By on June 29, 2018

2018 Buick Encore

Welcome back to Buick Death Watch! It’s been a long time; we shouldn’t have left you without a strong tale of sales woe to complain about. And just like the Jesus of the New Testament, we’re going to start our tale with a parable.

Once there was a young woman from a faraway land in the south, and she wanted to buy her very first car. She drove cars from lands far and wide, including the Orient and the Land of Cortez. When she drove the Tiny Crossover of Three Shields, she found it to be the best of them all, for it was cloaked in leather and CarPlay, and its motor held the charge of turbines within its soul.

But the moneychangers in the Temple of Finance were not pure of heart. They offered her many baubles, and some of them were tricks of the devil himself — rebates for students of the Word of False Prophets, owners of cars from other lands, and more. The young woman did not qualify for any of these, but the moneychangers were devious, and they promised them to her anyway. And, lo, they delivered, giving her a total of $6,250 in rebates, but only if she would sign the parchment by the second day of the fourth moon. Thus, the woman drove away in the crossover, relinquishing nothing but $200 a month for the next three harvests.

Click the jump and I’ll tell you why all of this means Buick is hosed.

As we talked about in our last installment, Buick really only sells CUVs — the cars are irrelevant. Nearly 50 percent of all Buick volume is the Encore, which sets new sales records every year and is on pace to do so again in 2018 (or at least we’re pretty sure it is — thanks, GM, for refusing to release monthly sales numbers).

But there’s something rotten in the State of Korea. In 2018, Buick has been subsidizing the heck out of the Encore, to the point where most Encore buyers and lessees are getting thousands of dollars off. Right now, Buick is offering a whopping $5,000 off the oldest Encores in dealer stock — that could be as much as 20 percent or more of the purchase price. But back at the end of Q1, they were offering even more.

So let’s go back to our parable. Just like Jesus did, I’m gonna use that parable to teach y’all a little something. You remember our friend Luisa, right? She was with us at the New York International Auto Show, where she was looking for her first car. When she returned home, she took me car shopping, and we went and drove the Hyundai Kona and the Honda HR-V, and found neither of them to her liking. Directly across the street from the Honda dealer was a Buick GMC dealer, so we strolled in and checked out the Encore, which hadn’t even been on her list.

She loved it. It had a much nicer interior than the Hyundai and Honda entries, and the motor was significantly stronger. She loved the look of it, too — to her eyes, it looked much more upscale than the competition. It was almost too nice. “This is more car than I need,” she thought. But she enlisted the help of her dear friend, Bozi, to see what kind of deal she should try to get.

Bozi shot her back some numbers he had seen online from Encore lease shoppers, some of which were crazy — up to $6,250 off a lease if the buyer was:

  1. a college student
  2. an owner of a competitive model
  3. leasing

Well, Luisa wasn’t a student (she already has a graduate degree), but she had taken some English language classes when she had moved to the USA from Bogota two years ago, and she still had a college ID in her purse. She had never owned any car, much less a similar car from the competition, but her roommate had a Mini Cooper parked at the same address. Ding! The dealer was willing to accept it.

And with a 52 percent residual after 36 months, all of those discounts made leasing a no-brainer. After some final haggling from her friend Bark (that’s me), which included a lot of screaming and yelling, walking away from the deal several times, and signing the final paperwork at 11:30 p.m. (thirty minutes before the rebates expired), she got her White Frost/Satin Encore Preferred with zero down and $200 a month over 36 months. It’s a nice car, and three months later, she’s loving driving it.

But should Buick have to subsidize its most popular car that heavily in order to move it? We aren’t talking about full-size trucks with huge profit margins. This is Buick’s volume model, the only model they have that sells with any frequency, and it’s one with very little room between invoice and sticker to start with. All of Buick’s sales growth can be attributed to Encore, and it’s not profitable growth. They might as well be selling Encores through Groupon at this point. Not only can they not sell them at sticker, they’re selling them, in most cases, below the actual market pricing of the Chevrolet Trax. 

Just call Buick dealers what they are at this point — Encore dealers who take a loss on every car sold.

[Image: Mark “Bark M.” Baruth/TTAC]

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104 Comments on “Buick Death Watch: Brother, Can You Spare an Encore?...”


  • avatar
    whynot

    I remember when everyone thought the Encore would be a disaster for Buick before release. Who wants a tiny subcompact CUV (remember the Encore was the first in the US), especially in a “premium” form?

