All-New Buick Encore Luxury Small Crossover is Big on Utility, Versatility and Efficiency
The 2013 Buick Encore crossover delivers Buick’s signature style, interior acoustic refinement and luxury amenities in a manoeuvrable, versatile and efficient package designed to appeal to a new audience of buyers.
With room for five and up to 1,371 litres (48.4 cubic feet) of storage space with the rear seat folded, Encore offers substantial cargo capacity along with its confident, higher driving position, available all-wheel drive and contemporary crossover styling. Buick’s exclusive QuietTuning is standard, and features Buick’s first use of Bose Active Noise Cancellation technology.
Additional standard features include 10 air bags, StabiliTrak stability enhancement and a 138-horsepower (102 kW) Ecotec 1.4L turbo four-cylinder/six-speed automatic powertrain, along with technologies such as Buick’s voice-activated IntelliLink. It uses Bluetooth or a USB to connect the driver’s smartphone to a seven-inch, high-resolution, full-colour display radio.
The introduction of Encore gives Buick four models with turbocharged four-cylinder engines and three models with an estimated highway fuel consumption rating of 6.0L/100km or better. It joins Verano – Buick’s third all-new sedan in three years – to expand the brand’s lineup and continue the momentum the Enclave crossover began almost five years ago.
In Canada, sales of small and compact crossovers are expected to grow by 25% through 2017 as buyers’ needs and priorities evolve. While many luxury brands offer similarly sized vehicles in other countries, Buick is one of the first to offer one to Canadian consumers.
Encore matches or exceeds fuel consumption ratings (L/100km) of direct competitors such as the Mini Countryman S (8.1 city / 6.1 highway with the automatic transmission), the Volkswagen Tiguan (9.6 city / 7.4 highway), Ford’s most efficient version of the Escape crossover (9.1 city / 6.0 highway), as well as the Jeep Compass (8.9 city / 6.6 highway).
Encore is offered in front-wheel and available all-wheel-drive configurations in three trim levels: Encore Convenience (1SB), Encore Leather (1SD) and Encore Premium (1SF).
Encore’s sculpted and elegant styling identifies it as a contemporary Buick. Signature cues include a waterfall grille, chrome accents and surrounds, portholes on the hood and painted lower panels. Standard body-colour door handles with chrome strips and a styled, stainless steel exhaust tip add to the premium look.
Blue-accented halogen composite projector-beam headlamps and detailed taillamps further enhance the Encore exterior; and 18-inch, five-spoke painted aluminum wheels are standard. Seven-spoke chromed aluminum wheels are available.
All nine exterior colours include a lower accent colour: Quicksilver Metallic, Satin Steel Grey Metallic, Carbon Black Metallic, Ruby Red Metallic, Glacier Blue Metallic and Brilliant Blue Metallic (with Dark Argent Metallic lower accent); Cocoa Silver Metallic and Deep Espresso Brown Metallic (with Dark Cocoa Ash lower accent); and White Pearl Tricoat (Satin Nickel Metallic accent).
Inside, the Encore’s distinctive styling carries over to a flowing instrument panel that wraps naturally into the door panels. A prominent central instrument panel houses the seven-inch, high-resolution, full-colour display for the standard IntelliLink voice-activated infotainment system. It also features displays for the available XM satellite radio and rearview camera, as well as the GPS-enabled navigation system.
An all-Ebony or contemporary mix of dark and light tones distinguishes the cabin, which is accented with ice-blue ambient lighting, select use of bright chrome and woodgrain trim.
Premium seats feature high-density foam for greater comfort on long drives. They are trimmed in either a contemporary cloth/leatherette or available premium leather. The 60/40 flat-folding rear seat features a fold-down armrest with cup holders.
Designers filled Encore with ample storage, including eight beverage holders, storage in all four doors, four bins in the dash, pockets in the seatbacks, an available bin beneath the passenger seat and bins under the rear load floor around the spare tire. It offers 532 litres (18.8 cubic feet) of storage behind the split-folding rear seat and 1,371 litres (48.4 cubic feet) with the rear seat folded.
With the rear seat in place, there is room for at least six full grocery bags. When the rear seat is folded, there’s room for golf clubs and overnight bags for a weekend getaway. Even the front passenger seat folds flat to extend the cargo length and accommodate long items that otherwise would not fit in a vehicle of this size.
Interior upholstery and colour combinations include: upscale cloth with leatherette accents in a choice of Ebony or Medium Titanium with Ebony accents; and leather-appointed seats in a choice of Ebony, Medium Titanium with Ebony accents, and Saddle with Cocoa accents.
