Buick – Automobile Magazine http://www.automobilemag.com No Boring Cars! | Reviews, Auto Shows, Lifestyle Thu, 23 Mar 2017 21:06:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.4 2018 Buick Enclave Gets New Grille and Curvaceous Headlights http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2018-buick-enclave-shows-off-new-grille/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2018-buick-enclave-shows-off-new-grille/#respond Tue, 14 Mar 2017 19:00:53 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1135150 Buick’s three-row crossover is long overdue for some attention. The Enclave hasn’t been fully redesigned since it made its debut for the 2008 model year, and it only received a mild refresh for 2013. Thankfully, Buick is expected to debut a new Enclave at the New York auto show in April. The 2018 Buick Enclave receives...

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Buick’s three-row crossover is long overdue for some attention. The Enclave hasn’t been fully redesigned since it made its debut for the 2008 model year, and it only received a mild refresh for 2013. Thankfully, Buick is expected to debut a new Enclave at the New York auto show in April.

The 2018 Buick Enclave receives the same new grille design as the LaCrosse and Encore. The headlights also look significantly narrower in this teaser image released by Buick.

Although the GMC Acadia became smaller when it entered its second generation, the Buick Enclave is expected to retain its large size. The Enclave’s other sister model, the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse, also stayed true to its roots but gained a much boxier design, which we might also see on the new Buick. The three redesigned crossovers will all sit on a new platform.

Expect the new Enclave to gain a host of advanced safety features and upscale treatments befitting of a range-topping SUV. The model should go on sale later this year, reports Automotive News.

2017 Buick Enclave SportTouring 028 2015 Buick Enclave front three quarter in motion 03 2014 Buick Enclave1 2014 buick enclave three quarters 2014 buick enclave three quarters 1 2016 Buick Enclave Tuscan Edition 002 2016 Buick Enclave TuscanEdition 001 2013 Buick Enclave front side view1

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Opel Insignia Sports Tourer Would Make a Great Buick Regal Wagon http://www.automobilemag.com/news/opel-insignia-sports-tourer-makes-great-buick-regal-wagon/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/opel-insignia-sports-tourer-makes-great-buick-regal-wagon/#respond Tue, 07 Feb 2017 16:00:12 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1105705 The Opel Insignia Sports Tourer has been officially revealed ahead of its debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. We’ve already seen the Insignia wagon completely undisguised in spy photos, but we can’t pass up another opportunity to show you the car that could preview our next Buick Regal wagon. Like the Opel Insignia sedan,...

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The Opel Insignia Sports Tourer has been officially revealed ahead of its debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. We’ve already seen the Insignia wagon completely undisguised in spy photos, but we can’t pass up another opportunity to show you the car that could preview our next Buick Regal wagon.

Like the Opel Insignia sedan, which was officially revealed late last year but leaked with the wagon, the Sports Tourer will offer European customers both gas and diesel engine options mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Exact engine specs haven’t been revealed yet, however. The wagon will also use an improved version of GM’s FlexRide system, which lets the driver adjust damping, steering, throttle response, and shift timing through three selectable modes. A torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system will be available as an option.

Opel Insignia Sports Tourer rear side in motion

The Insignia Sports Tourer’s best feature though could be its exterior design. With its low-slung profile and sloped D-pillar, the Insignia gives the Volvo V90 some tough wagon competition. The interior isn’t as striking in our opinion, but still handsome. A frameless touchscreen in the center stack runs Opel’s version of the IntelliLink infotainment system, which is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Just like many GM models in the U.S., the Insignia offers a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot that can connect all passengers to the internet. Other notable options include IntelliLux adaptive LED matrix headlights, a 360-degree camera system, and lane keep assist.

Opel Insignia wagons have been spotted testing in the U.S. before, but it’s unclear if Buick is still considering a five-door body style for the Regal. Now that we’ve seen more of the Opel Insignia Sports Tourer, we hope a Regal wagon is still on the table.

