Buick Encore Test Drive

From the Buick Encore to the Mazda Protegé: 5 Biggest Differences

From the Buick Encore to the Mazda Protegé: 5 Biggest DifferencesI just returned the Buick Encore I've been driving the past two weeks. As I started driving my freezing cold '99 Mazda Protegé, these were the biggest differences.

No More Silence
The Buick Encore was much, much quieter. In my old Protegé, I hear everything... it's loud in there. The Encore offers a comfy, quiet ride.

Back to Being Low
The Encore is what they call a "Luxury Crossover", essentially, a small SUV. Although I've test driven several cars higher off the ground than the Encore, it still takes a while to get used to how comparably low you are in the compact Protegé. It feels like I'm sitting on the road.

No More SiriusXM
The Encore GM lent me had SiriusXM radio, which meant I got to hear the best of Howard Stern in 2013. That kept me thoroughly entertained as I heard Stern interview Jerry Seinfeld, Mike Tyson, Kid Rock, Jason Bateman and more. I also got to hear the episode when they discussed Robin's cancer. It was both heavy and inspiring. I miss it already.

No More Rear Backup Camera
Of all the features found on modern automobiles, the one I always miss most is the rear backup camera. I put my Protegé in reverse and my eyes immediately shot to the dashboard to see what was behind me. I was very disappointed.

Nothing Beats New
My car will turn 15 this spring. It looks old, it smells old and it drives old. It's tough to go back to old when you've been enjoying that new car smell, that new car cleanliness and that EcoTec3 1.4L I-4 138hp engine intercooled turbo, 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), side seat mounted airbags, curtain 1st and 2nd row overhead airbags, rear side-impact airbag, driver and passenger knee airbag, airbag occupancy sensor, air conditioning, 18" aluminum wheels, cruise control, ABS and driveline traction control, and a StabiliTrak electronic stability.

Picking up my ride for the next 10 days. Glad it's Santa red! #buick #encore #gm

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Buick Encore: My Ice Storm Sleigh

Buick Encore: My Ice Storm SleighLittle did I know last Friday, when I picked up a 2014 Buick Encore for a test drive, that it would be my ice storm sleigh. Appropriate for the season, it was red, and in some ultra slippery conditions, it got us where we needed to be without a problem.

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Nature gave us ice which gave me a chance to test Buick's StabiliTrak® stability control system. It totally rocked, but with 10 airbags, I felt safe enough even if something did go wrong. 10 airbags is a lot.

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I'll write more about this Buick Encore before I return it next week, but here's a fun shot of the rearview camera following the ice storm.

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