Encore interior and exterior – standard and available features
The Encore Convenience (1SA) is generously equipped with these and more standard features:
- Ten standard air bags, including side curtain and knee air bags
- StabiliTrak electronic stability control
- QuietTuning with Buick’s first use of Bose Active Noise Cancellation technology
- Four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with electronic brake force distribution
- OnStar (with six months of Directions and Connections service)
- Electronic cruise control
- Ice-blue interior ambient lighting
- Upscale cloth seating with leatherette accents
- Heated outside rearview mirrors
- Six-way, power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar adjustment
- Power windows with driver express up/down and front/rear passenger express down
- Seven-inch, high-resolution, full-colour display radio with Buick IntelliLink, AM/FM (three months of service), stereo with CD player, auxiliary input jack, six speakers, USB port and Bluetooth wireless connectivity for select phones
- Leather-wrapped, three-spoke steering wheel with locking feature to deter theft
- Colour-keyed, carpeted front and rear floor mats
- Rear cargo cover
- Roof-mounted luggage rails
- Dual gloveboxes
- Theft-deterrent system
- Variable-effort electric power steering
- Eighteen-inch painted cast aluminum wheels
- Compact spare tire with mechanical jack.
Encore trim levels progressively add standard equipment with packages available in both front-wheel and all-wheel-drive models:
Encore Leather (1SC) – Adds Leather package: leather-appointed seating, heated steering wheel, power passenger seat, heated seats, driver memory package that includes driver presets for seat position, outside mirrors, climate control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual zone climate control, remote vehicle start and tire pressure monitor..
Encore Premium (1SE) – Adds 18” chromed aluminum wheels, Rainsense wipers, premium Bose seven-speaker audio system, front and rear park assist, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, cargo net and cargo mat.
Options include the premium Bose audio system (Encore Convenience and Leather); GPS-enabled navigation (Leather); 18-inch chromed aluminum wheels (Leather and Premium); sunroof (Encore Convenience, Leather and Premium); and an oil pan heater.
Available dealer accessories include all-weather floor mats, carpeted cargo mat, cargo tray, front and rear splash guards, roof rack cross rails and roof-mounted cargo and bike carriers.
Audio system with IntelliLink adds available navigation
Buick’s IntelliLink system is standard across the Encore lineup, including those equipped with the available GPS-enabled navigation.
IntelliLink is easy-to-use and integrates online services such as Stitcher SmartRadio™ using hands-free voice activation via Bluetooth-enabled smartphones.
XM Satellite Radio service adds XM Tune Select, which lets drivers and passengers tag an artist or song name to trigger an on-screen notification when a favourite tune plays on any XM channel. All services require a current XM subscription.
Features such as “Quick Info” and “Transfer to Private” allow speedy access to the system’s most popular features and Bluetooth-paired phone calls to be moved off the speakerphone, respectively.
- Seven-inch, high-resolution full-colour colour display radio
- Bluetooth with hands-free (for phone calls) and audio-streaming protocol support
- Address book download
- USB port
- Auxiliary audio input port
- Redundant steering wheel controls
- Enhanced voice recognition and voice command control
- AM/FM/Audio CD/MP3 player
- XM Satellite Radio (with three months of service), XM Travel Link and XM Tune Select (requires XM subscription)
- Supports playback of MP3 files stored on flash memory drives.
A premium, seven-speaker Bose audio system with amplifier is available on Convenience and Leather models and is standard on the Premium model.
A dedicated customer service team will help acquaint Encore buyers with the IntelliLink technology with one-on-one guidance by phone.
QuietTuning gets ‘active’
QuietTuning is standard on Encore. QuietTuning is Buick’s process for defining quality, sound and vibration characteristics and then designing and refining the vehicle using a three-point strategy to:
- Reduce sounds at their source
- Block sounds from entering the cabin
- Absorb remaining sounds.
For the Encore, specific content was applied to achieve 30 sound benchmarks for refinement, including Buick’s first application of Bose Active Noise Cancellation. It uses ceiling-mounted microphones to detect audible noise, the frequencies of which are processed by a computer that directs counteracting sound waves through the audio system’s speakers and subwoofer.
Additional standard QuietTuning features include:
- Acoustically treated headliner with a tuned gap between it and the high-strength-steel roof panel
- Sound-absorbing materials in the cabin, under the hood and in the wheel house liners
- Quiet-tuned 18-inch Continental tires
- Aero-optimized outside mirrors
- Ultra-quiet engine alternator
- Acoustic-laminated windshield and thicker, 5mm side window glass
- Foam baffle insulation at the opening of body structure cavities.