    Maybe the Encore will be a disaster for Buick, just in a different way.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      Pretty sure I also had the same notions. Thinking that the Encore was exactly what a brand with premium aspirations did not need. So yeah, perhaps I was right as well, but not because they don’t sell, but because their discounted high volume drags down the brand.

      No matter, I will probably see if I can haggle a fantastic deal on a TourX at some point.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        The Encore basically splits the Audi Q2 and Q3 in size and the Japanese are entering the sub-oompact CUV segment w/ the Lexus UX; w/ Acura already having the CDX and likely eventually headed to the states.

        As for the discounts, have to take in to account that the Encore is at the end of its life-cycle, having gone into production in 2012.

        The next gen Encore seems to have grown a little and likely will get a more premium interior.

  • avatar
    retrocrank

    Who eats it in these situations – the dealers (interchangeable commodities for a big company like GM, I’m sure) or Papa Buick?

  • avatar
    dwford

    The Encore is an older model, so it makes sense at this stage of its lifecycle that it is getting more incentives. I’m sure Buick has a new one in the works.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      We put the mother in law in a 2015 Encore as they wanted to pay cash and wanted AWD. Her sister had a Escape that was up on lease and drove the Exosport but thought was to cheap in quality and put her in a 2018 lease. She’ll be set in 3 years when the newly redesigned model comes out with additional $1,500 in lease loyalty.

      I’m not one to buy a white car but the 2016 design in white looks sharp!

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I’m glad she’s happy but gawwddddddddd damnnnnnnnnn – the Encore is a POS IMHO.

    Wife had one as a service loaner. If it’s more powerful than the Kona and HR-V then it’s time to sell your Hyundai and Honda stocks my friends.

    What makes me truly sad is that Buick currently has some of the more interesting and competitive cars that it has had in a few decades but nobody is buying them.

    Which frankly says more about the consumer than anything else.

    • 0 avatar

      Can confirm. The HR-V and Kona were painfully slow in comparison. The motors were also loud and sounded like they were straining to accelerate at all.

      I’m sure somebody will dig up 0-60 times to prove me wrong, but the butt dyno says otherwise.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        I believe the Subaru Impreza/Crosstrek is even slower

      • 0 avatar
        klossfam

        Did you butt dyno a Kona with the 2.0L or the 1.6T with 7 spd DCT? I drove the turbo and my butt dyno said sub-7 sec 0-60. Light and quick…

        The HR-V is a dog as noted. Thanks CVT!

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “I’m sure somebody will dig up 0-60 times to prove me wrong…”

        Raising hand…

        I’ve dug up a C/D test of the Kona with the 1.6 turbo, and they got a 0-60 time of 6.6 seconds, which is far quicker than the Encore. Assuming that test car wasn’t a ringer, this thing should literally lay waste to anything in this class.

        I’m wondering if she drove the non-turbo version.

        • 0 avatar

          Correct. She drove the SEL. Turbo versions make up about 15% of the inventory in the market, yet that’s what everybody reviewed.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            That’s what I figured. With the ridiculous discount on the Encore, the only Kona that was comparable price-wise was probably the one with the lame engine.

            This is Hyundai, though – give ’em time and they’ll start giving the turbo version away too.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            The C/D 0-60 time for the 1.6T AWD Kona was only 1 tick behind the 1.6T Kia Soul.

            C/D’s time for the 2.0 Soul was 8.5s – which, while 0.7s slower than the 1.4T FWD Encore, was only 0.1s slower than the Encore equipped w/ AWD.

            Anyhow, acceleration times for the base engine will improve in both the Kona and Soul as the 2.0L 4-cyl will be replaced by a new 2.5L.

            The DFP has an entirely different take on Buick.

            https://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/general-motors/2018/06/27/gm-buick-enclave-regal-sales/717550002/

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      To be frank the Encore is one of the best in its segment. Which says more about the state of its competition than the Encore itself.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      I can’t say enough how much “Squirt” earned its name after a trifecta ecu tune. Almost 40 mpg at 60 mph on out 2013witn AWD. Coming from a 2.0T in the Verano it was a little short on power but it was enough to have the wife have unmarked cars follow her in the highways.

