NAIAS: Buick Encore Revealed, Gives Us Morning Sickness

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
naias buick encore revealed gives us morning sickness

The overly drawn-out striptease of the Buick Encore is over, and we stand by our suspicions that the Encore was designed expressly for the Chinese market. Expect substantial floorplan-related agony on the part of Buick dealers who get stuck with this thing.

Buick touts the Encore as having more cargo space than the BMW X1 or Audi Q3, and this mere fact shows just how out to lunch Buick is. Anyone looking for a BMW X1 or Audi Q3 is primarily concerned with how they’re going to casually tell their friends that they left their yoga mat or locally and sustainably harvested organic quinoa in the back of their BMW or Audi. For them, a Buick is the car driven by their bubbie or zaidey and therefore a Buick is social poison.

At 168 inches, the Encore is 7 inches longer than a Mini Countryman, and according to our specs, 5 inches shorter than a Sonic. Power comes from the 1.4L turbo 4-cylinder used in the Cruze and Sonic, along with the wretched 6-speed automatic that is usually mated to that motor.

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  • Ixim Ixim on Jan 10, 2012

    A turbo is needed. Too bad only 48 cu. ft. vs 75 for the RAV4/CRV. It should sell well if priced in the mid-$20's, though.

    • Ixim Ixim on Jan 11, 2012

      Oops! It HAS a turbo, albeit a little weak at 140hp. Comparable in form factor to a KIA Soul albeit a lot more posh and pretty.

  • Denster2u Denster2u on Jan 11, 2012

    Folks, this is where the market is heading. Have we forgotten the new CAFE Fuel Economy Standards? Europeans have been driving vehicles like this for a few decades (on that note, it would be nice to see an Opel diesel under the hood too). I really think GM is ahead of the curve and will sell this in large volume. Most vehicles of this size/class sold in the United States have traditionally been cheap low-grade econoboxes, but now Buick is offering the same versatile, nimble, and economical subcompact vehicle with all the luxury amenities of a large luxury car. Who says these things don't go together? Some people who want luxury or a premium brand don't necessarily want a large sedan or SUV. On the flip side, some people who want a small and efficient vehicle don't necessarily want a cheap entry-level econobox. Kudos to Buick for thinking outside the box!

  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