For Sale By:Private Seller
Interior Color: Black
Number of Cylinders: 8
Drive Type: Automatic
Exterior Color: Blue
Watsonville, California, United States
A Nice, New Buick Aims For Middle Of The Road
Any time someone describes some portion of a car or a driving experience as being "nice," I want to either A) throttle them or B) run as fast and as far as I can from that vehicle. "Nice" is among the most insidious words in the English language - at best it's vague, and at worst, it conveys the exact opposite of its literal meaning. Yet it seems to be used with damnable frequency when it comes to verbally illustrating vehicles. "It looks really nice," or "These seats feel nice," or, heaven forefend, "It's got a nice ride," are all windy signifiers of absolutely nothing resembling a concrete opinion. "Nice" is the adjectival equivalent of meekly smiling and nodding your head.
Of course, I'm as guilty as the next person of having thrown English's least powerful descriptor around. There's even a chance that, rant aside, you'll catch me making nice in reviews to come. That's fine, but you should know that when you stumble upon such usage, past or future, that you've found a sentence in which I'm simply applying a bare minimum of effort to the task.
Buick is taking a gamble with its 2013 Encore. General Motors' near-luxury brand has enjoyed great success attracting conquest buyers to its larger Enclave crossover, but it has never offered something quite like this small CUV.
Very early signs suggest that the gamble might be working. According to Mark Reuss, President of General Motors, the automaker expected about 1,500 initial orders from its dealers for the Encore, but it's tracking closer to 9,000 units. Alluding to the fact that historically, Buick has shared similar products with GM's other brands, Reuss says that Buick dealers are "thrilled to have an exclusive." The automaker already markets almost identical models in other markets as the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka and Chevrolet Trax, but The General's other brands won't offer a twin to the new baby Buick.
The new Encore is based on the Gamma architecture that underpins the Chevrolet Sonic, and it shares the economy car's available turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine. With standard front-wheel drive and available all-wheel drive, GM says its Encore will be pitted against competitors like the BMW X1 and Audi Q3, both of which are much more expensive but also much more powerful.
The Opel Adam, the microcar of General Motors' European subsidiary, has seen its sales cool significantly since it first hit the market in the United Kingdom and Europe, but a push is reportedly under way that just might be enough to get the stylish, little car moving again.
Using the Opel Adam Rocks Concept as a template, Opel will ruggedize the Adam, so that it might compete with the growing herd of city cars that sport SUV styling, like the Volkswagen Cross Up and Fiat Panda 4x4, according to a report from Automotive News Europe. Sporting a bumped-up ride height and tougher body work, it's a dedicated soft-roader, but will freshen the Adam's lineup and, hopefully, broaden its customer appeal.
The Adam Rocks, according to IHS Automotive analyst Ian Fletcher, should also make some more coin for GM's struggling European arm. "Automakers are happy to meet demand for SUV and crossovers as the customer pays a premium," Fletcher told ANE. And although the Rocks might have been planned from the start as a production vehicle, the timing, with the Adam's sales slowdown, doesn't seem like a coincidence.