  • avatar
    Daniel J

    I really do like the regal sportback. I wish they’d throw some rebates on it.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      At least the hatch and available 40/20/40 folding rear seat makes it a fairly unique product.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I like that’s actually equipped and priced like an Opel on the lower trims. But it also can’t crack 30 mpg on the highway out of a 2.0, which seems like they’re not even trying. Weirdly non-symmetrical plastic cladding, mandatory AWD, lousy mileage, no manual, and the Opel/PSA connection take any chances of an actual purchase off the table.

      Edit: I was referring to the wagon. I forgot there was another type of Regal.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      I do as well. It looks like the GS’ are now trickling in. Might be time to darken the nearby GMC/Buick dealership door.

      As a wagon guy, I can get behind the 5 door car easily, especially when it looks as good as the Regal does. TourX looks good, but that 4 banger sounds no bueno.

    • 0 avatar
      James2

      A couple of years ago I saw a Buick promotion: 20% off any Regal in stock. IOW, just wait a bit…

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I caught a radio commercial for the local Buick dealer today. The ONLY vehicle mentioned was the 2017 Lacrosse and $4K off. (You heard that right 2017.)

        I’m becoming convinced that the average Buick dealer doesn’t want to sell either the Regal SportBack or TourX.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          If Bark wants to talk Buick death watch, it should be on the ridiculous behavior over the Lacrosse you describe. Yeah we’re only offering $4K on stale floorplan we can’t sell.

          In MY17, Essence started at 38,6, Premium was 41,0.

          MY17 Lacrosse FWD Essence MMR
          $21,300

          Avg Odo (mi)
          19,602

          Avg Cond
          4.2

          Typical Range
          $19,600 -$22,900

          MY17 Lacrosse AWD Premium MMR

          $26,800

          Avg Odo (mi)
          17,741

          Avg Cond
          4.6

          Typical Range
          $25,700 -$27,800

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Given Lacrosse sales this little news item shocked me a few days ago.

            https://www.motorauthority.com/news/1023072_2020-buick-lacrosse-spy-shots

            BTW I think its a great sedan and owners seem to love them but it’s not selling and notice that GM has been very tardy in announcing a new Impala, a model that has been around far longer than the Lacrosse.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The Cadillac derivative is supposed to die so their thinking is folding those buyers into Lacrosse most likely. If Impala goes out as well, you’d have those buyers too but I wonder about price points.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I still think a lightly used LaCrosse is a friggin’ steal in the low 20s.

    • 0 avatar
      Acd

      Don’t count on many Regal incentives since GM has to pay Peugeot/Opel to build them unless there’s something in the Opel buy/sell agreement that guarantees GM buy a minimum number of Regals.

    • 0 avatar

      I ordered one in red but it was ugly tone so I turned it down.

      same for 2019 so no go for my cash flow.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Luisa is quite the fair maiden, and, a Colombiana? A nice bonus.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    Are we sure they’re losing money even with those rebates?

    Kinda feel like there is grasping going on here. Could list a whole slew of individual models, and brands, and car companies doing the exact same thing across the board. Doesn’t exactly make Buick, the Encore, or General Motors unique, and it doesn’t exactly spell the death of any or all of these brands/models/companies either.

    Similar to the last installments, despite my complete lack of any love or care for the Buick brand in any way other than historical vehicles I still find rather incredible to behold….I just don’t see this as any sort of huge deal that will result in Buick dying.

  • avatar
    redapple

    Duke is….

    Calianna? Girls from Cali are renowned as the most beautiful in the world. My brother married one. The stinker.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    I have a married coworker with an Encore. He’s not thrilled with it (former VW driver), but it’s about as small a new vehicle as you can have in the city with two babies in car seats.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “It had a much nicer interior than the Hyundai and Honda entries, and the motor was significantly stronger.”

    So Daewoo added another hamster wheel?

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      There’s an upgraded engine available. Same displacement but some other changes, makes a little more power. Standard on upper trim levels, optional on some lower trim levels. And there are a LOOOOT of trim levels on the Encore, it’s a confusing car to shop. Base is pretty miserable. Top trim is pretty appealing.

  • avatar
    vvk

    I don’t know about this. What is the basic difference between Encore and the Sonic? They are probably almost equal in terms of production costs. Also, $200 per month with how much due at signing? Back in 2015 I leased a Traverse LT for $142/month for 24 months with $0 due at signing. Before that I leased a 2012 Passat for $200/month for 36 months with $0 due at signing. No registration, no tags, no fees — everything rolled into the monthly payment. $200 per month for what essentially is a Daewoo hatchback is not so outrageously low.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Common wisdom suggests that dealers don’t make money on new-car sales. The money is in used car sales (and service).

