Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘buick reviews’

First Drive: 2013 Buick Enclave, Verano Turbo

Moving up-market, adding more power.

by on Oct.15, 2012

Buick gives the big Enclave a mid-cycle refresh to the 2013 model-year.

The Buick Enclave has become the industry’s best-selling three-row luxury crossover, which is quite an accomplishment in a segment that includes respected competitors such as the Infiniti JX, Acura MDX, Lincoln MKT, Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90.

The challenge will be to keep it on top, especially as the Buick CUV is one of the segment’s oldest models.  But for 2013 the Enclave gets a complete facelift, inside and out, that the General Motors division hope will keep the crossover’s momentum going.

Your News Source!

The new model-year will also see Buick take a key step to increase the appeal of its compact Verano.

The 2013 Buick Enclave’s update is designed to move the model a little more up-market, a key step considering the brand is being more squarely targeted against Toyota’s Lexus line.


Buick Adding Turbo Performance to Verano

Boosting Buick’s sporty shift.

by on Jun.14, 2012

Buick bumps up the power of its new Verano with an even newer turbo model.

Those who have traditionally used derogatives like “soft,” and “flabby” to describe Buick products might be in for a surprise if they check out some of the General Motors brand’s latest offerings.

And Buick hopes to continue shifting gears with the launch of a performance-oriented version of its new Verano model later this year.  It will get a new 250-horsepower inline-four pumping out 260 pound-feet of torque by just 2,000 RPMs. The turbocharged package will let the front-drive Buick Verano charge from 0 to 60 in just 6.5 seconds, on a par with European competitors like the Audi A3 or BMW 1-Series.

News You Can Use!

“The way it sounds, the power delivery and the refined character are all fitting of a luxury sedan with a fun side,” said Amy Joss, who oversaw development of the 2.0-liter Ecotec turbo.

The new model will make only minimal sacrifice on the mileage front, meanwhile, Buick promising that the turbocharged version of the small Verano will still deliver at least 30 mpg on the highway once official figures are released by the EPA.


First Look: 2013 Buick Enclave

Leading the Buick renaissance, part II.

by on Apr.03, 2012

Buick makes major design changes, inside and out,with the 2013 Enclave.

There aren’t many cars that can take credit for saving an entire brand.  But the Enclave crossover-utility vehicle is arguably one of the main reasons why there’s still a Buick.

“It was essential” when originally introduced five years ago, suggests marketing chief Tony DiSalle. “The Enclave led the renaissance of Buick.”

And a significantly updated version of the now aging Buick Enclave will be rolling into the New York Auto Show this week as the General Motors “mid-luxury” division continues rebuilding the brand.

Score Big!

When Enclave debuted in 2007 it was yet another crossover designed to look more like a conventional sport-utility vehicle, recalls Dave Lyon, Buick’s design chief.  “Everybody was trying make crossovers look as truck-like as possible.”  But this time, he says, “We’ve gone the other direction.”

The basic powertrain carries over for 2013.

While the 2013 model still delivers the same three-row layout – and seating for either seven or eight – Lyon’s design team has opted for a more sports sedan-like design.  It looked better planted, without the traditional high-off-the-ground stance of an SUV.  The updated Buick grille is timely and elegant, with offset chrome and satin splines.  The headlamps feature LED brows that are echoed in the taillamps.

“We wanted a design that is more assertive and aggressive,” said Lyon, noting the 20-inch relatively low-profile tires.

The 2013 Buick Enclave’s interior has also been upgraded, reflecting the general trend upmarket by the brand’s more recent entries, such as LaCrosse, Regal and Verano. There’s a soft blue ambient light that sweeps from the doors through the center of the instrument panel.  A heavily grained leather panel rides atop the IP, framing the all-new center console and contrasting the softer leather used throughout the rest of the big crossover.

The 2013 Buick Enclave's redesigned interior.

The center stack is anchored by an updated LED screen that features Buick’s all-new touch and voice-controlled infotainment system – which can remotely operate a number of smartphone apps, including Pandora and Stitcher.

One of the three top-sellers in the big crossover segments, the Enclave has shown surprising pulling power.  When it was first introduced, Buick was an also-ran that, after years of steady decline seemed destined for the automotive scrap heap.  The brand was unexpectedly retained following GM’s 2009 bankruptcy – even while the maker abandoned Saab, Hummer, Saturn and Pontiac.  The strength of the Buick brand in China was one reason but, DiSalle says, Enclave was another plus.

Particular surprising, despite a steady onslaught of competitive models, Enclave sales actually rose last year, even as Buick prepared for the newly revealed remake.

The revised grille of the '13 Enclave.

The new model retains its underlying platform – as well as a direct-injection 3.6-liter V-6 paired with a revised 6-speed automatic.  The 2013 Buick Enclave will continue to be offered in both front and all-wheel-drive configurations, with the FWD model delivering an EPA-estimated 24 mpg on the highway.

DiSalle is betting that this number should appeal to those who still want the roominess of a three-row ute but want good mileage.

