By on January 4, 2012

It wasn’t our intention to inundate you with Buick stories, but sometimes the improbable occurs. Buick has been slowly revealing their new Encore crossover via their Facebook page, and we’ve now been treated to 3 out of 4 photos – enough to discern what the vehicle really looks like (pretty close to what Ed’s photo revealed).

Based on the Sonic platform, the diminutive Encore frankly looks goofy. Where this figures into Buick’s North American product lineup is anyone’s guess. It’s too small to have any appeal as a premium vehicle in America (would a rapper or reality TV star flaunt that thing? Absolutely not). An educated guess would deduce that the Encore was developed with China in mind, and American sales are a bit of an afterthought.

Regional implications aside, the Encore’s reveal campaign follows the annoying trend of car makers slowly revealing their products online via a set of teaser photos. Blogs love them because the “slow burn” allows them to post a stream of photos which help capitalize on the click-based advertising revenue model, and car makers get a “long tail” of publicity for their product. Sometimes the campaigns are agonizingly long (see: Toyota FT-86) to the point where cynicism-induced burnout occurs, other times they are shorter, like with the Encore. Not that a Buick mini-CUV could muster up the enthusiasm needed to sustain a multi-year launch anyways.

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31 Comments on “Buick Encore 75 Percent Revealed Thanks To Infuriating Internet Publicity Campaign...”


  • avatar
    Hank

    Looks like someone tapped into the Pokémon school of design for this one.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    Is this being made at NUMMI? Because it looks like it could have been. I guess it can’t suck any more than the Matrix.

    • 0 avatar
      Chicago Dude

      NUMMI is owned by Tesla now. GM abandoned it in the bankruptcy and Toyota didn’t want to own it alone. So they gave it to Tesla in exchange for some battery packs.

  • avatar
    jimble

    This thing would have worked well as a Pontiac, but a Buick should not be cute and chunky, it should be long, low, wide, and sexy.

    • 0 avatar
      28-cars-later

      Agreed. But it looks like Buick overall will become everything it was plus Pontiac/Olds/Saturn grade products, the last ‘middle brand’ between Chevrolet and Cadillac.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    LOL, hideous.

  • avatar
    Steven02

    I would say this was developed with the Opel Mocha (Corsa crossover) in mind. Apparently most manufactures are bringing subcompact crossovers to Europe. Since Opel and Buick are going to be sharing many of the same products, I guess we get one. It should do well in China too, but I think the real target is offsetting costs of the European version.

  • avatar
    John R

    Were they deliberately shooting for CarTown vehicle proportions?

    http://boonage.pjss2.net/images/content/tundra-tundra.jpg

  • avatar
    alluster

    That’s one fugly car. Will make Buick lose all the credibility it has built for itself over the last two years. Should sell very well if priced in the 25K range and be very popular among female drivers. Could get great gas mileage (around 35 Highway) if mated to the Sonic’s 1.4L turbo or even the 2.4L ecotec which gets 32 Hwy on the much bigger Equinox/terrain. All that said, this does not belong in the Buick line up and the estimated 27K to 33K price range is too steep for subcompact CUV. The compact cuv segment is projected to soon become the fastest growing, so Buick is probably up to something here. The idea is good, the execution is all wrong.

  • avatar
    mike978

    I agree that slow burn reveal campaigns are annoying. That is why I am impressed with Ford and the new Fusion due to be revealed next week in Detroit. No images of it have leaked that I can find, and only one concept, the Evos, which is a true concept. Rather than a lightly disguised production ready car (ala Honda CRV).

  • avatar
    tikki50

    well I have to say its much better looking to me than the Sonic if its on the same platform. Its more of what the Sonic should or could have been. Curious about the price point on this vehicle.

  • avatar
    photog02

    I think the winner of the slow-burn reveal is still the Chevrolet Camaro. It was “revealed” to the public in Transformers (2007) and didn’t launch until 2010. In my eyes, the car had been out so long that it was due for a styling refresh by the time they finally started making it.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    75% is plenty. It looks like a Buick Murano. Resembling a Nissan hasn’t been a good thing in over 30 years.