Opel Insignia Sports Tourer rear three quarter

Opel-Insignia-Sports-Tourer-front-three-quarter-turn Opel-Insignia-Sports-Tourer-front-three-quarter-in-motion Opel-Insignia-Sports-Tourer-top-view Opel-Insignia-Sports-Tourer-rear-badge Opel-Insignia-Sports-Tourer-front-rear-side Opel-Insignia-Grand-Sport-wheels Opel-Insignia-Sports-Tourer-interior Opel-Insignia-Sports-Tourer-center-stack Opel-Insignia-Sports-Tourer-cargo Opel-Insignia-Sports-Tourer-cargo-02 Opel-Insignia-Sports-Tourer-power-seat-adjusters Opel-Insignia-Sports-Tourer-overhead-controls

 

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Roundup: Four GM Vehicles Worth a Look in 2017 http://www.automobilemag.com/news/four-gm-vehicles-worth-look-2017/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/four-gm-vehicles-worth-look-2017/#respond Mon, 23 Jan 2017 19:30:12 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1099998 As the 2017 Buick LaCrosse in the driveway of Automobile magazine’s Palm Springs outpost happened to catch a neighbor’s eye, we took a chance and extolled the sedan’s attributes to him. Yes, it really is good-looking, even somewhat fancy, and well equipped, too. Taking it all in, the neighbor, who is old enough to remember...

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As the 2017 Buick LaCrosse in the driveway of Automobile magazine’s Palm Springs outpost happened to catch a neighbor’s eye, we took a chance and extolled the sedan’s attributes to him. Yes, it really is good-looking, even somewhat fancy, and well equipped, too. Taking it all in, the neighbor, who is old enough to remember General Motors’ inglorious foray into diesel engines, had to ask, “But will it last?”

Persuading people like him is GM’s enduring task. We can say the LaCrosse and its nearest competitor, the Toyota Avalon, are designed to meet the same crash tests and fuel-efficiency standards, and they’re made by the same robots with components from the same suppliers. (The LaCrosse has a transmission sourced from Japan.) Nevertheless, some people can’t forget that day in 1978 when their Olds/Buick/Pontiac wouldn’t start.

We sense GM is doing all right, though. Offered the pick of some middle-of-the-market products to sample, we chose three cars and one crossover vehicle for an enjoyable month of testing. The group encompassed four distinct body styles, four different powertrains, and a reassuring display of ambition and good taste—spirited efforts, all.

2017 Buick Cascada Sport Touring Grille 2017 Buick Cascada Sport Touring Front 2017 Buick Cascada Sport Touring 2017 Buick Cascada Sport Touring Above

2017 Buick Cascada Sport Touring

Boy, was this a surprise! Detroit Bureau Chief Todd Lassa informs us the 2017 Buick  Cascada has been on the market for about a year, with more than 7,000 units sold, and that it’s made in Gliwice, Poland, on an Opel Astra platform. We had never noticed a Cascada in California. Nor was there any way to be prepared for the commotion it caused when we cruised through the tony El Paseo shopping district in Palm Desert. Everybody was watching. One woman pushing a shopping cart over to her Mercedes-Benz SL500 stopped and took photos for a friend. Learning the two-plus-two convertible stickered at $37,065 as tested, she was even more impressed.

The Cascada is stubby from some angles, but with True Blue Metallic bodywork and 20-inch wheels, it mostly looks terrific. The turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission were just fine, even though this porker weighs 3,979 pounds. The power top goes down faster than you can say, five times in a row, “Helio Castroneves will win a fourth Indianapolis 500.” Heated seats and steering wheel were included, and you’d better believe we used them after overnight temperatures had dipped into the 40s, delaying early tee times.

Detroiter Lassa says the Cascada is “a bit of a stopgap for Buick.” It’s built on an older platform. The center stack is narrow and cluttered, and there’s an old-fashioned key that must be inserted into a switch on the steering column. How vulgar! The car’s other, biggest drawback is the lack of rearward vision when the soft top is up. Otherwise, the Cascada excelled, reminding us how pleasant a convertible can be on a 70-degree January afternoon.

2017 GMC Acadia 2017 GMC Acadia Side 2017 GMC Acadia Interior 2017 GMC Acadia Rear

2017 GMC Acadia

How’s this supposed to work? The 2017 GMC Acadia lost about 700 pounds, yet it still weighs in at 3,956 pounds in a front-wheel-drive configuration. Would the direct-injection 193-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that’s paired with a six-speed automatic get the job done? Sure thing: The Acadia joined freeway traffic without a fuss and kept pace with fast-moving traffic. The four has an unpleasant, buzzy note; otherwise, the Acadia is quite polished, with a smooth ride, just the right amount of steering assist, and no body resonance.

