By on April 29, 2020

Buick Grille Logo Emblem, Image: General Motors

Not sure about you, but these past few weeks has seen yours truly think more about remdesivir and potatoes (at alternating times) than the Buick brand. I’d put the ratio somewhere close to 99:1, though you could add an extra digit to that first number and probably still be bang-on.

Yes, it’s a brand that’s not top of mind, earning itself more headlines for ditching cars than for adding crossovers. And yet, when our lockdowns end the the virus is vanquished and the open road cries out its alluring siren song, cushy, long-legged cruising machines might be the first thing to cross your mind. It seems Buick has just the thing for you, but you’ll have to act fast — and search long and hard.

According to JATO Dynamics, the best open cash offer for any vehicle sold in the U.S. on Tuesday happened to be a vehicle that ceased production 13 months ago. We’re talking about the full-sized Buick LaCrosse — a stretch-your-legs comfort cruisers that looked great in its final iteration, but fell victim to a buying public that had no use for such things.

Buick’s consumer website no longer even lists the 2019 LaCrosse, which could also be had in a very short-lived Avenir variant. It’s gone, just like the Eurotripping Cascada drop-top and, soon, the Regal line. This year marks the last go-round for that historic nameplate. Come 2021, Buick will be an all-crossover brand.

It’ll still boast more models than Chrysler, at least.

Being a weirdo who loves large domestic sedans, my time behind the wheel of an ’18 LaCrosse was a week well spent, with the big boat proving surprisingly thrifty on a road trip. The car’s lane-holding system also ranked above average in its ability to keep the thing between the lines, the front seat was cavernous, and the handling? Positively nautical. That’s a big strike for many, I guess.

GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant punted the LaCrosse back in March 2019 as it shed product ahead of expected closure. That mothballing didn’t come to pass, but GM’s cull of its Detroit-built big passenger cars is now complete. The Chevrolet Impala bit the dust in late February, not long after the Cadillac CT6 full-sizer similarly departed both the plant and the market. The Chevy Volt proved an early victim of Mary Barra’s cost-cutting axe.

Now, D-Ham awaits its new life as an electric vehicle hub.

As for those juicy LaCrosse offers, one wonders how many exist on lots around the country. Cars.com shows only nine 2019 LaCrosses. Indeed, Buick sold just 138 of them in the U.S. in the first three months of the year, with 463 sold in the final quarter of 2019.

[Image: General Motors]

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19 Comments on “Pandemic Discounts: One Buick Tops Them All...”


  • avatar
    SC5door

    What’s the discount on *NEW* 2017 models?

    There’s 19 of them listed on Autotrader…..

    • 0 avatar
      eggsalad

      If I understand correctly, at some point manufacturer rebate support simply dries up and goes away. Dealers who are too stubborn to sell at a loss sometimes title an NOS car to their mother-in-law for 6 months then sell dead stock as CPO.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        That’s what Mark Baruth has generally reported. His contention is that if dealers were smarter about what the vehicle was costing them in floor plan loans etc they would just discount it and sell it regardless of manufacturer support. (It might make better business sense to knock 25% of the MSRP and get it the heck off the lot.)

        • 0 avatar
          brn

          Unfortunately, many dealers don’t get it. I’ve known dealers (I worked for the corporate offices of said dealers) that would raise the price of a used car if it had an accident on the lot. Their goal is to maintain the profit margin. Of course, damaged and overpriced cars don’t sell, so they lose in the end. One would even go so far as to raise the price, the longer a car sat on the lot. Heck, it cost him more to have it that long!!

        • 0 avatar
          MRF 95 T-Bird

          There are still some brand new 2017 Chrysler 200’s listed on EBay. They’re discounted to a point where either a bargain shopper who just wants some new wheels or for the ride share Uber or Lyft owners.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I think more often than not Autotrader is just wrong in these cases.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        I am fairly certain the fault is not Autotrader’s, but instead the dealer hack who creates the online listings. I cannot count the number of times I have searched for cars with manual transmission….find a few using the Autotrader search engine, then look at the associated pictures and see a car with an ordinary automatic shift lever between the seats.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    BTW although the 2020 Regal technically exists, good luck finding one. When GM announced that the 2020 Regal would be the last what they really meant was “we’re going to use up the small parts stock we have and we’re done.”

    I would also point out that 2019 and older “new” Buicks hiding on dealer lots actually have a longer standard warranty than the 2020 models.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    ” Come 2021, Buick will be an all-crossover brand.
    It’ll still boast more models than Chrysler, at least.”

    How many crossovers carry a “Chrysler” badge?

    That discount on the LaCrosse actually makes that a pretty good deal.

  • avatar
    Peter Gazis

    No biggie, Buick is just looking to get rid of its last few Sedans. Before all those Nursing home Lexuses hit the market.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Disinfectant not included

    • 0 avatar
      Land Ark

      Do your back-up sensors randomly turn off while driving like mine did?

      Also, do you find that wiper blades only last about a month before they start streaking? I bought several high quality blades thinking I got a bad batch but they would start streaking within a month after installing.

      How do you deal with the sun blinding you off the chrome trim around the shifter? Assuming you have an automatic, I doubt the manuals had the same problem.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        I’d had the same wiper problem with a couple cars. It’s the glass. You have to clean it thoroughly, and then use a glass wax or Rain-X, and the streaking stops.

        Though windshield glass isn’t porous, it can have a rough surface you can’t feel, but will chew up the wiper rubber. It’s not exactly a defect, but a manufacturing step that was eliminated to save money.

  • avatar
    Fred

    I’m kind of odd but I like the Regal in all it’s permutations. I found 384 2020 models at $45k and less. I’d guess negotiations would cut another $5k off. I might of bought one if I could be sure it would be reliable. Alas, I got an Acura and at 55k miles I haven’t had any problems.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    I went past a Buick dealer a week and a half ago and they had 5-6 of the Buick station wagons lined up, I think that doubled the total number I’ve seen. Couldn’t believe one dealer had that many.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Got to say, I love my 2017 AWD Lacrosse with the Dynamic Driving Package.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    There are so few new Lacrosses and Regals left. There is 1 2019 Buick Lacrosse Avenir within 150 miles of where I live and no Regals. Good cars but new ones are very scarce. Glad I bought my neighbor’s 2012 Lacrosse. Not really any current production Buick models I am interested in and few GMs. It will be a long time before I buy another vehicle and I possibly will not buy another new one.

  • avatar

    my 2017 Lacrosse is easily the nicest vehicle I have driven.

    80,000 miles of delight.

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