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This crossover is too big, that hatchback is too small, is the Encore just right? Smack dab in the middle between the SUV/CUV craze and the increasing acceptance of small city cars sits our diminutive Encore. Who would of thought the Encore would of carved out a new niche almost single handedly.
Don't believe me? Fine, consider this. In 2013 Buick shuffled off 31,000 (US figures) Encores, but before you baulk just know that at 31,000 units Buick struggled mightily to even keep up with demand. Essentially Encore was driving the growth of this very nascent segment, to the point that Buick seems to of attracted the attention of quite a few notables.
Firstly, Infinti will be attempting to latch onto the Encores dominance in China with an Infiniti badged version of the Nissan Juke, some think it could make its way to the US as well, but thats likely a stretch...
Next and most notable would be Mercedes with their GLA. Probably the biggest threat to the Encores dominance in segment, the three pointed star has already seen quite a bit of success at lower price points with their CLA sedan.
Truth be told competition breeds superior products, we can only hope for the best now that Encore will have a legitimate fight on their hands. And that is nothing but good news for the consumer.
So clearly the Encore is not your typical family vehicle, or a family vehicle at all for that matter. Young couples are likely to be turned off by its closer to $30 price tag than a similarly equipped TRAX which will be intuding on the Encores playground shortly. So what has GM done here, have the cannibalized their pint sized rockstar after a year on the market? I don't think so.
You could define the Encore as small, and you would be right, but is small really the defining characteristic of the Encore? Would you not say its luxury? So while there may be a few nouveau riche young couples with burberry baby buckets, but they're more likely to go the Mercedes route or some other ghastly purchase. No, the Encore works best for empty nesters. Consider an upper middle class family, last kid away at school and looking to downsize from the Escalde/X5/GL take your pick. The Encore is something I feel that will be at the forefront for older couples looking to downsize. I don't mean older as in Buicks sterotypical age range, I mean early 50's old.
Consider that the Encore brings a similar level of opulence as the Enclave albeit in a package just half the size. Clearly Encore is not for the steroid cocaine fuelled ricky racer looking to score with his luxury sled, but with an oppulent and whisper quiet interior will you really care that 60 takes you 9 seconds? I don't.
28.1 average MPG will also be a big hit with couples looking to reduce expenses as well. Granted a $30,000 micro SUV is not exactly penny pinching but we're not talking about poverty packs, we're talking about people looking to scale back their expenditures as they head closer to retirement age.
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