By on July 1, 2011

For a while now we’ve figured that the long-rumored Buick “Baby Enclave” would be a rebadged version of Opel’s Meriva MPV, as the suicide-doored Euro-confection is currently GM’s newest Gamma-platform people-carrier. But according to GMInsideNews’s 2013 lineup forecast, the Buick “Encore” will actually be a

Gamma based crossover will be a five-seater, about the size of the Nissan Rogue.

Because the Meriva is considerably smaller than the Rogue, and because it is rumored to have distinctly Enclave-like styling, we’re starting to rule out the Meriva as the next Buick CUV. Instead, we now think that this forthcoming Opel Corsa-based (Gamma II platform) “SUV” will be the basis for the Encore, as it’s larger than the Meriva and offers the higher seating that American drivers crave. But, based on this video of the new CUV testing in Germany, the new Buick should still be fairly playful for a front-drive crossover. These are not perfect drifts by any stretch, but I challenge any of you to do better in a front-drive Buick…

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22 Comments on “Watch Buick’s “Baby Enclave” Get Slideways...”

  • avatar

    When I look at Buick as a brand, bringing over the Astra platform should be as low as it goes for what is supposed to be a tier 2 or 3 luxury marque.

    I know we’ve had vehicles like the Nova re-upholstered and re-badged as a Buick Apollo in the past – but a Corsa derived SUV isn’t going play in the psuedo-luxury field without cheapening the Buick brand.

    • 0 avatar

      If this vehicle is the size of the Rogue, I think it would be ok.

      Infiniti has its EX which is a Rogue.

      Acura has an RDX which is a CR-V.

      Other luxury brands have vehicles that are compact crossovers. Will have to see how big (or small) this one is.

      • 0 avatar

        Infiniti and Acura? Those are your examples? C’mon. Those two companies lost the script years ago. Look at sales figures for the EX and the RDX and then explain to me why those models (or companies, for that matter) are shining beacons of hope for GM’s multiple-personality automotive division.

      • 0 avatar

        The BMW X3 isn’t exactly a beast either (don’t know dimensionally how it measures up to the Rogue or CR-V)

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Buick is getting very interesting, very interesting…

    Still want to test drive a Verano when they hit dealer lots, just to see what a Cruze with more displacement would be like.

  • avatar

    Is this just testing of the stability control system? If so, they seem to have it set a little loose, which is OK in my book.

    • 0 avatar

      GM Stabilitrak is generally praised across all models in the media for not kicking in until the fun has stopped being fun, and not kicking in with such authority as to neuter the vehicle. Just enough of a correction to keep you from getting killed.

  • avatar

    The only thing I can figure out about where Buick is going, is that they’re looking to the future, not to the past as to what a “luxury” vehicle should be. The age of the block-long luxo-barge appears to be mostly over, except for a very few applications – buy an Enclave or other SUV or CUV. If, as Buick downsizes, manages to keep the value of the brand, I’m excited for them. If they blow it, well, then they’ll be no better than anyone else. They have to retain some “exclusivity”, some reason for a buyer to aspire to in order to stand apart.

    • 0 avatar

      Or perhaps this is just Buick looking to China once more, as the Meriva-derived crossover seems like it would fit in a bit better there than it would here.

      Given the strength of the brand there, it makes more sense if you see this as something developed largely for them.

      • 0 avatar

        Seven letters, four two numbers. CAFE 62 MPG. Do you wonder why mid size cars are all getting 4 cylinder motors? How else will GM (and everyone else for that matter) cope with this mandate? Everything gets smaller. Smaller cars, smaller motors smaller fuel usage…

        I’m not against the drive to smaller vehicles that are more luxurious. For decades in the US people have been going away from the typical American luxobarge to smaller luxury cars like BMWs and some Lexus models. But now that the former smaller luxury brands are selling more of their bigger cars, the domestic mfrs have a chance at coming up with smaller models that compete well.

        Time will tell…

  • avatar

    Bring back the Rendezvous – updated, of course. OK, notgonnahappen. How about a CRV/RAV4 but nice, like a Buick, with a 200+hp turbo 4 getting, say, 35mpg? I’d be there.

    • 0 avatar

      Mom’s 04 Rendezvous is ok, but drives very much like the minivan it’s based off of. It’s absolutely no fun to drive hard, rides ok though. the 3.4 and 4 speed is a horrible combination in that thing though. It’s overmatched and underpowered or under-geared.

      • 0 avatar

        Like I said, updated. Imagine the Enclave’s drivetrain in the 1/2 ton lighter car, instead of the porky Lambdas. Anyway, I’m thinking Regal turbo/6speed. Keep the Rondy’s Tahoe-sized inside with it’s Malibu-sized footprint. Just sayin’. None of these CUV’s is meant to be driven hard, although the RAV4 corners a lot better than you’d expect.

    • 0 avatar

      You might have been close till you said 35 mpg.

  • avatar

    Does this bear any relationship to the Orlando?

  • avatar
    Acc azda atch

    I think its FANTASTIC that GM isn’t making the THETA the biggest fuckin whore that GM has..

    Its also great / Gamma frame Meriva is making a splash in the U.S.
    I do wish they used it (GAMMA frame, MERIVA / Corsa) as a option under the THETA as the mainstay for compact CUVs in the U.S. Not market the THETA as compact.. when in fact its much larger.

    They still don’t have THIS option for Chevy or CADDY.
    Proves constantly they they are VERY leery of putting out a C segment people mover in any form and under 30g. When in fact that is the biggest segment right now, when in fact they’ve flooded the larger segments with mostly competition of its own right.

  • avatar

    Looks like a total sh*tbox.

    If this is the future of automobiles I’m buying every Camaro SS and Mustang 5.0 I can find…

  • avatar

    I’m certainly not Jack Baruth, but that vehicle seems to be wallowing quite a bit for the speed it’s going.

  • avatar

    Imagine how much better that turd would handle if it were 8 inches lower. Oh right, then it would be a wagon and no one would buy it.

  • avatar
    Sam P

    Soon crossovers will become so low to the ground that they’ll revert to being AWD station wagons.

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