2017 Buick LaCrosse Premium Review - Yesterday and Today

“You weren’t kidding when you said it was big,” she said, flashing me a smile.

“I never lie,” I said, lying.

She was, of course, talking about the 2017 Buick LaCrosse. Get your depraved minds out of the gutter.

I’d told my longtime friend I’d pick her up in a “big, red Buick,” and I certainly came through on that promise. And, as this friend — a former owner of a pinot-grigio-colored ’89 Skylark — settled herself comfortably into the sedan’s commodious front passenger seat, it seemed the LaCrosse had fulfilled its own obligations.

Sadly, it’s a relic in a rapidly shrinking segment. The last of a dying breed that once proliferated across the American landscape in numbers that would make pre-railway buffalo herds jealous. Yes, the LaCrosse is the last real Buick, even as it adopts the latest in safety and convenience features and fuel-saving technologies.

As a lover of every landau-topped barge from the golden age of motoring (or malaise, depending on who you ask), it was a somewhat bittersweet experience to spend time in the LaCrosse, as it does its job quite well. It’s a good soldier, and it surprises in many ways. But it can’t be a dog-and-Playskool-swallowing crossover, and that’s why it and the other holdouts in its segment are effectively doomed.

There’s a train a comin’, and the .45-70 Sharps rifles on board are firmly grasped by legions of singles, families and geriatrics who’ve come to love a taller ride height and spacious cargo hold.

Read more
GM Executives Aren't Worried About Buick's Future After Opel Sale

General Motors’ sale of Opel to France’s PSA Group sparked much debate on what the European division’s loss would mean for Buick, which holds strong product ties with the German manufacturer.

The new Buick Regal, which bowed today in liftback and wagon bodystyles, shares its architecture with Opel’s new-for-2017 Insignia. At the 2018 model’s Detroit-area launch, GM’s executives downplayed the impact on its Buick division, claiming there’s no disruption in sight for the brand.

Read more
2018 Buick Regal Sportback and TourX: Cargo-Happy Companions Wage War on Crossovers

With every automaker going all-in on cavernous crossovers and SUVs, Buick certainly hasn’t ignored the trend. The traditional, big-car brand even went so far as to bring us a crossover from China. Still, there’s a legacy nameplate in the lineup in need of nurturing, and it seems only natural (and prudent) that the next-generation Regal ratchets up the versatility.

For 2018, the Regal splits into two body styles, with the traditional variant offering more cargo room than before. Thanks to the midsize model’s Opel Insignia architecture, we’re here to announce a funeral for a longtime member of the automotive world — the Regal’s trunk lid. Yes, this sedan sports a liftback.

If it doesn’t seem like this newly enlarged cargo space will swallow your family’s lifestyle debris, Buick would also like to offer you an all-wheel-drive wagon.

Read more
Eastern Promises: 'Buick Volt' Ready to Tempt Chinese Greenies

Badge-engineered bliss awaits environmentally conscious General Motors buyers in China. Announced today, the Buick Velite 5 range-extended electric vehicle will soon launch in the car-hungry marketplace, but Americans might recognize it as something else.

Hiding in plain sight behind that Buick badge — which carries plenty of sales clout in China — is a Chevrolet Volt, which aims to compete against a host of low-cost electrics and gas-powered compacts.

Read more
2018 Buick Regal All-Wheel-Drive Models Getting Two Automatics?

Newly published emissions certification documents on the California Air Resources Board website now confirm the existence of the Buick Regal TourX wagon — and much, much more.

The CARB documents show GM’s 250+ horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder powering both front- and all-wheel-drive Regal hatchbacks, plus the anticipated all-wheel-drive-only TourX wagon.

But how AWD Regals get their power to the wheels diverges from the script.

Read more
The New Buick LaCrosse Is Already Fading Into Obscurity, Except On Dealer Lots

In 2016, as General Motors launched an all-new Buick LaCrosse for the 2017 model year, sales of the LaCrosse fell to an all-time annual low.

But wait a second. Transition years are difficult for any model. Clearance of the outgoing model ends, production of the new model is ramping up, availability at dealers is limited, and the product mix is often skewed toward less affordable models.

Nevertheless, cognizant of the fact that 2016 wasn’t likely to be a great year for the Buick LaCrosse, it’s still easy to declare that 2016 was an awful year for the Buick LaCrosse. Sales were 70-percent lower last year than in 2005, when U.S. LaCrosse sales peaked. Even compared with 2014, U.S. LaCrosse sales were nearly chopped in half in 2016.

