Tron D. Foster
Phone: (337) 692-9608
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Tron D. Foster
Phone: (337) 692-9608
Following an earlier concept and successive teasers, Buick revealed the new Envision crossover a little over a month ago. The thing is, it was launched in China, for China. The question, then, is whether it will make the jump to the North American market. And the answer is: quite possibly.
According to division sales chief Duncan Aldred in speaking to Edmunds, Buick is looking into the prospect of bringing the Envision to the US: "We can't confirm anything, but clearly it is a very nicely designed and executed product that is very much a Buick," said Aldred.
If and when the compact crossover would appear in US showrooms, it would slot in between the smaller Encore and the larger Enclave. It would likely be offered in front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and mild hybrid configurations. Sources expect it to arrive in the third quarter of 2015 as a competitor to the likes of the Mercedes GLA, Lexus NX and Lincoln MKC.
Buick might have one of the smallest lineups among major automakers, but by the time the 2014 model rolls around, it will definitely have one of the freshest. Debuting at the New York Auto Show this week, the 2014 Buick LaCrosse receives numerous styling changes inside and out, and it benefits from many of the same new features found on closely related models like the Cadillac XTS and the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.
Exterior changes are relatively minor, but they still help give the car a fresh, new look. The new face of the 2014 LaCrosse fits in with recently new or redesigned Buick models with its oversized waterfall grille, LED-trimmed headlights and the signature hood vents being moved to the side of the hood rather than the top. Similar changes have been made to the rear, like the reshaped LED taillights, the full-width chrome trim and a new fascia design; LaCrosse models equipped with the 3.6-liter V6 will still get the integrated exhaust finishers but they're executed in a more stylish manner than the current model. Finishing off the exterior, new wheel designs are also being introduced, which will include bringing 20-inch wheels to the sedan's option list.
Inside, Buick redesigned almost the entire cabin to create a more luxurious and upscale appearance. The instrument panel is essentially carried over, but pretty much everything else has been redesigned and updated with the biggest change being to the driver's area. Dual eight-inch configurable displays make up the center stack and gauge cluster, while the overall number of buttons have been reduced from 17 down to just seven. The 2014 LaCrosse will also be offered with the next-generation IntelliLink, which receives many of the same enhancements as Chevy's latest version of MyLink adding better customization, improved voice commands and more features including Pandora. Additionally, new door panels, seat and center console complete the LaCrosse's interior redesign.
Not Luxury. Not Sport. Not Buick. Not Bad.
Those of you who still think of the Buick Verano as some sort of callously badge-engineered, gussied up version of the Chevrolet Cruze ("Why would anyone spend that much money on Buick's Cruze?" you may have been heard to mutter) have got the wrong idea. Entirely. Even in its most modest form, the Verano turns out to be a sedan that is feature-rich, insulated from wind and road noise in proper luxury car fashion, pretty good to drive and not bad to look at in the new school of high-nosed pedestrian-impact-regulated fashion. In a less modest form then, one that attaches the word "Turbo" to the moniker and plops a force-fed 2.0-liter four-cylinder under the hood, the Verano is downright interesting.
Of course, "interesting" is rarely a descriptor that fills one with lust - and so it goes with this example. There are two competing forces within this near-premium subcompact sedan, and the balance struck between them must resonate with any potential customer before the Verano Turbo can become a serious purchase consideration.