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Interior Color: Black
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Looking to set itself apart in the mid-luxury segment, Buick is looking to introduce a diesel engine somewhere in its US lineup. And according to Edmunds, the two best chances of a diesel Buick rest with the Encore and Verano.
In both our First Drive and Review of the 2013 Encore, our chief complaint about the compact crossover was the the lack of power from the 138-horsepower turbo engine. Edmunds says that the recently introduced 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine (with both gas and diesel variants) from the Encore's overseas cousin, the Opel Mokka, could make its way into the Encore delivering the much-needed boost in power.
Then there's the Verano. As a close relative to the Chevy Cruze, which just added a diesel engine for 2014, the article speculates that a Verano Diesel might actually be the more "probably candidate" if and when Buick decides to add a diesel model to its portfolio. Either way, offering such an engine in one of its products could be a great way for Buick to differentiate itself from Cadillac and possibly even attract buyers from Volkswagen, Audi and Mercedes-Benz looking for a luxurious, fuel-efficient vehicle.
A day after Ford announced it was scaling back the complimentary maintenance program for its Lincoln brand, General Motors has gone in the completely opposite direction, offering most of its 2014 lineup with free maintenance. Since 2011, Cadillac models have all come with a four-year/50,000-mile complimentary maintenance program, but Chevrolet, Buick and GMC vehicles will now come standard with free maintenance for two years or 24,000 miles for the 2014 model year.
The program will give vehicle owners and lessees free oil changes, tire rotations and 27-point inspections following the recommended maintenance schedule laid out in each vehicle's owner's manual. We contacted GM to see which vehicles were eligible for the program, and a spokesperson got back to us with the following comment:
"All 2014 models are eligible, it's just that the included services vary by model, e.g., Spark EV would not need oil changes, Corvettes don't recommend tire rotations."
It's difficult to overstate how significant the post-bankruptcy years have been for General Motors' Buick brand. Arguably the most improved American automaker, Buick has rounded out its range with an excellent compact in the Verano, a well-balanced midsizer in the Regal and a segment-busting mini-CUV, with the Encore.
Seeking to keep that momentum going, the next several years will see the brand address a trio of its most obvious issues. First and foremost will be a replacement for the aging LaCrosse, a vehicle whose only bit of attention since its 2009 debut was a very light refresh in 2013.
According to Automotive News, we should expect the next-generation LaCrosse to arrive late next year or early in 2016, as a 2016 model. AN expects big design changes, as Buick attempts to further the LaCrosse from its popular platform-mate, the Chevrolet Impala. The changes won't be so radical, though, as to do away with its front-drive architecture, as the latest version of the Epsilon platform will underpin the next LaCrosse. The 3.6-liter V6 is likely to carry on, although a smaller, budget-minded offering is also extremely likely (we'll eat our hat if it's not the 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder from the Regal, Verano and Cadillac CTS et al.).