And at the current pace, 2017 will be much, much, much worse.

Read more
GM's Maven Reserve: Book a Tahoe for the Same Price as an Escalade or CTS-V

As urban populations grow and analysts continue to predict dwindling car ownership, alternatives have sprung up and automakers are gradually getting in on that sweet car-sharing action. Currently active in 17 North American cities, General Motors’ hourly ride-sharing unit Maven has been building slowly.

GM is now expanding Maven to include long-term rentals which, come to think of it, sounds identical to what it was doing with its Book by Cadillac premium subscription service. While the Caddy offering is intended to be a monthly subscription serving as an alternative to normal vehicle ownership, nothing is really stopping customers from using “Maven Reserve” in a similar manner.

Also similar is the pricing. While the special Maven Reserve vehicles don’t yet encompass all GM’s fleet, a Chevrolet Tahoe runs $1,500 for 28 days, which is identical to the subscription fee for Cadillac Book, which also includes curbside car delivery and mid-month vehicle swapping.

In essence, GM is allowing you to have simultaneous access to a CTS-V and Escalade or a Tahoe for the same amount of money.

Read more
Spied: 2018 Buick Regal TourX Soft-roader Wagon, Minus the Badge

Automakers, having long since abandoned the once-hot American wagon market, are returning to see if a lingering spark can be rekindled.

Consider Buick as one of the brands brave enough to cast its line into the pool in the hopes of a bite. The next-generation Regal, which already graces European car mags as the Opel Insignia, won’t come to the U.S. simply as a sedan. Opel’s Insignia Sports Tourer creates a fine opportunity for Buick to deliver a new wagon to these SUV-crazed shores..

However, we’re a go-anywhere, do-anything bunch over here, and any wagon coming to America had better have some cladding and about an inch and a half of lift!

Read more
'Business As Usual' As Buick About to Reveal Two Products Amidst Opel-PSA Talks

As politicians and labor unions in Europe reel from yesterday’s revelation of high-level talks between General Motors and Peugeot over a possible sale of Opel, GM’s most European-infused brand on this side of the Atlantic is operating business as usual.

Buick, which is GM’s second-largest brand globally by volume behind Chevrolet, has product in the wings, including the largely rumored but unconfirmed Buick Regal, based on the recently revealed Opel Insignia.

Buick sees no problem with that.

Read more
What Would Buick Look Like Without Opel?

“Buick revealed its Cascada convertible, an elegant four-seater that will go on sale in the USA in the first quarter of 2016. This marks another example of the two brands’ successful collaboration, which already includes the jointly-developed Buick Encore and Opel Mokka, the Buick Verano and Opel Astra notchback as well as the Buick Regal and Opel Insignia,” proclaimed Opel in January 2016, just ahead of the Cascada’s reveal in Detroit.

One paragraph. Four products that intrinsically link Opel and Buick.

It’s no surprise, then, that General Motors’ possible sale of Opel to Peugeot has those in and out of the RenCen wondering: What of Buick?

Read more
Opel Insignia Sports Tourer Previews the Next Buick Regal Wagon, Minus the Cladding

Longer, sleeker, and lighter than before. That’s the gist of General Motors’ next-generation Opel Insignia, the Euro midsizer that provides the template for Buick’s upcoming Regal.

Long in the tooth and a little cramped, the Regal is poised to shed its cloak of invisibility by adopting the Insignia’s E2XX platform and most of its styling cues for the 2018 model year. Expect greater interior volume, up to 440 pounds of weight loss, and an available V6 powerplant.

Oh, and expect a wagon, according to a TTAC source. And not just any wagon — a faux crossover that GM, crossing its fingers, hopes can lure buyers away from the overstocked buffet of lifted utility options.

Read more
Here's Your 2018 Buick Regal, Minus the Badge

General Motors’ European subsidiary Opel has pulled the wraps off its next-generation Insignia flagship, giving us a damn good preview of the next Buick Regal.

Lower, longer and wider in the grand American tradition, the 2017 Opel Insignia Grand Sport should premier at the Geneva Motor Show in March, shortly before GM reveals its stateside twin — the 2018 Regal — in New York. That model, we’re told, should arrive with greater powertrain and body style choice than before.

Will the redesign breathe new life into Buick’s overlooked midsizer?

Read more
GM Adds Rear Seat Reminder to 20 Models, Targets Subpar Parents

General Motors’ Rear Seat Reminder technology, designed to alert drivers to check the back seat when exiting their vehicles, will be offered on a multitude of Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC vehicles by the 2018 model year.

