Alexa, Get me behind the wheel of a Buick Encore Essence

Alexa, Get me behind the wheel of a Buick Encore Essence
Buick Encore GX Essence

At this point, the Buick Encore GX Essence should be familiar to you.

There is that funny commercial on TV where the two people throughout the commercial debate whether the car is a Buick or an Alexa.

Why is that?
It turns out the car comes with Alexa built in, which is usually an exclusive feature of Amazon products like their tablets, speakers, etc.

Together, Buick and Amazon are delivering a more convenient and connected owner experience by allowing you to control key vehicle functions with your voice using Alexa-enabled devices. Prime members in select markets have the option to get packages delivered right to their eligible Buick vehicle, making life that much easier.

“Turn on the outdoor lights, Alexa,” sounds like a fine way to start the day for any family, which typically has multiple cars and kids waiting for school buses.

As I have said in my other car columns, I really like 4WD and the Essence SUV comes with it, which is music to my ears. It also has a nine-speed automatic transmission and automatic emergency braking. The brake lining wear indicator got my attention because that can be something you forget about after owning a car for a while, so it’s nice as a reminder.

Now, let us get to what is under the hood. It comes standard with the ECOTEC 1.2 liter Turbo engine, which feels good. The 1.3-liter model also is available, if that better scratches your itch.

What is music to my eyes is the Burnished Bronze Metallic, which is a nice color for this exciting and comfortable machine. In fact, I like all the metallic paint tones that are in the palette including deep azure, satin steel, ebony twilight, dark moon blue and chili red. For me, it’s the black currant, which is a unique color I can’t say I’ve ever seen on a car. Good going Buick.

What hits the sweet spot is the price, too, which starts at just under $26,000 for the Preferred model. The top of the line Essence starts at $28,500.
What you get for that is 26 miles per gallon in the city and 29 on the highway. It seats five comfortably and has just over 50 cubic feet of cargo capacity.

One feature I really like is the in-vehicle air ionizer, which is great for helping to keep the inside air fresh and clean. The duel-zone climate control also is a great touch, making the temperature consistent throughout the cabin. When I was driving my son to baseball practice, this would have served me and my future all-star well.

I like the 8-inch infotainment system because it’s big and easy for my big fingers to press the buttons.

Whether you are navigating city traffic or backing out of a parking spot, standard Buick Driver Confidence and other available active safety and driver assistance technologies help monitor your surroundings and alert you to potential hazards.

The whole information system is well designed, with easy to read safety features like the lane change alert with side blind zone alert and rear cross traffic alert.

The tech is really good and includes a built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot, which makes connection drops around the airport fewer and farther between.

As for comfort, you get nearly 40 inches of headroom without the panoramic moon roof and about 41 inches of leg room, which is plenty for me.

I like this Buick Essence because it makes me feel like a million bucks all day and night. Tooling around in this is a pleasure.

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