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2016 Buick Envision Test Drive!

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G. David Felt
Staff Writer Alternative Energy
 - www.CheersandGears.com

 

2016 Buick Envision Test Drive!

 

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June 23rd 2016 started off like most days, up at 4am, in the shower, on the 4:48am 511 bus into Seattle, breakfast at my desk while reviewing email. Work focused and getting things done. A little over 3 hours later I get a call from my local Buick GMC dealership that the Buick Envisions they got in last week are all ready and on the lot for people to come see, test drive, etc. Text message to my sister who has a 2002 Mazda 6 that she is ready to retire that the Buick dealership had the Envision in stock, equipped the way she wanted it and we could test drive it.

 

Her desire is a mid-size to compact CUV with AWD, heated steering wheel, zone control for temp, auto lift gate in back, ability to connect her phone via Bluetooth minimum that she can use for work as she is a Hospice in home nurse and for getting away to the mountains for skiing. Her choices of auto’s to consider is the Honda CR-V, Toyota Rav4, Chevy Equinox, GMC Terrain, Cadillac SRX, Lexus RX 350 and she was willing to look at the Buick Envision.

 

Being the family auto nut, I have helped everyone in my family buy their auto’s even if it was not something I myself would buy. Test drove over the weekend the Honda and Toyota and they were crossed off her list as they did not have certain features she was wanting plus NOISY. Yup they are very noisy compared to other auto’s out there. She test drove then the Chevy and GMC to compare, GMC was too butch for her, she liked the Chevy but wanted to finish test driving her list. Next came the Cadillac SRX, except for the gas mileage it hit everything on her list including she loved the seat extensions that support long legged people as she is 6’2” tall average size for my family. Next was the Lexus, solid drive but again gas mileage was a concern for her as she lives in her car driving it all over daily. The inside front seat area was nice but she saw I was straddling the seats in front, rear seat room is lacking for tall people and no zone temp control or radio like much lesser models from other vendors. The amount of hard plastic inside was also very disappointing as the CUV is considered a luxury level but had a very Toyota look and feel to it. We headed to the Buick dealership to only be informed that the person who told me on the phone they had the Envision in stock was wrong and they had none. As it was a late long Saturday, we headed back to my house and she stopped at the Acura dealership to check out the RDX. That became a failure from the word go as the sales person when asked about things like heated steering wheel, heated and cooled seats, rear zone control, etc. he just said no no no no. So she wrote off even taking a test drive in the Acura.

 

So 6 days later after starting this quest of test driving and answering questions for my sister on CUVs we finally get to test drive the Buick Envision. We were both excited to see how this stacked up against all the other CUVs she had driven to date. The dealership had 3 Envisions in stock, two black models one with Premium and one with Premium II and a Red or what they call Saffron Red Premium in stock.

 

Editorial Note: For some reason my old Note 3 phone did not take as sharp as it had in the past photos and I did not realize this till this morning.

 

The dealer pulled the Premium II Black model into the showroom for us to check it out as it was a torrential downpour. Started off with the Engine bay, a nice clean package of the Turbo 4 SIDI motor. Nice that they have gone back to the Dual shocks to hold the engine hood up. Everything seemed to be clearly marked and easy to check for maintenance. I did notice and check out that all fuses are in the engine bay now on the right side behind the battery and to the right of it. Everything else was pretty simple to identify, check for fluid levels etc. I noticed that Buick built a double wall insulated hood.

 

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Next was onto the inside. Navigation system was nice, easy to manage and use, all screen controls responded with no lag time and all tactile buttons were very nice and did what they were responsible for. Dash was lovely with the wood trim and everything else was either leather or soft rubber squishiness. It gave a solid feel to the touch and yet warm also, nothing being cold and hard. Cup holders were lit by LED lights for easier viewing especially at night. There was plenty of USB outlets with two on the back control section for temperature and still included the traditional cigarette lighter plug. The two vents for either heat or cooling worked very well and were whisper quiet.

