Shanghai Buick Showcases Four New Models, Including the All-New Encore and the VELITE 6
Buick has arrived at Auto Shanghai 2019, and it’s brought with it not one, but four vehicles to the event. The all-new Encore crossover leads the four-vehicle lineup, and it’s joined by the long-wheelbase Encore GX, the GL8 Avenir Concept MPV, and the VELITE 6 MAV electric vehicle. All four vehicles are integral to Buick’s long-term plans in the Chinese market. The Encore SUVs, as well as the VELITE 6 MAV, are all part of Buick’s plan to introduce eight new and/or refreshed models in the Chinese market. The automaker’s aggressive approach in the Chinese market may catch some people here by surprise, but the American automaker, which has lost a lot of its shine in its home soil, is treated as an aspirational automaker among the Chinese, particularly the country’s younger demographic. Knowing that gives you an idea why Buick holds is going all-out at Auto Shanghai 2019 with four models that more or less represents the automaker’s future offerings in the world’s biggest auto market.
2018 Buick Enspire
The year is 2018, and every automaker has their vision for the future. With the current trend, it should come as no surprise that most of those “vision” concepts are crossovers, SUVs or coupe-like crossovers. Such is the case with Bucks latest concept, the Enspire – a model Buick says is an “exploration of its bold design ideas and innovative technologies for future mobility.” PR Talk aside, it does have a stylish and sleek design that’s still somewhat within the realm of reality. It’s said to feature augmented reality, a conceptual form of 5G internet connectivity, and has an all-electric drivetrain that’s powerful enough to get it up to 60 mph in just four seconds. Whether or not Buick will last long enough for a concept like this to come to life remains to be seen but let’s take a closer look at it anyway.
Buick’s Cooking Up An Electric Concept To Show Off in Beijing
Buick is continuing its brand revival with a new concept vehicle that’s scheduled to debut at the 2018 Beijing Auto Show in April. The concept, called the Enspire, is the latest model to showcase General Motors’ plans for Buick moving forward. Its China debut also isn’t by accident; the General has been excessively aggressive in establishing the Buick brand in China, a country where the automaker sells most of its models.
2017 Buick Enclave Avenir
Launched in 2008 as a replacement for both the Rainier and Terraza, the Enclave helped Buick achieve record sales globally by becoming very popular in North America and China. After nearly ten years on the market, Buick redesigned the crossover from a clean sheet and gave it GM’s fresh 1XX platform and a brand-new V-6 engine. In addition to an array of new technology and features, the Enclave also became the first production Buick to wear the Avenir badge, which stands for the company’s new luxury sub-brand.
Introduced at the 2017 New York Auto Show, the Enclave Avenir is more of a trim rather than a stand-alone model, being offered with exclusive features and additional standard equipment. In all, it’s a fancier version of the regular Enclave that competes with range-topping versions of the Acura MDX and Lincoln MKX, and maybe even more affordable variants of the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC.
Continue reading to learn more about the Buick Enclave Avenir.
2018 Buick Enclave
Introduced in 2008 as a more upscale version of the Chevrolet Traverse and a replacement for both the Rainier and Terraza, the Enclave quickly became one of Buick’s most popular modern nameplates in the U.S. and a big hit in China. After nearly ten years on the market, the first-generation Enclave was retired to make way for a brand-new model. Not only redesigned from a clean sheet inside and out, the new Enclave also rides GM’s fresh 1XX platform and uses the company’s latest V-6 engine. It also packs an array of new tech and safety features, as well as premium materials inside the cabin.
Introduced at the 2017 New York Auto Show, the new Enclave draws its styling cues from the recently unveiled Avenir and Avista concept. What’s more, it was used to introduce Buick’s new luxury sub-brand. Released under the Avenir name, it will be offered as a range-topping trim with higher quality materials and exclusive features. On paper, the new Enclave has what it takes to move Buick higher in the premium class. Find out how it stacks up against the competition in the comprehensive review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Buick Enclave.
