Introduction ... and a Bose question

rpk0925

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Hello all ... New member here. I've been browsing your forum for months. I've gained a lot of knowledge from your posts. Thank you. I've tried before to register in here so I could ask questions, but for whatever reason, my registration wouldn't go through. Well, I tried again a couple nights ago and it looks like I'm in! WooHoo! :)

Here's a brief introduction. I live in Wisconsin ... lots of ice and snow. My last vehicle was a 1997 AWD Toyota RAV4, which I bought new. I was able to get 283,000 miles out of it, before donating it to charity a couple months ago due to escalating maintenance costs. I loved that little car! ... and probably would have bought another RAV4 except now it's around 18" longer than it was back in 1997. I really loved the small size of that 1997 vehicle so I started looked for something similar in new cars. The Buick Encore might be as close as it gets (in regard to length and affordability). Most of the reviews I've seen for the Encore are positive. I guess it all depends on what your personal situation is. I'm single, so I don't really need much extra space for "kids/people hauling". I think I'd like it. (I'm 6 feet and 190ish pounds, if that matters for fitting in the car comfortably).

In the last few years of my 1997 RAV4's life, I was only able to listen to 2 AM radio stations ... that's it. (I live in a somewhat rural area ... not a lot of radio towers nearby). I love music (who doesn't?), so I told myself that the next car I get would have a great stereo in it. I'm wondering if anybody can tell me how big of a difference there is between the Encore's standard radio and the Bose radio. Also, is it possible to upgrade to a Bose radio if you already own an Encore with a standard radio?

As an aside, last week I test drove an Encore with the leather package and a Bose system ... it was close to everything I can imagine that I would have liked. But I wasn't sure ... I needed to give it some thought. The next day, I drove past the dealership where I test drove the car and it wasn't on the lot anymore. Guess what! ... yup, somebody else bought it the very next morning. Made me a little sick. After talking to the dealer, I found out that they have a similar Encore coming to their lot in about a week. The only difference is that it won't have a Bose radio. So now I'm kind of stuck on whether to order a new Encore with a Bose (and wait for however long it takes to deliver) or buy the one that's coming into the dealership next week ... which is why I'm wondering about the difference that a Bose system makes. (I never had a good stereo in my car before, so maybe it isn't crucial to me ... I don't know).

Thanks for reading. I'd love to see your thoughts.
 

sddale2001

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Personally I don't think the Bose is a big upgrade. When the new car comes in take it for a drive and listen to it before you commit. The base stereo is not too bad.
 

NormT

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The base system is fine for me as I listen to some AM stations and Chill/Jazz. So not loud and hard style for sure. Though we did pop a cd in and I had to up the bass to almost max. It was adequate but nothing earth shattering. I do have a nice Bose in the Verano it really rocks. If you are listening to Serious/XM sat radio it is fine. But most of expressed before we keep the volume at about half level for normal listening on the base system.
 

IceMan2

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My wife has the Encore. I've only driven it a few times in the past year until last week. Every time I get in her little car I am amazed by the comfort and features (I'm 6'2"..190 lbs). The Bose system sounds great,to my ear. Much better crisp clarity than the standard Encore radio that I remember listening to while test driving several Encores before we bought her's. She didn't keep the XM..but the Bose sound from regular FM stations is still quite good. If you test drive the Encore with the standard radio..take the time to set bass..treble,etc...and I think you will notice how much better the Bose sounds. Definitely worth the extra $$.
IceMan2
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Old Lar

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I have a "tin" ear and listen to the radio as background music noise or news. The cost of the upgrade for a "radio" isn't in my needs over the standard radio.
 

rpk0925

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Thank you for the responses.

Is there any way to upgrade the radio/CD player or replace it? Or is it pretty much a permanent fixture in the Encore? I haven't bought a new car in 17 years ... I know things have changed a little since then. ;-) It used to be that you could swap out your car stereo fairly easily. Is that even possible anymore? I suppose it might depend on the vehicle.
 

sddale2001

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I'm sure there is a way to upgrade the sound without messing with the head unit. I would imagine the Bose system is different speakers, a subwoofer and amp. I could be mistaken but the head unit is probably the same and you would not want to mess with that anyway. If you are disappointed in the base system I would wait for one with the Bose system to save the trouble.
 

TheAirman

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It looks like a tough system to upgrade the head in. In fact, Crutchfield doesn't list any head units for the Encore.

