Yes, That Is 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]
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.
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