2018 Buick Regal TourX
Launched in 1973, the Buick Regal became a big hit in the 1980s, during the Grand National and GNX era. The nameplate soldiered on for two more generations until it was discontinued in 2004. Upon its return to the U.S. market in 2010, the Regal had become a re-engineered Opel Insignia. Although the "transplant" was received with some criticism by purists, the Regal once again became a big hit, especially in China. For 2018, Buick launched the sixth-generation Regal, a rebadged version of the brand-new Opel Insignia.
Although rebadged vehicles are rarely a case to get excited about, the new Regal is a big deal for Buick. With Opel having upped the ante in just about every department, creating a sportier, premium looking car with an upmarket interior, the Regal has also moved up the luxury ladder in a move that should have happened years ago. What’s more, Buick decided to also import the wagon version of the Insignia as the Regal TourX. Not only that, but the TourX also sports crossover-specific features and a raised ride height, which makes it a perfect, and much-needed competitor for the likes of the Subaru Outback, Volvo V60 Cross Country, and Audi A4 Allroad.
After two years of rumors and a highly debated trademark for the TourX name, Buick is finally offering a wagon after nearly two decades. Let’s find out more about it in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Buick Regal TourX.
Buick Builds Itself A New Top Shelf With Avenir Sub-Brand In New York
The 2017 New York International Auto Show is now in full swing, and Buick isn’t wasting any time in introducing a new premium sub-brand it’s calling Avenir. If the name sounds familiar, you’re probably remembering the full-size luxury four-door concept car Buick brought to the 2015 North American International Auto Show. At the time, we liked it, praising its classy good looks and well-executed interior, and hoped dearly that Buick would see fit in bringing it to production. And while we have yet to see the potential new flagship sedan get the green light, the Avenir name just got tagged on the new 2018 Enclave, ushering in a new premium sub-brand for Buick in the process.
Fittingly, the word Avenir is French for “future,” so it stands to reason the Enclave Avenir is just the first of many more top-quality offerings to come. All in all, the Enclave Avenir looks promising, bearing many of the same qualities as the concept sedan we enjoyed so much, albeit with a glaze of production-friendly tweaks laid on top.
So what kind of goodies can we expect from future Avenir products? Read on for our take, as well as the new Enclave Avenir’s various standout features.
Continue reading for the full story.
The New Enclave is Here and Puts the Competition to Shame
The Enclave is said to be what the Buick brand stands for, which according to Duncan Aldred – the VP of Global Buick and GMC – is “smart, stylish luxury.” Be that as it may, the Enclave is no spring chicken and has been on the market since 2008, being updated just once in 2014. The second generation is finally here, and Buick looks to take on models like the Acura MDX, Audi Q7, and Infiniti QX60, among others. Offering seating for seven, the new Enclave is also lower and slimmer than before but sees an improvement in passenger space inside. There are a lot of new design cues to talk about, and some significant features that could really give the Enclave a fighting chance in this ever-evolving segment.
The new Enclave gets some serious updates to the exterior that includes a redesigned and shorter grille, new headlights and taillights, revised fascias, and some new body lines. To be more specific, the grille looks more modern while the headlights are finally on par with the rest of the market. The body lines of the new Enclave are similar to the outgoing model, but stands out by being sharper and more curved in all the right places. The rear quarter glass has changed dramatically and makes for a taller rear quarter. The taillights are sporty and upscale, while the rear fascia is upright and prominent. I’m pretty sure this thing has been doing squats, but we’ll save that for another conversation.
But, it’s not the exterior where the Enclave really stands out among the competition. No; it’s the interior where things have been dramatically redesigned. So much so, in fact, that you have to see it for yourself. Keep reading to learn more about it.
