the geriatric. Everyone was against me about the Verano, yet I still have only seen one on the road since it came out.
        dan1malk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Andrew Zotos Breslin
        I see them all the time! (Chicago area) I see way more Veranos vs ILXs.
          dan1malk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @dan1malk
          The ILX is Acura's Verano competitor. A gussied up Civic to the Verano's gussied up Cruze.
          The Wasp
          • 2 Years Ago
          @dan1malk
          ILwhats?
          Andrew Zotos Breslin
          • 2 Years Ago
          @dan1malk
          I'll give you that. (I live on Long Island around a lot of new luxury vehicles) I haven't seen one ILX. I guess it could fit other markets, but in New York people either want a luxury car (Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Lexus) or a good value (Hyundai, Honda, Toyota, Nissan). We need to find something about our cars to justify and brag about, so "near luxury" vehicles are just seen as compromise, especially if they don't even have a sporting image (Mazda, VW).
          damianvargas
          • 2 Years Ago
          @dan1malk
          I have seen ONE ILX on the road (SF Bay area) months ago and that was it, on the contrary, I see dozens of still new TSX's (paper tags still) all the time. Although I know that a lot of people get away with no plates for upwards of a year or longer, I'm inclined to think they are still selling way more final year TSX's than new ILX's. I've seen a couple Verano's. Of the 3, the old TSX is still a better buy IMO
          Vinuuz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @dan1malk
          The Acura salesman I talked to recently "claimed" ILX is the fastest moving car in their range. Going by the discounts on offer, I find that hard to believe :D! Back to Buick, I think the normal phenomenon of not achieving EPA numbers on the turbo engine will continue with the Encore, more so coz it is a bigger more bulkier vehicle to move than that other cars that the 1.4 turbo powers elsewhere in the chevy lineup.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Andrew Zotos Breslin
        [blocked]
      dan1malk
      • 2 Years Ago
      You guys were talking about the Buick vs Chevy version on the podcast a few weeks ago. The argument was that the lower cost Chevy would sell at a higher volume vs being badge as a more expensive Buick. But I think you were talking around the reasoning. You are right that it comes to volume, but in a different way. This is going to be such a small segment in the US for the next few years, until people realize they need smaller cars. Nobody is going to sell a lot in this segment. So GM is smart to badge this as a higher, per-unit profit Buick vs a lower profit volume Chevy. Buick/BMW/Audi won't sell tons of vehicle in this segment... yet, so they are smart to make all they can on the platform until the market opens up on sub-compact CUVs... which it will
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dan1malk
        [blocked]
      FRD
      • 2 Years Ago
      It looks more like a Hyundai.
      Soyntgo4it
      • 2 Years Ago
      Built in GM Korea/China plants for the USA ... Way to go GM...
        Matt
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Soyntgo4it
        There will not be a Chinese Encore sold in the USA. Only from Korea, which last I checked have been screwing together some pretty well received cars. GM's a world business. They will always build vehicles in other countries, just like every other manufacturer in the world! Just be happy that every Silverado and Sierra (every single one) will be built in the US as of next year. No more Mexican production.
      srdjan.dautbegovic
      • 2 Years Ago
      *This model is not Buick's but Opel's. It was produced in Opel's center in Russelsheim and designed by Opel's designers. ;-)
      Karfreek
      • 2 Years Ago
      If any one I know buys this pile I will ridicule them until the day they sell it. And then after that remind them of this severe lapse of judgement for the rest of there lives. Again, GM doing things in reverse order and cheapening the premium brands... "When will they ever learn?"
      lostjr123
      • 2 Years Ago
      If this is aimed at older folk, the dash is all wrong. WAY to many small buttons and small symbols on the screen. Speedo numbers are too small also. Backup camera should be standard, with large, legible screen.
        lostjr123
        • 2 Years Ago
        @lostjr123
        Actually, I think that dash is a bad design, period. No one should have to deal with that mess.
        lostjr123
        • 2 Years Ago
        @lostjr123
        Speedo numbers should be large, with one scale. I thought even Chevys used a button to switch between miles and KM instead of double scales? Certainly a "luxury" car should have this.
          Matt
          • 2 Years Ago
          @lostjr123
          pretty much all GM's have a digital speedo in the driver info centre that can easily be switched from miles to kms.
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