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Following its 2013 debut, the Buick Encore receives only a few changes for 2014, including new safety equipment such as rear cross-traffic alert and side blind zone alert. Glacier Blue Metallic is no longer an available exterior color.
The Encore is a premium small car with SUV styling. Buick hopes that a small car can be practical, fun and luxurious while getting excellent fuel economy.
The mileage starts with the engine, a 1.4L turbocharged 4-cylinder. It makes 138 horsepower and comes mated to a 6-speed automatic. This combination is good for up to 33 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg in the city. All-wheel drive is also available.
While the outside of the Encore features thoroughly modern styling, it's the interior that really shines. A large, 7-inch full color display is set in the dashboard and houses the standard IntelliLink voice-activated infotainment system, while a touch of blue ambient lighting and a wood- and chrome-trimmed dashboard lend the Buick an air of sophistication. The Encore's coolest trick however, may be its QuietTuning system, which uses noise cancellation technology to give the small crossover an exceptionally quiet interior, even at speed.
Buick has included a long list of standard features to go with its modern interior. On the base model those include a 6-way power-adjustable driver's seat, power windows and doors, a leather wrapped steering wheel, cruise control, a rearview camera, heated mirrors, 18-inch aluminum wheels and a 6-speaker AM/FM/Satellite stereo with a CD player, auxiliary input jack and USB port. The stereo is also Bluetooth-compatible for selected phones.
There are three levels of Encore above the base trim. Convenience trim adds an electronically auto-dimming rearview mirror, remote start, fog lamps and dual-zone automatic climate control. Leather adds leather seating surfaces, a power passenger seat, heated seats, a heated steering wheel and a memory feature for the driver's seat. Premium includes rain sensing wipers, a premium Bose sound system, front and rear park assist, forward collision alert, a lane departure warning system and a cargo net. Options include navigation, a sunroof, 18-inch chrome wheels and all-wheel drive.
Safety is handled by front and side impact airbags, knee airbags, thorax airbags and side curtain airbags. There are ten airbags total in the Encore. A rearview camera is standard and several radar based safety features are available on the lower models, but come standard with the Premium trim. Rear cross traffic alert and side blind zone alert are also available.