By on August 1, 2018

Image: General Motors

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.”

Image: GM

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.

Image: GM

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.

Image: GM

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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52 Comments on “Yes, That Is the 2019 Buick Regal Avenir...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    As “Buick Week” continues here on TTAC…

  • avatar
    SixspeedSi

    I’m doubtful, but maybe this will make the Regal interior feel a little more premium. I can’t be the only one that isn’t impressed by the new redesign? Something about it feels cheap. Want to say it’s the terrible GM plastic they use in everything from the Cruze, Malibu, Equinox. Previous gen It’s just so meh, previous gen Regal was much better in this regard.

    • 0 avatar
      Sub-600

      I used to make those terrible GM plastic parts when I worked at Fisher Body in Salina many years ago. It doesn’t look like anything’s improved, lol. Cheap resins are the main culprit but there are other factors. GM can’t shake that image.

      • 0 avatar
        SixspeedSi

        Interesting. It seemed like GM made some effort in changing this with the first gen Cruze, but the plastics went straight back to the cheap feel with their latest iteration of interiors.

        Shame, I don’t mind plastic in interiors on say something like a Civic or Accord, but they really bring down the feel on the GM’s

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Yea. Regal interior is mix of Toyota/Kia. I don’t see any premium there. I take Genesis g80 interior over this all day

      • 0 avatar
        Daniel J

        The G80 starts at a very different price range. Imho I like the Mazda 6 interior a little better, but the regal quality is better than the new accord but it’s understated.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          I think the Mazda 6 is the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. The Signature is basically right at $35K for MSRP and is pretty luxurious for that price point.

          However given Mazda’s small dealer footprint and that no one is buying sedans, I guess it doesn’t really matter.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    swap the grille and it could pass for a Mazda or Mercedes thanks to the EU-compliant nose.

  • avatar
    Zipster

    Subzero

    I have long wondered how much cost difference there is between different types of plastics automobile manufacturers use in car interiors. Is a high grade plastic significantly more expensive than the lower grade? Is the cost difference enough to justify considerably higher prices for different trim levels?
    Your informed opinion would be much appreciated.

  • avatar

    Wow, the photographer did a bad job outside the first image. The rest of them are so over-processed.

    As well, it makes no sense to me that the Avenir ultimate lux trim is not available with the V6 like the GS version.

  • avatar
    Dan R

    Looks like an old KIA.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    “Another giveaway is the 19-inch Pearl Nickel wheels”

    Better don’t take these to Boston

    “…Beige interior theme…”

    hate beige things. Last car show I remember, how volvo beige interior was getting dirty and crew was constantly cleaning it.

    “The Regal Avenir sees the debut of Buick’s cloud-connected infotainment system”

    Eventually, someone will gain ability to kill your car remotely. Why needed?

  • avatar
    pdog_phatpat

    Yikes. Looks like a Malibu.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    There’s a reason the Enclave and Encore are the only two Buicks anyone buys, the others are ok, but if you’re going to try and sell anything other then a CUV/SUV you can’t settle for “ok”

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Who wants to buy Buick anyway? If people did any research, they could probably not find a reliable Opel. I thought, Camcords always sold great for its repair-free nature. Those who couldn’t afford, bought some cheap American stuff. Or there were those who “buy american”. Even if they personally suffered financial burden repairing these things. But what Buick stands for today? Whats the customer for it? seniors driving Souls and Avalons these days.

      And yet, everything I just said is “fake news” because hundreds thousands of people buy them

  • avatar
    Middle-Aged (Ex-Miata) Man

    And it’s aaaaaaaall alone, it’s all alone.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    Essence? Like the magazine?

    Also, we B&B should come up with a standard Brougham checklist to make it easier to evaluate vehicles in this class. I’m already seeing significant demerits for lack of Landau roof and wire wheel covers.

  • avatar
    readallover

    It is waaaay to heavy for the 2.0 Turbo, it should come standard with the V6.

