The 83rd annual Geneva International Motor Show, which opened last week and runs through March 17, has its share of classic cars like the Rolls-Royce Phantom and Mercedes-Benz E-Class Long Wheel Base for rich people who prefer to be driven. It’s a more democratic year for the Geneva show, which was reflected in the eight finalists for the prestigious European Car of the Year award. Not one of the cars is considered . The only US-based carmaker to make the eight finalists was Ford for its compact B-Max people hauler. It’s smaller and rounder than the C-Max currently on sale in the US. It will come to the US as a people-hauler version of its successful commercial wagon, the Transit Connect.
U.S.-based manufacturer GM also had significant presence at the Geneva Motor Show. Buick and Chevrolet products fit the “everyman” marketing categories, and would have been appropriate for the European Car of the Year nominee status. One of these is the 2013 Buick Encore all-wheel drive compact wagon. It sells for $29,690 in the US. It might do better in another market such as China. The interior spacing would not be comfortable for four adults, especially if hauling lots of stuff. The four-cylinder, gasoline-fueled Encore gets 138 horsepower, 148 pound-feet of torque. Americans are used to wagons such as this one as long-trip, highway vehicles, and this one doesn’t seem to meet that expectation. It is gifted in telematics with onboard infotainment and emergency communications. These technologies are showing up at the Geneva show in cars of all price ranges, becoming the norm for cars being marketed globally.