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.
2019 Buick Envision
Only three years after its introduction, Buick is giving the Envision crossover a mid-cycle refresh for the 2019 model year. According to Buick, the changes come as a direct response to customer feedback. These include heated seats that work more quickly, a defeat button for the auto stop/start system and updated wireless charging for devices like the iPhone 8 and iPhone X. Other changes, however, are typical of a refresh, like the reworked exterior styling and upgraded powertrain.
Best of all, Buick is dropping the price on all five trim levels by roughly $1,000.
“The Envision brings a tremendous growth opportunity for the Buick brand,” said Sam Russell, Buick marketing director. “The new pricing strategy not only puts the Envision in the heart of the industry’s largest segment but also better positions it in relation to Encore, our top-selling nameplate.”
Buick has already seen impressive sales from the Envision. It sold over 55,000 examples for the 2017 model year in the U.S. alone. Canada adds another 4,000. Those figures pale in comparison to China’s sales figures, where the Envision sold more than 236,000 examples in 2017 and 275,000 in 2016. That makes sense considering Buick designed the Envision for the Chinese market and assembles the crossover in GM’s Shandong assembly plant. Yes, even U.S.-spec Envisions are built in China.
Continue reading for more information.
2018 Buick Regal Sportback
The Buick Regal actually has a pretty long history that dates back to 1973, when it was first introduced to the market. It also led to some amazing cars in the 1970s, including the Grand National and the GNX. It was produced continuously here in the U.S. until 2004 when Buick decided to call it quits, but it was brought back in 2009 as an Opel in other markets and as the Regal here in the U.S. again in 2011. That generation ran until 2017 when it was time for the sixth-gen model to make its long-awaited debut. Now available in both Sportback and wagon form, the Regal is now better than ever in modern terms and for 2018, the Sportback brings a lot to the table. Featuring a coupe-like silhouette with four doors and a rear hatch, it’s really a combobulation of several different body types but somehow looks attractive and sporty. For 2018, Buick made huge improvements to the Regal, including increasing cargo space by more than half. It’s powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder good for around 250 ponies and should prove to be an awesome family car. It is available with a new nine-speed automatic or an eight-speed automatic if you want AWD.
And, believe it or not, Buick is looking to take on the Germans, but aptly pointing out that the new Regal has more cargo space than both the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe and the Audi A5 Sportback. Overall, the new Regal is also about 200 pounds lighter than its predecessor, and with the 2.0-liter it should offer up better fuel economy as well. It has a longer wheelbase which translates to better maneuverability and improved passenger space. A whole host of safety systems is available if you’re willing to pay for it, but you do get hood pedestrian safety as standard equipment. We still have a little while before the new Regal goes on sale, with its official launch slated for the fourth quarter of 2017. Until that happens, let’s take a better look at the new Regal and discover what all it has to offer.
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.
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.
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.
Buick Verano To Be Dropped In The U.S. Market
The Buick Verano has only been around since 2011 as an entry-level option into the Buick brand. Now that a new design has debuted in China, we’ve been expecting to see it come to U.S. shores anytime now, but it looks like we might not see it after all. According to Automotive News, Buick is now considering a move to drop the Verano from the U.S. market in coming years. The news comes just weeks before the scheduled debut of the Envision crossover here in the U.S.
This news is undoubtedly the result of the SUV craze that is spreading across the country like wildfire. With the subcompact Envision hitting U.S. shores any time now, Buick doesn’t seem to have the room for two entry-level models in its lineup. IHS Automotive analyst, Stephanie Brinley, said, “There were nearly 32,000 buyers who walked into a dealership last year and bought a Verano, not an SUV or a Regal. Any time you eliminate a product from the lineup, there’s risk.”
The question is, how big is that risk? GM is depending on the idea that the SUV craze is going to continue, and a majority of entry-level buyers will look to something like the Envision instead of the badge-engineered Verano. Back in 2014, Duncan Aldred – GM’s global Chief—said “What we can’t have at Buick is ten vehicles all selling a few thousand units each. I’ve seen that. It doesn’t work. We need to bring in cars, trucks, whatever, that can offer substantial volume.”
So far, GM has declined to comment on the future of the Verano. For now, it looks like the current Verano will probably run through the 2017 model year, at which point GM could drop the model and try to steer new customers toward the Envision crossover.
