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2017 Buick LaCrosse Shakes Up Near Luxury Sedan Segment

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2017 Buick LaCrosse

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When the redesigned, 2017 Buick LaCrosse goes on sale, it will be the most impressive LaCrosse to date, offering a classier design, a quieter ride, more interior room and a boatload of the latest technologies.

The North American sedan segment is shrinking,General Motors has high expectations for Buick’s new flagship as it looks to retain over 350,000 LaCrosse owners in North America. Even more ambitiously, it expects to steal some sales from the Lexus ES 350, Toyota Avalon, Chrysler 300, Lincoln MKZ and other full-size sedans.

Buick marketing director Molly Peck believes that while there has been some customer shift to SUVs, many car buyers will stick with sedans, and the LaCrosse’s new styling will help attract those who put design above all other considerations.

Speaking of styling, the third-generation LaCrosse sports Buick’s new design theme, which was previewed by the Buick Avenir concept. It managed to retain the striking concept’s rear-wheel drive proportions, featuring a short front overhang that helps give it a very stately appearance.

Despite being longer, lower and wider than its predecessor, the redesigned LaCrosse is actually 300 pounds (136 kg) lighter, thanks in large part to extensive use of high-strength steels in its construction.

It’s also the quietest Buick ever, with Buick engineers eschewing traditional noise-blocking pads for new dissipative sound absorbing materials. The interior raises the bar from rental-grade to authentic luxury-grade, featuring genuine materials and a strong sense of craftmanship.

The long list of tech features include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, a wireless phone charger, a large touchscreen for infotainment duties, and a new toggle gear selector (it takes getting used to) that mimics the units found in BMW and Mercedes-Benz’s vehicles.

As with several other General Motors vehicles, the 2017 LaCrosse boasts a new teen driver system that helps ensure safe driving, for instance muting the audio if the seat belt aren’t worn and sounding an alarm if a predetermined speed is exceeded. It can even send a driving report card to the owner of the car.

All models are powered by a new 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces an estimated 305 horsepower and 268 lb-ft. (363 Nm) of torque. An new eight-speed automatic transmission, as well as direct-injection, start / stop tech and cylinder deactivation, help it deliver fuel economy ratings of up to 21 miles per gallon in city driving and 31 mpg on the highway.

In the United States, the LaCrosse starts at $32,990, which is $1,000 more than the previous model. The top-of-the-line LaCrosse premium trim with all-wheel drive can fetch you more than $44,000.

The new LaCrosse is the best looking Buick and most dynamically-balanced I have ever experienced in a very long time, and this is coming from someone in his early 30s. It’s big step forward for the brand.

Would you choose it over a Lexus ES 350, Toyota Avalon, Chrysler 300 or Lincoln MKZ? Let us know in the comments below.

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2020 Buick Enclave Brings New Sport Touring Package

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2020 Buick Enclave SUV, driving

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Buick’s big SUV also gets a new infotainment system and optional surround-view camera system.

The Buick Enclave has received a few updates for its 2020 model year, most notable of which is a new Sport Touring package that gives it a sportier appearance.

Available on the Essence trim level, the ST package adds a unique body-color grille and 20-inch bright machined aluminum wheels with contrasting Satin Graphite pockets.

The 2020 Enclave also benefits from Buick’s next-gen infotainment system that’s standard on all models, complete with an 8-inch touchscreen. It can also be equipped with a new HD Rear Vision Camera, an HD Surround Vision systems, and a new, four-way power lumbar seat adjuster with a driver and front passenger massage feature that comes standard on Premium and Avenir editions.

The 2020 model year introduces three new exterior colors: Champagne Gold Metallic, Rich Garnet Metallic (Avenir only) and Dark Moon Blue Metallic.

Sales of the 2020 Buick Enclave begin in late summer 2019, with prices starting at $41,195 (including freight).

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New, 2020 Buick Encore GX Grows Buick’s Crossover Lineup

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New Buick Encore GX Small SUV, White

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The new Buick crossover slots between the smaller Encore and larger Envision in the United States and Canada.

General Motors has expanded the Encore lineup with the addition of the Buick Encore GX.

With its extended wheelbase, the Encore GX slots between the regular Encore and larger Envision and Enclave crossovers, measuring 5.0 cubic feet larger than its twin and 3.0 cubes smaller than the Envision.

Designers applied Buick’s latest styling language to both the exterior and interior. A chrome surround follows the curvature of the side glass and blends into the rear hatch, while a large grille with chrome decor cuts into the headlights. The modern interior offers typical infotainment tech, including a large dash-mounted touchscreen, sizable instrument cluster screen, and even a head-up display system.

The Encore GX comes standard with a bevvy of safety features, notably forward collision alert, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, front pedestrian braking, and automatic emergency braking. A rear camera mirror and surround camera system are optional extras.

According to GM, almost 90 percent of Buick’s U.S. and Canadian sales come from SUVs and crossovers. The Encore GX, as redundant as it might seem, gives the brand four models in the highly lucrative segment. Sales begin in early 2020.

In related news, Buick may stop selling cars to focus only on crossovers.

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Buick Cascada Convertible Is Dead After 2019, And It Likely Won’t Return

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2019 Buick Cascada Convertible, red

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It was virtually invisible, so no one is going to miss it.

Buick has confirmed that the Cascada convertible will be discontinued after the 2019 model year, so act fast if you still want one.

Rumors of the Cascada’s demise began popping up in late 2018 when Opel — which was formerly owned by General Motors — announced plans to stop building its version of the car in Poland. The model had reached the end of its product life cycle, so many questioned its fate.

“The Cascada has played its role in the portfolio perfectly, outselling many other premium convertibles while bringing in [six of every 10] buyers from outside GM,” a Buick spokesperson told Automotive News. Buick sold about 17,000 examples of the Cascada since adding the model to its portfolio for the 2016 model year, a measly figure that isn’t surprising considering the little advertising its received.

Production ends in the summer of 2019, and with Opel now owned by Peugeot and the convertible segment experiencing a perceptible decline all over the world, the odds of the Cascada being replaced in North America are slim to none.

The Cascada won’t be the only Buick to get the ax in 2019 — the LaCrosse full-size sedan will join it.

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