Like a lot of vehicles these days, the Acadia has thick A-pillars that aren’t easy to see around. The instrument cluster is the same one found in the Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback (see below). From some angles, the body looks like a chukka boot (especially in this ho-hum Dark Sapphire Blue color). A final drawback is that this “truck” is rated to tow just 1,000 pounds. But it presents a decent value for $40,515 as tested. The interior was nicely appointed, safety and driver-assistance features abounded, and it was thoroughly modern.

It’s easy to see why the Acadia sells so well. The redesigned 2017 model deserves to do even better.

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback Front 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback Side 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback Interior 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback Rear

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback

Let us provide some perspective on the 2017 Cruze Hatchback, an all-new offering from Chevrolet. Our car was $24,440 as tested. Not long after we turned in the key, we rode a new Indian motorcycle that was priced at $26,999. (That bike’s 1.8-liter V-twin engine is larger than the Cruze Hatchback’s spunky, turbocharged 153-hp, 1.4-liter four-cylinder.) Chevrolet has to be value-oriented, and the Cruze Hatchback meets that goal.

While the design tries but fails to be extraordinary, there are some vivid flourishes, especially around the grille. (The Red Hot color just didn’t suit this car at all.) The LT trim level’s interior has sweeping lines and appealing quilted fabric trim, but the instrument panel was somewhat plain and the plastic steering wheel needed a wrapper. The most important thing is that it was simple to pair a phone, and Apple Car play is a nice feature, whether in a Ferrari GTC4Lusso or the Cruze Hatchback.

Our test car was equipped with a $1,150 convenience package that added, among other things, keyless start, heated front seats, and lane change and rear cross traffic alerts. We love hatchbacks; this one offers access to as much as 47.2 cubic feet of space. The Cruze Hatchback will scoot from 0 to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds, yet we saw 35.5 mpg overall. Not bad!

2017 Buick LaCrosse Front 2017 Buick LaCrosse Side 2017 Buick LaCrosse Passenger Side 2017 Buick LaCrosse Rear

2017 Buick LaCrosse

The main thing with the 2017 LaCrosse is that it no longer looks like the cocoon that will hatch a 32-foot butterfly. This new car is sharp, and the Crimson Red Tint-coat sparkled. The cabin is lovely, too — especially at night when courtesy and accent lighting are in play. While the two-tiered dashboard is a good piece of work, the well for the head-up display makes a large and unpleasant reflection on the windshield.

Our LaCrosse Premium—$48,495 as tested—had optional 20-inch alloy wheels ($1,625) and 40-series tires that we would not have for all the world: they spoiled the ride, especially when we switched ever so unbearably to Sport mode. We also had an ongoing fight with lane-keep assist before just turning it off. Who needs cars that continually beep and chime and fight you? Next thing you know, every new one will come with a welcome letter from Joan Claybrook.

The best part of driving the LaCrosse was provided by the direct-injection 305-hp V-6, which is nicely matched with the eight-speed automatic. Overall, though, we hadn’t expected the sedan to be this conflicted about its mission. It’s a Buick and should have a plush ride instead of trying to be a 197.5-inch-long sport sedan.

It’s still a car, though, and even a crossed-up one like this is preferable to an SUV.

2017 Buick Cascada Sport Touring Grille 2017 Buick Cascada Sport Touring Front 2017 Buick Cascada Sport Touring 2017 Buick Cascada Sport Touring Above 2017 Buick Cascada Sport Touring Interior 2017 Buick Cascada Sport Touring Wheel 2017 Buick LaCrosse Interior 2017 Buick LaCrosse Passenger Side 2017 Buick LaCrosse Side 2017 Buick LaCrosse Rear 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback Front 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback Rear 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback Interior 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback Side 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback Wheel 2017 GMC Acadia 2017 GMC Acadia Interior 2017 GMC Acadia Rear 2017 GMC Acadia Wheel 2017 GMC Acadia Side

2017 Buick LaCrosse Front

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Quick Take: 2017 Buick Envision FWD Essence http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-buick-envision-fwd-essence-quick-take/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-buick-envision-fwd-essence-quick-take/#respond Wed, 18 Jan 2017 14:11:15 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1097322 The first line on the Monroney window sticker for the 2017 Buick Envision FWD Essence is “design and engineering led by Buick in the United States of America,” a clear indicator that Buick’s marketing folks understand that the crossover’s “Made in China” status is liable to raise objections with some potential customers before they so...

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The first line on the Monroney window sticker for the 2017 Buick Envision FWD Essence is “design and engineering led by Buick in the United States of America,” a clear indicator that Buick’s marketing folks understand that the crossover’s “Made in China” status is liable to raise objections with some potential customers before they so much as take it for a test drive. Ironically, the clearly telegraphed anxiety is unlikely to help matters.

