Posts Tagged ‘buick’

First Drive: 2018 Buick Regal GS Review | The American Sportback Sedan

2018 buick regal gs review amee reehal

by TractionLife.com

The 2018 Regal GS makes a strong case for buying a sedan

TOFINO, BRITISH COLUMBIA – For the past 45 years, the Buick Regal has been a go-to sedan for shoppers looking for a more premium 4-door hauler without going all-out luxury. Then, Buick’s mid-size sedan disappeared in North America mid 2000s, reemerged six years later, and now for 2018, the Regal is all-new entering its 6th-generation.

Sure, sedans aren’t the hot topic these days with crossovers taking over. And automakers like Buick know this. And while the segment isn’t exactly growing it is going steady. Best part: today’s sedans are getting better — more refined inside and out, offering more cargo than ever, and taking on more coupe-like features that were probably missing in the past.

So, if you’re willing to abandon the CUV bandwagon, now’s a good time to consider the old 4-door car. And the 2018 Regal in particular makes a strong case for the underrated segment – sharp styling, comfortable yet capable on-road handling, that upscale feel, and about as much rear cargo space as a Mazda CX-5 crossover (reviewed here) with the Regal’s sportback styling offering a rear hatch style door opposed to the conventional trunk lid.

But it’s the performance-focused, 310-hp Regal GS you see here that really shines.

2018 buick regal gs review amee reehal
What really sets the new Regal apart is the clean, streamlined styling. The GS gets unique sport front and rear fascias, side skirts and rear spoiler. And it all works – the front grill (with optional full LED headlamps) isn’t brash and gaudy; neither is the rear end with those stylish lamps, long lines, and subtle decklid spoiler. Pic: Amee Reehal

2018 Regal Trims and Pricing

Both in the US and Canada, the new Regal comes in either the 2.0L turbo Sportback or 3.6L engine GS; both in AWD. However, if you’re a wagon fan, only the US offers the first-ever Regal TourX.

MSRP pricing below (less fees/delivery charge):

2018 Regal US Price

  • Regal Sportback – US$24,990
  • Regal GS – US$39,070
  • Regal TourX – US$29,070

2018 Regal Canada Price

  • Regal Sportback – C$31,945
  • Regal GS – C$43,945

Buick Regal Competitors

Main competitors would include the Acura TLX A-spec (we reviewed it here), the new Kia Stinger, and the Audi A5 sedan.

2018 buick regal gs review amee reehal
Pic: Amee Reehal

New 2018 Regal GS on the Road

We took both the 2.0L turbo-powered Regal Sportback and the 3.6L V6 powered Regal GS on the road, but it’s the latter we’re focused on here.

Our 3 hour trek from Nanaimo to Tofino in beautiful British Columbia was a breathtaking route with a portion through the Pacific Rim National Park and its massive, cedar trees in this ancient forest. And the closer we got to the coast of Tofino, the more twisty and exhilarating was the drive.

If Buick hopes to reach the younger, active buyer, they’ve styled the new Regal GS just right mixing premium and sport without going overboard.

Buick isn’t targeting grandpa with their all-new Regal, but rather a younger market that’s focused on active lifestyles. So this setting known for its outdoor activities  – including Tofino as the country’s surfing capital – makes sense for this upscale car (and if grandpa enjoys a little surf, the Regal is for him, too).

Power and Handling

The sportier Regal’s 3.6L provided ample power when needed, like passing slow pokes on the longer stretches. Power was smooth and consistent as you’d expect from Buick, but some may expect a little more robustness and quicker throttle response. But this isn’t a track-star sedan; rather a premium offering with power to match.

The car handled like a charm through the winding roads; the chassis felt good and the 9-speed automatic transmission provided good shift points throughout. We drove hard in the corners, up and down the curvy roads and around the bends; we never felt uncomfortable as the Regal felt planted with 282 lb-ft of torque kicking in as needed.

2018 buick regal gs review amee reehal
Pic: Amee Reehal

But having an all-wheel drive setup with an active twin-clutch helps – a standard in the Regal GS. To help keep the car planted, power is sent to the wheel that needs it most, in turn, much more responsive cornering and better acceleration. Add 500 adjustments per second for the car’s 2nd-generation Continuous Damping Control (CDC) when the ‘GS’ and ‘Sport’ modes are employed with the touch of a button.

