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Looking like a jacked-up hatchback, Buick has unveiled its newest model today at the Detroit Auto Show today. Called the Encore, it’s part of the GM premium brand’s plan to move further down-market in search of added sales – an area it’s actually been very strong in recently with two full years of gains.
An entry level offering sitting next to the new Verano compact, the Encore is designed to evoke the style of the larger Enclave, which is easily Buick’s volume model.
The Encore is a surprisingly small crossover, at 168 inches in length it’s actually two steps down from the Enclave, leaving space for yet another model in the brand’s growing lineup. Still, despite its compact size, it boasts 18.8 cu-ft of cargo room, or a total of 48.4 cu-ft with the rear seats folded flat. This out-does both the Audi Q3 and BMW X1, a strong hint that at least Buick sees these two models as rivals.
Power is adequate, at best, with a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder making 140-hp and 148 lb-ft of torque mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Standard equipment includes 18-inch wheels as well as a 7-inch LCD screen with Buick’s new IntelliLink system and 10 airbags, while optional goodies include navigation and a back-up camera, heated seats and steering wheel, remote start and memory seating. Other available features include a forward collision alert and lane departure warning.
Buick continues to push its Quiet Tuning philosophy and takes it a step further with the Encore, adding noise canceling technology that uses the car’s speakers to counteract sounds coming into the cabin..
The Buick Encore will arrive at dealers in early 2013.