Back in August, when General Motors gave the media a tour of its design studios to show off pieces of its upcoming lineup, one of the cars we saw was a compact four-door Buick sedan. That sedan was essentially a re-grilled and trunked version of the recently introduced Opel Astra, but GM did not say what badging the car would receive in North America. However, the five-door hatchback version has just debuted in China at the Guangzhou Motor Show as the newest baby Buick.
In what is Buick's largest market, the compact is badged as the Excelle, and we wouldn't be surprised to see that name come to the U.S. provided there aren't any issues with the similarly named (and defunct) Hyundai Excel. The car we saw in August was identical to the Excelle shown above from the B-pillars forward. It only differs at the rear where the hatch was originally a traditional trunk.
Unlike the last Saturn Astra (and previous attempts at smaller Buicks), the inside of the new car looks much more upscale and should be more appealing to American consumers. We'll probably only get the 181-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder in the Excelle in order to set it apart from the 140-hp Chevy Cruze that shares the same platform. If our version gets the 138-hp 1.8-liter at all, it will probably be paired with the automaker's new, second-generation BAS hybrid system.