The performance brakes with Brembo calipers paired to 19-inch wheels, and the sport-tuned exhaust system are standards with the GS.

2018 Buick Regal GS Interior

Overall, the interior is well-designed with a clean, upscale feel. There are the plastic bits here and there but that’s expected unless you’re willing to step up to say a Cadillac. Also, not a fan of the fake carbon fibre door panel details and the fake vent design in the GS seats.

Aside from that, compared to the Sportback trim, the GS is completely different on the inside, keeping the premium while adding a dose of sport and performance including the sport flat-bottom steering wheel and metal pedals; an HUD is optional.

2018 buick regal gs review
Compared to the Sportback trim, the GS is completely different on the inside, keeping the premium while adding a dose of sport and performance including the sport flat-bottom steering wheel and metal pedals; an HUD is optional. Pic: Amee Reehal

And when your performance seats are AGR-certified (a GM first in North America) that’s always a good thing. I’m not sure what AGR-certified really means except that these are super comfortable, are heated/cooled and offer massaging with adjustable seat and seat-back bolsters as well as thigh support. Works for us.

GM was one of the first to introduce Apple CarPlay and Android Auto into their products, and the Regal carries this through, along with an 8-inch touchscreen and 8-inch reconfigurable instrument cluster as standard equipment.

Sportback Opening: More Cargo Space

The new Regal’s sportback opening helps bridge the cargo gap between sedans and crossovers. Typically, mid-size sedans do offer decent rear cargo, but this new hatchback-style door lid creates even more space to load cargo in various shapes and sizes. We threw in a couple folding bikes without a problem; and a full size bicycle fits inside without issues with the rear seats folded down.

2018 buick regal gs review amee reehal
Pic: Amee Reehal

Buick Regal GS Exterior Styling

For me, what really sets the new Regal apart is the clean, streamlined styling. The GS gets unique sport front and rear fascias, side skirts and rear spoiler. And it all works – the front grill (with optional full LED headlamps) isn’t brash and gaudy; neither is the rear end with those stylish lamps, long lines, and subtle decklid spoiler. Overall, it all works with a stylish yet bold look without overdoing it like plastering ‘GS’ logos everywhere.

If Buick hopes to reach the younger, active buyer, they’ve styled the new Regal GS just right mixing premium and sport without going overboard.

For more info, pricing, specs, visit:

Buick Regal GS USA

Buick Regal Canada

2018 Buick Regal GS Gallery:

This post First Drive: 2018 Buick Regal GS Review | The American Sportback Sedan appeared first on TractionLife.com by Amee Reehal.


First Drive: 2017 Buick Envision Review – All-new American Luxury SUV

Buick’s all-new luxury SUV hits North America with ambitious plans to fulfill our insatiable craving for the sport utility

Pros:

  • Comfortable and ultra-quiet drive
  • Affordable luxury
  • Cabin fit-and-finish: quality materials throughout
  • Sleek and sexy exterior styling
  • Standard rear heated seats

Cons:

  • Sunroof isn’t standard
  • China-built a sour point for some
  • Re-branding the storied Buick brand as contemporary and hip with new consumers in N.America a challenge

All-new Buick Envision: New platform, new competitors

No question, the sport utility segment isn’t seeing any slowdown. Consumers can’t get enough and automakers are happy to oblige, with increasingly more luxury brands stepping into the mix. The midsize SUV, particularly in Canada, is the most popular segment. And while Buick has been offering their stylish compact Encore and full-size Enclave for years, consumers never had a midway choice until now with the all-new 2017 Envision. (Well, there was the Buick Rendezvous SUV sold between 2002-2007, but let’s erase that one from our memory).

ALSO SEE: Buick’s luxury SUV adds style with the 2017 Enclave Sport Touring Edition

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Built entirely on its own platform, and first sold in China last year as a 2016 model, the Envision now makes its way to North America with its sights set on competing directly with the popular Audi Q5. That’s a pretty ambitious benchmark playing with the Germans but it shows Buick is hitting the market guns blazing, backed with confidence in their product and a strong drive to succeed — both in terms of sales, of course, and to position themselves as a true luxury moniker here in North America, to the same level it once enjoyed many moons ago. 

