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News > Buick
We drove the prototype, and liked it. Now we’ve driven the real thing. We still like it.
In this case, “it” is the 2012 Buick Lacrosse with eAssist, the only four-cylinder model that Buick offers in its Lacrosse large luxury sedan.
While large Buicks aren’t known for their gas mileage, this one is rated by the EPA at 29 mpg combined–no, that’s not the highway number–which is higher than most of its non-hybrid competition.
Talk of a Buick version of the Opel Astra GTC turbo hatchback has largely died down since reaching a peak earlier this year, but these images shot on I-96 in Michigan just moments ago may revive the idea of the sporty Buick hatchback.
The Opel Astra GTC, as sold in Europe, is powered by a 180-horsepower turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder. Given GM’s line of turbo engines in the U.S., including the 2.0-liter turbo in the Regal GS, there’s a chance the GTC could be even more potent here, with up to 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The Opel Astra GTC uses the familiar-to-Buick HiPerStrut front suspension and a Watt’s link rear axle for a combo that’s both affordable and capable. It’s also a pretty dashing little hatch.
Buick has high hopes for their Acura TSX and Lexus IS 250-fighting Verano compact sedan. It’s Buick’s first new compact car since the demise of the Skylark in the 1990s, and it’s the best chance the automaker has at luring a younger demographic to the brand.
Based on the same platform as the Chevy Cruze, the Buick Verano focuses on entry-level luxury at a mainstream price point. Three models will be offered, with the least expensive starting at $23,470, which includes an $885 destination charge. That money buys you leatherette (not leather) seating, a seven-inch touchscreen LCD infotainment system, 10 airbags, automatic climate control, remote start, power windows and steering wheel audio controls. It also buys you Buick’s comfort-focused ride quality and tomb-like sound isolation; in fact, the Verano boasts a dozen different noise reducing or noise canceling technologies used throughout the vehicle.
Buick has been transformed, and in automotive terms, it’s a towering achievement. It took Toyota three generations to get its full-size trucks right. It took three decades for Mercedes to realize its cruise-control stalks were ergonomic gotchas.
Buick’s taken just four years to get from the days of Terrazas and Rainiers to where it is today: a power trio that includes the tasty Regal, the luxe LaCrosse and the sumptuous Enclave. The average age of Buick buyers is now under 60, and sure to fall once the late Lucerne factors out. If Buick used to be the last car you bought–ever–it isn’t anymore.
General Motors NYSE: GM has announced a recall of more than 10,000 vehicles for a potential issue with the vehicle defroster.
In affected vehicles—certain 2011 Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac SRX models—the climate-control module might completely disable the ability to adjust climate settings. In the event of a failure, the defogging and defrosting functions might not be available when they’re needed, and could potentially contribute to an accident.
The best non-news of the day comes from Buick: the 2011 Buick Regal Turbo is flex-fuel capable, meaning it can run on either E85 or gasoline. We’re not terribly excited (E85 still isn’t all that common in most places), but we are looking forward to the first pure ethanol tune.
The E85 capability means that, with typical production-car overhead, the fuel injectors may have enough flow rate left over to handle pure ethanol. The fuel system should certainly be capable. And while big fat drag slicks on a wrong-wheel-drive car aren’t that exciting, it could turn the Regal Turbo into a bit more of the car we wish it had been.
What we didn’t have were the projected EPA mileage ratings (based on GM’s internal tests). The company expects the 2012 Buick Regal with eAssist to be rated at 26 mpg city, 37 mpg highway, making it the most economical Buick model for 2012.
Like the size and look of the new Chevrolet Cruze but think its packaging and trim are just a little too mainstream? Well, the new 2012 Buick Verano may be just what you’re looking for as it’s essentially a more upmarket version of the Chevy compact sedan.
Making its debut at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show next week, the Verano is Buick’s third new model in the past two years and its first in the compact luxury segment. Once again, luxury and technology are the key hallmarks of the latest Buick with no less than 10 airbags, an available heated steering wheel and a next-generation radio system with OnStar connectivity all offered.
An online focus group testing possible new model combinations for an “All-New 2012 Buick Compact Car” has made its way onto the Web courtesy of the intrepid netizens at GM Inside News, and with it we have our first preview of options and pricing for the upcoming 2012 Buick Verano.
The new details reveal four possible trim combinations ranging from $20,900 to $26,200 in price. All models are powered by a 180-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. If that sounds familiar, it should: the Buick LaCrosse sports the same powertrain.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which oversees the federal government’s vehicle crash-test program, has added a few more results to its set of completely revamped (and retested) 2011 model-year ratings.
And for all the models added this time—the 2011 Buick Enclave, 2011 Chevrolet Traverse, 2011 GMC Acadia, and 2011 Honda Accord—it’s good news. Five-star good news.
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