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- Vehicle(s) that interest me
- Jaguar XJ
- More about me
- I like money
- Vehicle(s) I currently own
- 2011 Buick LaCrosse CXS
After one week of driving our Buick Encore with all wheel drive, saddle leather, navigation and sunroof, here are my overall impressions:
• The Encore appears small in pictures but the interior is very comfortable for four adults. At 6 feet tall and 248 pounds, I have no problem fitting in the driver's and front passenger's seat. I thought I would be compromised in the back seat but there is plenty of head, leg and knee room.
• The sunroof is small and feels like a hole in the roof. A panoramic moon roof would be more desirable.
• I drove the Encore under different road conditions. On the highway, it was silky smooth and quiet, maintaining speeds of 65 mph without the buzzing I would have expected in a 4-cylinder engine. In city driving the Encore actually felt very quick because of its low end torque orientation. At times it felt like a spritely sports sedan rather than a SUV.
• On roads with portholes and imperfections you could feel the jolts and hear the thumps. Compared to my LaCrosse it felt harsh and unrefined. Blame that on its short wheel base of 100 inches and 18-inch tires . • Front visibility is quite good but not so for rear visibility. This weakness is mitigated somewhat by the back-up camera. But without directional and distance grid lines the camera is not as not as effective as it should. A major demerit for GM.
• We had a major concern whether the tiny 1.3 liter 138 hp engine could climb steep hills without petering out but the Encore handled those hills (with the AC on full blast to boot) with aplomb.
• Two areas of concern--the steering felt soft and the breaks a little mushy. I did not like the feel of either. They were just too soft for me but my wife thinks they are just right. Since she is the primary driver I have no quarrel with her assessment.
• The gas mileage is very good. After a week's worth of driving (not sure how many miles) the tank is still 1/3 full.
• The technology on this baby Buick is amazing---back-up camera, blind side detection, front and rear parking sensors and Intellilink. The Intellilink looks a little intimidating but all major functions can be activated by voice control. In terms of the weather and traffic navigation, we were not sure whether the signal came from Sirius/XM or from GM's Intellilink. (Does anybody know?)
• One final comment. While the Encore is pricey, its interior refinement is very upscale (especially the saddle leather) and it addresses very well the interests of one of its target demographic, the empty nester.