A global vehicle: Designed in Michigan. Built in China

The 2017 Buick Envision happens to be General Motor’s first product built entirely overseas, in China. This is, and will likely be, a sore point with many (i.e. Unions, bigots, generally closed-minded people). But the reality is, we live in global product environment where borders are diminishing and at the end of the day, the consumer is coming out ahead which more choices and better price-points, provided there’s no compromise in quality which there doesn’t seem to be with the Envision — Buick simply can’t take that risk.

For what it’s worth, American luxury brands like Buick and sibling Cadillac carry a completely different cachet in Asian markets like China, where owning an Envision or Escalade symbolize a much higher degree of prestige as it does back home in North America. And it can be argued the success overseas helps facilitate the market here. Whereas we might think the good old Buick or Caddy is fit for Grandpa, they certainly don’t see it like that outside our borders. Something to think about.

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Driving Impressions

The one attribute you’ll almost always get with the larger luxury sport utilities is a quiet ride. Buick dubs this QuietTuning, to include advanced soundproofing and blocking materials in their products. Every Envision comes with standard all-wheel drive with the active twin clutch, which on the road, provides more confidence and a better connection to the vehicle. In the corners, the Envision handled well, and this twin clutch setup provides better performance during acceleration and cornering.

Engine Offerings

Two engine types are available, including the EcoTec 2.5L inline-4, and the more robust 2.0L Turbo producing 252-hp and 260 lb.ft of torque — that’s 12-hp more than the Lincoln MKC, and over 30-hp more than the Audi Q5, for those tracking numbers.

The Cabin

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Inside, the Envision’s midsize cabin environment feels spacious, offering more cargo space than the Acura RDX and Lincoln MKC. The huge panoramic sunroof is nice and opens up the space, but comes optional. Throughout, it’s clear Buick is stepping up their luxury game with higher quality materials and a fit-and-finish that justifies its sophisticated appeal for families seeking a medium-sized sport utility. The Buick Envision is comfortable and quiet as mentioned, while integrating lighter seat materials and employing advanced sound-proofing and blocking materials throughout the cabin.

…the Envision now makes its way to North America with its sights set on competing directly with the popular Audi Q5. That’s a pretty ambitious benchmark playing with the Germans but it shows Buick is hitting the market guns blazing, backed with confidence in their product and a strong drive to succeed

In the cockpit, everything is within reach, logically laid out, with a good dose of hard switches and buttons. Personally, not a fan of the seat temperature control sensor requiring the finger-tapping for increase/decrease; much rather prefer a button or dial but this setup does add to a cleaner, streamlined look. And, frankly, the majority of the centre console sees buttons anyways, which I believe will appeal to the larger crowd, including perhaps the more old-school buyers (i.e. your parents, or mom who can’t work an iPhone).

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The 8-inch colour touchscreen with Buick IntelliLink comes standard, as well as both standard heated front and rear heated seats plus heated leather-wrapped steering on the Essence and Premium trims. In the rear, kneeling cushions in the second-row seat enables a flatter load when the seat is folded. And of course, connectivity is a big deal now, rightfully so: the 2017 Envision finds the Teen Driver setup (a separate fob for your kids that unleashes a report card of stats showing parents exactly how their kids have been driving, from exceeding speed limit warnings to others), as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability.

Takeaway

The 2017 Buick Envision offers families looking to get into a luxury midsize SUV one more option, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. The competition is stiff in the segment, but the Envision is real contender: it brings to the table proven luxury, progressive yet sleek styling, a comfortable and quiet ride, and all the connectivity you’d expect in today’s vehicles. But seeing as most luxury brands offers all of this today, it probably comes down to taste and personal preference. In the end, I think the Buick Envision is a differentiated type of luxury — a brand unlike what’s already out there. Most people may not think of Buick when shopping around, but I think they should. Perhaps Buick isn’t on the radar for the majority shopping around, but it should be, and the Envision is definitely worth looking into.

Learn more – 2017 Buick Envision

Join the conversation – Buick Envision Board

2017 Buick Envision Gallery:

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This post First Drive: 2017 Buick Envision Review – All-new American Luxury SUV appeared first on TractionLife.com by Amee Reehal.


