Buick’s small and tall wagon continues to distinguish itself as a strong seller for Buick, and proves that just because a vehicle is small doesn’t mean it can’t be luxurious. The Encore uses the same basic architecture as the Chevrolet Sonic sub-compact, but is about 7 inches longer and 5 inches taller than the latter. The front passenger seat folds flat so that items such as ladders and building materials can be more easily accommodated. The cabin is also on the receiving end of one of Buick’s more fashionable interiors. Standard active-noise cancellation uses ceiling-mounted microphones to detect engine sounds, at which point counteracting sound waves are issued through the audio-system speakers. A 138 horsepower four-cylinder is standard, but could really use some extra punch to offset the vehicle’s 3,200-pound-plus weight (not including the optional all-wheel-drive). Other Encore items include a cap-less fuel filler plus an ionizing cabin air cleaner that helps eliminate odors and pollutants from the passenger compartment.

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