And this was before the 45th President of the United States and his Twitter account came into the picture.

Against this backdrop comes the question, “what is the Envision and what does it do?”

2017 Buick Envision rear three quarter

Well, although the Envision is clearly a crossover, the behind-the-wheel experience feels vaguely like that of a minivan thanks to the seating position and steering wheel angle (overseas, it could easily be marketed as an ‘MPV’ like the Mazda5). Material and build quality inside and out felt on par with the rest of the Buick lineup, much of which isn’t American-made either.

Motivation in the Essence is courtesy of a buzzy, naturally aspirated 2.5-liter I-4 that makes a mere 197 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission sends that to the front wheels, moving the 3,755-lb Envision forward without undue fuss — or alacrity. An argument could be made that six gears is no longer enough, but more engine is really what’s called for here, such as the turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 in the Envision Premium, which provides 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque.

There is plenty of space in the leather-upholstered interior for all 5 passengers. Front occupants enjoy heated 8-way adjustable seats, and the outside rear seats are heated as well. Cargo volume sits at 26.9 cubic feet with the second row up and a cavernous 57.3 cubic feet when there’s no need to accommodate additional passengers.

2017 Buick Envision cabin 01 2017 Buick Envision center console 2017 Buick Envision instrument panel 2017 Buick Envision infotainment

Though the engine buzzes like you’d expect a hard-working four-banger to, Buick’s quest to exorcise the other sources of NVH with its “Quiet Tuning” is largely successful. Tire and wind noise is limited and the on-road experience is comfortably smooth. While the driver may complain about the absence of adaptive cruise control when he’s stuck in traffic, no occupant is going raise any about the ride quality. Can’t say the same about the engine’s buzzing, however.

Speaking of the absent adaptive cruise control, the Envision Essence’s feature list which isn’t as long as its $39,040 price tag would indicate. Conspicuously absent are active safety systems; lane change alert, blind spot detection, and rear cross traffic alert is all that’s there. And there are only six speakers for the audio system. Not exactly “premium.”

On the plus side, the included Buick IntelliLink system and its eight-inch screen includes Apple Car Play and Android Auto, negating the need to add $2,000 or so to the price tag to include a navigation system. A handy 4G LTE wireless hotspot is included as well.

As it turns out, the answer to the earlier question Of “what is the Envision and what does it do?” happens to be “a comfortable crossover with a slightly odd seating position in need of more power and a few more features.”

2017 Buick Envision FWD Essence Specifications

On Sale: Now
Price: $39,040
Engine: 2.5L DOHC 16-valve I-4/197 hp @ 6300 rpm, 192 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Layout: 4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, FWD SUV
EPA Mileage: 22/29 mpg city/highway
L x W x H: 183.7 x 72.4 x 66.8 in
Wheelbase: 108.2 in
Weight: 3755 lb
0-60 MPH: 8.6 sec (est)
Top Speed: N/A
2017 Buick Envision front three quarter 02 2017 Buick Envision side profile 01 2017 Buick Envision rear view 2017 Buick Envision side profile 02 2017 Buick Envision cabin 02 2017 Buick Envision side in motion 2017 Buick Envision rear three quarter in motion 2017 Buick Envision rear end 2017 Buick Envision rear end in motion 2017 Buick Envision front three quarters in motion 2017 Buick Envision front three quarter in motion 2017 Buick Envision front three quarter in motion 02 2016 buick envision front three quarters 2016 buick envision rear three quarters 2016 buick envision rear three quarters in motion 2016 buick envision front three quarters in motion 2016 buick envision interior 2016 buick envision front interior

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Opel Insignia Grand Sport Revealed, Previews Buick Regal http://www.automobilemag.com/news/opel-insignia-grand-sport-revealed-previews-buick-regal/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/opel-insignia-grand-sport-revealed-previews-buick-regal/#respond Thu, 08 Dec 2016 01:30:24 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1028811 Just days after an Insignia was spotted on some kind of a photo or video shoot, Opel has officially unveiled the new Insignia Grand Sport sedan. This is our best look yet on what to expect for the U.S.-market Buick Regal. Judging from these Insignia images, it appears that the Regal is going to receive...

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Just days after an Insignia was spotted on some kind of a photo or video shoot, Opel has officially unveiled the new Insignia Grand Sport sedan. This is our best look yet on what to expect for the U.S.-market Buick Regal.

