Driving is not my favorite thing. For a few years there, cars and I did not get along very well. I, luckily, have finally landed on a reliable car that I like, but it is pretty standard (and white, which the dents and dings in this city have not been very forgiving of). I have wanted to try an SUV to be higher off the ground (and over those potholes), but I thought getting one while living in a neighborhood that requires parallel parking would be crazy.
Earlier this year, I was invited to hang out with my friends from Buick at the Philadelphia Auto Show. I had mentioned my instant admiration for the Buick Encore, so I was super excited when Buick offered to let me drive one for a week as part of their Drive the District program. I am not, nor do I claim to be, a car expert of any kind. I mean, I’m actually pretty much the opposite. While I don’t know about all of the in’s and out’s of what makes one car better than the other . . . I do know what things really stood out to me while driving the Encore. And if car features can get me excited, then I think it’s worth sharing with you.
On top of my car being brilliant blue, it had a lot of things going on that were new and super convenient for me. For my early morning commutes, the heated seats and heated steering wheel were amazing. The Buick IntelliLink and Navigation system is so cool. You can call Onstar by pressing one button and have them get you directions or, in my case, help you operate all of the car’s other features. The Encore also comes equipped with an awesome stereo system, so if you have XM radio (I was loving the 90s station during my trips) or Pandora, the sound is great.
The seats were super comfortable – they definitely have a new type of arch in them that I have not seen in other cars. Plus, the car has something called Driver Seat Memory – aka if you’re short like me and your taller (nonexistent) boyfriend likes to drive every so often, he can just hit the second seat profile and it will situate for him just the way he likes it. I am such a considerate (nonexistent) girlfriend.
As far as in the car safety features, the Encore had a lot I could really appreciate. The car uses something called a Side Blind Zone Alert, a light on your side view mirrors that alerts you if a car is driving in your blind spot. It also has a Forward Collision Alert (key for when I’m not driving with my skittish co-pilot mother) that sounds if you’re coming up on an object too fast. And (obviously), the Encore has a back up camera for when you’re going in reverse. All very handy.
While most of my experience was totally fab, there were two things about the Encore that I was not completely sold on. The Rainsense Wipers are automatic and adjust themselves based on how much rain is hitting the windshield. They were tough for me to get used to during the week I drove the car – I kept wanting to turn them on higher. The Front and Rear Park Assist was not my best friend while parallel parking in the city. Because the spots I was squeezing in to were so small, the car pretty much beeped the entire time I was parking. But maybe that was just me . . .
Overall, the Encore was a dream to drive. I loved being in a SUV in the city, and it was small enough to fit into parking spaces in my neighborhood. I think Buick is definitely worth a look next time you’re on the market for a new car – they’re really changing their image & making cars meant for young people. Thanks to Buick and Drive the District for the opportunity!
Disclosure: I was provided a Buick Encore to drive for the week. All opinions are my own.