    This leasing scheme guarantees a steady stream of 3-year-old Encores for the used car lot. Autotrader shows a bunch of 2015 CPO Encores at $16k.

    Easy money.

  • avatar
    threeer

    No fan of the Encore, but the deal *almost* makes me wish I had looked closer at leasing our replacement for the ’13 Cruze (bought a used ’17 Cruze). Those kind of deals make our regular payment look almost ridiculous. I’m always leery of leasing, as I prefer to not have to worry about how much I do (or don’t) drive my cars…and perpetually renting a car just rubs me wrong. But dang…

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I concede you understand far more about new vehicle sales and new vehicle financing than I, but in my view this isn’t really as dire as you may imply.

    The Encore is at its heart, the Opel Mokka which in this case is manufactured by Daewoo, er “GM Korea”, in South Korea. This platform is also used to produce el cheapo poverty spec models such as the Chevy Spark, which msrps from $13,220 per the internets. If GM can make a dime on base model Spark, they can make a mint on the “Buick” POS which *starts* at 23,3 and with $28 dollar’s worth of pleather and insulation foam still goes out for what, 25,8 in “SUV” form and Sport Touring at 27,3? So subtract up to six, you’re still over 20K on something which breaks even or has a thin margin at 13,2 then add 2K for additional materials in mfg.

    The other factor here is the Encore is both no longer new and amortized, therefore there won’t be too many $33,3 Encores sold anymore but with a paid for platform Buick can play fast and loose on pricing. This is a good thing because it means Buick can undercut something new like Kona which is unlikely to offer much cash, and in Limited form starts at 24,7 while ultra sorority form starts at 27,4. If suddenly Honda were to put nice money on their volume model (my guess is Civic) or engage in aggressive leasing would we see a Honda death watch?

    Oh and sorry if I missed it, but which trim did Luisa get?

    • 0 avatar
      deanst

      Chevy spark is $10000 Canadian, or about $7600 US $. If GM can make a business case for that, I’m sure they are not losing much on the encore. The bigger problem for Buick is that they pretend to be a premium brand, but the majority of their sales are priced at less than the industry average.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    My wife was seriously shopping for a Regal TourX the last week and a half or so. The typical dealer games with the price and the sick-with-a-cold sales person we met with made for a completely non-premium experience.

    As I am leasing a Regal GS she is eligible for a $3,500 incentive. This meant whatever out the door price a dealer would put together for her would immediately bump up $3,500 so they could use that incentive to bring the price down to the original OTD quote. One dealer, two separate sales people, gave her numbers in writing. One had no knowledge of the incentive and the other did. The lower quote came from the one with no knowledge by over $1,000.

    I read an article by Automatch Tom on Jalopnik this week and it completely encapsulates our experience.
    If you want to sell a near-premium car, you need to offer a near-premium experience to the customer. Buick dealers are not delivering that around here.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “One had no knowledge of the incentive and the other did. The lower quote came from the one with no knowledge by over $1,000.”

      Interesting experiment.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        The Buick dealers in my area that seem to have a TourX in stock are the ones who have a local Subaru dealer to worry about.

        My local dealer got one SportBack (Preferred) and sold it after a few months on the lot. They responded by replacing it with another SportBack in similar trim but Rojo Red, nice color BTW. Still no TourX or GS. They did however finally manage to sell the brand new 2017 old Regal GS that was taking up floor plan space.

    • 0 avatar
      Land Ark

      Oh, and the interior of my ’16 Regal is of MUCH higher quality than the ’18 TourX. I believe I accidentally audibly uttered “Ew” when I touched the steering wheel. The leather was loose and it does not compare to mine. Not a great first impression.

