• Aug 9th 2010 at 10:58AM
  • 46
Chinese-market Buicke Excelle – Click above for high-res image gallery

As July's By The Numbers showed us, American buyers are quick to forget the pain of having to fill up a full-size pickup or SUV when gas prices are in the $4-per-gallon range. Without the guiding hand of Uncle Sam pushing the car-buying public towards smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles, consumers are all about being large and in charge in the passing lane. But According to Automotive News, General Motors is keen to the fact that fuel won't stay cheap forever, and to prepare for a returning tide of buyers rushing to small cars when oil goes sky high again, the company is planning a more diminutive product lineup.

If the Automotive News article is on its mark, we can expect to see a new compact Buick called the Verano as well as a hybrid version of the Lacrosse. There's no telling exactly which architecture the baby Buick will use for its bones, but the Chevrolet Cruze wouldn't be a bad bet in our eyes. Likewise, GMC will see the introduction of a production version of the Granite concept and Chevrolet should have the all-new Aveo join its ranks along with the Spark city car. Automotive News even says that The General is planning to shrink the Impala. Sounds good to us, but when it comes to Buick, these small-car rumors crop up nearly every year.

[Source: Automotive News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      GM is jumping the shark with this car at Buick.

      Regrille the Astra for Buick if they really want a Buick compact, but leave this homely thing in China where it belongs.
        • 5 Years Ago

        The styling isn't close to the Cruze. Not a single exterior panel is shared. The Buick had a 4-window side profile. The Cruze has two. The Buick has an upright roof line. The Cruze has a sloping roof line with the black plastic triangles on the C-pillars.

        The Buick is an Astra sedan with Buick touches. The Cruze shares nothing with it, inside or out. Just the hard points under the skin.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The car pictured here in the post essentially IS the car on the GM China website. This is just the 4-dr notchback version. And, yes, I agree that it's not the most graceful sedan out there.

        Would I prefer a 5 dr? Sure, but I'm skeptical that any of Buick's brand managers are feeling that adventurous. I'm hoping they prove me wrong.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I realize that, but the styling of this car is so close to the Cruze it might as well be a wholly rebadged one.

        When I say regrille the Astra I mean they need to be selling the model on Buicks' China site below here in the US.


        And for God's sake it needs a better name. Verano is worse than LaCrosse, Century or Skylark would be better.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This essentially IS a re-grilled Astra. Just a particularly unattractive version of it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What's with the odd tailights and that chrome bar?
      • 5 Years Ago
      They better bring over a hatch version. This sedan looks good... but a 3-door hatch would be great, and help distinguish this car from GM's other small car offering (the Cruze).
      • 5 Years Ago
      Could be based on the new Zeta platform and be RWD. I'd prefer that.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I just wish they'd give us the 5 door, I wish they'd used the Astra name too for that matter, I mean Verona was already used by Suzuki for one of their bland offerings, theres a nice connection for Buick's new image. But then the heads at Buick seem to be making plenty of marketing mistakes. They revived the Regal name which to me reminds me of everything that was bad about Buick when I was growing up whereas it seems to me the Insignia name plate used on the Opel and Vauxhall versions would align better with the Enclave and Lucerne names, which while not the best of names at least don't have any taint of the Buicks of the past.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So we get this, but not a Camaro based GNX? Give it a notchback rear window, twinturbo6 and you are there.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So, they're going with Verano? Gee, that's not too close to the former Suzuki model "Verona."

      C'mon Buick...if you're not going with a retro/classic name (e.g. Skylark, Skyhawk, etc.), at least pick something a little more original.
        • 5 Years Ago
        While I'm not absolutely nuts about the "Verano" name, either, I seriously doubt many buyers will be reminded of the Suzuki Verona.

        I follow most segments of the market fairly closely, and I had successfully managed to forget the Verona had even existed until you mentioned it. I can't imagine many others--aside from former owners, perhaps--will remember it, either.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The styling is decent, but I can't help but conjure up visions of Cimmarons. I don't think it's adequate for a luxury car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This but no Zeta Park Avenue by now? (complete with GS or GN blackout sport Hi-Po treatment from HSV)

      They must be crazy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It gets really tiresome getting smug lectures on how Americans shouldn't be driving large vehicles. We have more kids, larger homes, more ownership of boats and trailers, much greater distances to travel, and more agriculture. Come on autoblog, you're a CAR forum. I can get my big car lecture at dailykos.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Exactly. Maybe consumers don't want Uncle Sam (or anyone else) picking out which vehicle suits them best. Ever try going on a long trip with two adults and three children crammed into a mid size sedan? Better pack light even with a rooftop carrier. And heaven forbid you have a dog that you want to bring along with you. Hopefully it's toy sized! And maybe a minivan isn't right for someone who wants to haul a trailer that will be moving something larger than a jetski. It just might be that people should be able to choose what suits them best and what they can afford. And for many people, that choice is a larger vehicle with the corresponding penalty at the pump.

        And the rent-a-"large"-vehicle-when-necessary-crowd gets annoying as well. A couple of trips and the costs becomes excessive, not to mention the inconvenience.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, and we have 2% of the world population and we use 25% of the oil...sound fair to you?

        The VAST majority of proud Regan Consumption Habit Americans with these big vehicles don't tow anything, don't haul anything, and have 2-3 kids.

        I could go to a used dealer lot anywhere in the US and find MULTIPLE used SUV's that have NEVER towed anything. I'd know, when I was looking for a used truck this past year...I found SEVERAL. The trailer wiring harness had never even been unwrapped...

        Great for a used buyer that needs to tow, but just a silly waste of resources and a sad commentary on our CONSUMPTION = HAPPINESS society.

      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't think a WELL-EXECUTED small car is out of line for Buick, and they could do worse than the Excelle. The front clip looks reasonably good, and the dash looks fine.

      Would be nice to see a wagon (a hatch would be awesome but probably too much to ask for). That sedan roofline is a little awkward.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd prefer a rebadged Astra over everything Cruze-related.
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