Another pitch to family buyers is the world’s first front-center airbag system, which will be shared with several other GM crossovers, including the big Chevrolet Traverse.  The technology is designed to minimize injuries in the event of a size-impact collision when passengers might otherwise bang into one another.


First Drive: 2012 Buick LaCrosse eAssist

Getting a (battery) boost.

by on Jul.01, 2011

Buick makes the eAssist system standard on the 2012 LaCrosse sedan.

We’ve come to think of hybrids as an expensive option – requiring a buyer to pay an often stiff premium in exchange for higher mileage.  But Buick has something different in mind.

Starting in August, the General Motors division will offer its LaCrosse sedan in two new ways, with an improved 3.6-lirer V-6 engine that adds 26 more horsepower, or with a 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine with its new eAssist mild hybrid system, which will be standard equipment, not an option.

Buick says the combination of the gasoline engine and the power booster will improve fuel mileage to an EPA 25 city, 36 highway, best in class, without the cost, weight and complexity of a full hybrid system.

Subscribe for Free!

The eAssist system is a combination of a 32-cell lithium-ion battery pack, a motor/generator unit, the control electronics, and a clever belt-drive system that adds torque directly to the engine’s crankshaft.  It’s an on-demand system designed to be used for startup acceleration, long uphill grades, and freeway on-ramps, adding about 15 horsepower to the engine’s 182 horsepower and 172 foot-pounds of torque.


Buick Launches IntelliLink Smartphone System

by on Apr.19, 2011

Buick launches the new IntelliLink smartphone system.

Buick is the latest automaker to make the smartphone an essential part of the driving experience.

The maker will introduce its new IntelliLink system with the launch of the compact Verano luxury car, early next year, Buick officials announced during a luncheon prior to the New York Auto Show.

The goal, says Buick sales boss Tony DiSalle, is to “offer consumers the ability to bring their smartphone into the car and have added levels of functionality almost seamlessly.”

Subscribe Now - It's Free!

The new technology will take commonplace Bluetooth hands-free calling systems to a new level, the maker explained, allowing a motorist to listen to customized music channels through the Pandora radio app, for example, or tune into a wide range of audio news services through Stitcher.


Buick Regal to Get New eAssist Drivetrain

At 37 mpg, a 25% mileage bump.

by on Feb.08, 2011

The eAssist system bumps Regal mileage to 37 mpg on the highway, 26 around town.

The new Buick Regal, currently an also-ran in the midsize mileage race, is about to get back in the game.

The maker will give Regal the same eAssist hybrid driveline used by the bigger Buick LaCrosse, it will formally announce at the Chicago Auto Show, this week.  That technology will bump fuel economy upwards by an estimated 25%.

While the Regal will still lag behind Ford’s 40+ mpg Fusion Hybrid, the Buick offering will still get a respectable 37 mpg on the City, according to preliminary estimates, and 26 mpg in city driving.

Keep On Top!

And that’s a big improvement from the conventionally-powered sedans current 19 City/30 Highway rating.

The eAssist driveline is what generally is known as a “mild hybrid,” or “mybrid,” though General Motors prefers the term, “light electrification.”


First Look: Production 2012 Buick Regal GS

New sport sedan designed to build brand momentum - while shifting direction.

by on Nov.04, 2010

Buick will lift the covers, tonight, on the 2012 Buick Regal GS.

Normally found behind their desks at GM headquarters at ungodly early hours, the folks from Buick will be hitting the party scene, this evening, down in Miami.  It’s not for the mojitos.  Buick will be unveiling the latest in its fast-growing line-up, using the hot South Florida club scene to debut the production version of the 2012 Regal GS.

The Grand Sport is designed to bring a more spirited driving experience into what, hard as it might be to believe, is now the fastest-growing automotive brand in the U.S. (and in China. Click Here for more), having posted a sales gain of nearly 40% last month.

Free Subscription! Click Here!

With an exclusive new high-output version of the GM 2.0-liter turbo Ecotec engine, the 2012 Buick Regal GS will make 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, and turn 0 to 60 times, GM estimates, in under seven seconds.


Buick Getting Verano Compact

More product for a brand on the mend.

by on Oct.08, 2010

Buick is offering only this teaser image - for now - of its new small car, the Verano.

General Motors plans to spend $145 million to re-tool an assembly plant outside Detroit to build a new compact car, dubbed the Verano, that will help nudge forward the apparent revival of its long moribund Buick brand,

The $145 million dollars spent on re-tooling the Orion plant is part of a $500 million investment to produce a compact Buick that could be sold in both the U.S. and China. The Chinese version of the compact
Buick – which is based on the same architecture as the Chevrolet Cruze — will be built in China, GM President Mark Reuss said.

“Verano will bring premium styling, performance and content to Buick buyers wanting a smaller car than Regal” said Reuss.

Subscribe Now!

“The investment in Orion Assembly also extends GM’s local small car footprint, again increasing the number of U.S.-made small vehicles available in showrooms,” Reuss added.  The Orion plant is also being prepared to build the new Chevrolet Aveo, starting in August 2011.