Continue reading for the full story.
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.
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.
As luxury automakers continue to downsize their crossover and SUV lineups in the compact and subcompact segments, General Motors has been on the outside looking in, but Buick might be getting some help from an unlikely source. The compact Buick Envision is already on sale in the Chinese market, and a new report indicates that the crossover could be imported to the U.S. from China.
At this point, neither Cadillac nor Buick have a compact crossover, despite the fact that the Encore continues to be a strong seller, so importing from an existing plant seems to be the fastest way to get such a vehicle to U.S. buyers. The Chinese plant would have to increase plant production by more than 20 percent in order to export to the U.S., and that sounds like an easier task than adding a new line at an existing U.S.-based plant.
Volvo is about to become the first automaker to import a Chinese-made car to the U.S., but the problem there gets a little muddy for GM. The auto giant is in the midst of intense labor talks with the UAW, which hasn’t responded well to the recent news of the Envision’s possible import status. In short, the union’s vice president said such a move would be “alarming.”
Once the decision of whether or not to bring the Envision to the U.S. is made, China’s economy will surely play into GM’s decision on where to build it. Currently, the value of the yuan is plummeting, while the country’s stock market is faltering as well. You can read more about the state of China’s economic meltdown – and its effect on the global auto economy – in our recent in-depth report.
Continue reading for the full story.
Most of the products that were unveiled at the 2015 Shanghai Motor Show have little relevance for car buyers in the U.S., but the debut of China’s 2016 Buick Verano is a look into the crystal ball for Buick showrooms here. After seeing strong sales in its first two model years on the market, last year saw a small drop in sales that put the Verano as Buick’s fourth-best-selling model (out of five products), so an update to the bottom of its lineup is definitely needed. Although branded a 2016 model year in China, there were doubts on whether the new compact sedan will arrive in the North America in time to be labeled as a 2016 model. Turns out, Buick was able to do that, too, as the 2016 Verano has now been announced in the US. Even with most of the major auto shows over in the U.S., Buick was able to squeeze in the announcement of the 2016 Verano in time for the last auto event on the calendar. The timeline looks stretched now but don’t be surprised to see the new U.S.-spec Buick Verano make its official debut at the LA Auto Show in November 2015.
Updated 08/13/2015: Buick announced today the addition of the new Sport Touring (ST) models to the 2016 Verano lineup. They will be distinguished by distinctive exterior cues, like special 18-inch wheels and a rear spoiler, plus additional equipment to the interior.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Buick Verano.
Buick is a bit of an old-timer when it comes to brand perception, usually offering up models better suited to hitting up the local Bingo game than the club, but that hasn’t stopped it from attempting to reinvent itself with models like the Encore. First breaking cover at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show and going on sale for the 2013 model year, the Encore has seen a good deal of success, with sales increasing 29 percent for the first six months of 2015 to 30,549 units sold. Unfortunately, it’s Buick’s only really successful model, as the automaker’s overall sales fell 6 percent to 106,314 units sold, with every model in its catalog (besides the Encore) seeing a sales decline.
For that reason, it’s not a surprise to see the Encore back with this more “spirited,” high-end variant.
“Encore is a driving force behind Buick’s expansion and a catalyst for introducing a new generation of customers to the brand,” said Duncan Aldred, U.S. vice president of Buick, who added that the new Sport Touring broadened Buick’s customer’s base with more choices, as well as more performance, technology and efficiency.
Sounds good. But does it work?
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Buick Encore Sport Touring.
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.
2013 was a great year for Buick. GM’s mid-level luxury brand sold a little over one million vehicles worldwide, topping a sales record that dates back to 1984. Deliveries of the Encore and Enclave models were decisive for the company’s growth, which is why Buick is adding a third crossover to its lineup as we move into the 2015 model year. Dubbed Envision, the new hauler slots between the Encore and the Enclave, in an already packed segment.
Launched on the Chinese market at first, with a North American release likely to follow for the 2016 model year, the Buick Envision comes with a couple of segment-first features. Additionally, the new crossover marks a premier for the brand, being the first Buick-badged vehicle to sport an Off-Road driving mode.