I'd wait for a Bose if I were you. Over the long run, it'll be worth it.
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rpk0925

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Thank you all for your thoughts and suggestions. Buying a new car is like going to the doctor or dentist for me. Lol. It's never easy.
 

KSDeputy

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I bought a 2013 Encore FWD with convenience group, cloth seats and no Bose. I am partially disabled and was having problems getting in and out of it, as I could not slide in on the seat. When the 2014 came out I traded it in for a Premium FWD model. It has everything but navigation (I already have a Garmin) and sunroof, which I have no need for. I can slide in easily on the leather, and the Bose is fantastic. I listen to the NPR station at KU and they play classical music after the morning news. The sound is incredible. Try both, and you will definitely hear the difference. Also think about all of the other gadgets on the premium model. They make driving so much easier and safer. I do not see how I ever did without radar on every side, alerting me before I back into something, or run into something, or stray out of the driving lane, incredible. I keep a vehicle for ten years, it is obvious you keep your's a long time, too. In fact this may be my last vehicle. I have never been happier with a vehicle, the perfect size for me, and 29.1 mpg overall.
 
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rpk0925

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Thank you for all of your comments. I'm thinking that if I do indeed buy an Encore as my next vehicle, that I'll hold out for one with a Bose system in it. I really dislike going through this whole car-buying process. So if I keep my next car as long as I've kept my last car, I might as well live it up while I can. :)

This next question doesn't really have to do with the sound system, but just a question in general. This might sound silly to a lot of you, but I really don't know. What's different or special about the Encore that qualifies it as a luxury vehicle as opposed to just a regular vehicle. Is it because the Encore comes with things like a back-up camera or satellite system?
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rpk0925

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Thank you ... Nice article, but I have to admit that I'm still not sure that I get it. According to that article, the difference (between a luxury vehicle and a "regular" vehicle) is prestige. With all respect, is that it?

EDIT: I guess I was thinking there was some kind of mechanical/physical/functional difference between the 2 types.
 
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IceMan2

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Why even be concerned with that statement..?? If you have test driven the Buick Encore Premium..surely you can tell the difference with the features it offers compared with others in a similar category (which are few). Actually no comparison. It is quite unique in its own niche and very well appointed for a small CUV.
IceMan2
 

rpk0925

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Why even be concerned with that statement..?? If you have test driven the Buick Encore Premium..surely you can tell the difference with the features it offers compared with others in a similar category (which are few). Actually no comparison. It is quite unique in its own niche and very well appointed for a small CUV.
IceMan2

I haven't test-driven very many vehicles (but I have driven the Encore). FWIW, I live in a somewhat rural area where the only dealer in town is a GM/Buick dealer, so it isn't always easy to compare without making several special trips. I know the Encore gets a lot of raves for being quieter and smoother than other vehicles in its class.
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08Bluesky

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This next question doesn't really have to do with the sound system, but just a question in general. This might sound silly to a lot of you, but I really don't know. What's different or special about the Encore that qualifies it as a luxury vehicle as opposed to just a regular vehicle. Is it because the Encore comes with things like a back-up camera or satellite system?

Luxury? - All promo / BS / puffery. After 25 years in my Fiero my 2013 Sonic is luxury to me.

Sort of like the good folks at Honda badging their cars Acura, or Toyota badging Lexus.

Call it what you will.

But what do I know? – I grew up in a Pinto :)
 

rpk0925

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Luxury? - All promo / BS / puffery. After 25 years in my Fiero my 2013 Sonic is luxury to me.

Sort of like the good folks at Honda badging their cars Acura, or Toyota badging Lexus.

Call it what you will.

But what do I know? – I grew up in a Pinto :)

Thank you. As I've said before, I haven't test driven too many vehicles. I'm still trying to get a grip on what I want in my next vehicle ... I guess trying to prioritize what's important to me. There are so many options out there, it makes my head spin.
 

adrunk

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Luxury? - All promo / BS / puffery. After 25 years in my Fiero my 2013 Sonic is luxury to me.

Sort of like the good folks at Honda badging their cars Acura, or Toyota badging Lexus.

Call it what you will.

But what do I know? – I grew up in a Pinto :)



my first car was a '76 pinto

great first car for a young person and boat anchor reliable

any chance to debunk all the wrong pinto perceptions

sorry to derail the thread
 
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