Historically, the two brands were not on a collision path but Buick’s recent efforts to repackage the brand as a premium car might change that.
The Buick Encore (Opel Mokka in Europe) was unveiled at the 2012 North American International Auto Show and officially went on sale for the 2013 model year in January 2013. It is Buick’s first subcompact crossover and is available in front or all-wheel drive. The only powertrain offered currently is a 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine (138 hp) coupled to a six-speed automatic gearbox.
In comparison, the X1 is offered with a rear-wheel or all-wheel drive configuration and in the U.S. is offered with a 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine or the N55 3.0 liter inline-six. The next generation X1 will also switch to a front-wheel drive platform.
Design wise, the pundits may say that despite the brand reboot, the Buick’s looks are still not commending a premium label, but as always, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Therefore, we will focus on the overall package and pricing.
The Encore is about $6,000 cheaper than the X1, but it comes with more cargo space and interior room. The front-wheel drive platform allows for better packaging so no surprise here, but the field will be leveled with the second generation X1 which will be larger in size and offer more cabin space thanks to the longitudinally mounted front-engine and front-wheel drive.
Automotive journalists mention in their reviews the silent cabin of the Buick Encore. The American automaker is said to have spent considerable amount of time into material selection and application to silence the cabin, as well as an active noise cancelation from Bose.
But is that enough to lure consumers from the X1?