  • avatar
    Ermel

    Just as TTAC seems to be saving effort by copying and pasting from Buick press pamphlets, I could do the same and copy & paste from my comment on that other Buick Regal: An Opel Insignia by any other name still isn’t an upscale car. Much less so with an FWD four-banger under the hood.

    The difference seems to be that Americans buy the things. Go for the bling!

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Yesterday, its an anti-Buick bias infecting TTAC. Then today, they’re in cahoots with Buick, promoting their products without cause. Wow, just wow.

      The car was JUST announced, what else is there to do but pass along the information released? Say it’s awful because Buick? Or just join in with salvuta and say its awful because it isn’t Japanese, and will only be purchased by people too stupid or poor to buy anything else?

      • 0 avatar
        Ermel

        “The car was JUST announced, what else is there to do but pass along the information released?” — Make it not sound like ad copy or press release perhaps.

        “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.” Sounds straight from the press materials package, does it not?

        • 0 avatar

          How you can describe a car if you never saw it and only info you have is a press release? And is Insignia that bad? I remember Vectra was bad but Insignia was a European Car of the Year. Or ECOTY means nothing?

          Camry and Altima you all admire so much never was a European COTY.

          • 0 avatar
            Ermel

            ECOTY does mean nothing. My old Renault Clio was ECOTY too.

            I’ve seen and read enough about the Insignia to never want to see one more closely. It’s am Opel, it’s cramped inside and ugly out, it’s overweight and overdesigned, and more cheaply made than sold. There was a huge controversy aboout the previous model being too cramped inside for police cruiser duty, what with weapons and radios the officers carry on their belts — I never heard that complaint about any other car yet. Admittedly, the Insignia B does a little better in that respect.

            Pre-Lopez, Opel was okay if boring and a little too rust-prone. During Lopez, it was cheap and awful. Since then, it’s trying to recover with bling.

            I don’t admire the Camry or the Altima, but I’d consider them over an Opel any day. And I’m looking forward to when Opel switches from GM platforms to PSA ones. I hear good things about the cars — okay: vehicles — where they already did that, like the Grandland X; I’d still prefer the original PSA vehicles though, because I like their style more than Opel’s.

            But I’ll shut up about your precious “Buicks” now. To each their own. And maybe the Opel-Buicks actually are a revalation compared to what will likely replace them in a couple of years — after all, a GM Opel is still much preferable to the Korean junk that used to be sold as Chevrolets in Europe. We have better alternatives, fortunately. In the new car ranking in Germany, the Insignia sneaks into a very prestigious 41st place.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Wouldn’t that be “Tenth Avenir Freeze-Out”? Just sayin’.

  • avatar
    Chi-One

    Tough crowd here, :)

  • avatar
    theflyingspamcan

    Encore will probably get the treatment last as they build the sub-brand through the bigger more “premium-in-the-first-place” offerings. Once recognizable, the Encore Avenir will more than likely fly off the shelves like the Terrain Denali so people on a budget can pretend they have the big expensive cars.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I think I would just go ahead and upgrade to an A5 Sportback. Or a Volvo anything. It’s close enough in size. Buick is really grasping at straws here.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    When Opel entered Australia in 2011, the Insignia was its lead vehicle. It bombed so badly that Opel closed all its dealers in 2013 and went home. Now it is back as the Holden Commodore replacing the Oz built icon which is no more, but without a V8 or RWD. The word most often used in reviews is “Dull”.
    I would like to see a comparison of normalised prices for the Opel Insignia / Buick Regal / Holden Commodore. It must be really cheap in the US if it is selling well.

  • avatar
    RatherhaveaBuick

    Contrary to my username I just don’t understand Buick anymore.

    If anyone at GM is reading this Buick needs to let a millennial take over their advertising department ASAP. Its dreadful. Like they’re TRYING to not sell cars.

    Bean counters and good old GM ignorance are making sure “Buick” will be going the way of the Oldsmobile really quick.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    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.

  • avatar
    pb35

    “I can’t wait till GM announces the Regal Avenir” said no one ever.


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