    • 0 avatar
      brettc

      Just checked cars.com and found the closest TourX to me is a couple hundred miles away. I guess I’ll have to wait for them to show up used because even if they were around locally, close to 40K for a long-roof is too much for this cheapskate.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Mokka Mokka by NormSVEncore555HP & The Trifecta Tunes

    My grandma and your grand-ma were sit-tin’ by the fire
    My grandma told your grand-ma “I’m gon-na set your Bruick on fire

    Talk-in’ ’bout, hey now hey now Mokka, Mokka, un-day
    Jock-a-mo fee-no ai na-né, jock-a-mo fee na-né

    Look at my Guangzhou Motors Chevy Spark Gamma II platform all dressed in leather, Mokka, Mokka, un-day
    I bet-cha five dollars it will be mechanically wasted by lease end, jock-a-mo fee na-ne

    *
    Manufacturer Opel (General Motors)
    Also called Vauxhall Mokka (United Kingdom)
    Buick Encore (North America)
    Production 2012–present
    Model years 2013–present
    Assembly Bupyeong, South Korea (GM Korea)
    Shanghai, China (Shanghai GM)
    Zaragoza, Spain[1]
    Kaliningrad, Russia (Avtotor)
    Minsk, Belarus (Unison)
    Designer Carsten Aengenheyster[2]
    Body and chassis
    Class Subcompact crossover SUV
    Body style 5-door, 3-pillar, 2-box, SUV
    Layout Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive / intelligent four-wheel-drive (AWD)
    Platform GM Gamma II platform
    Related Chevrolet Spark
    Chevrolet Aveo/Sonic
    Chevrolet Trax[3]
    Powertrain
    Engine
    1.4 L A14NET I4 (MPI turbo petrol)
    1.4 L B14XFT I4 (DI turbo petrol)
    1.6 L A16XER I4 (MPI petrol)
    1.8 L A18XER I4 (MPI petrol)
    1.6 L B16DTN I4 (diesel)
    1.6 L B16DTH I4 (turbo diesel)
    1.7 L A17DTS I4 (diesel)
    Replace engine code prefix A with B for Start/Stop technology.
    Transmission
    5-speed manual
    6-speed manual
    6-speed GM 6T40 automatic
    Dimensions
    Wheelbase 2,555 mm (100.6 in)
    Length 4,280 mm (168.5 in)
    Width 1,775 mm (69.9 in)
    Height 1,646 mm (64.8 in)
    Kerb weight 1,293 kg (2,851 lb) (2WD)
    1,386 kg (3,056 lb) (4WD)

    GUANGZHOU-GUADALAJARA MOTORS STRIKES AGAIN!

    THESE FAST-TRASH MILKSHAKE MOBILES LEASE OUT FOR $0 DOWN $119 PER MONTH SIGN & DRIVE AT METRO DETROIT BRUICK DEALERS EVERY DAY!

    THE BLUE HAIRS LOVE THEM! THEY TAKE THEM TO NORMSV AREA 51 TUNERS SHOP TO GET THAT SWEET, SWEET 555 HORSEPOWER AND 585-LBS FEET OF TWIST!!!

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Vauxhall Mokka latte with two pumps of goat milk and three Splendas.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Off topic for Buick but interesting:

    “The effect of higher rates and tighter credit has pushed
    more buyers into the used vehicle market. The increase in the
    average interest rate on a used vehicle loan has been higher
    – over 47 basis points. To contend with the rate increase, the
    average amount financed on a used vehicle purchase has
    remained flat. The monthly payment matters. When rates rise,
    many consumers do not have an option to pay more. They
    instead lower the loan amount borrowed.

    Higher rates have already led the automotive market to see
    a fundamental shift away from new and into used. In 2017,
    it has meant sales of nearly new pre-owned vehicles
    increased dramatically at the expense of new vehicles
    because borrowers who would have qualified for a new loan
    or lease a few years ago are now more likely to buy used.

    The average new vehicle lease payment in the first half
    of 2014 was $400. This year the average lease has been
    approaching $500. Yet, the average finance payment on a
    used vehicle purchased in December was $407. The used
    vehicle market has ample supply of high-quality vehicles
    with payments more consumers can afford ironically
    because of the volume of leases made in 2014, which
    had much lower payments then.”

    So the average used car payment in 2018 is the same as a new car payment in 2014. So assuming average a generous four year depreciation at 40%, that’s 10% inflation per year in terms of new to used vehicle payments (or 12.5% if we go with 50% which is closer to reality for year four).

    • 0 avatar
      vvk

      Wow, $500 lease payment average?!! That seems pretty extreme. I guess in the age of $60k pickups being used for family transportation instead of midsize cars…

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Yup, its from Manheim’s annual report. Essentially the conclusion is, what you could afford in 2014 is now a lease, so eat it prole.