As with most GM vehicles built and launched in China, the Envision is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder unit that comes with decent output figures and a brand-new six-speed automatic transmission. The crossover promises to deliver class-leading fuel economy of nearly 27 mpg combined. Read on for the full details.
Updated 09/01/2014: Buick unveiled a series of new images and details on the new Envision. Click past the jump for more details.
Click past the jump to read more about the Buick Envision
2013 was an exceptional year for Buick. GM’s mid-level luxury brand sold a little over one million vehicles, posting a 15-percent increase over the previous year and its best annual figures yet (the previous record goes back to 1984). It’s true that about 80 percent of deliveries reached the Chinese market — only 222,138 units were sold to North American customers — but Buick’s uptrend is a reality that even the most fiery naysayers can’t deny.
With only five nameplates on the table, the brand’s performance is even more impressive. The key ingredients to Buick’s successful recipe for 2013 were its crossovers, the Encore and the Enclave. The ever-growing compact SUV segment and China’s appetite for foreign luxury helped pave the way for both vehicles, but especially for the Encore.
The Opel Mokka-based crossover’s sales surpassed all prediction in its first full year on the market, with nearly 100,000 examples making their way into people’s driveways. Sure, it’s nowhere near the BMW X1’s 150,000+ figure, but the Encore is proof enough that Buick’s struggle has finally come to an end.
Having been shipped to showrooms beginning the first quarter of 2013, the subcompact SUV is as fresh as it gets. Naturally, Buick’s updates for 2014 aren’t abundant, but the Encore continues into a new year with a few new safety and convenience features.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2014-2016 Buick Encore.
For all of us car buffs born in the 1980s and later, we mostly think of Buicks as being granddad’s car. You know, a big, cushiony jalopy that can barely get out of its own way. The last real Buick that we know of being even remotely high-performance was the Grand National and the Regal T-Type from 1978 through 1987. Since the Grand National’s deletion, there has been little life in Buick’s lineup and performance car buyers went away from the brand.
In recent years, GM has been reshaping all of its lineups to not only be more economical, but also to be more performance oriented, including Buick. The thing with Buick is that it has to retain its now strong customer base – the retired American – but offer the performance to draw in younger buyers. Well, when Buick released the Verano, it knew it had a car that was compact and stylish enough to draw in younger buyers without alienating its primary buyers. Once GM started mentioning a turbocharged model, a la the Cobalt SS, our ears perked up a little.
While the details are still a little scarce on the complete model, we felt it was time to get a full review together, so you can see what’s going on.
We will preview this review by letting you know that this is not your granddad’s Buick…
Click past the jump to read more on the Buick Verano Turbo.
It’s not often we get things right when we make jokes, but we did say that we thoughtChevrolet should change the name of the new Aveo. After all, the last one really was terrible.
We completely agree with this rumor, as separating this new model with the last one can only help sales. Take the new Cruze for instance. If it had been called the redesigned Cobalt, would it have gotten the attention it’s currently getting?
The new Aveo will be built at GM’s Orion plant, which it recently renovated. Along with the new Aveo, Buick’s small premium car, the Verano, will be built there as well. It will be the first small car built by the company in over 20 years and will be based off of the Cruze. In total, these two new vehicles could help save up to 1,500 jobs which could be extremely helpful in the current economy.
Hit the jump to see the press release.
Gas prices won’t stay cheap forever and the automakers have been charged with the duty of making small and fuel-efficient cars. We know that the majority of the public isn’t smart about car buying. The phrase, “bigger is better” seems to play over and over again in the heads of car shoppers. Yet, when the price of gas rises, so do small car sales and, unlike last time, General Motors is ready.
Buick will be introducing the Verano compact car, as well as a LaCrosse hybrid sedan. We have no idea what will be under the hood of this car, or what platform it will get. If we had to guess, we would say the car would be based on the newChevrolet Cruze, as it would be almost the same size.
Cadillac, GMC, and Chevrolet are also working on fuel-efficient vehicles. Cadillac is working on the ATS,GMC has been creating a production version of the Granite concept, and Chevy should have an all-new Aveo to go alongside the Spark. Automotive News is also reporting that GM is planning on shrinking the Impala.
Lots of big things are coming about for the small car market. Let’s just hope these alternative options will offer style as well as function.