Originally introduced as rebadged Daewoo Lacetti, the Excelle received an extensive facelift in 2009, ditching the outdated appearance of its Korean ancestor. The GT sedan was launched a year later, preceding the U.S.-spec Verano that arrived for the 2012 model year. After five successful years and an outstanding 2014, during which it dominated China’s compact-sedan market, the Excelle received a complete makeover inside and out, as well as a pair of new four-cylinder engines.

Although the Excelle remains a China-exclusive model following this update, its launch is of great importance to car enthusiasts here in the U.S., as it provides us with our best look yet at the next-generation Verano. Set to receive its first update since its introduction in 2011, the Verano should mimic the Excelle GT in most aspects except for the drivetrain compartment, where bigger engines are to be fitted for the U.S. market.

Updated 03/09/2015: Buick unveiled the official details and images on its 2015 Excelle GT.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Buick Excelle.

  • 2015 Buick Excelle GT
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Transmission:
    5-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • Displacement:
    1.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    8 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    99900 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:


2015 Buick Excelle GT High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Buick Excelle GT High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Buick Excelle GT High Resolution Exterior
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The exterior has been redesigned front to rear, and it now includes fresh fascias and a reshaped profile. The new front fascia brings together a refreshed waterfall grille, all-new headlamps with LED accents and a revised apron with a single air dam. The rear is brand-new as well, now sporting a pair of modern and attractive taillights, a sculpted trunk lid and a sportier bumper. The chrome strips that used to adorn the taillights are gone, which is a big improvement if you ask me.

From the sides, the new Excelle showcases a more pronounced waistline, new side skirts, body-colored door handles, and a slightly revised greenhouse area. The side mirrors and the wheels are new as well.

All told, the new sedan represents a significant improvement compared to its predecessor, and I have a hunch the redesigned shell hints at the next-gen, U.S.-spec Verano, which is expected to break cover sometime in 2016 for the 2017 model year.


2015 Buick Excelle GT Interior
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2015 Buick Excelle GT Interior
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2015 Buick Excelle GT Interior
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The interior of the 2015 Excelle is new as well, boasting a redesigned dashboard, revised seats and an updated steering wheel. Although it features the same wrap-around configuration as its predecessor, the dashboard now includes a modern instrument panel, an updated IntelliLink infotainment system, reshaped A/C vents and a less-cluttered center stack. There’s also more chrome trim and fewer fake wood inserts. Overall, the Excelle’s new cabin feels cleaner and roomier, something customers looking for an affordable, entry-level premium sedan are likely to enjoy.

As with the exterior, I expect these redesigned features to find their way into the next-generation Buick Verano as well.


2015 Buick Excelle GT High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Besides a revised exterior and cabin, the Excelle also gained a pair of new powertrains. The base model is now motivated by a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder rated at 113 horsepower, which replaces the previous 114-horse, 1.6-liter four-banger. The second mill is a turbocharged, 1.4-liter inline-four that cranks out 140 horses, and replaces the larger 1.8-liter four-pot with 138. The 1.6-liter turbo-four packing 181 horsepower is no longer available for the Excelle.

Also new is an optional, seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox available for the first time on the Excelle. The unit can only be had with the 1.4-liter Ecotec, while the less-powerful 1.5-liter comes mated to a revised version of the six-speed manual offered on the previous model. There’s no word on performance yet, but don’t expect the new Excelle to break the sound barrier.

A stop-start feature is now offered standard on both models and Buick claims it will enable the Excelle GT to return segment-leading fuel economy. Unfortunately, that claim can’t be verified with no actual figures provided.


2015 Buick Excelle GT High Resolution Exterior
- image 621003

There’s no official word on pricing as of February 2015, but I expect Buick to keep the starting price in the current model’s RMB129,900 range. That’s around $20,800 as of 02/13/2014.


Audi A3

2015 Audi A3 Sedan High Resolution Exterior
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The A3 is one of the most popular compact sedans in China, where it is being sold with a choice of two engines. The base model features a locally produced, 1.4-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine rated at 147 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Customers looking for more power can go with Audi’s 1.8-liter four-banger, which delivers 177 ponies and 184 pound-feet. Even more oomph comes from the 45 TFSI S Line Luxury model, which benefits from 217 horses and 258 pound-feet coming from a turbo, 2.0-liter four-pot. Transmission choices include both manual and automatic units, although the manual is only available with the entry-level sedan.

Better equipped and a lot more powerful than the Excelle, the A3 Sedan is also a lot more expensive, retailing from RMB190,900 (around $30,580 at the current exchange rates). The range-topping, S Line Luxury model runs a whopping RMB324,800 (around $52,033).

Acura ILX

2016 - 2017 Acura ILX High Resolution Exterior
- image 579048

The Acura ILX provides entry-level luxury with a sharp and sporty exterior design and plenty of standard features and soft-touch surfaces inside. Options include leather-wrapped seats, heated front seats and a 360-watt stereo system, among other goodies. The AcuraLink Satellite Communication, a navigation system with voice recognition and the Real-Time Traffic app, makes the ILX a great place to be.

Unlike the U.S.-spec model, which can be had with one of three engines, the Chinese ILX comes with only the 2.0-liter, four-banger. The unit delivers 150 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque. Pricing starts from RMB298,000, which converts to $47,767 as of 02/13/2015.


2015 Buick Excelle GT High Resolution Exterior
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Granted, the new Buick Excelle has many things to brag about. The redesigned exterior makes it one of the better-looking sedans in the compact segment, while the new interior keeps it fresh for the very demanding premium segment. Likewise, the new engines and transmission should bring improvements in performance and fuel economy, although the discontinuation of the 181-horsepower engine might not be Buick’s best decision.

  • Leave it
    • * Not of U.S. consumption until 2017
    • * Tough competitors

Press Release

Shanghai GM has revealed photos of the exterior and interior of the all-new Buick Excelle GT in advance of its upcoming domestic launch. It will strengthen the presence of Buick – Shanghai GM’s most popular brand – in China’s mid-range mainstream sedan segment.

2015 Buick Excelle GT High Resolution Exterior
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The all-new Excelle GT reflects Buick’s efficiency-oriented philosophy that caters to the preferences of local consumers. Inspired by the Buick Riviera II concept car, the all-new Excelle GT carries forward Buick’s "dynamic and sleek" design language, with styling that projects an image of simplicity and sportiness.

The sedan’s interior boasts Buick’s iconic 360-degree wraparound cabin layout, with exquisitely crafted and high-quality materials. It offers significantly more head and knee room than its predecessor, segment-leading room in back courtesy of short front and rear overhangs, and an ergonomic design.

Two new-generation 18T and 15N powertrain combinations will be offered. The 18T includes a 1.4T DVVT engine and an intelligent seven-speed DCG transmission, while the 15N offers a 1.5L DVVT in-line four-cylinder engine and a new six-speed DSS transmission. Both provide strong, seamless power output and segment-leading fuel economy thanks to the standard start/stop feature.

The all-new Excelle GT’s independent rear suspension ensures agile handling. Its lightweight body consists of over 65 percent high-strength steel. It comes standard with Bosch’s latest ESC 9.1 system, ensuring maximum protection for occupants.

2015 Buick Excelle GT High Resolution Exterior
- image 621004

The model is also packed with segment-leading and exclusive user-friendly technology such as rear-seat air vents, LED daytime running lights and a nanometer-grade PM2.5 air filter.

The all-new Excelle GT will be manufactured at Shanghai GM’s new plant in Wuhan, which has adopted world-class manufacturing processes and technologies.

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