        “In 2017, nearly 70 percent of new vehicles purchased at
        retail were bought by people over 45. Less than 11 percent
        of new vehicles were purchased by people under 35 of age.
        Comparing the age distribution of new vehicle buyers to the
        U.S. population, people over 55 but under 75 are the most
        likely to buy new.”

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          “Analysts and Wall Street expected drastic drops in pricing in 2017. To their surprise, it did not happen. Wholesale values were strong in the spring and summer because of growing retail demand. Replacement demand following hurricanes Harvey and Irma buoyed prices after August.

          Following the traditional track of previous storms and recovery, used vehicle prices began returning to pre-storm levels in November and December. Underlying vehicle depreciation rates have been accelerating to catch up to where prices would have been without the abnormal demand and scarce supply in September
          and October.

          For 2018, prices should be on firmer footing by April, much like spring of 2017, as retail demand kicks into gear.”

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            So what is THE best time of year to buy a car (generally speaking of course). I know post tax refund time is terrible but beyond that…

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            New? Not sure, prob around model year change. Used? Varies and depends on what you buy. Convertibles/coupes in winter, anything smaller 4wd summer, trucks I think you’re paying full freight all the time now.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    QOTD: What is your vehicle strategy and why?

    I’ll go first: In 2018, the dual beater strategy.

    This involves running two MY02 Saturn SLs, one clean, one rough, on the daily twelve mile round trip into the seventh circle of Hell (The third vehicle is held back mostly under this strategy). So far this year, non-fuel maintenance costs on both have been less than $1,000 (about $850 est) which was to buy and install four new quick struts and some other undercarriage stuff on the rough one, two new tires on the clean one. Last year’s costs were probably the same or less, with major work being brakes/rotors and inspection on the clean one (2016 saw new struts and control arms on the clean one).

    I do this because I am cheap and the Saturn SL makes a great beater car both in winter and as one being parked in public garages by valets (dent resistant doors, two bumpers, don’t care much about their general appearance).

    What say you?

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      I’m in a fairly similar boat 28, ‘94 Ranger beater commuter+weekend hauler, gets passable MPG (25), I’m confident I’ll be able to resell for at least as much as I bought it for this spring. ‘96 4Runner for long trips with dogs and occasional commuting, garage queen. Wife rocks a gifted-to-her 2012 Camry that is just a solid A-B car that I don’t have to worry about except tire damage from our awful roads. Jacks rental review and a week spent in corn country Iowa has got me jonesing to consolidate to a lightly used 4door F150. I’m just a cheap skate by nature but I recently crested a bit of a personal career goal income-wise and part of me says “oh c’mon already, live a little!”

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Newish F-150 sedan and you’ll have too many with your current ownership as the F-150 could replace both your 4Runner and Ranger. If your payment, current Ranger/4Runner outlay, and F150 projected resale all pan out it may actually make sense to go to down to one 2WD truck sedan.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          Key word is consolidate ie sell off beloved but underutilized 4Runner and beater Ranger and turn that into one modern, safe, vastly more highway road trip comfortable F150 (4wd). Camry remains in the fleet regardless.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Run the numbers and see.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Well strictly by the numbers it’s obviously cheaper NOT to drop $26-28k on a new vehicle. But beyond the numbers there’s time spent wrenching, peace of mind on long trips, safety for incoming progeny, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            vvk

            What happened to the ES?

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            vvk keep up man, the ES was 4 beaters ago :p Since then there’s been a ‘97 Ranger, ‘03 Pilot, and currently a ‘94 Ranger. But as we’re on the cusp of starting a family I’m reassessing priorities and pass times.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Those are the figures I refer too. Factor your time for troubleshooting/wrenching, recon and maint costs for five years with the current lot, then compare against a steady payment for new used (don’t forget tire costs new truck vs Ranger/4Runner’s 15ins). Now look at that, and then remember you are also buying better safety and more time with the family. See how it all works out.

    • 0 avatar
      redapple

      STOP
      Think

      Beaters have about $1000 in MAINT/ year.

      Add a $1000 to that for the peace of mind of a new car with the safety Nannies.

      StatS show each person will have a SIGNIFICANT car crash during their life.

      Cars are cheap. Hospitals expensive.