Having made its debut in the 2017 GMC Acadia earlier this year, the technology aims to prevent heatstroke-related deaths and reduce the number of children left unattended in parking lots.

Read more
The Buick Cascada Isn't the Chrysler 200 Convertible Rental Queen You Thought It Would Be

Front-wheel-drive, soft top, four-cylinder engine, hefty curb weight— the ideal car for the Enterprise Rent-A-Car lot at Miami International Airport?

Not so.

On sale since January, the Buick Cascada has attracted 6,154 individual U.S. buyers over the last ten months.

According to Buick, General Motors has only seen three Cascadas make their way into fleet use, for a total of 6,157 Cascada sales through the end of October.

Read more
Which Automakers Gave New Car Buyers Sweet Satisfaction? Hint: Not FCA

J.D. Power & Associates has released its sales satisfaction index, and there’s a familiar tri-shield insignia gracing the top honors. There were also a slew of stinkers we are gradually growing accustomed to seeing on the bottom any list denoting some form of quality.

Read more
Ford Follows GM's Lead as It Uncovers the Secret To Success in China: Prestige, Baby!

Ford Motor Company is finally figuring out the secret to General Motors’ most recent overseas sales success. Chinese shoppers are willing to pay more for a new car than consumers in other countries, but only if it piles on the luxury and, most importantly, prestige.

However, there’s still a long way to go before the Lincoln brand catches up to a surging Cadillac. That automaker only wishes it could find such sales gains in the United States.

Read more
Buick's $37,000 GL8 Minivan is Hiding a 30-Year-Old Secret

It’s no secret General Motors’ Buick division does the majority of its business in China. The tri-shield brand offers up six separate nameplates in North America for 2017 while giving customers in China the choice of 10 (or 11, depending on how you count them) different nameplates.

One of the models Buick offers in China that it doesn’t offer here is this: the Buick GL8 — and it has a 30-year-old secret beneath its newly redesigned skin.

Read more
Bark's Bites: Lincoln and Cadillac Should Be Trims, Not Brands

As our own Matthew Guy has marvelously demonstrated recently, it’s widely known a new-car purchase’s best value can often be found in the base-level trim. Rarely is a vehicle improved in proportion to the cost of additional options. Nor is the money spent on additional options or higher trim levels recovered in resale as secondhand customers are reluctant to pay more money for bells and whistles because, quite often, they’re obsolete by the time the car sells the second time around.

If we take these truths to an obvious conclusion, it can be said that the higher the trim level, the worse the resale value — and in my years of experience working for Autotrader, I can tell you that’s true. Many of the low-end pricing tools used by dealers to determine used car values often don’t even take trim into account.

Is it any wonder then that General Motors’ and Ford’s top trim levels have wretched resale values?

No, I’m not talking about “LTZ” or “Titanium.” I’m talking about Cadillac and Lincoln.

Read more
GM Full-Size SUV Sales Are Riding Towards A Nine-Year High, Poor Buick

11.3 percent of the new vehicles sold by General Motors in the United States in September 2016 were full-size, body-on-frame, truck-based SUVs.

The Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV, Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, and GMC Yukon and Yukon XL combined for 28,172 total sales in September 2016, a 45-percent year-over-year increase worth nearly 9,000 more sales.

September marked the second consecutive month — and just the tenth month in the last five years — that GM produced more than one out of every ten of its U.S. sales with full-size SUVs. Not since November 2011 has GM produced such a hefty portion of its sales with large SUVs.

So why can’t Buick have one?

Read more
2018 Buick Regal to Get V6 Power, Wagon Variant, Q2 2017 Reveal: Source

Update: Added statement from Buick.

As Buick rolls out its Avenir sub-brand, slashes underperforming products, and bolsters its crossover and SUV portfolio, the Regal withers on the vine — but not for long.

Speaking with a well-placed source, TTAC gleaned details on the forthcoming Buick Regal, which will be revealed in the second quarter of 2017, possibly at the New York International Auto Show.

Read more
Buick Goes Upmarket With Avenir Sub-Brand, Toe-Stepping Be Damned

Buick’s stunning Avenir Concept from the 2015 North American International Auto Show will not reach production, but the concept’s Avenir nameplate will be used as a Buick sub-brand.

In the same vein as GMC’s upmarket Denali sub-brand, Avenir will become the high-end trim level “on three [Buick] models around the globe in the next 18 months,” Buick spokesperson Stuart Fowle told TTAC.

Befitting Buick’s Chinese focus, expect Avenir upgrades to first appear on the GL8 minivan, which isn’t sold in North America.