Judging from these Insignia images, it appears that the Regal is going to receive a much more mature design. Opel pushed the wheels forward relative to the cabin and gave it an elongated appearance. The Insignia’s new look matches the look of new Buicks including the LaCrosse, especially up front. A horizontal wing connects the front emblem to the edges of the grille. The nose of the new model is much flatter, and the headlights are slim and more modern than those on the current Regal. Bold character lines caress the side of the doors, and a sloping roofline falls onto a short rear deck.

Opel Insignia Grand Sport rear three quarter in motion

The Opel Insignia Grand Sport is based on an entirely new vehicle architecture. Although it weighs around 385 pounds less than the old model, the Insignia’s wheelbase has increased by 3.6 inches. The front and rear overhangs have been shortened, and the roofline is 29 millimeters lower.

We’re eager to see if the Regal drives as nicely as it looks, but we know its European cousin is receiving some powertrain upgrades, too. An eight-speed transmission has been added to the lineup, as has a new all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring. The Insignia also gets a new five-link rear suspension and FlexRide chassis, with different modes that adjust dampers, throttle response, and steering.

The new Opel is roomier than its predecessor, allowing for more headroom and knee room in the rear. Other key features include lane keep assist, a new head-up display, heated front and rear seats, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist with automated steering correction, and rear cross traffic alert.

The Opel Insignia is set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show next year. Until then, watch this video for more on the Insignia’s new design.

Opel Insignia Grand Sport wheels Opel Insignia Grand Sport to view Opel Insignia Grand Sport rear taillight Opel Insignia Grand Sport rear side Opel Insignia Grand Sport rear lights Opel Insignia Grand Sport interior Opel Insignia Grand Sport headlight Opel Insignia Grand Sport front three quarters Opel Insignia Grand Sport front three quarter Opel Insignia Grand Sport front three quarter in motion Opel Insignia Grand Sport front three quarter in motion 02 Opel Insignia Grand Sport front side in motion Opel Insignia Grand Sport front end

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Opel Insignia Sedan, Wagon Caught Naked http://www.automobilemag.com/news/opel-insignia-sedan-wagon-caught-completely-uncovered/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/opel-insignia-sedan-wagon-caught-completely-uncovered/#respond Mon, 05 Dec 2016 22:17:59 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1028637 The next-gen Opel Insignia sedan and wagon have broken cover. Why should you care? Because the Insignia sedan will be our next Buick Regal, and the Insignia Sports Tourer could be our first-ever Regal wagon. But besides that, just look at them. Spied on the set of a commercial or photo shoot, the two cars...

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The next-gen Opel Insignia sedan and wagon have broken cover. Why should you care? Because the Insignia sedan will be our next Buick Regal, and the Insignia Sports Tourer could be our first-ever Regal wagon. But besides that, just look at them.

Spied on the set of a commercial or photo shoot, the two cars are completely uncovered. The sedan’s profile is slightly more raked, and the rear quarter window comes to more of a point compared to the current Insignia sedan and Buick Regal. This model is a higher-trim OPC Line variant, so it sports large wheels, a unique body kit, and Brembo brakes. The wagon also appears to be an OPC model, and gets the same treatment as the sedan but features that all-important D-pillar and rear liftgate. We’ll reserve judgment until we can see it in person, but looks-wise we think this car could give the Volvo V90 a run for its money.

Opel Insignia wagon front three quarter

The Opel Insignia rides on a variation of GM’s Epsilon II chassis called E2XX, shared with the Cadillac XT5 crossover. The platform supports front- and all-wheel drive and was designed with a focus on weight reduction. The Insignia wagon has been spotted testing in the U.S. before, so there’s a good chance GM is considering a Regal wagon for our market.

The Opel Insignia sedan and Sports Tourer should make their debut at the Geneva auto show next March. Until then, enjoy them in all their uncamouflaged glory in the gallery below.

