Buick Eyes A Diesel Do-Over And A Faster Encore

Illustration for article titled Buick Eyes A Diesel Do-Over And A Faster Encore

The Buick Encore is a serious bright spot on the GM sales roster right now, partly because even the company didn't expect it to be selling as well as it is, with about 23,000 of them going to new homes since this spring. In fact, it's contributed so much to the continued upswing at Buick that the company is interested in exploring a more powerful engine for the tiny crossover and, wait for it, a diesel Buick of some kind.


Of course, it's Buick's ever-increasing ties to Opel that are leading the charge here. And according to Edmunds' "well-placed company source," there's a chance the Verano could score the same diesel that's in the Chevrolet Cruze Diesel now. That's a far cry from the last Buick diesels, of course equipped with that Oldsmobile diesel that shall not be named in various Regals, LeSabres and Centurys.


But back to that Encore. Remember that it's effectively a Chevy Sonic in a very tall, chromed hat. That means the most powerful engine on offer is the 1.4-liter turbo with a measly 138 horsepower going through a six-speed automatic. In fact, Edmunds reported that the main reason people aren't buying an Encore is that it isn't powerful enough, and who can blame those people? Exactly what is going under the hood of the thing is up for debate, but it probably isn't going to be one of the diesels that go in the Encore's Opel twin, the Mokka. And the stout 2.0-liter diesel in the Cruze is too big.

Which is a shame, because a small diesel all-wheel drive thing is the sort of car that would actually be kind of cool for Buick. Still, if you want a diesel Buick and a Cruze diesel isn't chromed enough for you, a Verano diesel is probably in your future.

Photo: GM

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I have to admit, I'm shocked that these are selling at all. What's the point of them? As an engineer, these cars confuse me. Maybe the marketing loonies are right sometimes.