Buick Prepares To Enter the Station Wagon Game Yet Again
TV killed the radio star, and now, SUVs are killing the car. Want proof? Buick, yes I said Buick, is going to drop the Regal sedan altogether and replace it with a sedan-styled, five-door that’s more like an SUV or wagon than the sedan that we’ve all known for so many years. It’s not surprising, considering the sale of midsize sedans have dropped for two years in a row, while crossovers have accounted for roughly two-thirds of Buicks sales in 2016 alone. We also saw this coming after Buick showed off the Cadillac Escala concept not that long ago.
So, what kind of design is Buick actually going with? Well, don’t hold your breath for anything special because GM is all about badge-engineering these days and the 2018 Regal is going to be no exception. Need a hint? How about the name Opel? Need another hint? How about Insignia? That’s right; the next-gen Regal is likely to be nearly identical to the Opel Insignia Grand Sport hatchback and the Insignia Sports Tourer wagon that debuted at the Geneva Auto Show just this month.
There has been no comment from Buick about this development, however, rumor has it that the new Regal will be built in Opel’s Ruesselsheim factory in Germany and imported into the U.S. On the plus side, if the Buick really is going the five-door route with the Regal, it will be the brand’s first official wagon since the Buick Century and Buick Roadmaster of the 1990s. And, on another note, it could be the last produced by Opel now that the brand (and Vauxhall, for that matter) are being sold to PSA Group.
Keep reading for the rest of the story
2016 Buick Velite Concept
With the possible exception of the Riviera Concept from 2013, Buick has never been the type to go over-the-top with its concept cars. Knowing that, it comes as no surprise that Buick’s latest concept, the Velite Plug-In Hybrid, made its debut at the 2016 Auto Guangzhou show to minimal buzz and fanfare.
Not that it deserved the hype because the Velite Plug-In Hybrid Concept doesn’t even strike us as a buzz-worthy prototype, at least in the traditional sense of how these concepts are generally received by the auto industry. There are no ridiculous physical attributes, no obnoxious features. It doesn’t even have a headline-worthy engine.
What it does have is a crossover profile, which tells you what Buick’s plans for the concept are if a production model ends up being made. The concept was even co-developed by General Motors and SAIC, its Chinese state-owned auto partner and the fact that it made its debut at a Chinese auto show instead of the recently concluded show in Los Angeles tells you that Buick’s plans for model will be catered largely towards the Chinese market.
So, are there reasons to get excited about the Velite Concept? Depends on who you ask, really. For most people, it’s nothing that we haven’t seen before, although the fact that the model was developed with an unspecified plug-in hybrid “high-performance” powertrain is a bit of a tease.
Other than that, the Velite Concept is as it is. Even Buick didn’t have too much information about the car - no interior details to speak of - and that usually points to a concept that’s more of a showpiece of what’s to come than an actual soon-to-be production model.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Buick Velite Plug-In Hybrid Concept.
2017 Buick Cascada Sport Touring with Dark Effects Package
I don’t suppose the mere addition of a new color option counts as a special edition model already, right? Who am i to talk though because evidently, that’s exactly what Buick did with the new iteration of the Cascada Sport Touring. Sure, there’s a Dark Effects package to go along with the new Sport Red paint, but that’s about all you’re going to get with this new special edition.
It’s not all that bad, though, because of the aforementioned Dark Effects package, which does add some flavor to the overall makeup of the Cascada. And, to be fair to Buick, the Sport Red actually looks good on the open-top coupe, much better at least than the True Blue finish of the previous special edition Cascada that was unveiled back in August 2016. That one didn’t look all that spectacular even for a standard model, whereas the Sport Red paint fully complements the sporty and aggressive side of the convertible.
This new special edition Cascada is all set to make its debut at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show before it goes official on February 1, 2017. Only 150 units will be made of this Sport Red-clad, Dark Effects packaged Buick Cascada. You don’t have to convince yourselves to get one should you be interested because if you are, there’s a good chance that there won’t be any available models left for you to decide on.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Buick Cascada Sport Touring with Dark Effects package.