Read more
Chevrolet Volt Could Wear a 'Buick Velite' Nametag in China

American Chevrolet Volt fans have long discussed how the quasi-upscale extended-range EV might have fared with a Buick badge instead of being branded as a bread-and-butter Chevrolet.

It appears the Chinese have gone beyond the discussion phase.

According to Chinese website Autohome, Shanghai GM gets it, and has pulled the strings to rename the Chevy Volt the Velite for a brand that is more prestigious and sells in higher volume in China.

Read more
Junkyard Find: 1976 Buick Skyhawk

The 1975-1980 Buick Skyhawk was a sporty-looking two-door based on the Chevrolet Vega platform, and Skyhawks (and their Chevrolet Monza, Oldsmobile Starfire, and Pontiac Sunbird siblings) were once all over America’s roads. They weren’t build particularly well, and they hemorrhaged resale value in a hurry; by the end of the 1980s, nearly every single one of them was gone.

Here’s a very rough example I spotted in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service yard last month.

Read more
What's This China-only Buick Hatch Doing in Michigan?

Production of the Buick Verano is expected to end next month, but it seems we’ve already forgotten about the nameplate and the sort-of luxury compact car it was attached to.

The model lives on in China, but a hatchback bearing the Buick badge and a Verano GS nameplate has been seen driving near General Motors’ Milford, Michigan proving grounds, according to photos published by AutoGuide.

Read more
U.S. Buick Sales Rise To 95-Month High, GM Claims Best Retail Start Since 2005

A July 2016 surge to 22,960 sales produced the best month of U.S. sales for General Motors’ Buick brand in nearly three years.

“Year to date, Buick retail deliveries have grown 6 percent,” General Motors claimed in its monthly release, “and Buick has gained 0.1 percentage points of retail share.”

GM also said 2016, with 114,105 retail sales through July, represented the best seven-month retail start to a year since 2005 in the United States.

But don’t get too excited, LeSabre lovers, Skylark supporters, and rooters of Regals. We’re talking about 2005, when U.S. Buick sales had already fallen by more than a third in only three years.

Read more
2017 Buick LaCrosse First Drive Review - Portholes Over Potholes in Portland

I’m going to wager you’ve gorged yourself at a sprawling Chinese buffet at least once. Back in my college days, Emerald Palace was a favourite: big portions, ample choices, reasonable prices. Sometimes, the proprietors would limit choice, holding back the good stuff for busier, higher-profit nights. It was annoying because you knew — knew! — a few scrumptious menu items were locked away in the kitchen walk-in, just out of reach.

The previous-generation Buick LaCrosse debuted in the dark recesses of 2009, when the domestic auto industry — hemorrhaging red ink and tottering towards bankruptcy — cried and shovelled back tub loads of Ben & Jerry’s. Buick was on the minds of Chinese buyers for a few years by this time. This played a large part in the brand escaping the executioner’s axe seven years ago. The second-generation LaCrosse was Buick’s all-in gambit on The Red Dragon.

Domestically, Buick’s been making a splash lately, and some of that swagger is apparent in the team that worked on the LaCrosse. Not content to simply chase its existing customers, the tri-shield brand plans to make the LaCrosse one of its “conquest models,” drawing buyers’ attention out from behind the wheels of competing marques. To this extent, the LaCrosse is actually two very different cars, depending on how you tick the option boxes.

Read more
Buick's Avista Concept Seriously Pissed Off Some People at GM: Report

You remember the Avista — the sexy concept coupe unveiled by Buick at the North American International Auto Show in January (before being spirited away forever)?

Apparently, several people at General Motors weren’t happy that the concept’s shapely flanks and lithe profile saw the light of day, despite favorable reaction from the media. According to an uncorroborated source at GM Inside News, the Avista’s arrival was a blow to the team behind the Chevrolet Camaro.

Read more
Buick Tells TTAC To Pump The Brakes, It's All Good - We Never Said It Wasn't

Buick is all about China, where the brand claims more than 5 percent market share.

Buick’s achievements in the United States, once storied, are now not nearly so impressive. Buick’s market share in America today is half what it was in 2002, after volume declined in eight of 14 years, tumbling from more than 430,000 sales 14 years ago to 223,055 last year.

This is part of the Buick story we told you yesterday. In touting record global sales as one of the planet’s fastest-growing volume brands, Buick’s General Motors parent company also made clear that the brand is achieving rapidly increased rates of sales because of the Chinese market, even though U.S. sales are declining, albeit marginally.

