Last weekend, I was invited to participate in the first stage of the launch of Buick’s new and first luxury crossover of its size vehicle, the Encore, in Detroit, Michigan, that is set to officially be available in March 2013.
As a current owner of a rival CUV, the details I hone in on when it comes to choosing a car to drive are how easy will it be on my budget, is it all-weather capable, does it have enough leg room (I’m 5’11”), if I need to haul large items, can it do it, and certainly not least, how comfortable would it be to ride in for long periods of time. I was thrilled to have an experience to learn about a vehicle that surpassed my expectations and also have the chance to meet with other talented bloggers that are highly respected in a wide array of arenas (food, decor, fashion, beauty, illustration/art, lifestyle).
~The GM World Headquarters Renaissance Center along the International Riverfront was where we were accommodated, and we were treated to dinner at the oldest jazz club in the country – Cliff Bells (I devoured their Bronzed Dayboat Scallops) with live jazz filling the room – I was in my element indeed. During the presentation held at the design center Erin Crossley walked us through their design process and many color options, and Craig Bierley, the director Buick’s advertising and promotions introduced us all to their design mission and overall new Buick concept.~
Why were we all invited, you might be asking.
What each of the nine bloggers that were invited were asked to do was to design their very own Buick Encore, beginning with the exterior and interior choices, as well as where they would travel in it, and how they would enjoy their travels while driving.
I must confess. I fell in love with this car, as I’ve had my current CUV for 10 years. So on my designated pinterest board “Pinboard to Dashboard”, I imagined exactly how this affordable luxury vehicle would fit into a simply luxurious lifestyle (in other words, my lifestyle). As you might imagine, it involves stops at wineries for tasting, room for shopping bags and luggage, consideration for my two dogs and some inspiration from Coco Chanel herself.
Below is just a sampling of my inspiration board (view the entire pinboard here).
What I would ask of you today is to stop by my pinboard (click here to view) and “like” it if you are so inclined (on pinterest or facebook) as the top design concept will actually be created and revealed when the car is launched. (I promise you, the winner does not get the car. This is simply an opportunity to dream – which I love!)
When I first hear the name Buick, I’m nostalgically drawn to memories of my grandparents’ blue Buick sedan. Secure, stable and reliable. While always dependable, Buick has now decided to focus more on a youthful population and has begun to create vehicles that fulfill a new definition of luxury. This is the part that I couldn’t agree more with.
The new definition of luxury:
- a life of significance over a life of status
- simplifying the focus to quality over quantity
- a personal sanctuary
- community minded
- spontaneous (aka versatile)
~Yep, that’s me, pretending I’m driving the Buick Encore (upper left), checking out the space in the back with Lloyd Biermann, the manager of Buick’s crossover marketing team (upper right), listening to Erin Crossley, the head designer of the color and trim team, introduce the vehicle (lower left), and getting my chance to sit in the driver’s seat (lower right) as we had the opportunity to investigate the two models at the Buick design center.~
Details of the Buick Encore that caught my eye:
- 33 mpg hwy, 23 mpg city – 26 mpg combined
- all wheel drive
- rear seats and passenger seat fold down for more room
- BOSE premium audio throughout vehicle
- heated leather seats and steering wheel
- voice command
- USB adapter in front and back seats for phone and other technology devices
- lane departure warning and forward collision alert (by radar)
- 12 exterior color choices
- saffron stitching on the saddle-brown leather interior option
- Extra glove box for sunglasses, iPod, maps, etc
- Push to start capabilities during those cold winter months
- Rearview camera system
- Voice Activated Intellink (SIriusWM, Pandora, Smartphone)
- an affordable price tag for such a sophisticated vehicle - $24,950 (starting price)
~Ample space for a compact vehicle, sporty, yet full of luxury, and three interior color options as well as leather seat options. Technologically equipped for safety. ~
The fellow bloggers invited to Buick’s Encore event – Jessica Sturdy, Katie Rodgers, Aly Walansky (kneeling), myself, Julie Deily, Michael Wurm and Julie Thigpen. Click on their name to be directed to their respective blogs.
~Full disclosure, we were spoiled (from accommodations at World GM Headquarters Marriott Hotel, to meals, as well as all travel expenses). ~
IMAGES: all images of Buick Encore and at the design center were courtesy of Buick