The Detroit Auto Show has finally kicked off, which means there are a number of new concepts and models to talk about. One such model is the 2016 Buick Envision. If the “Envision” name sounds familiar, it’s because it actually debuted in China, and went on sale on the Chinese market in late in 2014, as a 2015 model. It was initially designed as a global vehicle from the beginning, which means it didn’t take long for GM to get it ready for the U.S. Market.
As a compact crossover, the Envision will compete against the likes of vehicles like the Acura RDX, Lincoln MKC, and the Audi Q5. It is said to have a “whisper quiet” cabin and a smooth ride. As Chief Engineer, Judy Brennan, put it, “Our attention to detail yielded tremendous strength and stiffness of the platform, which is evident in exceptional ride and handling characteristics.”
So, will the plethora of standard and available safety features set the Envision apart from the rest? Will the interior prove to be more comfortable than others in the segment? Well, we can’t answer that last question until we actually get the chance to sit in one, but we can see how the Envision stacks up otherwise, so let’s take a deeper look and see just where the Envision stands.
Update 4/22/2016: Pricing information for the Buick Envision has been announced. The 2016 model will start out from $42,995 and the 2017 model will start out from $34,990. Check out the "Prices" section below for more information.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Buick Envision.
2017 Buick LaCrosse Hybrid Electric Vehicle
When things were going rough for General Motors, the appeal of the Buick brand in the Chinese market pretty much saved the brand from meeting the same fate as Pontiac. Since then, GM has been giving the Chinese market a lot of attention. The Buick Envision is being built there, and now it looks like the Chinese market will get first dibs on the Buick LaCrosse HEV that just made its global debut at the 2016 Buick Day event in Shanghai. In addition, Buick also released the new “Buick Blue” logo, which is prominently displayed on the LaCrosse HEV’s rear deck lid.
GM’s Executive Director of Global Propulsion Systems, Larry Nitz, said, “GM’s leadership in electrification technologies, now and in the future, are coming to Buick in China. In fact, over the next five years, we will roll out more than 10 new energy vehicles in China, including several models for Buick. That includes full hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and extended-range electric vehicles.”
Buick has already introduced other eco-friendly models like the LaCrosse eAssist and the LaCrosse Eco-Hybrid, and now it’s clear that Buick is on a “green” mission, with the LaCrosse HEV being the first step of many. The LaCrosse HEV has the same style and design cues as the all-new Lacrosse here in the U.S., but it features a specific powertrain and some other electric goodies that help it achieve excellent gas mileage. So, with that said, let’s dive on in and take a look at Buick’s newest hybrid vehicle.
Continue reading to learn more about the Buick LaCrosse Hybrid Electric Vehicle.
2016 New York International Auto Show – Worst In Show
Meeting the high standards of a major international auto show is not easy. It takes creativity, an appropriately sized budget, and no small measure of polish. When it all comes together, the result is a beautiful thing to behold. A single model can shed light on an entire brand, sparking passion and lust in every corner of the automotive universe. We’ll cover those drool-makers in an upcoming Best In Show piece, but this article hits the other side of the spectrum – the monotonous, the poorly conceived, and the yawn-worthy.
This time around, our list of Worst In Show has a theme – special editions that aren’t that special. The 2016 New York International Auto Show was chock full of ‘em this year, so we collected some of the worst offenders for a little collective disdain.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
2017 Buick Encore
Buick is giving its smallest crossover a mid-cycle refresh only four years after its initial debut. The 2017 Buick Encore now sports a new face, an updated interior, and some new in-dash technology. The changes aren’t drastic, but should help keep the compact crossover in the spotlight for shoppers.
The Encore has been a big hit for General Motors, selling 67,500 examples in 2015. That’s up from 48,900 units in 2014 and 32,000 units in 2013. Buick says the Encore accounts for a third of its total vehicle sales, so the 2016 model year will likely be another record-breaking year, as well.
