2013 Buick Encore AWD
Power: 138-hp
Engine: 1.4L ECOTEC®
Fuel Consumption: 23 city/30 highway
Price Driven: $28,210

Brand transformation startles in the auto industry. Rather than reinvention, we often here of closure. We laughed at the fall of Geo. We mourned (just briefly) the death of Saab. And, ultimately, allowed the spectre of Saturn to fade without much pomp and circumstance.

Old cars are great. But, new cars signal the future of transportation. 

Last December, we hit Atlanta for a first look at the 2013 Buick Encore. The diminutive car (technically a compact crossover) seemingly comes out of left field. Gone are many cliched Buick hallmarks—you won't find a boat-length ride here—in favor of repackaging the calm, quiet drives of the past. The Encore is about the idea of Buick, as much as it is about the reality of the global automotive industry. 

Consider this: The Encore will probably sell more units in China than it will in the United States. Despite that fact, the vehicle lends itself perfectly to American urban streets. After a day in the Georgia countryside, we tested the Encore in our own backyard—specifically Manhattan and Queens—finding that the Buick's legacy of American luxury translates well to new, smaller packages and that automotive transformation is indeed possible.

5 Compelling Reasons to Downsize Luxury