2013 Buick Encore Premium
2013 Buick Encore Premium
2013 Buick Encore Premium. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Tom Sedens

A couple of months ago, I reviewed the Chevrolet Trax. I liked most of what I discovered so I was looking forward to my week with its high-society cousin, the Buick Encore.

In terms of styling, the Encore has the Trax handily beat. Its tidy proportions are not overstyled and it receives a handsome set of polished 18-inch rims. Nifty blue corona rings are found in the headlight pods and the slightly flared fenders, short overhangs and high beltline work in concert to fold into a smart, stylish design that throws some elegance and some fun into the mix.

It’s just a shame that they’re still hanging onto those silly faux portholes on the hood.

The engine that greets you when you pop the hood is so small, it looks like you could get another engine in there. So what is it? It’s a 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder. The numbers aren’t astounding – it puts out 138 hp between 4,900 and 6,000 rpm, and makes its peak torque (148 lb-ft) available to you at a low 1,850 rpm.

The Encore sends that power through a six-speed automatic to all four wheels using a front-wheel-drive-based all-wheel-drive system.

Fuel economy is officially rated at 8.9 L/100 km in the city and 6.7 L/100 km on the highway. My week with it consisted of daily commuting, an occasional heavy foot, no effort to conserve fuel and a few freeway/highway sprints. I averaged 10.3 L/100 km which isn’t amazing for a small vehicle, but not completely horrifying either. The fuel tank holds 53 L.

2013 Buick Encore Premium2013 Buick Encore Premium
2013 Buick Encore Premium. Click image to enlarge

The interior is crafted out of very nice materials. I’ve come to expect upper-crust interiors from Buicks, and this one didn’t disappoint. Fit and finish was pretty good, and you’ll find soft-touch plastics everywhere. The dark interior gets a bit somber. I’ve seen the lighter interior option in pictures and it’s lovely.

The power-adjustable heated leather seats are very comfortable, and offer a surprising amount of bolstering. A bit of a head-scratcher – as in the Trax – the recline function is manual.

2013 Buick Encore Premium
2013 Buick Encore Premium. Click image to enlarge

The heated steering wheel has controls for cruise, media, hands-free and phone functions. The Encore is started with a key – no push-button ignition here. The key fob has remote lock/unlock functions, as well as a remote starter. Nice.

Ahead of you is a bin with the standard Buick gauges, which I quite like. They’re easy to read and the markings on the bezels make them look like a nice watch, rather than an automobile gauge. Between the two main gauges is GM’s standard driver information screen. It’s not pretty with its crunchy green text and graphics, but functionally I have no complaints.

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