Detroit Auto Show 2012: 2013 Buick Encore SUV thinks small

Justin Hyde

The idea of a small luxury SUV wasn't one that's traditionally made much sense to American customers who bought soft-roaders for their space. But the 2013 Buick Encore bets there's enough fans willing to downsize to make a pocket-size SUV successful.

Powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine and based on the same platform as the Chevrolet Sonic, Buick will pitch the Encore as the official transport of empty nesters -- older buyers who want something larger than a sedan, but nothing even as bulky as a midsize SUV like the class-leading Lexus RX.

With just 140 hp on tap, the Encore's not leading with power. Where Buick will make its stand is with a restrained exterior and a interior that carries a full line of technical bits found in larger competitors, such as active noise cancellation, 10 air bags and a seven-inch LCD display.

Built in South Korea, the Encore will arrive on these shores later this year.

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