Following our managing editor’s press of the publish button, we almost immediately heard from Buick.

Read more
Buick Don't Need You, Son

General Motors today fêted Buick as the planet’s fastest-growing volume automaker. Ignored in GM’s press release was the Buick brand’s declining volume in Buick’s home market.

As if we needed more evidence that North America is an increasingly unimportant component of Buick’s future plans — Buick is discontinuing the Verano, its most popular car model in the U.S. and the most popular Buick overall in Canada — GM revealed that Buick added more Chinese sales between January and June than the whole U.S. Buick division managed in toto.

Read more
How 'Made in America' is Your Vehicle, Really?

“Would it kill you to buy American?” mutters Walt Kowalski after watching his son drive off in a Toyota Land Cruiser at the beginning of the film Gran Torino.

The common refrain from past and present members of the U.S. auto industry has everything to do with the sector’s impact on the domestic economy. If you’re really concerned about your car’s “purity,” however, there’s an annual report that checks just how much domestic content went into every new vehicle sold on American soil.

This year, three controversial General Motors vehicles return to take the patriotic crown. But they’re still not fully American.

Read more
Class Action Lawsuit Targets Gas Mileage of Older GM Crossovers

It looks like a gas card mailout didn’t take all the heat off of General Motors.

After compensating owners of its full-size 2016 crossovers in the wake of the recent fuel economy controversy, a class action lawsuit filed in a California court is pointing the finger at older models and demanding the automaker pay up.

Read more
What Will GM Announce This Friday in Oshawa?

Yesterday, General Motors issued a release stating it will announce big news in Oshawa on Friday. According to The Star, that announcement will include 1,000 new jobs at GM’s engineering center, which now focuses on driverless and connected vehicles.

However, the announcement comes as uncertainty swirls around GM’s Oshawa Car Assembly Plant, a facility that many analysts believe is slated for closure.

Read more
Hold On - Envision Ads Are On the Way, Says Buick

Yesterday, we reported that the 2016 Buick Envision crossover, already on sale in the U.S. and Canada, arrived with no marketing to herald its appearance.

That may be true for the early sales period, but with more Envisions now arriving on lots, Buick says the automaker has a slow advertising ramp-up planned for the new model.

Read more
Buick Envision: A Ghost Unicorn Waiting for the Spotlight

Raise your hands if you’ve seen a Buick Envision, or even heard someone mention it?

The Chinese-built crossover is now on sale in the U.S., but you’d be forgiven for not knowing that. Due to a case of odd timing, the model will see a short (and expensive) 2016 model year before all trim lines go on sale this fall as a 2017 model.

With no advertising to be found, it seems General Motors figured “Nah, we’ll tell them about it later.”

Read more
Junkyard Find: 1985 Buick Riviera

In 1979, the Riviera moved onto the front-wheel-drive Toronado/Eldorado platform, continuing the tradition of rococo Riviera personal luxury coupes that started back in 1963. This version of the Riviera was built through the 1985 model year, so we’re looking at the very last year of the V8 Riviera in this weathered Denver car.

Read more
CONFIRMED(?): Next-Generation Buick Regal Wagon Coming to U.S.

After news broke last week about the death of the Buick Verano, it seems the General’s tri-shield brand is looking to bolster its next-generation D-segment offering by bringing a Regal Wagon to North America.

According to a poster on the GMInsideNews forum, Buick showed the next-generation Regal to dealers, which will include a wagon, during a dealer meeting in Austin, Texas.

Read more
RIP, Buick Verano (2012 – 2016)

It’s official. The little sedan that carried the entry-level luxury flag for Buick has fallen in battle.

Its assailant? The crossover, and changing consumer preferences.

General Motors sent a memo to Canadian dealers today stating the compact Verano sedan will cease production at the Orion Assembly plant in Michigan on Oct. 2016, according to a report in The Globe and Mail.

Read more
Riviera, Resurrected? GM Files Trademark Application for Famous Nameplate

The first name that comes to mind when anyone says “Buick two-door” could make a comeback.

General Motors wants to use the storied Riviera nameplate on a future vehicle, and it now has the trademark application to prove it, GM Authority reports.

Read more
GM Sending Debit Cards to Owners of Thirsty Crossovers

Owners of full-size 2016 General Motors crossovers will get a welcome present in the mail to make up for the automaker’s window sticker snafu.

About 135,000 retail customers will receive debit cards worth between $450 and $1,500, Automotive News reports, making GM square with owners of affected Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia models.

