Yes, That Is the 2019 Buick Regal Avenir

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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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.

  • ED I don't know what GM is thinking.I have a 2020 one nice vehicle.Got rid of Camaro and was going to buy one.Probably won't buy another GM product.Get rid of all the head honchos at GM.This company is a bunch of cheapskates building junk that no one wants.
  • Lostjr Sedans have been made less practical, with low rooflines and steeply raked A pillars. It makes them harder to get in and out of. Probably harder to put a kid in a child seat. Sedans used to be more family oriented.
  • Bob Funny how Oldsmobile was offering a GPS system to help if you were lost, yet GM as a company was very lost. Not really sure that they are not still lost. They make hideous looking trucks, Cadillac is a crappy Chevy pretending to be fancy. To be honest, I would never step in a GM show room now or ever. Boring, cheap ugly and bad resale why bother. I get enough of GM when i rent on trips from airports. I have to say, does anybody at GM ever drive what everyone else drives? Do they ever then look at what crap they put out in style fit and finish? Come on, for real, do they? Cadillac updated slogan should be " sub standard of the 3rd world", or " almost as good as Tata motors". Enough said.
  • Sam Jacobs I want a sedan. When a buy a car or even rent one, I don’t want to ride up high. I don’t want a 5-door. I want a trunk to keep my stuff out of sight. It’s quieter, cars handle better, I don’t need to be at the same height as a truck. I have a 2022 Subaru Legacy Touring XT, best car ever, equipped as a luxury sedan, so quick and quiet. I don’t understand automakers’ decisions to take away sedans or simply stop updating them — giving up the competition. The Camry and Accord should not be our only choices. Impala and Fusion were beautiful when they were axed.
  • Spamvw I think you need to remember WHY the big 2 and 1/2 got out of the car business. Without going political, the CAFE standards signed into law meant unless you had a higher gas mileage fleet, you couldn't meet the standards.The Irony is that, the law made sedans so small with low roof lines, that normal people migrated to SUV's and Trucks. Now we get worse mileage than before.
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