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.
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.
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.
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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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.
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.
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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.
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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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.
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.
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