“The Buick Encore created the premium small SUV segment and remains the top choice for customers seeking premium features and dependability coupled with timeless design,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick Sales, Service and Marketing. “In a rapidly evolving segment, the Encore continues to lead with smart, purposeful updates and a new level of technology-infused elegance and refinement.
While it’s highly debatable if the Encore created the premium small crossover segment, the Encore offers consumers the high-riding feel of larger crossovers and SUVs without the bulky size. Still, the Encore offers room for five and with a decent amount of cargo room. Folding the rear seats down results in even more room.
Like its Chevrolet Trax counterpart, the Encore’s 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and available AWD offer the right amount of power for the 3,300-pound vehicle. These mechanicals aren’t changing for the 2017 refresh, but there’s plenty to talk about. Keep reading for the full run-down of Buick’s updates.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Buick Encore.
2016 Buick Enclave Sport Touring Edition
Wait, what? A Sport Touring edition? Aren’t those mutually exclusive styles of handling? That’s like Chevrolet throwing an SS badge on a Silverado 3500 HD. “The HD SS, the pentacle of high-performance trailer-towing upsets lap records at Nürburgring and Laguna Seca,” the press release would read. While that would be bad enough, it’d be worse if the badges didn’t mean anything. Well that’s apparently the case with Buick’s latest appearance package for its largest SUV, the three-row Enclave.
This special edition Enclave is neither sportier nor cushier, but rather more “blinged out” with a color Buick calls Satin Black Ice. The color can be found on the grille and within the spokes of the 20-inch chrome wheels. The ice blue color is found inside as well, emanating from the dash via LED bulbs. There’s only three body colors offered as well, which include White Frost Tricoat, Crimson Red Metallic, and Ebony Twilight Metallic. What’s more, the Enclave isn’t the only Buick getting the icy treatment. It can be ordered on the LaCrosse, Regal, Verano, and Encore.
Buick says the Sport Touring Edition is a reward for its loyal customer base, citing that 33.4 percent of Enclave sales in 2015 came from returning customers. Though the automaker only has two SUV models, they accounted for 61 percent of Buick sales last year. That percentage will certainly grow with the 2016 Envision crossover hitting the market this summer.
“The industry doesn’t have many success stories better than the Buick Enclave,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick. “It has created a new generation of Buick customers and delivered on their expectations again and again. The Sport Touring Edition is a great update for our flagship crossover SUV as the Buick family continues to grow this year.”
We don’t know who that “new generation” of customer is, but they’ll be able to purchase the Enclave Sport Touring Edition this summer for a slight premium over the 1SL and 1SN trim packages.
Continue reading to learn more about the Buick Enclave Sport Touring Edition.
Buick may only sell sedans and crossovers nowadays, but the GM-owned brand is no stranger to performance vehicles. A quick look into the history books brings amazing performance coupes such as the Riviera and the GSX into focus, while the GNX version of the second-gen Regal is nothing to sneeze at either. Someone at Buick must have taken a good look at these cars recently, because the company just came out of its shell with a 2+2 coupe at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show.
Dubbed Avista, Buick’s latest show car is the sleekest, most aggressive design since the Riviera concept we saw at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show. But, unlike the Shanghai study, the Avista concept is less futuristic and sports an actual engine under its hood. I would even go as far as to say that this vehicle looks ready to go into production, but you shouldn’t get too excited about that as Buick has yet to say anything about the Avista’s future.
On the other hand, company vice president Duncan Aldred did say that "the Avista embodies the dynamic soul of Buick" and that it’s "a modern expression of the brand’s heritage of sophisticated performance, communicated with beautiful elegance." This doesn’t say much about whether Buick is planning to build it, but the Avista is confirmation that the brand still knows how to build performance cars. Hopefully, it will be more than just a reminder of the past, but until we find out more about that, make sure you have a closer look at this concept in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Buick Avista.
