- Available Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Side Blind Zone Alert safety features
- Enhanced IntelliLink with text message support, Siri Eyes Free and smartphone voice recognition pass-through
The Buick Encore returns for 2014 with new safety features that complement the luxury amenities, refinement and signature Buick style for this unique crossover. The new features include Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Side Blind Zone Alert.
Encore is maneuverable, versatile and efficient, offering a uniquely sized package that’s unmatched in the luxury segment. With room for five and up to 48.4 cubic feet (1,371 liters) of storage space when the rear seats are folded, it delivers substantial cargo capacity along with a confident, higher driving position and available all-wheel drive. Buick’s exclusive QuietTuning is standard and includes 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-color display radio.
Encore’s 33-mpg (FWD model) highway estimate is greater than competitors such as the Mini Countryman S (EPA-estimated 25 city / 32 highway with the automatic transmission) and the Volkswagen Tiguan (EPA-estimated 21 / 26). Its combined fuel economy of 28 mpg also beats the combined EPA fuel economy of Ford’s most efficient version of the Escape crossover (26).
The 2014 Encore is offered in front-wheel and available all-wheel-drive configurations in four trim levels: Encore (1SB), Encore Convenience (1SD), Encore Leather (1SL) and Encore Premium (1SN).
Encore’s sculpted 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-color 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 eight exterior colors include a lower accent color: Quicksilver Metallic, Satin Steel Gray Metallic, Carbon Black Metallic, Ruby Red 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-color display for the standard IntelliLink voice-activated infotainment system. It also features displays for the SiriusXM satellite radio and standard rearview camera, as well as the available 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 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 and bins under the rear load floor around the spare tire. It offers 18.8 cubic feet (532 liters) of storage behind the split-folding rear seat and 48.4 cubic feet (1,371 liters) 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 – up to eight feet long – that otherwise would not fit in a vehicle of this size.
Interior upholstery and color 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 (1SB) is generously equipped with these and more standard features:
Encore trim levels progressively add standard equipment with packages available in both front-wheel and all-wheel-drive models:
Encore Convenience (1SD) – Adds Convenience package : new Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Side Blind Zone Alert , remote vehicle starter system, electrochromic inside rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, 120-volt outlet and fog lamps.
Encore Leather (1SL) – Adds Leather package: leather-appointed seating,heated steering wheel, power passenger seat, heated front seats and driver memory package.
Encore Premium (1SN) – Adds 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 (Encore Convenience, Leather and Premium); 18-inch chromed aluminum wheels (Encore Convenience, 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, bike, ski and kayak carriers. And new for 2014, Encore will offer new hitch-mounted accessories (hitch platform not designed for trailering).
Buick IntelliLink details
Buick’s intuitive 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 Pandora ® internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio ™ using hands-free voice activation via Bluetooth-enabled smartphones.
New features for 2014 include text message support and Siri Eyes Free. With text message support, the driver is able to be alerted to new messages and can have them read aloud, view and respond to them (functionality depends on the smartphone). Siri Eyes Free enables iPhone4S and iPhone 5 users to access Siri via the steering wheel controls and check calendar entries, have text messages read and respond to them, place calls or call up music.
Android phone users can use the steering wheel controls to access their phone’s voice recognition features, including the calendar, text message review and response, placing calls and calling up music.
Owners pairing the Pandora internet radio app interface with a smartphone can tune to a favorite station by giving a voice command. Likewise, saying “More like this” while an iPod or other USB media device is playing uses Gracenotes media database technology to generate a random music playlist based on the current song. Gracenotes album cover art display capability also includes genre and artist art.
SiriusXM Satellite Radio service offers SiriusXM Tune Select, which lets drivers and passengers tag an artist or song name to trigger an on-screen notification when a favorite tune plays on any SiriusXM channel. Another feature, SiriusXM Travel Link, offers nearby fuel prices, movie theater show times and weather reports. All services require a current SiriusXM subscription.
A premium, seven-speaker Bose audio system with amplifier is available on Convenience and Leather models and is standard on the Premium model.
QuietTuning gets ‘active’
Buick’s exclusive QuietTuning is designed to block or absorb sound and dampen or eliminate vibrations. 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 engine 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:
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 EPA-estimated fuel economy of 28 mpg on FWD models (25 city / 33 highway), Encore delivers the highest fuel economy of any crossover from a domestic automaker.
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:
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
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.
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 meters) 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:
The Encore’s body structure forms a protective cage around the passenger compartment, with 66 percent of the structure composed of high-strength steels, including ultra-high-strength steel. This structural protection is complemented with 10 standard air bags, including:
Encore’s safety and security features also include exclusive OnStar technology with 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. An 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.
More information about OnStar can be found at www.onstar.com.