• Sep 4th 2009 at 4:00PM
  • 36

One of the two new sedans that Buick has promised to introduce in the next 12-18 months is a compact based on the new Opel Astra. We had a chance to see the new car a few weeks ago at the GM design studios in Warren, Michigan, but no photography was allowed.

That same car has now been spotted in the wild in China where it seems likely to be very popular. It won't look anything like the current almost unsellable Astra available from Saturn and will likely only be sold in North America as a four-door sedan. So far, the Astra itself has only been shown as a five-door hatch although that may change when it is publicly displayed at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this month.

At this time, there is no word on what powertrains will go into the North American Buick, but four cylinder engines displacing between 1.6 and 2.0 liters are likely. The 1.4-liter turbo that will go into the Cruze is also a possibility. GM has said that a C-segment car like this could be built at its Lake Orion, MI assembly plant alongside the new Aveo, though it could also be built in Detroit with the Volt or in Lordstown, Ohio with the Cruze.

[Source: China Car Times]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Not understanding this car at all... If the Astra barely sold as a Saturn, the place where it made sense, why would anyone buy one dressed as a Buick?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well the Chinese tend to re-do the interiors (and exteriors) for their Buick line. I don't think there was anything particularly terrible about the platform even when it was sold as a Saturn...just that there wasn't any particularly great reason to go buy it over it's competitors.
        So if they seriously upgrade the interior and make the exterior attractive it could be a more viable car for people wanting a compact car with a more luxurious interior. Of course this is assuming that they don't eff it up and make it just a sloppy rebadge job for the US market.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Bloke, that's overanalyzing the case.

        The problem with the Astra is it wasn't a good car. End of story.

        As such it was a natural fit at either Pontiac or Saturn, continuing GM's heritage of other bad small cars like the Ion and Grand Am.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Maybe it will appeal to those who might want a comfortable car that isn't the size of a boat?

      Idk about you guys but i would take a gander at this, i kinda like all these new buicks, as long as it doesn't drive like a camry i could be interested.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The response here seems to be much friendlier than what the Honda Crosstour got.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That's because this is not a bad looking car. (Except for that ugly grille of course; but even that isn't as huge as its stablemates' grilles.) On the other hand, the Crosseyed is an ugly piece of crap that doesn't even have the saving grace of being nice to drive.
      • 6 Years Ago
      well thats not a sedan in the above picture. It is nothing more then the Opel Astra HB . you can see the window behind the back door is the same window as the Astra HatchBack .

      Its not bad looking though and it could be hit or a miss IMO . I think pricing and advertising is the two keys buick needs to move this and anything over 21,000
      • 6 Years Ago
      One: This car is for China. It'll replace the Excelle and current HRV.

      Two: The Astra is already an upscale car. Add excellent materials, and you have a decent car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        My god if the Astra is upscale, what's my Jetta? A royal limousine?
        • 6 Years Ago
        The US is getting the same car that will be sold in China, along with the Regal which is 6 inches shorter than the LaCrosse
      • 6 Years Ago
      The new GM might have a chance.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, I dunno about that side view, but the front looks great for a Buick! Almost seems like it has a hint of BMW M6 in the lower bumper. Nice.
        • 6 Years Ago
        BMW? Nope. scratch the 'hint of BMW' and replace it with 'exactly like the opel astra' and you're spot on. I'm guessing it's the same platform too? if soo, it should be a decent bit of badge engineering because the astra's a good product.

        • 6 Years Ago
        Danimal: it's an Astra. How can you *not* have a good idea of the proportions? It's a direct competitor to the Focus and Civic.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Not bad at all. I'd love to see more so hopefully we'll get a better look soon. Interior as well - really curious. Everything coming out of GM China has been nice lately - so I'm not expecting anything less that excellent.

        Sal Collaziano
        • 6 Years Ago
        its lookin good but don't know it its cos of the fact it was spotted in china , it kinda looks chinese ..

      • 6 Years Ago
      Seeing the side seems to confirm the Opel Astra sedan basis. That said, it's a great looking car and should make a great compact Buick here; I wouldn't have cared for a Cruze-based Buick compact.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I hear that for Canada, they will follow the "LaCrosse" precedent and call it "Soixante-neuf".
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ditto what everyone said. What is the justification for this Buick model? Where are the crowds of people telling Buick that they would not buy a compact from Chevrolet but would from Buick?

      If this is just a way to push some sales to the surviving Buick-GMC dealers in order for them to amortize their costs then not only is this model doomed but Buick and all of GM have not learned anything and they will continue to atrophy.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Lexus CT
        Audi A3
        Mini Cooper
        Volvo C30

        4 good reasons for Buick, as a premium brand, to introduce a premium C-segment car.

        One half of the peanut gallery chides Buick for building only cars for old people. The other just can't understand why Buick might want to build smaller cars.

        Get a grip, people...I'm 26 and I'd seriously consider one of these if it turns out to be a good car...to replace my '08 Astra. If they price it right, give it a stickshit and a sunroof, I'll be proud to own a new Buick.
      • 6 Years Ago
      GM need distinguish Buick from cadilac.
      Buick become a Asia-style Lexus killer.
      • 6 Years Ago

      Buick Skyhawk is more sport oriented than this new compact Buick.

      Median age of Buick customers is now 68 years old! If Buick is going after Lexus customers then they are not too far off since 56 is the median age of Lexus customers.

      GM, it's not too late to reverse course and keep the Pontiac brand.
      60% of volume at Buick Pontiac GMC dealers in the Midwest is contributed by Pontiac. Anyone else suspect that GM would be better off keeping Pontiac aligned with Buick and GMC?

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