When Buick introduced the 2015 Buick Avenir concept at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, most enthusiasts, including some of us here at Top Speed, began fantasizing about a flagship sedan (the Electra and Park Avenue come to mind) that would finally give the brand a weapon for the luxury market. On the other hand, we knew there was a big chance the Avenir would remain just a concept and Buick’s latest announcement about the next-generation LaCrosse confirms just that.
There is some good news though. The 2017 LaCrosse, which made its public debut at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, sports design cues inspired by the Avenir concept. The front fascia borrows heavily from the concept car and the company said it’s a face all Buick vehicles will adopt by 2018. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Buick isn’t pondering a full-size sedan, but even if not, the new design language should be exciting.
“The Avenir concept shattered expectations of what a Buick could be and the 2017 LaCrosse promises to do the same. Its expressive design represents a break from convention and highlights the progressiveness in all new Buick models," said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick.
Updated 11/18/2015: Buick unveiled the 2017 LaCrosse at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Buick LaCrosse.
The 2015 automotive year is off to a great start thanks to the Detroit Auto Show. Hosting no less than 27 production debuts, Detroit showcased some of the most exciting vehicles to hit the market from 2015 through 2017. Ford stole the show with three brand-new performance cars, including the 2017 GT, the 2016 Shelby GT350R, and the 2017 F-150 Raptor, while Acura drew massive crowds to its stand with the 2016 NSX. The truck segment welcomed three more additions in the form of the 2016 Nissan Titan XD, the 2015 Ram 1500 Rebel, and the 2016 Toyota Tacoma, while Chevrolet brought an electric lineup consisting of the second-generation 2016 Volt and the 2015 Bolt EV Concept. However, the 2015 Detroit Auto Show wasn’t all about cheers and chants. The Cobo Center floor had its fair share of dullness, and that’s exactly what I’m going to talk about below.
Why? Well, first of all, let’s say that it wouldn’t be fair to highlight only the good stuff. Secondly, the vehicles I’m about to review below reveal new brand strategies as well as existing policies that may or may not be healthy for the manufacturers in question. Keep reading for the worst bits of the 2015 Detroit Auto Show and make sure you share your thoughts about our list in the comments box below.
Click past the jump to learn which cars we find the worst on show this year.
Trucks and high-performance cars definitely made their presence felt at the 2015 North American International Auto Show, but when all is said and done, it could be the Buick Avenir Concept vehicle that turns out to be one of the most important introductions in Detroit. Avenir is French for "future" or "coming soon," and we can only hope that this new concept vehicle hints at a new flagship sedan for Buick. Buick has definitely turned its lineup around starting around 2010 and 2011, but the addition of a stunning, all-wheel-drive flagship like the Avenir Concept would punctuate this brand’s renaissance.
In recent years, rumors have swirled regarding a Buick attempting a four-door coupe in a similar vein as the Porsche Panamera, and while that sounded like an impossible feat for an automaker like Buick, the Avenir Concept is definitely a home run. Unlike most concept vehicles, there is an impressive amount of realism in every aspect of the Avenir. It isn’t powered by a mythical 600-horsepower, plug-in hybrid powertrain, the styling isn’t too extreme that we couldn’t imagine it out on the road and even the interior — while obviously conceptual — still has the feeling of a production car.
More importantly, Buick’s global momentum has progressed enough that we could really see the brand green-lighting a halo vehicle such as the Avenir. With a lineup filled with front-drive sedans and crossovers, the timing is perfect for Buick to become a true player in the luxury segment with a flagship based on this concept.
“Avenir embodies Buick design, which centers on effortless beauty and presence without pretense. It demonstrates the growing international reach of Buick and offers an exciting vision of where it can go,” said Ed Welburn, vice president of General Motors Global Design. “The interior is designed with the driver and passengers’ comfort and well-being in mind.”
Updated 01/23/2015: We’ve added a series of new images from the car’s official debut at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Check the new images in the "Pictures" tab.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Buick Avenir Concept.