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As General Motors continues to reinvent itself, Buick has taken center stage as the brand requiring the most work. The Encore, a compact crossover packed with upmarket features, is designed to shake Buick's more mature image.
The 2013 Buick Encore comes in four easy-to-distinguish trim levels: Base, Convenience, Leather and Premium. The Base includes a six-speaker audio system, 18-inch cast-aluminum wheels and acoustic-laminated glass. A Convenience group adds fog lights, a 120-volt power outlet and automatic climate control. The Leather model, meanwhile, will impress buyers with heated leather seats and a system that remembers an individual driver's settings for seats, mirrors and climate control. The Premium chases higher-end brands with a Bose stereo, front and rear parking sensors, and rain-sensing wipers.
Standard on all four trim levels is a 1.4-liter Ecotec engine that produces 138 horsepower and 148 foot-pounds of torque. This engine is matched to a standard six-speed automatic transmission, which delivers power to the front wheels as standard. A front-wheel-drive Encore gets 25 mpg city and 33 mpg highway; with all-wheel-drive, mileage drops to a still-respectable 23 mpg city and 30 mpg highway.
The Encore is a relatively well-equipped compact crossover SUV, so even its Base trim comes with an array of premium features including: 18-inch cast-aluminum wheels; a rearview camera; heated power side-view mirrors; a six-speaker audio system with AM/FM/CD/SiriusXM capabilities and a 7-inch color display; Bluetooth connectivity for phone operation and audio streaming; power door locks and windows; and cloth seating.
The Convenience trim level adds: fog lights; dual-zone automatic climate control; an auto-dimming rearview mirror; and a remote vehicle starter for easy warming or cooling of the cabin.
The Leather trim level adds: leather upholstery; heated six-way power front seats; a heated steering wheel; and memory systems for the climate control and side-view mirrors.
The Encore's top trim level, Premium includes: rain-sensing wipers; a Bose seven-speaker sound system; forward collision alert; and front and rear park assist.
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