What good is dual climate control, Quiet Tuning with Active Noise Cancellation, and a fancy-pants IntelliLink infotainment system if the weakest link of the interior is a small, single, narrow arm rest between the driver and front-seat passenger? That’s the question we’ve been asking ourselves over the last few weeks about the 2013 Buick Encore.
Perhaps the more pertinent question is whether a vehicle with a single arm rest between the front occupants is even remotely worthy of being considered luxurious — an adjective Buick would like you to associate with its vehicles. Heck, pretty much everyone with any skin in the automotive luxury game has realized that something as simple as a decent armrest is crucial. Lexus learned this the hard way with its first-generation IS — which didn’t even have an arm rest — and addressed the deficiency with a mid-cycle refresh; the same goes for Volvo and its original S40.
To us, the whole single-armrest ordeal reeks of the Encore’s Aveo/Sonic roots — a shame, since there’s clearly room for a second arm rest on the left side of the passenger’s seat. Perhaps the lack of a decent place for the passenger to place their elbow may not be a deal breaker in and of itself, but it may contribute just enough to the various compromises a buyer has to make in order to purchase the subcompact Encore, ultimately pushing them in the direction of a competing product.
Have we been eating too much Valentine’s day candy or are we spot on? Let us know in the comments!