  • avatar
    Wraith

    While maybe not a good fit with the Buick name, it could be a good fit for GM. With the death of Pontiac (Vibe) and Saturn (VUE, short-lived U.S. Astra), GM has nothing with a rear door between the Sonic hatch and the not-quite-compact Equinox. Would also be their only small AWD model.

    Could have just made it the Chevrolet Super Sonic. But with the Buick name and (presumably) upmarket features, it will occupy an odd little niche. Might be the first time a Buick ever enters into a comparison with a Mini (Countryman).

    • 0 avatar
      carbiz

      Don’t forget the Optra. Although it went away in 2008, Canadian dealers sold scads and scads of them. There are 3 parked on my street alone! I think GM made a mistake in withdrawing the Optra sedan, hatch and station wagon from our market. However, if the Optra was to endure 3 or 4 more years without any changes (like the ’97-’03 Malibu, then it was probably for the best that these cute little econoboxes were no longer exported to Canada.
      The Verona/Epica is best forgoten. A great price point, incredible standard features, but a gutless engine and yet another bad Asian transmission!

  • avatar
    akitadog

    Looks to me that Buick and Ford were thinking along the same lines with the Encore and the “Indian truck” a few posts back, respectively.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    There may be a small market for a near-luxury compact SUV/ CUV in the US. If it’s just a matter of federalizing an existing platform that is going to sell in high volumes elsewhere, then it could be worth it.

    It would be ironic if it could take some sales away from the CR-V and RAV4. That would be a day that I would have never seen coming.

    • 0 avatar
      Flybrian

      This thing is going to make huge headway into one of the CR-V/RAV4′s demographics – you’re going to see countless numbers of these things toted behind diesel pusher motorhomes and clogging up parking lots at Cracker Barrel.

  • avatar
    Weltron

    One Word:Hideous

  • avatar
    RayH

    The Aztec designers were not fired?!

    I agree with Pch101, I think at the right price, it could take a good chunk of CR-V/RAV-4 sales. I like the goofy looks.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    Goofy works as a descriptor. I’d go with dorky though. It’s kind of like an upscale, micro-machines version of the Pontiac Matrix.

    At least they sprung for some plastic covers over the headlights. Those were apparently too extravagant for the Sonic.

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    If it’s quiet inside, it might do well, depends on the price.

  • avatar
    alluster

    Though i don’t like this car as a Buick, it might end up selling very well. If priced in the $25K range, 35 hwy fuel economy easily achievable with the 1.4L turbo, a great interior, Buick’s quiet tuning and Intellilink, they will sell as many as they can make. Crossovers are the new thing now and it will be interesting to see if the Encore creates a new class of its own or will end up like the Crosstour (answer to a question no one asked). Highly doubt conquest sales from Rav-4 and CR-V. This is much smaller and more expensive, catering to a different market.

  • avatar
    axual

    Weak … yet another soft looking CUV like the RAV4 and CR-V.

    • 0 avatar
      alluster

      Yup, yet another ‘chick’ car for women and middle aged soccer moms. Wish Buick had used this opportunity to hit one, right out of the park by bringing out a masculine alternative to the feminine and drab RX 350′s, Rav4′s and crv’s. What we have instead is a me too volume seller, that will soon be lost in the crowded CUV segment. What happened to uniqueness, a sense of identity and
      non-conformism? I wish Buick grew a pair and tried something radical, infuse style and brash designs that make people take notice. Fire all the designers and hire the guys at Holden hsv to design all future buicks. Those guys know how to design some kick ass cars.

      http://www.carshowp.com/2010-holden-hsv-gts-e2/

      Or how about this CUV?
      http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2010/12/00-2011-buick-roadmaster-opt.jpg

  • avatar
    ixim

    RAV4 comparison – price wise, the Encore is similar in price to the RAV4 Limited. BUT a LOT less cargo capacity; and 40hp less hauling the same weight. Too bad – 12 inches longer with more power and I’d buy one.


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