 

Opel Insignia sedan rear three quarters 02 Opel Insignia sedan rear three quarter 03 Opel Insignia sedan rear three quarter 02 Opel Insignia sedan front three quarter Opel Insignia sedan rear side Opel Insignia sedan rear end Opel Insignia sedan rear side 02 Opel Insignia sedan rear end 02 Opel Insignia sedan front wheels Opel Insignia sedan front wheels 02 Opel Insignia sedan front three quarters Opel Insignia sedan front side Opel Insignia sedan front side 02 Opel Insignia sedan front grille Opel Insignia sedan front end Opel Insignia wagon side Opel Insignia wagon side 02 Opel Insignia wagon rear wheels Opel Insignia wagon rear three quarters Opel Insignia wagon rear three quarter Opel Insignia wagon rear tailgate lift Opel Insignia wagon rear side 03 Opel Insignia wagon rear side 02 Opel Insignia wagon rear end Opel Insignia wagon front wheels Opel Insignia wagon front wheels 02 Opel Insignia wagon front end

 

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Buick Avenir Sub-Brand Minivan Made for China http://www.automobilemag.com/news/buick-ushers-avenir-sub-brand-minivan-china/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/buick-ushers-avenir-sub-brand-minivan-china/#respond Wed, 02 Nov 2016 15:00:34 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1011435 Buick has announced the first model that will receive the Avenir treatment. The GL8 minivan for China will be the first vehicle to launch under Buick’s new Avenir sub-brand. About a month ago, Buick announced it would introduce a sub-brand for its higher-end offerings, much like GMC has done with Denali. The GL8 minivan was...

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Buick has announced the first model that will receive the Avenir treatment. The GL8 minivan for China will be the first vehicle to launch under Buick’s new Avenir sub-brand.

About a month ago, Buick announced it would introduce a sub-brand for its higher-end offerings, much like GMC has done with Denali. The GL8 minivan was already pretty luxurious, but the Avenir version brings upgraded features. It offers a few exclusive exterior details, including a daring Earl Purple paint as well as upgraded 18-inch multi-spoke aluminum alloy wheels. Inside, you’ll find decadent seats, plush carpeting, a suede ceiling, and 18 lighting options. Subtle Avenir badging is located throughout the cabin, including on the center console, door panels, and seats.

Buick GL8 Avenir seats

The Avenir sub-brand takes its name from a sleek, sporty sedan concept that Buick showed in 2015, so it’s a bit jarring to see the name arrive on a minivan. But it’s not surprising that China gets the first crack at the Avenir brand, as it is Buick’s largest market.

The GL8 is pretty popular in China, and a third-generation version is expected to launch this month. It features the new Buick global design language with a horizontal wing connecting the Buick insignia.

Buick-GL8-Avenir-grille-1 Buick-GL8-Avenir-cabin-1 Buick Avenir Sub-Brand

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Buick Gets Top Reliability Scores from Consumer Reports http://www.automobilemag.com/news/buick-gets-top-reliability-scores-consumer-reports/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/buick-gets-top-reliability-scores-consumer-reports/#respond Wed, 26 Oct 2016 17:59:31 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1009624 Good news for Buick fans is coming out of Yonkers, New York, the hometown of Consumer Reports. The brand receives kudos from the magazine, while other brands like Tesla and Honda plunge in their annual reliability rankings. The magazine announced recently in its “Annual Brand Reliability Survey” that Buick has become the first domestic brand...

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Good news for Buick fans is coming out of Yonkers, New York, the hometown of Consumer Reports. The brand receives kudos from the magazine, while other brands like Tesla and Honda plunge in their annual reliability rankings.

The magazine announced recently in its “Annual Brand Reliability Survey” that Buick has become the first domestic brand in more than three decades to be named one of the top three most reliable brands, joining long time favorites Lexus and Toyota.

“Buick’s achievement is commendable and sure to be a wake-up call to other manufacturers,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ testing director. “One reason why the brand has been able to leapfrog others in the General Motors’ stable has been its limited vehicle lineup – with none of the pickups and truck-based SUVs that have negatively impacted Cadillac and Chevrolet.”

According to the non-profit mag, Buick has been their top 10 reliability rankings for a number of recent years. But the competition is tough thanks to Lexus and Toyota; both badges have ruled the top spots for four years in a row.

Surprisingly, Honda did not fare as well and the Civic received a “much-worse-than-average” reliability flag for power equipment and infotainment system issues.

Another upset fell on Tesla, which also placed near the bottom the list and came in at number 25 for the Model X’s falcon-wing door problems. The crossover EV also lost ground for water leaks, infotainment, and climate-control system issues.

But on a positive note for Tesla, the Model S moved up a notch from below average reliability to average. It’s a little funny to say it, but it looks like Tesla has a long way to go to beat Buick.

The complete list of vehicles can be found in the December issue of the magazine and at www.ConsumerReports.org.

