Posted Jan 30th 2012 5:51PM
It’s the Enclave in a “smaller, more contemporary package,” GM product Chief Mary Barra said of the Buick Encore. If you’re scratching your head over this new small SUV from Buick Encore, you’re not alone. Many of us at the show did exactly that when the cover was pulled off the diminutive SUV. This wasn’t exactly what we expected from Buick. Finally there is a group of experts who think that the Encore SUV would be a something totally different and would not ride on either Delta or Gamma platform.
Buick also worked hard to distinguish the cabin of the Encore, with active noise cancellation that General Motors design boss Ed Welburn claims will be among the quietest in its class. The Encore will also feature Buick IntelliLink, which includes a seven-inch LCD screen plus Bluetooth that works with smart phones for hands-free calling and access to Pandora and Stitcher.
The Buick Encore will be powered by the same 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder engine currently under the hood of the Chevrolet Sonic and Cruze. The mini mill pumps out 140 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. That’s not a lot of power, but keeps in mind that the Encore rides on a revised version of the Chevy Sonic platform. Buick listed the BMW X1 and Audi Q3 as competitors. It’s probably a fair guess that these are the cars Buick benchmarked as performance targets as well. If true, the Encore will be another Buick to help with that change in perception.