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#ExperienceBuick – Roadtrip Test Drive

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Experience Buick Project

This sponsored post is part of my ongoing project #ExperienceBuick. Throughout 2015, I will be experiencing Buick through a series of events and initiatives that reinforce what this American car manufacturer brand is all about.

When I landed in SFO after attending the Buick Happiness event in Los Angeles (see why the pursuit of happiness is one of the most important life decision I’ve made) I was greeted by a brand new (bright blue) Buick Encore. Mine for the taking. Or at least for the weekend…

Encore-at-SFO

The plan was for Mr. Misadventures and I to drive from our home in Berkeley to Bend, Oregon for a family reunion. My mom’s side of the family gets together once every five years for old time’s sake and instead of flying to Portland, renting a car and driving to Bend, the lovely folks at Buick lent me a car so that I can #ExperienceBuick.

And experience it we did.

[By the way, you may not be able to take a Buick for an entire weekend, but with their new 24-Hours of Happiness program you can take one for…24 hours! See details on the Buick Happiness site.]

There are so many things that we liked about the Encore. A few things we didn’t. I’ll share both, because it is important to me that my reader’s understand that although my year-long project with Buick is a paid engagement, I always share my opinion unaided.

We left on Friday morning, drove several hours through Mt. Shasta and picnicked across the Oregon border. We love picnicing, it is one of the best parts of road-tripping! Especially when my hubby prepares such amazing picnic food!

Buick-Picnic

When we arrived in Bend we met my parents, aunts, uncles and cousins for dinner on Friday evening. After 8 hours in the car, you’d think we would be exhausted but we arrived refreshed and ready to socialize.

We spent Saturday and Sunday going back and forth between family events in Bend and Sunriver and hailed my parents around the entire time.

Andi-Buick

We left early Monday morning to return to the Bay Area and had another flawless day of driving.

What we loved about the Buick Encore

– It handles like a dream. Quick lane changes, mountainous curves, this baby is as smooth as pie.
– The GPS is protected from the sun. On our current SUV, we sometimes can’t see the GPS screen if it is a bright day, we never had this issue on the Encore!
– The command console (what I call it) is in a really good spot from a usability perspective and the minimalism of the controls makes it less distracting.
– There is excellent visibility throughout the car, the field of vision is impressive.
– The head height is really spacious, my hubby is 6 feet tall and he didn’t feel crowded. Also the leg space is fantastic.
– There are lots of miscellaneous storage pockets in the front, plenty to places to stick your phone, your bottle, your everything!
– The integration with Apple products meant we could just plug and play our iPhones and listen to music without needing a cable. The only problem was deciding who got to play their playlist!
– Proximity alert – this is my FAVORITE feature. When turned on it will beep if you get too close to the car in front of you – great for training people not to tailgate!

Proximity alert

– Side Blind Zone Alert – this is my second favorite feature. When changing lanes this nifty feature lets me know if there is someone in my blind spot. I can also see when someone is passing me on the right or left.

Side Blind Zone Alert

Photo credit: Buick

What didn’t work for us

– There isn’t quite enough storage for us. We are pack rats when we go on a roadtrip. My hubby as a ton of photo equipment, we bring picnic supplies, and on this trip we had a large suitcase. We couldn’t get it all in the back and would need to move up to a larger model to accommodate our trip-style.

Encore-Storage
– The rearview mirror “box” is a little larger, I found it a little distracting.
– The armrest for the driver is too short, my hubby is a big guy and he could not rest his arm comfortably, it was fine for me when I drove. Also on the armrest front, I really missed having one on the passenger side.

Overall, I can honestly say that this is a great car. It handles super well, it is functional (which is really important on road trips) and it is designed-well. For the Misadventures family personally, we need a Buick with more storage capacity (unless the hubby agrees to sell all his camera equipment…) but that just means we need an Enclave!

Thank you to Buick for lending me the Encore for my extended weekend roadtrip to Oregon!

What about you? What do you look for in a car when it comes to roadtrips?

In Pursuit of Happiness
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