Read more
Thirsty Thursday: GM's Full-Size Crossover Fuel Economy Woes Spark Lawsuit

On the heels of a stop sale order and subsequent rush to reprint Monroney stickers with correct EPA fuel economy ratings, General Motors is working on a plan to compensate buyers of the 2016 Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave.

Seeking to smooth any ruffled feathers, GM expects to announce a plan to dealers and customers within the next seven days, according to Automotive News.

That assurance isn’t enough to placate some owners of the full-size crossover, as GM was slapped with a prospective class-action lawsuit on Tuesday.

Read more
GM's Flawed Fuel Economy Numbers Could Affect Millions of Vehicles

The strange case of General Motors’ incorrect fuel economy numbers is getting stranger, if it wasn’t odd enough already.

GM announced late last week that it would reprint EPA labels for its 2016 full-size crossovers after the wrong mileage made its way onto window stickers, but Consumer Reports now says there’s something fishy about that.

Read more
GM Issues a 'Stop Sale' After Incorrect Fuel Economy Labels Found on Full-Size Crossovers

General Motors is in damage control mode following the discovery of incorrect fuel economy ratings on the window stickers of its 2016 full-size crossovers.

A “stop sale” order was issued to GM dealers on Wednesday after EPA labels on GMC Acadia, Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave vehicles were shown to overstate mileage by one to two miles per gallon, Automotive News reports.

Read more
The Verano Is Dead, But Should Buick Sell Cars In America At All?

The Verano, Buick’s four-year-old entry-level sedan based on the previous-generation Chevrolet Cruze, will join the Century, LeSabre, Park Avenue, Reatta, Riviera, Roadmaster, Skylark, and numerous other cars in Buick’s mass grave at the end of the 2017 model year (hopefully far, far away from Harley Earl’s resting place).

Automotive News reported yesterday that its GM sources say the Verano, while living on in China, won’t be renewed on this side of the Pacific. Verano volume tumbled 30 percent between its U.S. sales peak in 2013, the Verano’s second full year, and 2015. Buick is now generating nearly six in ten U.S. sales with just two crossovers, while the brand’s four car nameplates combined for a 3-percent drop during the first four months of 2016. That’s before Buick adds the Envision to the middle of its crossover lineup and before Buick kills off the entry-level car that generates more than one-third of the brand’s passenger car volume.

So, if it’s not too impertinent to ask, not too morbid or irreverent to inquire, how long before Buick discontinues its whole North American car division in a quest to become America’s crossover-ized answer to Land Rover?

Read more
GM's Factory Shuffle Could Point to Big Electric Car Plans

Something electric could be brewing at General Motors, and we’re not talking about just the Chevrolet Bolt.

John Rosevear at the Motley Fool has an interesting take on what the future holds for Orion Assembly (the Michigan facility tapped to produce the Bolt this fall), and why GM seems to be keeping other models away from the plant.

Read more
Buick to Axe the Verano, Leave the Compact Sedan Market: Sources

Buick is poised to take the Verano behind the barn and vacate the compact car market in North America, according to sources familiar with the automaker’s plans.

The Verano’s dwindling sales share and the popularity of the automaker’s crossovers and SUVs is behind the decision to phase out the entry-level luxury compact, Automotive News reports.

Read more
Buick Reveals Envision Pricing; Stingy Buyers Will Want to Wait for 2017

Buick’s turbocharged, Chinese-made Envision crossover is landing on American shores in early summer, but the price could cause some buyers to rethink their purchase date.

Holding the title of being the first U.S. model manufactured in China, the Envision is already a two-year veteran of the overseas market. Americans are notoriously SUV-thirsty, so it was inevitable that the Envision would make its way here, loaded with a high level of standard equipment.

The starting MSRP for the 2016 Envision is $42,995 (all charges included), a figure that tops the range-leading Enclave, which starts at $39,065 (minus freight, destination and fees).

Read more
Green Giant: Buick LaCrosse Hybrid Has Smoggy China in Its Sights

The Beijing Motor Show begins next week, but Buick couldn’t wait a minute longer.

At yesterday’s 2016 Buick Day event in Shanghai (was there a parade?), the automaker rolled out its LaCrosse Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV), a model tailor-made for the Chinese market.

China loves Buicks, and Buick loves them right back, so much so that the U.S. will get a Chinese-made model this fall. The LaCrosse HEV is part of General Motors’ plan to foist as many vehicles on China as possible.