Buick Regal Wagon for 2018

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With the SUV market in North America being in hot demand, this would inevitably curb the rise of the wagon market. Maybe it’s the size, or the carrying capacity for the families, or the offroad capabilities of SUVs and the vast amount of back country trails in North America to enjoy, but the SUV market is big, and it feeds the appetite of a large number of consumers.

So when news came from GM correspondents at the annual Buick GMC dealer meeting last week that a wagon will join the Regal lineup in 2018, that was refreshing news. Our European counterparts have some of the best wagons on the market from manufacturers like Audi and Mercedes. Over here, we get the more economical versions of wagons. The Buick wagon is expected in North America as a rebadged Opel Insignia Sports Tourer. No powertrain info was offered, but don’t expect it to stray too far from the regular Regal.


Buick’s 2017 Enclave Sport Touring, Encore Facelift

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Buick took to the New York Auto Show to show off their all new Enclave Sport Touring. Following with he tradition of their Sport Touring models, the 2017 Enclave will receive primarily cosmetic improvements.

The Enclave Sport Touring will have a Satin Black Ice grille and 20-inch wheels, also finished in Satin Black Ice. The Enclave will be powered by a 3.6L V6 which pumps out 288hp. Power is sent through a six speed transmission and customers have a choice between a front wheel drive or all wheel drive model.

Also on the show floor is the facelifted 2017 Encore, featuring updated bumper, hood, fenders and headlights. Inside, an updated 8 inch touchscreen infotainment system hosts Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, giving drivers seamless integration to their smartphone.

The 2017 Enclave Sport Touring will likely live on one more year in its current form. Plans are already in the works for a completely refreshed and redesigned Enclave for the 2018 season.

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Buick Avista Convertible Concept

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Buick unveiled their Avista coupe concept car recently at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show but no additional news has been shared by the company about its production.

The concept coupe is rumored to potentially utilize a 3.0L V6 with twin turbos capable of pushing out 400hp to the rear wheels. The concept coupe could be the first rear wheel drive vehicle produced by Buick since the mid-90’s. Along with images of the coupe flooding the digital world, renderings of a convertible concept are starting to make headlines (photo credit: theophiluschin.com).

If either the coupe or convertible goes into production, these vehicles will be taking Buick to a whole new level of design.


Buick Envisions Bigger Crossover Marketshare

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Buick has brought over its made in China Envision to steal some of the crossover market from the Audi Q5, Acura RDX and Lincoln MKC. In terms of Buick’s lineup, it will slot in between the Enclave and Encore.

The Envision will be powered by a 252 horsepower 2.0L turbo engine featuring start-stop technology and will be paired with Buick’s first twin clutch all-wheel-drive system. The interior comes standard with 8-way power adjustable front seats with adjustable lumbar. Taller passengers will be happy to hear they also include adjustable thigh support. Heated front seats, rear seats, and steering wheel are also standard. If you live in a warm climate, cooled front seats are an option.

While Buick may be targeting the aforementioned vehicles, I think it will really being on the radar for those shopping the MKC and less so for those in the market for a Q5. The crossover market is really crowded so we’ll see how well the Envision will do, but there really is no better time for Buick to try to gain some crossover market share. American’s love to buy Chinese made products that sound like they are made in the USA so on that account, they should snap up the Envision like hot cakes.

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New York: 2014 Buick LaCrosse


Buick announced the updated 2014 LaCross full sized sedan at the New York Auto Show, an evolution of Buick’s full sized luxury sedan. The refreshed model features new interior and exterior design cues, LED DRLs and tail lamps, and an all Ultra Luxury Interior Package. To catch up to its competitors in convienence and safety features, the 2014 model also adds new radar and camera based features such as blind spot alerts, lane change alerts, forward collision alerts, rear cross traffic alerts, and automatic collision preparation.

More photos of the LaCrosse after the jump.


Hopped-up Buick Regal gets green light

We all said it was a no-brainer, and obviously General Motors and particularly the product planners behind its Buick brand agreed. Not only would a hopped-up Regal be a great sport sedan that should find its share of enthusiast drivers, but it also could serve to further gloss up the division’s staid and conservative image and thus attract the younger crowd that will allow the brand to thrive well into the future.