By on July 1, 2014

All-new high-end midsize SUV, the Buick Envision, will make its

 

Buick will launch a new mid-size crossover, dubbed “Envision” in China first, then presumably in other markets. All we can say is “hurry up”.

Given the sales strength of the Enclave and Encore, it’s amazing that Buick isn’t busting their hump to get this thing on sale tomorrow. Then again, China is Buick’s most important market, and their thirst for CUVs seems nearly impossible to satiate. No word on what platform this new CUV will ride on, but the Theta chassis that underpins the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain is a good bet.

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51 Comments on “Buick Gets Another Crossover – What Took So Long?...”


  • avatar

    Let me guess:

    A Buick the size of an Escalade?

    6.2-L anyone?

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Sounds like a sweet plan. It could possibly occupy the spot that the departed Saab 9-4X held. And if it were just a bit less awkward-looking than the SRX, that’d be awesome.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Clearly it will look identical to the Enclave but smaller.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Looks pretty big, prob be an Enclave but 20% smaller. Because yes, that’s what we need.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    In China this makes sense but lets do a reality check for the U.S.A.

    So lets say you are a Buick GMC dealer (the only kind of dealer that is supposed to exist post bankruptcy and back alley stabbing death of Pontiac), are you clamoring for another Buick crossover? Is not the Terrain enough? Should we just take all the unitbody vehicles away from GMC and let them sell BOF SUVs, trucks, and the occasional chassis to be outfitted by a 3rd party?

    I was just looking at the GMC build-your-own website and there is already a Terrain Denali for crying out loud. What more do you need?

    FYI even on the Terrain Denali the V6 is an OPTION, not standard.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      This is a very good point, unless they plan to Xerox a GMC from the Buick.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Agreed, PrincipalDan. If you ask me, the CUV market in the States is very nearly saturated and people are looking for something better–something that doesn’t really exist right now. But that’s another argument.

      • 0 avatar
        Yesac13

        I suspect the “something better” thing is… A larger version of the Honda Fit. Make it look decent enough and it will sell. Honda needs to get going on this, they already have that market cornered.

        One other idea I can think of is a small 2 seater car that gets 70 MPG or more and is cheap. Looks good and still nice to drive. It has to be cheap like 15k or so.

        It will be interesting to see what comes up. Things do feel a bit stagnant at the moment and that is usually when something new comes up.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Good points. Buick’s China volume is 4 times its US volume. What they do in the US almost doesn’t matter.

    • 0 avatar
      philadlj

      My only rebuttal would be that the Terrain is a fairly polarizing design, what with its square shoulders, square fenders, and square…everything else.

      Buicks are more organic; water to GMC’s rocks. It could work. There’s certainly a big gap between the Encore and Enclave in size.

      I don’t doubt that it would eat into Terrain sales, however.

      • 0 avatar
        whynot

        It will probably cost quite a bit more than the Terrain though. The Encore starts at $24,000, the Terrain at $26,500, and the Enclave at almost $39,000. I bet this will start ~$33,000-$34,000 (around the base LaCrosse price).

        There will be overlap with the Denali version, but the styling as you mention will probably be different enough to not cannibalize too much.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        I do like that the Terrain is polarizing. At least it gets noticed.

        And I do like that Buick’s design language is fairly strong and discernable as a Buick.

    • 0 avatar
      Secret Hi5

      @Dan – It’ll be nice for the dealer to have an elegant counterpoint to the hideous Terrain.

    • 0 avatar
      turboprius

      I was just thinking about it, but Buick and GMC are completely pointless, GMC even more so.

      All the GMC’s are rebadged Chevy’s, and if you’re wondering where you can get a Denali, the LTZ trimmed Chevy’s are a lot like the Denali trims. If you can afford a Denali Yukon XL, then you can certainly afford big chrome wheels and chrome accents.

      Just bring the Trax over (Encore clone), and Buick is unnecessary. Also, add an AWD option on the Malibu, since that’s a big reason people go for the Regal. Chevy should be the mainstream brand, and Cadillac should be the luxury brand. These other brands aren’t needed.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        @turboprius, the only reason Buick survived the bankruptcy was… (drumn roll please) China

        • 0 avatar
          turboprius

          Buick has China. GMC is only sold in markets that also have Chevrolet.

          So if GM had to get rid of one brand, and one brand only, I’d say GMC.

      • 0 avatar
        bomberpete

        GMC isn’t pointless because it’s GM’s most profitable division. Fancy out some Chevy trucks, call them “Professional Grade,” charge a premium and call it a day.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        GMC brings huge profits for GM and the Denali trim is very popular.

        Buick really needed a compact/midsize CUV to slot btwn the Encore and Enclave, but even more so, Cadillac’s CUV lineup sorely needs to be revamped/expanded.

        • 0 avatar
          bomberpete

          I really think this CUV explosion, particularly at GM, Ford and Toyota, is a precarious strategy. For instance, Escape/Edge/Explorer/Flex/Expedition — how long is that sustainable?

