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?
Best Used 2016 SUV for Fuel Economy
The market trend is quickly shifting from sedans to crossovers and SUVs. However, SUVs have two major cons when compared to their segment counterparts - high retail price and poor fuel economy. Even though they are a practical choice thanks to additional cabin and cargo space, it’s a little difficult for everyone to afford an SUV. So why not go for a used SUV instead? You don’t take the depreciation hit that first owner does, and since SUVs are built to last a lifetime, you can get an almost-new SUV at half the original price.
Now that we’ve planted this seed in your head, let’s have a look at the best used SUVs from 2016 with high fuel efficiency.
This is Why You Will Simply Fall In Love With The New Luxurious Buick Regal Avenir
Buick wants to do with its Avenir trim much the same what GMC did with its Denali. It is a pseudo-luxury sub-brand created to move usually mediocre cars into the world of utmost luxury.
Up until this point, Buick did just that with the Enclave Avenir, the LaCrosse Avenir, and the GL8 Avenir (only available in China,) but they’ve just revealed that the Avenir luxury trim will land on the Buick Regal Sportback.
In an expected turn of events, the Avenir trim line garnished the 2019 Buick Regal Sportback with serious luxurious gear differentiating it from the current top of the line trim called the Preferred II.
“Avenir sales have exceeded our expectations,” said Phil Brook, Vice President, Buick and GMC Marketing. “Buick customers value the exclusive styling, premium features and convenient experience Avenir provides, and we are excited to extend that successful formula to Regal.”
For now, the 2019 Buick Regal Avenir is available only in the Sportback guise with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged engine developing 250 horsepower, with a front wheel drive, and advanced nine-speed automatic transmission.
2018 Buick LaCrosse Sport Touring
The Buick LaCrosse is getting some reinforcement in the form of a new trim model called Sport Touring. Officially referred to as the LaCross Sport Touring, this new trim option will slot in as the sportiest model in the entire LaCrosse lineup. It’s been developed to not only look the part but also perform like a performance-oriented sedan. Pricing for the Buick LaCrosse Sport Touring starts at $40,295, including $925 in destination fees.
Starting on 2019 Models, Buick to Join Audi, Volkswagen, and Hyundai in Not Placing a Brand Name on Vehicles
Beginning in 2019, Buick will stop using its brand plate on the tailgate of its vehicles, leaving just the model’s name and the brand’s Tri-Shield logo as the only identifiers of the same model. Word of Buick’s plans first came to the surface after the debut of the 2019 Buick Envision showed a noticeable absence in the company’s usual exterior identifiers. The model name and the badge were present, but the “Buick” brand plate was nowhere to be found. As it turns out, this is all part of a new strategy that Buick will be implementing by next year.
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 LaCrosse Avenir
Launched in 2005 as a replacement for both the Buick Century and Lucerne, the LaCrosse was a big success in its first full year on the market, selling close to 100,000 units. Although sales dropped and the sedan rarely moved more than 50,000 examples per year since 2007, it’s still an important car for the GM-owned brand. Redesigned for 2017 with a more elegant design and a more upscale interior, the LaCrosse is now moving higher on the premium ladder with the Avenir model.
Although the Avenir name was launched with a concept car and gave us hope of a new, luxury-oriented sub-brand, it turned out to be just a trim level. This was confirmed when the Enclave Avenir was unveiled earlier in 2017 as the range-topping model of the company’s full-size crossover. Now, it’s the LaCrosse’s turn to get pampered in a move that’s supposed to satisfy market demand, according to Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick and GMC. “Nine out of ten LaCrosse buyers are choosing one of the top two trim levels — customers are signaling they want more from Buick," he said. Let’s have a closer look at what the Avenir badge brings to the LaCrosse.
Continue reading to learn more about the Buick LaCrosse Avenir.
2018 Buick Regal GS
Redesigned for the 2018 model year, the Buick Regal is heavily based on the European-made Opel Insignia and shares most of its features with the German sedan. Featuring a transverse front engine and front-wheel drive as standard (AWD optional), the new Regal has already spawned Sportback and station wagon versions, just like its European sibling. Come 2017 and the Opel Insignia GSi, the brands higher performance version is coming to the U.S. as the Regal GS, a nameplate that Buick has been using since the 1990s.
Described as a vehicle in which "spirited driving meets attainable luxury and sleek, sporty design meets modern usefulness," the GS is a massive improvement over its predecessor. Not only boasting an extra 51 horsepower, it also has all-wheel-drive and all the new technology available in the standard Regal. “The new Regal GS is in the sweet spot of the market: more refined and luxurious than the mainstream, more value for the price with style and premium features on par with higher-end competitors," said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick. Let’s find out if this is true in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Buick Regal GS.
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 10 Most-American cars Built in 2017
Each year, the American University’s Kogod School of Business conducts a survey of the automotive industry. The D.C.-based school maps out the most American-made vehicles, regardless of their brand. Seven key criteria are used in determining the rankings, but it comes down to the percentage of American and Canadian parts used and location of the vehicles’ assembly, research and development, and corporate headquarters.
Though Kogod’s inclusive survey ranks every vehicle sold in the U.S., we’re focusing on the top 10. Much of the list hasn’t changed over 2016, but there are a few additions and missing models. An update in scoring for 2017 allows half-points for automakers (FCA, in particular) that have headquarters in multiple countries. As such, the Jeep Wrangler joins the list, despite the vehicle itself not changing. For a full explanation of the points system, check out Kogod’s website. To skip to the Top 10 most American vehicles, keep reading here on TopSpeed.com
Continue reading for the Top 10 Most American Built Vehicles.
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.
GM Overstates MPGs on Lambda Crossovers, Now Reimbursing owners
Fuel economy woes apparently aren’t confined to VW and Mitsubishi as General Motors announced it mislabeled fuel economy labels on three of its popular three-row crossovers, leading to a stop-sale, class action lawsuit, and customer reimbursements totaling more than $100 million.
It started in mid-May when GM announced a stop-sale of unsold 2016 GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave, and Chevrolet Traverse models due to “mislabeled” Monroney stickers showing the wrong city and highway fuel economy estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency. According to Automotive News, GM said the reimbursements will compensate roughly 135,000 customers “who may pay more for fuel than they expected after viewing the incorrect window label when they purchased or leased their vehicle.”
Customers with affected vehicles will receive an explanation letter, which details the two methods of reimbursement. Customers can choose between a prepaid debit card or can opt for extended warrant coverage. The monetary amount paid out is based on factors including the difference between the actual EPA ratings and the mislabeled window stickers. Average payouts will range between $450 to $900, with some customers receiving less while other will get up to $1,500. Those who choose the warranty coverage will receive an additional 48 months/60,000 miles on top of their 36-month/36,0000-mile standard warranty.
The erroneous fuel economy labels shows the Lambda vehicles achieving 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway for AWD models and 17 mpg city and 24 mpg highway for those with FWD. The corrected EPA estimates are 15 mpg city and 22 mpg highway for both FWD and AWD models. The change comes after GM reportedly updated emissions control systems for the 2016 model year.
Additionally, between 30,000 to 35,000 Lambda crossovers were sold to fleet organizations like rental car agencies and other corporations. GM has yet to announce its plan to compensate those owners.
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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.