      Most of us on this site are white collar with a decent $alary. Spend the extra nickel tight wad. The wife will appreciate it.
      I think you are stupid

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        I think you don’t have my vehicle expense spreadsheets in front of you to arbitrarily throw out numbers like that. But since you mentioned it I’m about $3k in the positive for the year on car stuff, owing to the very successful flip of my Pilot. Judging by your manner of communication, you might have a bit of an impairment going on.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Yeah I’ve seen some of your other posts but yes, gtem is the one lacking intelligence. Has to be, could never be the one you see in the mirror who’s the one lacking, right?

        FWIW I’d go LS LWB if I was transporting children, bc those are a steal for what they are at year four, but I’m not even in the same universe as this myself. Failing that, it would be some sort of Yota truck most likely unless there was some sort of deal which made sense for something else. Till then, its the old junk I have for me.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          No pricey upkeep of a used LS for me, most of them are right at that age of needing their first suspension refreshes and factory Lexus parts are not cheap. I just don’t see the value there (for my situation). After the LS430 body they kind of lose the plot for me aesthetically as well. The most rational-brain/comfy family vehicle that I can’t help but force myself to consider is a lightly used van. Sienna is kind of the default for me, but I was mightily impressed with a Pacifica rental recently, something I’ve mentioned multiple times now just because of how impressed I was with it. Now, is it smart to gamble on an FCA vehicle? I’d like to think I could find a CPO option in the low 20s that wouldn’t burn us too bad if things went south.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            In my case its if I felt like making a payment on 30k or thereabouts which is roughly what a 14 would go for about now. For you, making such a payment simply puts you into the F-150 2WD we talked about.

            I’d be wary of CPO FCA for your purposes but that’s just me. Sienna or bust.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            For me a F150 2WD is a non-option, 4WD or bust. This would be my one and only vehicle, that includes visits to my folks back in Upstate NY in the winter, beach crawler on the OBX in the summer, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Fair enough, 4×4 it is.

      • 0 avatar
        JuniperBug

        My Concorde beater has had about $100 in maintenance (oil change and replacing some rounded out lug nuts) in the 2.5 years and 10k miles I’ve been driving it. Assuming it was worth $1,500 when I got it (it was actually free) and a zero value if it crapped out tomorrow (it’s still going strong, and I’d probably get a couple hundred bucks in scrap), it would still be dirt cheap transportation.

        Would that math change if I drove more? Probably, but I didn’t, so in my case the economy in driving a beater is very real. My car also weighs 3,600 lbs and has front and side airbags; I’d hardly call it a death trap in a crash.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Nice strategy.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          Current Ranger expenses are $100 for a set of 4 decent used factory alloys+tires, $50 for color matched paint to touch up the pretty beat up bed, $22 for some synthetic blend oil and an oil filter, $8 for a new wiper, $5 for a small can of R134a, and $2 in brake pad anti-rattle clips. Cheap motoring at its finest. I’d be doing better on my numbers if I wasn’t selling my beaters every 6 months or so but that’s the cost of having some fun.

    • 0 avatar
      StatisticalDolphin

      “QOTD: What is your vehicle strategy and why?”

      The most recent addition to the fleet is a 2017 Tiguan Limited, purchased new for $16,800 + ttl. Needed a relatively fun to drive vehicle for driving back and forth to work, and meandering around town. It seems like a simple basic vehicle. Reliability of recent model years has improved. Estimated discounts and incentives around $7500 or about 30 or so percent off sticker. So the Encore incentives are not exceptional. Encore reliability is above average, probably much better than the Tiguan. Encore was on the spreadsheet but I did not test drive because I was worn out by the dealer experience and just wanted to be done with it.

      Depending on the annual miles allowed, the Encore lease described in the article may or may not be a good deal.

      Looked seriously at the new Outlander PHEV, as far as I can tell the only PHEV with the CUV form factor, at least in my price range. Offered 12% off MSRP (plus manufacturers incentives and tax incentives) but the dealer would not budge off of MSRP. As far as I can tell, based on quick scans of car gurus dot com, these things are piling up on dealers lots.

  • avatar
    CincyDavid

    Our strategy is two cheap leased cars (16 CRV and 17 Jetta) that we pay a combined $465/mo for the leases, and a beater 06 Kia Sportage that we haul the dogs in, and let the college age kid drive during the summer. All I do is oil changes, tire rotations and wiper blades, and our leased cars are always under warranty. The Kia has 175xxx miles and keeps chugging along, truthfully I prefer driving it sometimes due to the don’t-care-if-it-gets-dinged attidude, even though it gets worse gas mileage than the newer cars.