Ecotec turbo engine drives efficiency
Buick Encore is powered by an efficient, power-dense Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission. It generates an SAE-certified 138 horsepower (102 kW) and 148 lb.-ft. of torque (200 Nm) between 1,850 and 4,900 rpm. The wide rpm range for the maximum torque – a specific trait of turbocharged engines – helps it deliver a better driving experience and performance.
With combined fuel consumption ratings of 7.2L/100km on FWD models (8.2L/100km city / 6.0 highway).
The 1.4L’s turbocharger is integrated within the exhaust manifold, for reduced weight and greater packaging flexibility. A reinforced crankshaft and forged connecting rods deliver additional strength to support the engine’s pressurized power and torque over a wide rpm band.
Several of the engine’s features contribute to the Encore’s overall fuel efficiency, including:
- High-efficiency alternator
- Regulated voltage control
- Electronically controlled returnless fuel system
- Deceleration fuel cut-off.
They complement other vehicle-wide systems and components that also help improve efficiency, including low-rolling-resistance tires, electric power steering and optimized aerodynamics.
A Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic transmission backs the Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine. It is part of a family of six-speed front- and all-wheel-drive transaxles developed for small cars and crossovers. It has a unique design, with the planetary gearsets positioned on the same axis as the engine crankshaft centerline, making the entire powertrain unit shorter fore-to-aft. This design enables a shorter overall vehicle length, increased interior space, enhanced safety crush zones and lower weight.
The Hydra-Matic 6T40 offers a “steep” first gear and a “tall” overdrive top gear to achieve a wide ratio spread of 6.14:1. This allows the Encore to achieve robust acceleration, as well as fuel efficiency and lower engine noise at highway cruising speeds.
‘One-tire’ philosophy sharpens ride and handling characteristics
The new Encore is built on a global small-crossover platform and engineered with a “one-tire” philosophy. Everything is optimized around a single 18-inch tire specification, designed for more precise suspension tuning, driving refinement, quietness and a feeling of control.
The Encore’s 100.6-inch (2,555 mm) wheelbase and wide stance – 60.6-inch (1,539 mm) front and rear tracks – contribute to a more confident-feeling driving experience, while a strong structure enables greater suspension precision and a quieter ride. Two hydraulic engine mounts are tailored to the engine’s inherent torque axis to disrupt the transmission of vibration and noise. This configuration also helps control the transfer of momentum, resulting in improved dynamic balance.
A MacPherson strut front suspension is used with coil springs, a large stabilizer bar, hydraulic ride bushings and side-load-compensated front strut modules. The hydraulic ride bushings in the front control arms provide a smoother ride, better noise isolation and wheel control.
The rear suspension incorporates a compound crank (torsion beam) design, with a double-wall, tubular V-shape beam profile with gas-charged twin-tube shocks. It combines all the advantages of a conventional torsion beam axle, including minimal space requirements, with low weight and consistent camber control. Noise-damping urethane spring isolators are used to improve ride isolation and dampen noise.
The Encore also features a column-mounted, variable-effort electric power steering system. It contributes to a 36.7-foot (11.2 metres) turning diameter – a tighter turning diameter than the Mini Countryman. It also saves more fuel than an engine-driven power steering pump.
Safety technologies help protect occupants
Encore is designed with technologies – including available radar-based features – that help avoid crashes and protect occupants in case one occurs. Technologies that help avoid crashes include:
- Standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control
- Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and electronic brake force distribution
- Cornering brake control and brake assist
- Available all-wheel-drive system that seamlessly shifts power to the rear wheels when required for better traction and handling
- Available Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning
- Available front and rear park assist.
- Available rearview camera
The Encore’s body structure forms a protective cage around the passenger compartment. Sixty-three percent of the underbody structure is comprised of high-strength steels, while 57 percent of the upper body uses high-strength steels, including ultra-high-strength steel. This structural protection is complemented with 10 standard air bags, including:
- Driver and front passenger frontal air bags
- Driver and front passenger knee air bags
- Front and rear thorax air bags (all outboard positions)
- Side curtain air bags for front and rear outboard passengers.
Encore’s safety and security features also include exclusive OnStar technology, which includes the Advanced Crash Response System, emergency assistance and more.
Six months of OnStar Directions and Connections service is standard on Encore. OnStar is the global leading provider of connected safety, security and mobility solutions and advanced information technology.
OnStar’s available RemoteLink Mobile App allows smartphone users to control vehicle functions, access vehicle information and send directions directly to the vehicle. A new, opt-in service called FamilyLink allows subscribers to stay connected to loved ones by checking the location of their vehicle online or by signing up for vehicle location alerts.
Encore also features the new OnStar button icon layout for the Hands-Free Calling button, blue OnStar button and red Emergency button.
More information about OnStar can be found at www.onstar.com.
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