2017 Buick LaCrosse front end turn 2017 Buick LaCrosse side 2017 Buick LaCrosse rear three quarter 02 Buick LaCrosse

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Yes, That’s A Buick http://www.automobilemag.com/news/yes-thats-buick/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/yes-thats-buick/#respond Mon, 17 Oct 2016 12:00:04 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1002653 As I pull out of the hotel in downtown Portland headed north toward our midpoint in Astoria, Oregon, the jingle from Buick’s cheeky “That’s a Buick?” ad campaign starts playing on a loop in my head. Are the tatted-up hipsters and chic urban dwellers I’m passing doing a double take as I roll by in...

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As I pull out of the hotel in downtown Portland headed north toward our midpoint in Astoria, Oregon, the jingle from Buick’s cheeky “That’s a Buick?” ad campaign starts playing on a loop in my head.

Are the tatted-up hipsters and chic urban dwellers I’m passing doing a double take as I roll by in Buick’s all-new 2017 LaCrosse full-size sedan? I don’t notice any neck snapping nor head-scratching at the mere sight of it, but that’s clearly what Buick hopes for—that its commercials portraying people in disbelief over the company’s new look will play out in real life.

The Pacific Northwest isn’t exactly a part of the country where boatloads of Buicks roam, especially big sedans like the LaCrosse. But Buick is on the hunt for new buyers outside of its core demographic and traditional sales comfort zones. Whether it can acquire those customers is anybody’s guess, but everyone associated with the brand is upbeat at the prospect. They have recent successes to point to, specifically that some 50 percent of new Buick buyers are coming from outside the General Motors universe.

Acquiring customers in China, where the majority of Buicks are sold, isn’t as much of an issue. Buick’s extensive history in the country certainly didn’t hurt its cause when GM decided which brands to shutter after its bankruptcy. Jeff Yanssens, the LaCrosse chief engineer who has been to China dozens of times to work with Buick’s operations there, expects the new car to sell about the same as the outgoing one does, at about a 3-to-1 ratio between China and North America. The LaCrosse is Buick’s third-best seller internationally, trailing its two newest crossovers, the compact Encore and the midsize Envision, the latter of which caused a bit of a stir (at least within the UAW) when it was announced it would be built in China and exported here.

2017 Buick Encore front three quarter in motion 03 2017 Buick Encore side in motion 2017 Buick Encore rear three quarter 2017 Buick Encore interior

So the news out of China is good for Buick. All things considered, things aren’t bad on the home front either. Total sales through July 2016 are flat (best among GM brands), and that’s with the LaCrosse about to change over and the full-size Enclave crossover overdue for a makeover. Buick outsells Acura, Infiniti, and Lincoln in the U.S. As is the case in China, the Encore is Buick’s best-seller in America, with sales up 16 percent year on year. And there’s more new product on the way, with Buick saying it will debut seven all-new or significantly revised vehicles by 2018.

The latest vehicle in the Buick product assault is the new LaCrosse, aimed primarily at the Lexus ES. Yanssens made it clear at the outset of the drive that it isn’t a sport sedan and isn’t trying to be. But the key development everyone wearing a gray Buick shirt pointed to is the LaCrosse’s new five-link rear suspension, which is fitted to every flavor of the car, from the base, 18-inch wheel/front-drive package to the sportier, 20-inch wheel/all-wheel-drive model complete with continuous damping control.

The setup gave Buick’s engineering team some flexibility to dial in a modicum of handling prowess. “The benefits of the five-link are huge. It’s done a lot for this car. It helps the car turn-in, it helps on impacts, it helps rolling over bumps,” Yanssens says. Judging by my drive, the man speaks the truth.

2017 Buick LaCrosse front end in motion 02 2017 Buick LaCrosse rear three quarter 02 2017 Buick LaCrosse interior 2017 Buick LaCrosse rear interior seats

It’s a slightly more sporty approach than before, augmenting the LaCrosse’s “quiet tuning” and ride-comfort elements that were already in a good place and are even better with the new model. There is one powertrain, a version of GM’s new-generation 3.6-liter V-6 with 310 horsepower, mated to an eight-speed automatic. While GM will offer 2.0-liter and 1.5-liter turbo versions of the car in China, Yanssens said those engines don’t make sense here and one package allowed the team to focus on perfecting it for the car.

Then there’s the LaCrosse’s exterior style, featuring multiple elements of the Buick Avenir concept from 2015, a design our own Robert Cumberford called “a near-perfect expression of the traditional American car.” It’s a handsome, lower, wider look with signature elements, including the winged, harp-like grille with Buick’s prominent red, white, and blue logo (although I’m over the faux portholes). We’ll take it over the Predator-look grille of the Lexus ES.

