CHANGES FOR 2013:

– New model.

The Encore is a new compact crossover from Buick; it looks goofy to us, like an Enclave that got caught in a vice, but it’s based on a new global platform that also underpins the less geeky-looking Chevrolet Trax. The Encore uses a “power-dense” turbocharged engine that should perform well in this context, given our experience with the same engine in cars like the Chevrolet Cruze. We were not convinced a tiny vehicle like this would fly with luxury buyers, but it has; no doubt, Buick’s hope is the Encore will bring younger drivers to the brand, and keep them happy enough to come back the next time they’re in the market for something larger.

The Encore is available in Convenience, Leather, and Premium trims, with front- or all-wheel drive, and can only be had with one engine – a 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder engine developing 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque.

In Convenience trim, features include 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, six-speed automatic transmission, airbags (driver and front passenger knee, front, front seat, side curtain, rear seat-mounted outboard), OnStar, electronic immobilizer, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, front-wheel drive (all-wheel drive optional on all trims), chrome door handles, fog lights, automatic light control, power body colour mirrors, chrome roof rails, 18-inch aluminum wheels, two-piece storage tray under cargo load floor, air conditioning, cruise control, floor mats, driver information centre, remote keyless entry system, power locks, tilt/telescopic steering column, leather-wrapped steering wheel with Bluetooth/cruise/audio controls, power windows with driver auto-up/down, 60/40 split-fold rear bench seat, cloth/leatherette seating surfaces, 6-way power driver seat, 2-way manual passenger seat, 6-speaker audio, Bluetooth phone connectivity, Buick IntelliLink, and USB port.

Leather trim adds remote starter, backup camera, automatic dual-zone climate control, driver seat and mirror memory, auto-dimming rear view mirror, heated steering wheel, heated front seats, leather seating surfaces, and 6-way power passenger seat.

Premium trim adds Ultrasonic parking assist, Rainsense wipers with automatic variable control, 18-inch chrome wheels, and 7-speaker Bose audio system.

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