Read more
2016 Buick Cascada Review - Best-Before Date

After years of covering the automotive industry, I’m still amused by the enormous gulf between auto enthusiasts and “real people.” (I’m talking to you, B&B!) We get excited when Honda decides to offer a manual transmission in the V6 Accord, despite the tens of buyers who will come running for it, or General Motors’ confidence to sell the Chevrolet SS here at all. “Real people” like it when there’s a less expensive way to get into a BMW M product, as well as the ability to go into a showroom and walk out the same day with the same nameplate they know and trust.

A great example of this chasm/schism is the Buick Cascada. Here’s how we imagine the reaction of each affinity group:

Auto enthusiasts/press: “Buick’s decided to rebadge an aging Opel and try to pass it off in the United States as The New Thing in the segment abandoned by the Volkswagen Eos and Chrysler 200 convertible?”

Real people: “There’s a convertible Buick now?”

Read more
Junkyard Find: 1985 Buick Skylark Limited Sedan

Remember the misery of the Chevy Citation, which had such outstandingly bad build quality and horrifying public reliability problems that the damage to Chevrolet’s image took decades to repair? Only the staggeringly nasty Pontiac Phoenix (a Pontiac-badged Citation sibling) might have been worse; meanwhile, the Buick Division leaped on board the oil-leaking, prematurely corroding, Iron Duke-powered X-Body bandwagon, and fired a full spread of torpedoes into the once-beloved Skylark name.

Not many of these best-forgotten automobiles remain uncrushed, but I was able to spot this ’85 sedan in a Northern California wrecking yard last winter.

Read more
Ed Welburn To Retire as GM Design Head, Michael Simcoe Tapped to Replace Him

After realizing the American Dream as head of General Motors’ design division, Ed Welburn announced today that he’ll retire on July 1 after being with the automaker for 44 years.

Welburn, 65, headed GM Design since 2003 and Global Design since 2004, leading the teams who crafted the models that led the automaker out of bankruptcy — among them, the Buick LaCrosse and Enclave, Chevrolet Camaro and Equinox, and Cadillac CTS.

Read more
TTAC News Round-up: Volkswagen's Plans Paltry Payout, Sergio Talks up Players, and a NASCAR Driver's Busted
Volkswagen shareholders are wondering if they’ll be receiving a lump of coal in their dividend stocking this year.That, Sergio is seeking a partner (but not those French guys), NASCAR’s Derek White is in trouble north of the border, GM seals the deal with a startup, and no Baby Buick for you … after the break!
Read more
Junkyard Find: 1986 Buick Somerset Custom

Because General Motors felt that the world — or at least Michigan and maybe Wisconsin — needed a small, affordable personal luxury coupé with a digital instrument cluster, rackety pushrod four-cylinder engine, and a name that started life as the designation for an early-’80s Regal trim package, the 1985-87 Buick Somerset, sibling to the N-Body Pontiac Grand Am, was born. I have an unexplainable fascination with The General’s attempts to compete with high-end German sporty luxury in the 1980s and 1990s, so I was drawn to this California Somerset like a personal-injury attorney scenting an Accord driver with Takata airbag fragments embedded in his flesh.

Read more
This Is How GM Design Head Ed Welburn Envisions a Buick Pickup

Would Buick consider producing a pickup truck? Now that the brand’s lineup has been fleshed out to include sedans, SUVs, and a convertible, what’s stopping General Motors from adding a Buick-badged variant to either its midsize or large-truck portfolio?

According to Ed Welburn, who oversees global design for GM, there’s a simple answer.

“No, I don’t see it,” Welburn said, wincing. “Wow. I haven’t gotten that question from anyone.”

At that point we expected silence, as it’s not if anyone is clamoring for a Buick pickup truck, despite a market that’s moving toward softer pickups that err on the side of comfort and convenience — but Welburn went on.

Read more
TTAC News Round-up: Toyota's a Big Tease, New Lada Savior, and Buick Puts the Avista Away Forever

Toyota is hoping to break the internet with an alluring butt shot of an upcoming Prius variant.

That, a new guy will turn around Lada (again), Buick says you’ll never drive an Avista, the second GM ignition trial begins, and Google’s got its eye out for buses … after the break!

Read more
Automakers' China Push Comes With a Risk … of Offending

If you woke up not knowing the Chinese hate “new car” smell, consider yourself a well-informed person now.

Successfully selling a new vehicle in China means having to avoid the many cultural and legal traps specific to that growing market, reports Automotive News.

What works somewhere else might be a massive faux pas for Chinese buyers, meaning one wrong minor detail and an automaker can kiss its expensive international expansion goodbye. That’s a big concern for American automakers eyeing China in the hopes of boosting their global sales.