While I was impressed with the LaCrosse, I’m not so sure most Portland area residents will be down with it. But chances are they’re giving Buick’s vehicles, especially its crossovers, more than a passing glance, and this bodes well for its future products. That is, if they realize they’re looking at a Buick.

2017 Buick LaCrosse top view in motion 2017 Buick LaCrosse side 2017 Buick LaCrosse side profile 2017 Buick LaCrosse side in motion 2017 Buick LaCrosse side 02 2017 Buick LaCrosse rear three quarter 2017 Buick LaCrosse rear three quarter in motion 2017 Buick LaCrosse rear three quarter 03 2017 Buick LaCrosse rear three quarter 02 2017 Buick LaCrosse rear side in motion 2017 Buick LaCrosse front three quarters in motion 2017 Buick LaCrosse front three quarter turn 2017 Buick LaCrosse front three quarter 02 2017 Buick LaCrosse front side 2017 Buick LaCrosse front end in motion 02 2017 Buick LaCrosse front end in motion 2017 Buick LaCrosse front end turn 2017 Buick LaCrosse rear interior seats 2017 Buick LaCrosse interior 2017 Buick LaCrosse interior door panel 2017 Buick LaCrosse instrument cluster 2017 Buick LaCrosse cockpit 2017 Buick LaCrosse center stack 2017 Buick Encore front end in motion 2017 Buick Encore front three quarter 02 2017 Buick Encore front three quarter in motion 03 2017 Buick Encore front three quarters 2017 Buick Encore rear three quarter in motion 02 2017 Buick Encore rear three quarter in motion 2017 Buick Encore rear three quarter 2017 Buick Encore side in motion 2017 Buick Encore front three quarter 2017 Buick Encore interior 2017 Buick Envision side in motion 2017 Buick Envision rear three quarter in motion 2017 Buick Envision rear end 2017 Buick Envision rear end in motion 2017 Buick Envision front three quarters in motion 2017 Buick Envision front three quarter in motion 2017 Buick Envision front three quarter in motion 02

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Buick Debuts Avenir Sub-Brand http://www.automobilemag.com/news/buick-launches-avenir-sub-brand/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/buick-launches-avenir-sub-brand/#respond Fri, 30 Sep 2016 17:25:12 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=998899 Buick is finally launching the Avenir, but not in the way you’d expect. Starting from the 2018 model year, Avenir will debut as a sub-brand dedicated to Buick’s higher-end offerings. The sub-brand takes its name after the Buick Avenir concept, which debuted at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Buick says that concept will serve as...

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Buick is finally launching the Avenir, but not in the way you’d expect. Starting from the 2018 model year, Avenir will debut as a sub-brand dedicated to Buick’s higher-end offerings.

The sub-brand takes its name after the Buick Avenir concept, which debuted at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Buick says that concept will serve as inspiration for future cars that launch under the Avenir sub-brand.

2015 Buick Avenir Concept

Buick says the sub-brand is its version of GMC’s Denali line. Avenir vehicles launching in the 2018 model year will feature unique design details to separate them from standard Buick cars. Look for large-diameter wheels, unique trim finishes, and a three-dimensional grille similar to the one on the Avenir concept, and more recently, the Avista coupe concept. Inside the cabin, the cars will receive special detailing on the seats, modern trim materials, and Avenir badging.

The automaker says the sub-brand comes as a response to customers looking for a more premium experience on their Buick cars. Ninety percent of buyers who purchase the Enclave, one of Buick’s best-selling vehicles, end up selecting between the two top trim levels.

“Avenir will be Buick’s signature,” Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick Sales, Service, and Marketing, said in a press release. “The highest expression of the luxury experiences we’re delivering now and in the future.”

While the Avenir Concept may not make it to production, we shouldn’t rule out all hopes for a slickly styled Buick. Earlier this year, our colleagues at Motor Trend reported that GM was mulling a four-door Buick Avista coupe.

2015 Buick Avenir Concept front 2 2015 Buick Avenir Concept front 1 2015 Buick Avenir Concept front wheel 2015 Buick Avenir Concept rear 1 2015 Buick Avenir Concept rear 2 2015 Buick Avenir Concept interior 3 2015 Buick Avenir Concept side 1 2015 Buick Avenir Concept sketch 1

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