What is it? Buick unveiled a new addition to their lineup, the Encore compact luxury SUV. The Encore is powered by an Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder engine with six-speed automatic transmission and an estimated 140 horsepower.
The five-seat SUV has 48.4 cubic feet of space with the rear seat folded, which GM touts as more than the Audi Q3 and BMW X1, which are not sold in the U.S. – yet. (Both are rumored to be coming.) The Encore’s other dimensions size it very close to the Mini Cooper Countryman. The SUV features 10 airbags, voice control and Bluetooth via Buick’s IntelliLink system.
Safety features include 10 airbags, standard electronic stability control and ABS with cornering control. Optional features include all-wheel-drive, forward collision and lane departure warnings, front and rear park assist, and rear backup camera.
Fuel economy numbers are not yet available, but Buick has included a number of fuel saving features including low-rolling resistance tires, electric power steering, and deceleration fuel cut-off.
What’s new or notable? In keeping with Buick’s luxury feel, this model will feature a number of ways to reduce noise in the cabin including Buick’s first use of active noise cancellation technology. Ceiling-mounted microphones will detect engine noise, and will be processed by a computer that directs counteracting sound waves through the audio system. Other quiet features include sound-absorbing materials in the cabin and under the hood, quiet-tuned 18-inch Continental tires, aero-optimized outside mirrors, and acoustic-laminated windshield and thicker side window glass.
When will it be available? First quarter of 2013.