For Sale By:Private Seller
Interior Color: Black
Number of Cylinders: 8
Drive Type: Automatic
Exterior Color: Blue
Watsonville, California, United States
The Future Buick Verano Convertible?
I wasn't wearing a pedometer while in Germany covering the Frankfurt Motor Show this year, but it's safe to say I walked more than a few miles between press conferences, shooting cars and trekking back to the media center on the first day alone. For this reason, it didn't take much convincing from General Motors for me to duck out of the Messe a day early and drive some of its latest Opel models. No, this didn't include the all-new Country Tourer, but I was able to drive the Opel Mokka (our Buick Encore), the Opel Adam and the Opel Cascada.
I focused most of my driving time behind the wheel of the Cascada, which went on sale in Europe earlier this year, since rumors are swirling that a Buick version of this convertible "could happen soon." Buick hasn't had a convertible since the Reatta, and GM has been lacking a non-performance, budget-minded convertible since the Pontiac brand - and its G6 - was dropped, so adding the Cascada to Buick showrooms could further help the reemerging brand compete in the near-luxury segment. Although the weather was too chilly (and occasionally rainy) to enjoy the Cascada with its top down for very long, I was able to clock a fair bit of drive time behind the wheel on roads ranging from the autobahn to tight roads in small, quaint villages.
If there are any lingering doubts why General Motors held onto Buick while killing Pontiac, Hummer and Saturn, one only has to look at the sales numbers from 2013 for the real answer. Thanks largely to strong sales in China, Buick set a global sales record last year by selling more than one million vehicles.
The lion's share of Buick sales came from China, which sold more than 809,000 units - about four times more Buicks than were sold in North America as a whole. In the US, the Buick Encore accounted for almost half of all US sales with 97,311 units as Buick spent the summer trying to keep up with demand of the subcompact crossover. Likewise, China-only models like the GL8 minivan and Excelle sedan (same as the US-spec Verano) were strong sellers in that market.
For good measure, Buick more than doubled its sales in Mexico with 2,319 units. Scroll down for the full press release.
Buick has announced pricing for the refreshed 2014 Regal. The base model offers a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, 259-horsepower, four-cylinder engine for $30,615 (*after $925 delivery and destination fee). The standard turbo can be replaced by Buick's eAssist mild hybrid system for $32,485. The electrified powertrain delivers 36 miles per gallon, in place of the turbo's 30 mpg on the highway.
The big powertrain news for 2014 is the inclusion of an all-wheel-drive system for an extra $2,175. Marking one of the few uses of all-wheel drive on a Buick car, the new Regal AWD has an electronic, limited-slip differential and a HiPer Strut front suspension, which is the same front arrangement used on the hot, front-drive Regal GS.
Speaking of the Regal GS, it's not so hot for 2014. It sports the same 259-horsepower engine as the standard Regal, but offsets that with a wealth of standard, optional or flat-out exclusive equipment like active dampers, Brembo brakes and a Bose stereo. Prices (all including the $925 fee) start at $37,830. Like the standard car, the GS will be available with all-wheel drive for the first time, bringing it a bit more in line with its cousins across the pond - Opel Insignia OPC and Vauxhall Insignia VXR. Prices for the GS AWD start at $40,195.