Read more
Super Bowl 50 Commercials: Morning After Edition

Some automakers decided that they would surprise viewers with their Super Bowl advertisements, rather than release them early and make my job easier.

Some other advertisers decreed that #SB50 would be the night of bowel issues, or of projectile obstetrics.

Let’s discuss the car ads I didn’t cover on Saturday … I’m sure there are other blogs for that other stuff. Eww.

Read more
Super Bowl 50 Commercial Round-up

Like those who only read certain magazines for the articles, the Super Bowl brings millions of people together in front of TV screens to, ostensibly, watch a football game. Many will watch the event strictly for the commercials, which have become a cultural phenomenon in their own right. Others will watch for the halftime show, hoping for glimpses of nipples and/or sharks.

Car manufacturers have taken advantage of the massive number of eyeballs focused on the screen, and target them with high-priced, cinematic advertising loaded with celebrities and inspirational messages.

Check them all out … after the jump!

Read more
General Motors' Latest on Oshawa Plant: \_()_/

General Motors CEO and Chairwoman Mary Barra met with Canadian government officials in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday, but didn’t reveal any specifics for the automaker’s languishing Oshawa, Ontario plant, according to CTV News.

Barra spoke with Navdeep Bains, Canada’s economic development minister, before she met with new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Bains promoted Oshawa as a place for GM to build cars and develop technology for future cars. The Oshawa plant currently produces several outgoing models including the Cadillac XTS, Buick Regal and several others with uncertain futures including the outgoing Chevrolet Equinox.

Chevrolet built the Camaro in Oshawa before shifting production to Michigan last year, which resulted in 1,000 job cuts.

Read more
Junkyard Find: 1981 Buick LeSabre Diesel

Ah, the disastrous GM diesel V-8 cars of the 1978-85 model years, equipped with failure-prone engines that scared generations of Americans away from diesel cars. Nowadays, of course, diesels work just fine (except when they don’t), but it’s good to see the occasional reminder of these miserable GM cars in the junkyard as part of our American automotive heritage. Only problem is, just about all of these cars were crushed or had gasoline-engine swaps decades ago (I recall helping my uncle drop a Chevy 307 into a very clean Olds 88, around 1988 or so).

Here’s an extremely rare example that I found in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service yard last week.

Read more
Buick Avista, Cadillac Sub-ATS and Opel GT - Let's All-pha Speculate

Last week, Opel teased its upcoming GT Concept by saying: “You will see Opel with a fresh pair of eyes.”

That’s just lovely.

But let’s take a step back, look at General Motors’ Alpha platform with a fresh pair of eyes and wonder aloud together: Is it all Alpha from here on out?

Read more
  • Chris P Bacon It would be really nice if car sites like TTAC helped people find way to avoid these prices. It seems like stories like these just say "suck it up and pay the markup". No. In many cases, you don't have to. I just ordered a Wrangler 4xe and got Chrysler Affiliates price. That 1% under invoice. I know this is the price I got because I sat at the computer in the dealer's showroom and build the Jeep. i got Chrysler Affiliate pricing through my employer. Your employer doesn't offer it? Join treadlightly.org. For $100 membership, guess what? You get Chrysler Affiliate pricing! Want a Ford, but think you can't get X-Plan? Think again! Join EAA.org. X-Plan is included with their membership. A dealer in my area is offering Costco members a $1500 incentive. I'm guessing that has something to do with Costco's car buying service, so there must be some value to be found in that program.Will all dealers honor these discount plans? No. Then that's not the dealer you want to work with anyway. Find another place to shop. It would be nice if TTAC (or any car site) did a little leg work to show readers how to actually save on a car purchase.
  • KOKing I car-sat an A32 while its owner was out of the country, and the then whiz-bang VQ motor was great, but the rest of it wasn't any better than a XV10 or XV20. Definitely the start of its downward slide, unfortunately.
  • Norman Stansfield Why are leaf springs still a thing on this truck?
  • Syke The expected opening comments. Have had mine for two years now, the car has done exactly what I want out of it, and a little better. I'm quite happy with the car, haven't had to adjust my driving style or needs in the slightest, and . . . . oh, did a mention that I don't give a damn what today's price at the pump is?Probably going to go for a second one in the coming year, the wife's happy enough with mine that she's ready and willing to trade in the Nissan Kicks. Eventually, the not often used van will end up getting traded on a Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, basically ensuring that we don't use gas for anything except the occasional long trip.And the motorcycles.
  • Bobbysirhan I've never found the Allegro appealing before, but a few years of EV rollouts make it seem downright desirable.