There's a better way.
We drive Buick's first entry into the compact crossover market, which comes by way of China.
General Motors had record earnings during the first quarter of 2016. Transaction prices higher than the industry average in the US helped offset falling global sales.
From the Chevy booth at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show, Patrick McIntyre interviews Alan Batey, EVP & President of General Motors NA. Topics include the Chevy Cruze hatchback and the Chinese-made Buick Envision.
American-made Buicks sell great in China. Will a Chinese-built Buick sell well in America?
Buick is bringing its very first Chinese-built vehicle, the Envision CUV, to the US market. It is slated to fit in between the Encore and Enclave.
Following an earlier concept and successive teasers, Buick revealed the new Envision crossover a little over a month ago. The thing is, it was launched in China, for China. The question, then, is whether it will make the jump to the North American market. And the answer is: quite possibly.
Buick is launching its new midsize Envision crossover in China at the Chengdu Motor Show, where it will slot between the subcompact Encore and larger Enclave. While it might be hard to muster too much excitement about a Chinese-market crossover, don't completely ignore this one. There's a very good chance it could be on sale in North America to fill the same hole in the brand's lineup over here, possibly as a 2016 model.
The Buick Envision crossover is supposed to have its big reveal on August 28 and be on display at the Chengdu Motor Show, but apparently the new midsize crossover just can't wait to meet its public. Car News China caught a completely undisguised example parking outside of the convention center where the show is held.
Buick teased the arrival of the China-market Envision last month and gave us a few specs, now it's teasing the midsize crossover's interior and features. Having said it will "set a new benchmark in terms of space, safety, performance and specifications," we're told that equipment like the heated leather steering wheel and Bose-sourced active noise cancellation are market firsts in the segment.
It's difficult to overstate how significant the post-bankruptcy years have been for General Motors' Buick brand. Arguably the most improved American automaker, Buick has rounded out its range with an excellent compact in the Verano, a well-balanced midsizer in the Regal and a segment-busting mini-CUV, with the Encore.
Earlier this month, Shanghai GM gave us a glimpse of the production version of the Buick Envision concept revealed at the Shanghai Motor Show back in 2011. And now it's released the first unveiled shot and initial details of the crossover to slot in the considerable gap between the Encore and Enclave.
Let's get the most pressing bits of this story out of the way right off the bat: What we see here appears to be a new compact crossover from Buick. According to the spy photographer, this machine may be a little bit smaller on the outside than the current Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain 'utes, which makes sense since recent rumors suggest GM's small crossovers will migrate to a new platform that will mark a convergence between the automaker's Delta (Chevy Cruze, Buick Verano) and Theta (Equino