          Right now they sell, but the moment gas hits $4.50 or higher, the heaviest models will be as desirable as a Chrysler Newport with a 440 in the winter of 1974.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            While I wish you were right, history shows that gas price increases at best have had only a momentary effect on truck sales. I paid $4.13 for gas today – what’s another $.37? We would need prices at European levels to make a real difference.

          • 0 avatar
            bomberpete

            @krhodes1: You’re probably right. Still, given the global situation, I wonder whether the psychological barrier of fuel rising past $5/gallon wouldn’t change some buying behavior.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I think what many of these people are looking for is a compact SUV with a porch, a.k.a. Compact pickup truck, not mid- or full-sized.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        Some people just want a step up from a Chevy. Personally I’ve never been a Chevy guy but find GMCs to be mostly pretty good looking.

        I think this is a wise move to play off the Terrain’s polarizing (and hideous) design. Hopefully a little effort goes into the interior – both the Equinox and Terrain feel cheap, and the Cadillac is too ‘chromey’. Take a look at the RDX interior and get back to me.

        Also, Cadillac does need it’s own version of the Envoy….

        • 0 avatar
          bomberpete

          I disagree. This isn’t 1979. GM has 17 percent of the market, not 45.

          If they keep replicating these CUVs to give all 4 divisions their own version, that is repeating the mess that eventually made GM a ward of the people.

          You know what they say about the definition of madness.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        Why keep Buick? Why keep anything other than Mercedes, Lexus, BMW…which Buick finished near in sales last year. What about discontinuing Infinity and Acura who’s werel less than Buick?

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Only one question: WHY?

  • avatar
    Speed3

    Vuick anybody?

  • avatar
    rpol35

    As a former Secretary of State dismissively proclaimed, “What difference does it make?”

  • avatar
    sofast1

    “Hurry up”? Why? Don’t we have enough GM crossovers? Do we really need another Buick one?

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Because some of us (myself included) feel a compulsion that a manufacturer’s line must be “complete;” that is, if they’ve got a full-size CUV and a compact CUV, they must have a mid-size CUV to fill the gap. Everything must be just so, or we start wringing our hands, tossing and turning in bed, and developing other nervous tics.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Then why doesn’t GM do the same thing for their trucks? With the upcoming Canyon/Colorado, GM has full-sized and “mid-sized” trucks, but no COMPACT trucks. Hmmm?

        • 0 avatar

          No one makes a compact pickup, therefore, it has ceased to be a segment.

          • 0 avatar
            bomberpete

            Agree. I saw a late-model Nissan Frontier and a early Eighties F-150 within minutes of each other today. The size differential isn’t all that big.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Ah, but that means there’s a hole in the market that wants filling, no?

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Note that I said “fill the gap;” if they’ve made a compact and a full-size, there should also be a midsize. But if it’s only a mid and full-size, or compact and mid-size, the third one need not be present to feel “complete.”

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    Women will buy them. There’s a segment of women buyers who will not buy a GMC based on it not being a suitably feminine car, but will take the same thing with edges polished-smooth and love her new Buick. We saw this same thing with the article where Caroline bought the Spark because it was more appropriately styled for her. Lincoln was headed this same way – the Ford styling is/was more off-putting for women, which they recognized but didn’t handle well with Mercury. (The idea of gendered styling was also Pontiac’s thing there for a long time; GM used to know that they could make a more masculine or more feminine version of the same car and pick up market share; they just got lazy and cynical about it until the Acadia/Enclave.)

  • avatar

    The GM brand (I almost dated myself by typing “division”) that needs more CUV models is Cadillac. They have the Escalade and SRX and could probably use crossovers that slot above and below the SRX. All the luxury brands but Caddy seem to be chasing the “luxury compact crossover” market.

  • avatar
    BigOlds

    OK. I know I am being pedantic, but we all have our crosses to bear and this is mine.

    Generally you satiate a hunger (though satisfy would be more direct) and slake a thirst.

    I am not sure if satiate is technically wrong, but if I were your editor I would, uh, urge a change. And by urge I mean cajole until I got my way.

    Derek, I swear that I really like your writing and this comes from a place of caring.

    (Initially I typed love, but there’s that pedantic thing again. I don’t know you well enough to love you)

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      I noticed that too, and I’m just as pedantic, but I’m also from Minnesota, and sometimes we keep things in if we don’t think anybody wants to hear ‘em, you know. Whatever. You bet.

  • avatar

    I will make a small fortune delivering these. yeah!

  • avatar
    ixim

    Why the hate on Buick? The Buick Theta CUV will be to the Terrain/Equinox as the Enclave is to the Acadia/Traverse. Worth the extra bucks? Leave that up to the buyers. I’d be interested in trading my ‘Nox for one.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    It certainly seems like a logical move by Buick to fill the gap between the too-big Enclave and the too-small Encore.

    Those of us with long memories will recall that right after GM’s bankruptcy, Buick showed a badge-engineered version of the Saturn Vue with a handsome Buick grill that could have been a 2011 model. There was supposed to be a version with the Chevy Volt drivetrain. Still, it looked like it was just a warmed-over Vue.

    The would-be 2011 Buick Vue was thoroughly panned by the automotive press at the time and supposedly received poor evaluations consumer marketing clinics and nothing more ever became of it.


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