Petite Premium Crossover Can Reach 33 MPG
At this stage in the game, the number of compact premium crossovers available in this country is fairly small, but so is the price tag for GM’s first foray into the segment: The 2013 Buick Encore will be priced from $24,200 when it arrives at dealerships early next year, although that’s before a $750 destination charge. Still, it makes a nice first impression for Buick, with particularly high level of standard equipment, along with the best fuel economy of any front-wheel-drive, automatically transmissioned domestic crossover in America.
Which is why Buick’s vice president of Marketing, Tony DiSalle, can confidently report that: “Encore opens the Buick brand to new groups of customers with a compelling blend of luxury, utility and efficiency. Its versatile shape, agile size and available all-wheel drive invite owners to live active lifestyles while enjoying Buick’s signature style, comfort and refinement.”
Dealers will be offering the 2013 Buick Encore in four increasingly well-equipped trim levels:
Key options available on the 2013 Buick Encore include all-wheel drive, navigation and a sunroof.
Now, I wasn’t kidding up above when I intimated that the 2013 Buick Encore is among the first compact premium crossovers to hit the U.S. marketplace. Buick itself claims that the MINI Countryman S and Volkswagen Tiguan are the Encore’s “direct import competition,” but the former is almost seven inches shorter than Encore and the latter is six inches longer. In addition, the Countryman is a crossover only in the loosest of terms, while the only other folks who consider VW a premium automaker likely get their paychecks directly from Wolfsburg. Nonetheless, here’s a quick comparison of those two products with the Encore, and I’ve also tossed in the Audi A3 as another option. (The four-rings brand is expected to launch the Audi Q3 in America, and that will be an excellent match for the Encore as far as size goes, but it won’t land here until 2014.)
And while the Encore may seem a bit underpowered compared to this crew, Buick’s marketing mavens would no doubt say it delivers a better mix of fuel economy, value, versatility and standard content than the other trio—and they’d be right.