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.
New GM Trademark Points to a Production Run for a Recent Sexy Concept
Earlier in April, at the Beijing Auto Show, Buick revealed a new high-tech compact crossover concept, called the Enspire, that featured a huge number of exciting features and design cues. Now, it’s looking like that concept will soon hit the production line, but the question is - what will it bring to the table?
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.
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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.
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.