The 2013 Buick Encore proves some old dogs like new tricks

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I’m not going to beat around the bush here… I’m pissed at Buick.

For years, I used Buick to describe the first choice of conveyance for old-farts. “Oh, get that old geezer a Buick!” I used to say (re: in-laws). It was an institution that was only bucked one time with the Buick Grand National/ GNX/Buick Regal Sport Coupe from the 80s. Otherwise, buy a Buick, join AARP… it was just that easy.

Now, with the advent of the Über excellent 2012 Buick Regal GS and this 2013 Buick Encore – I’m finding it difficult to poke fun at the automaker.

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Here are five things you need to know about the 2013 Buick Encore:

  1. The 2013 Buick Encore is a pocket-sized crossover that is loaded with luxury accouterments. General Motors is targeting the BMW X3 and Audi Q3. In reality, they are in a similar league as the Acura RDX, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport and, perhaps, the Volkswagen Tiguan.  It’s based on the Vauxhall Mokka.
  2. The only engine is a 140-horsepower turbocharged 1.4-liter four-banger, mated to a 6-speed automatic. I believe it’s the same engine that the Chevrolet Sonic uses – which makes sense. No manual will be offered with the front or all-wheel drive Encores – which sucks.
  3. Don’t be fooled by the very fake skid-plates – this ain’t no dirt ruffian. In fact, the faux skid plates remind me that there is an element of old GM still calling the shots. Once again: old people – sheesh. Fake skid plates were cool in the 90s people. It’s a pity because the rest of the design is very striking. Dig those 18-inch painted aluminum wheels too!
  4. Sporting a Bose premium sound system, 7-inch LCD screen, lots of leather and fancy-smancy (ice) blue ambient lighting – the interior looks very inviting. Nothing new here; it looks like a slightly more contemporary interior than the Buick Enclave. The ride height looks ideal for old and young tushies alike.
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  5. With a tiny 100.6 inch wheelbase and short overhangs, you would think the interior space is compromised. Well it is – at least in the back seat if you’re tall. What impressed me was how large the cargo area looks. Better still, the load floor is commendably low. It can hold a massive infant combo-stroller or a walker with oxygen tanks and a portable wheelchair. Not too shabby.    

It looks like an intelligent ride and I bet GM is aiming to get best in class gas mileage – which would mean nearly 30 mpg combined. I suspect it will be just a hair under that. Prices will reflect its luxurious intentions – or so we’ve been told. I would guess a base price of $26,000. 

Curse you GM! You are taking my medium of geriatric sarcasm away!   

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Now have a look at a crossover that Nathan loves – the 2012 Range Rover Evoque!