    I do worry about getting cheap leases in the future, depending on what the economy does…we may have to start buying again. The Buick store I visited the other day said he always suggests “lease new or buy 3 years old”. They had ONE bright red TourX and ONE navy blue Regal sedan in stock…but they DID have a 2010 pearl white Lacrosse or Lucerne(get the names confused) with 100xxx miles that was tempting.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “I do worry about getting cheap leases in the future, depending on what the economy does…”

      This. I’m almost wondering if the time to get my GTI is now, before the tariffs and higher rates kick in.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      MY10 is getting up in years friend. If you’re willing to spend the coin I would look at 13-14 Lacrosse with lower miles but if you like the MY10 it can’t be worth more than 3-5K at at this point so don’t overpay (plus I think the 3.6 LY has timing chain issues around MY10, so if its a Lacrosse you could have that issue. Lucerne uses 3.9 after MY09 and its the last 60V6, decent motor mileage iffy).

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Mitsubishi might be in better shape than Buick right now.

    • 0 avatar
      CincyDavid

      Lord have mercy, Mitsubishi. The only product of theirs I have ever owned was a TV set I bought as a floor model at a now-defunct electronics retailer in St Louis called Silo around 1987…great TV.

      Their bigger SUV is kind of attractive in a simple, blocky way, but there’s no way on earth I’d drive a Mitsubishi…I’d get tired of explaining what the heck it is.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    An acquaintance of mine just purchased a 2017 (brand new) Buick Regal. Not sure of the option package, but fairly basic sedan. Nice wheels, heated seats but no ventilated seats. He paid $19.7 + tax. Seems like a lot of car for less than 20k.

    As for what has been noted above. Yes, the Lacrosse makes for a fantastic buy in the low 20’s gently used.

  • avatar

    voice from the past…

    “if management can’t come up with a plan to sell Pontiacs, you don’t get rid of Pontiac, you get rid of management.”

    Buickman
    Founder
    GeneralWatch.com

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    In one of the last “Big 3” Top Gear Episodes, they made a car specially designed for geriatrics. That’s more or less what this is. I’m not surprised it sells well.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    Any possibility this screaming deal has as much to do with your abilities as a negotiator as anything else? I would totally pay you to negotiate my next deal. I’m not new to car buying, I do KNOW what to do, but the last time I bought a car I failed to do any of it and ended up paying a third more than I intended for a unit that didn’t match my intended specs, and I realized: crap, they do this multiple times a day, I do it once every few years…if they’re really good at it, their BS can steamroll my best intentions, no sweat.

  • avatar
    Carroll Prescott

    Encores are vile creatures.

  • avatar
    kushman1

    If you follow Lancia’s history through FCA ownership, the buick encore is the North American Lancia Ypsilon. Two great little cars carrying both brands, when meanwhile lancia and buick would probably make more successful brands as mainstream than their chevy/fiat counterparts. That’s probably the injustice of this all is that buick would be two fold what chevy is but is handicapped to not inner compete. Once GM sold Opel it wasn’t just done in europe, but buick and gm as a whole is done and now awaiting Chinese ownership. WHat makes the encore and the verano great was the value and styling etc for the price. If only buick was chevy priced you would see it explode in sales. GM should move buick upmarket and caddy up to fleetwood /bentley segments to take better advantage of both brands. Buick can’t die for gm because of china and it’s precieved quality. If GM wants to sell itself to china they can’t do it without Buick. So you will see Buick wind down to just encore is like Lancia just to preserve the homeland like FCA does in Italy.

  • avatar
    sgtjmack

    Didn’t we just read an article on here about how Millennial’s are buying up new Buick vehicles, and it is the fastest growing sub brand and has a great reliability record, third only to Toyota and Lexus?

    So which is it, are they on their way out or up? I mean, the Chinese can’t get enough of the Buick line, both here in the States and in China.

    But if they cameo out with a sportier version, like the GN or something in that arena, I bet it would sell a crap ton. Buick lux, style and reliability with a punch in the pants fun engine and suspension? What a no brainer.

  • avatar
    65corvair

    Buick is selling Chevy’s. Cadillac is selling Buicks.

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