In a bid to compete with the incoming crop of miniaturized crossover vehicles, such as the BMW X1 and Audi Q3, Buick is set to introduce the Encore in early 2013. With roughly the same interior volume of a Chevrolet Sonic 5-door, the Encore will also share its turbocharged 1.4-liter Ecotec engine, outputting 140 bhp with 148 lb.-ft. of torque. This should return some respectable fuel economy figures, thought we're slightly concerned about its acceleration potential. Manufacturer specs have the Encore carrying an additional 415 lb. over the Sonic LTZ for the front drive model, and around 535 lb. more with all-wheel drive. BMW's slightly heavier X1, by comparison, will come with no less than 240 bhp (and 260 lb.-ft.) and as much as 300 bhp (with 300 lb.-ft.). Regardless, the Encore promises an environment of luxury within a tiny package. It'll come with features such as remote ignition, dual climate control, Bose premium audio, as well as Buick's first application of active noise cancelling technology—dubbed QuietTuning. As safety is always a concern, especially with smaller vehicle segments, the Encore is available with a number of electronic aids (forward collision alert, lane departure warning), as well as 10 standard airbags to shield occupants when things head south. Only time can tell if this new ilk of automobile will find success in the U.S. market, though the Encore should have a leg up on price over the competition.
The Chevrolet Traverse crossover utility vehicle combines the smooth ride and responsive handling of a car with the cargo capability and high seating position of a traditional truck-based sport utility vehicle.
The Traverse comes in three trim levels: LS, LT and LTZ. Each trim is available in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. A direct injection 3.6-liter V6 engine sends power to the wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. The well-equipped interior features two front bucket seats and two different seating configurations for the second and third row seats, accommodating a maximum of eight passengers. An extensive list of safety features come standard; these include: side curtain overhead airbags, seat-mounted side-impact airbags for driver and front-seat passenger, an available front center airbag, anti-lock brakes, and electronic traction and stability control.
The BMW 328i delivers a special mix of sporting performance, practicality and European luxury in a compact package. It's the car that defines 'sport sedan', and the benchmark every luxury car maker from Acura to Volvo aims at when it develops an entry-level luxury sport sedan.
The rear-wheel drive 328i is available in coupe, sedan and cabriolet bodies, while the xDrive all-wheel drive system is available on sedan, coupe and wagon bodies. Power for the coupe/cabrio is provided by a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine that puts out 230 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque. The sedan is powered by a 240-hp 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder with the choice of a eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. Standard safety features include six airbags, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with adaptive brakelights, traction and stability control, active anti-whiplash head restraints, as well as automatic pop-up roll-over protection on the convertible.
For 2013, the coupe and cabriolet remain unchanged on the E90 platform; the F30 sedan, which was all-new for 2012, adds xDrive to the line-up. An all-new wagon will be introduced later in the year.
The Expedition is often seen with a large trailer in tow, a task that is easily handled, since this capacious SUV is built alongside Ford's F-150 and Super Duty pickups at the company's Kentucky truck plant. Although underpinned by a truck frame, the Expedition and its three rows of passenger seats has handling that belies its size, due to an independent rear suspension and double-wishbone design up front, whether ordered in rear- or 4-wheel drive. Two wheelbases are offered; the EL's is one foot longer and provides additional cargo space behind the third-row seating. For 2013, an integrated trailer-brake controller comes with the heavy-duty tow package, and dual headrestraint- mounted DVD systems are optional for rear passenger entertainment.
The Buick Encore is a compact crossover SUV that features upscale styling and amenities in an efficient package.
The Encore is available in four trim levels: Encore, Convenience, Leather and Premium, and two drive types: front or all-wheel drive. It's powered by a 138-hp 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder engine, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Standard safety features include 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist, electronic stability and traction control systems, OnStar, and ten airbags. Other standard features include: Buick QuietTuning acoustics package with active noise cancellation, 18-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, IntelliLink audio system with 7-inch color touch screen and an oil life monitor. The Convenience trim adds: dual-zone climate control, rearview auto-dimming mirror, blind spot sensor, remote start and front fog lamps. The Leather trim adds: heated front seats and steering wheel, power adjustable front passenger seat, leather seating surfaces and driver seat memory system including the exterior mirrors. The Premium trim adds on the tech with rain sensing wipers, Bose audio system, lane departure warning and Ultrasonic front and rear parking sensors including rear vision camera.