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CAR OF THE MONTH April 2013

2013 Buick Encore Premium

Small Luxury Crossover

A three-quarter front view of a 2013 Buick Encore Premium

In short: A cute, city-friendly crossover.

Buick Encore Review

A new arrival for the 2013 model year, the Buick Encore inhabits a unique position in the luxury American badge's lineup. Boasting the shortest wheelbase of any current Buick model, this cute crossover is perfect for city driving. The Encore also features the smallest engine of any Buick ever, with its thrifty 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4. While this, again, makes it great for saving gas around town, we noticed the Encore lacked power when trying to take things up a notch on the highway.

An interior view of the 2013 Buick Encore Premium

The 1.4-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine

However, the ride is nonetheless comfortable and quiet, and is further aided by an opulently outfitted interior. Our White Pearl tester came standard with XM satellite radio, a color 7-inch infotainment system and Bluetooth connectivity for phone and music.

Showing signs of a global economy, this Buick of the future is assembled from Chinese and Korean parts with an American motor in South Korea. The Buick Encore Premium boasts front and rear ultrasonic parking assist, rendering that task as easy as driving with its friendly turning circle. Throw in rain-sensing windshield wipers, rear-vision camera, lane departure warning, forward collision alert, Stabilitrak with traction control and airbags all around as safety amenities, and you've got a safe drive to school, the office and your weekend activities. Inasmuch as we disliked the lack of power at times, we appreciated the gain in MPG, as well as the cabin space with its generous headroom.

A three-quarter rear view of a 2013 Buick Encore Premium

Warranty/Service: Five-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty; four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty

QUICK SHEET
Base Price: $28,190 / As Tested: $31,475

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front engine, front-wheel drive, 5-passenger, 4-door crossover

Engine: 1.4-liter turbocharged ECOTEC inline 4-cylinder engine
Horsepower: 138 hp @ 4,900 rpm
Torque:148 lb-ft @ 1,850 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Curb weight:
3,190 lbs
Wheelbase: 100.6 in
Length/Width/Height: 168.2/69.9/65.2
Turning circle: 36.7 ft

Brakes:
4-wheel disc brakes with ABS and brake assist
Suspension: independent MacPherson strut front; torsion beam rear
Traction:
Stabilitrak stability control system with traction control

0-60 mph: 9.1 seconds
Top Speed: 110 mph (governor limited)

EPA City:
25 mpg
EPA Highway: 33 mpg

Safety:
dual-stage front airbags; front seat-mounted side impact airbags; head curtain side airbags; driver and front passenger knee airbags

Likes: luxe feel; compact; MPG

Dislikes: power; blind spots

Check out other Buick models
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Photography: AlphaMedia

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