Yes, That Is the 2019 Buick Regal Avenir

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
yes that em is em the 2019 buick regal avenir

What do buyers like? Ultra-lux trims and big-bucks window stickers, that’s what. At least, that’s the gist of General Motors’ media run-down of the new 2019 Buick Regal Avenir — the third vehicle in the Buick stable to undergo the high-zoot treatment, and a model we uncovered last week.

“Avenir” debuted on the revamped-for-2018 Enclave, then made its way to the LaCrosse sedan. It exists because Denali exists, and Buick saw what the addition of that sub-brand did for GMC sales, to say nothing of average transaction price and profits. After crunching some numbers, Buick decided the Regal Sportback was the next obvious candidate for the brand’s “highest expression of luxury.”

“Since its introduction last fall, Enclave Avenir has set the pace for Avenir, selling faster than all other Enclave trims and comprising 20 percent of total Enclave sales in the United States,” writes GM. “A similar story is unfolding for the new LaCrosse, where Avenir is selling 70 percent faster than other trim levels.”

The Enclave is indeed selling well, though Buick’s volume leader remains the subcompact (and Avenir-less) Encore, which comprised 44 percent of the brand’s sales in the first half of 2018. The Enclave saw sales grow 15.3 percent in the first half, and 25.4 percent in the second quarter of 2018. However, the LaCrosse is a different story. While the addition of an Avenir model may have generated interest in that particular trim, overall LaCrosse sales were down 9.7 percent in the first half of the year. Second-quarter volume saw a serious dive, with sales down 44.7 percent compared to the same period on 2017.

Is Avenir simply cannibalizing sales of other LaCrosse trims as overall interest wanes? It sure looks that way.

Buick’s obviously hoping for a different outcome with the Regal version. With the recent introduction of a new generation of Regals, sales are on the rise — up 42 percent in the second quarter and 26.7 percent over the first half of 2018. Buick claims more than half of Regal buyers spring for the top-rung Essence trim, making an even better equipped model a safe gamble.

Like with other Avenirs, the Regal Sportback variant dons a trim-specific mesh grille, with “Avenir” script twinkling from the front doors. Another giveaway is the 19-inch Pearl Nickel wheels. This model, for which pricing has not yet been announced, carries a 250-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter that puts its 260 lb-ft of twist to the pavement through the front wheels only. A nine-speed automatic handles shifting duties. Unlike the previous top luxo trim and sport-oriented GS model, all-wheel drive isn’t on the options list.

Inside, you’ll find ample evidence of the Avenir’s presence. A Whisper Beige interior theme contrasts with Ebony accents, while occupants rest on diamond quilt-stitched front seats. Embroidered first-row headrests and Avenir-scripted sill plates hammer home the point that this ain’t no Regal Essence.

There’s some bragging rights here, too. The Regal Avenir sees the debut of Buick’s cloud-connected infotainment system, which allows owners to personalize their preferences for any number of vehicle functions, then carry them over to other (compatible) vehicles thanks to the magic of apps.

We told you before about this high-zoot Regal’s list of creature comforts and safety features, but available tech remains. You’ll pay more for an enhanced set of driver’s aids — a list that includes adaptive cruise control.

The 2019 Buick Regal Avenir shows up at dealers in early fall.

[Images: General Motors]

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  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Aug 01, 2018

    At 45k, the Regal GS is priced too close to the Audi to be taken seriously and adds to little value above the Stinger. I'd imagine that the Avenir trim will suffer the same issue - Overpriced for what it brings. The Buick brand may be the cat's meow in China, but here it's more like kitty litter.

  • Pb35 Pb35 on Aug 02, 2018

    "I can't wait till GM announces the Regal Avenir" said no one ever.

  • MaintenanceCosts We hear endlessly from the usual suspects about the scenarios where EVs don't work as well as gas cars. We never hear the opposite side of the coin. From an EV owner (since 2019) who has a second EV reserved, here are a few points the "I road trip 1000 miles every day" crowd won't tell you about:[list][*]When you have a convenient charging situation, EV fueling is more convenient than a gas car. There is no stopping at gas stations and you start every day with a full tank.[/*][*]Where there are no-idling rules (school pickup/dropoff, lines for ferries or services, city loading, whatever else) you can keep warm or cool to your heart's content in your EV.[/*][*]In the cold, EVs will give you heat from the second you turn them on.[/*][*]EVs don't care one bit if you use them for tons of very short trips. Their mechanicals don't need to boil off condensation. (Just tonight, I used my EV to drive six blocks, because it was 31 degrees and raining, and walking would have been unpleasant.)[/*][*]EVs don't stink and don't make you breathe carcinogens on cold start.[/*][*]EV maintenance is much less frequent and much cheaper, eliminating almost all items having to do with engine, transmission, or brakes in a gas car. In most EVs the maintenance schedule consists of battery coolant changes and tire maintenance.[/*][*]You can accelerate fast in EVs without noisily attracting the attention of the cops and every passerby on the street.[/*][/list]
  • MaintenanceCosts Still can't get a RAV4 Prime for love or money. Availability of normal hybrid RAV4s and Highlanders is only slightly better. At least around here I think Toyota could sell twice the number of vehicles that they are actually bringing in at the moment.
  • Tree Trunk Been in the market for a new Highlander Hybrid, it is sold out with order time of 6 months plus. Probably would have bit the bullet if it was not for the dealers the refuse to take an order but instead want to sell from allotment whether it fits or not and at thousands over MRSP.
  • AKHusky The expense argument is nonsense. My mach e was $42k after tax credit. Basically the same as similarly equipped edge. And it completely ignores that the best selling vehicles are Rams, F150s, and Silverados, all more expensive that a bolt, MAch e or ID4. As an owner, I'd say they are still in second car territory for most places in the country.
  • Johnster I live in a red state and I see quite a few EVs being purchased by conservative, upper-class Republicans (many of them Trump-supporters). I suspect that it is a way for them to flaunt their wealth and that, over time, the preference for EVs will trickle down to less well-off Republicans.
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