I admit that upon first viewing the Buick Encore, I was repulsed by its goofy proportions and the poor fit and finish on the interior of multiple examples (yes, they were production examples, not hastily slapped together pre-production cars). But the market is what makes the winners and losers in the end, and the baby Buick is putting up some solid numbers.
Cars.com reports that Encores took just 14 days to turn in March, well below the industry average of 50 days, and a segment average of 44 days. Despite my dislike of the Encore’s looks, it is an interesting value proposition for many people; a compact, fuel-efficient, premium SUV-like vehicle. There really is nothing like it in the USA, though we may see a Europe-style expansion of that segment if the Encore continues to succeed. In Canada, the Chevrolet Trax, which is the Encore’s platform-mate, is being billed as the “City-sized SUV”, an interesting marketing message in a country where urban centers are densely populated and gas prices are high, but the desire for SUVs, trucks and other vehicles with a high seating position is still strong.
I often like to crow about how the market proves that enthusiasts taste in cars is a fringe segment of the automotive landscape – but with the Encore, I got a taste of my own medicine. At least for now.