Compact Crossover Slated for Early 2013 Premiere
GM’s first entry in the premium small-crossover segment—the 2013 Buick Encore—will be the most fuel-efficient domestic crossover in any segment. That’s per the automaker, which recently announced the Encore will post an EPA line of 25 mpg city/33 mpg highway/28 mpg combined in its two-wheel-drive configuration. And rather than parsing terms like “domestic” and “crossover,” let’s merely note that, regardless of how you slice things, those are fairly strong numbers.
On the other hand, a quick look at possible rivals is in order, so here’s how the Encore matches up against some of the smaller, two-wheel-drive, gasoline-only, automatically transmissioned crossovers on the market today:
MINI Countryman S
If that seems like an eclectic crew of competitors, you should be aware that Buick chose most of them, and even called out the VW and the MINI as the Encore’s “direct import competition.” I added the Mazda, mostly because it’s known for its SKYACTIV-ated fuel-efficiency marks.
There are some distinct efficiency advantages with the 2013 Buick Encore, of course:
Coincidentally, there also was some other important Buick news today on the fuel-efficiency front: the brand is rejiggering the lineup for the Buick Regal, and customers will no longer be able to get the now-standard 2.4-liter I4 without GM’s eAssist technology. This means that when the Encore debuts, every member of the Tri-Shield lineup except for the Buick Enclave will offer an entry model that can get at least 32 mpg on the highway. That includes the Buick Verano (32 mpg), Regal with eAssist (36 mpg) and Buick LaCrosse with eAssist (36 mpg), as well as the Encore (33 mpg).
“Right from its inception, Encore was designed to offer customers the safety and comfort expected of any Buick, but with an added emphasis on space and fuel efficiency,” said Jim Danahy, the Encore's chief engineer. “We did things like specify one optimized wheel and tire package to ensure that every customer has the best driving experience possible.”