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.
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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 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.
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
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.
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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.
Car Find of the Decade: Two Unmolested, Barely Driven, 1987 Grand Nationals Twins
Every now and then we come across some crazy barn find, or some crazy deal on a car that deserves a new life, but this time, I think we’ve stumbled upon something that’s absolutely mind blowing. The cars were living in a garage in Oklahoma and covered in dust, but the seller at the time was asking a cool $200,000 for the pair. William Avila, a member of the GN/Ttype Central group on Facebook, decided to go check them out, and he’s pretty happy that he did. See, these aren’t your everyday Grand Nationals (if there is such a thing.) No, these things are so unmolested that they haven’t even been broken in yet. Yeah, you read that right – they only have 1,399 miles combined. One has just 592 miles while the other has 807. But, that isn’t even the craziest part.
These two Grand Nationals, while obviously filthy from sitting for so long, are practically brand new inside and out. They need a little bit of love after sitting for so long, of course, but mechanically they are pretty much brand new. One was even said to smell new inside – an ’87 Grand National that still has the new car smell. Oh, how I would love to know what it feels like to find something to pure. Anyway, the story gets better. These two cars have sequential VIN numbers, which means they rolled off the line one after the other, and to take things even one step further, they were optioned the same way. They really are Twins in every sense of the word, and have been together from the time manufacturing started until now – they rode on the same transport, and went to the same owner. Pretty crazy, huh?
After digging around on Facebook a bit, it turns out that Mr. Avila did end up purchasing the two Grand Nationals. The end price is unknown but is said to be lower than the initial asking price of $200,000. And, since they are 1987 models, the 3.8-liter under their hoods delivers a cool 245 horsepower instead of the initial 200 ponies that was available when Buick introduced the Grand National in 1984. All told, Mr. Avila and his buddy, who presumably went in on the purchase with him, plan to keep the two together. After some mild restoration, they’ll be displayed at local car shows and certainly be a prime topic of conversation at each one.