General Motors reports that the EPA has rated the all-new 2013 Buick Encore at 25/33 mpg city/highway. GM points out in a press release that the front-wheel drive Encore earns better fuel economy estimates than affordable compact SUVs like the 2013 Ford Escape and Jeep Compass, which earn up to 23/33 and 22/28 mpg, respectively. Fuel economy data for the all-wheel drive Encore is not yet available.

Despite edging out domestic rivals, some imports offer similar levels of fuel efficiency. The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek can match the Encore’s fuel economy when equipped with an automatic transmission, and it comes with standard all-wheel drive, which typically decreases fuel economy. The 2013 Mazda CX-5 continues to offer a better fuel economy rating, delivering up to 26/35 mpg city/highway. Although the Subaru matches the Buick’s fuel economy figures, the Encore’s annual fuel cost of $1,900, which is based on current gas prices, is $100 less than the XV Crosstrek’s, and it matches the CX-5’s. 

Edmunds writes that fuel economy continues to become an important aspect of newly-introduced vehicles, especially as gas prices near $4 per gallon. Hurricanes and tropical storms in the Gulf of Mexico could also affect gas prices. “The Gulf Coast produces about 22 percent of gas supplies in the U.S. Many oil platforms have been evacuated ahead of the storm.”

The Encore is powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 140 horsepower. Pricing and full specifications haven’t been announced, but GM says that the Encore will go on sale in early 2013.

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