The center storage system was nice with the two USB plugs, stereo jack plug and the SD card slot plus the Cigarette outlet. As you can see in the picture below, split armrest allows for you to still get into the storage even when the passenger is resting their arm on the rest. Over all flow was very good for the center stack. Doors had nice leather accents, everything was soft and tactile feel warm to the touch. Nothing hard about the interior for either the front or rear seating people. The rear seats were also the most comfortable out of all these CUV’s and the hardest least comfortable was the Lexus. Surprising that the Toyota Rav4 rear seats were more comfy than its luxury cousin.

Surprise of many was that with the seat in the front set for me, I got into the back and still had about 4 inches from my knees to the back of the front seat. Compared to all the other CUVs Lisa had test drove so far, the Envision has a huge amount of rear leg room. People will be very comfy for the long drive. You can even recline the rear seat, two settings and get even more comfortable. Also if you do have the rear door open and need to put down the rear seats so you can get something long into the auto, Buick made it very easy with chrome plated pull handles, one on each side of the rear storage area wall which auto puts down the seat, headrest etc. giving you a very large interior storage area. Access to the rear tire was easy and they had a large variety of storage areas under the rear storage floor for your use.

 

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Driving started with a surprise, while very quiet from outside the car when running, you cannot hear the motor inside the car. Since the Sales rep pulled the car out of the dealership sales floor, my sister and I got into the car just outside for her to drive it. I sat in back. She started it up then the sales guy wanted to go over the auto with her. So she stopped and listened to him.

 

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When we finally went there was a noticeable little rumble but that was it. She pulled down to the street to go and took off. This little Turbo 4 has plenty of get up and go power. Never strained and you can feel the Torque where it counts in the seat as you feel a gentle push back into the chair. We took it onto the freeway where the Envision showed no strain at getting up to highway speed and moving about. My sister loved the blind spot warning in the side mirrors, she also loved the rumble seat reminder when she got close to either side lines on the road. Exiting the freeway a few miles down the road impressed me with just how quiet Buicks Quiet package is, you do not have wind noise, nor do you have street wheel noise coming into the cabin. Overall a very quiet, serene ride. Next we hit the local neighborhood and she was able to try out the backup camera in a parallel parking attempt. This has always been a problem for my sister and yet on the first try, she got parked using the side mirrors which turn down in reverse and the backup camera. She felt the rear of the seat rumble as she got close to the car behind her. She ended up being about 8 inches away from the curb. Overall a success for her first attempt. With this done, she went to pull out and for the 3rd or 4th time felt the little rumble and finally asked what that was. The sales guy said what was what, but I realized it was the auto start / stop of the engine. Since we were only idling at the parallel parking spot and she had it in drive, the engine had turned off. It did this in the local heavy traffic also trying to save fuel,we then headed back to the dealership. One last final surprise was a mini cooper pulled out of a side street and clearly did not see us and yet the Buick Envision handled it with total confidence. The drive was a tranquil, serene success.

 

Wish I had taken more pictures, but you guys have for the most part seen everything from Buick that has been posted.

 

Hit me up with Questions as the 1hr time spent with the Envision left me with a WOW facture of just how great Buick has stepped up to offer a CUV that clearly trumps the competition.

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So my sister loves this auto and took it for a second road drive. Very positive, so she asked me what competed against it from BMW or MB. I was not totally sure but looked up and emailed her the comparisons.

 

So fully loaded Envision AWD with Premium II package MSRP $50,240

 

Equal BMW X3 equipped the same is MSRP $55,520

 

Equal MB GLC 300 4matic equipped the same MSRP $58,577.

 

Both BMW and MB are in the mid 183 inches long like the Envision, but the rear seat room is much smaller than the Envision. Also both 4 banger motors are much less HP and Torque.

 

Over all Buick built a superior product than the Germans.

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Hmmmm..

 

I would have said Lincoln MKC might also be worth checking out - but it sacrifices too much rear seat room, and you have to get the top trim to get the most luxo interior...

 

The Envision gets the really trick AWD system from GKN, so the handling - while being tuned for Buick comfort, rather outright sporty should be pretty good.

 

What kind of tires come stock on this auto?

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Hmmmm..

 

I would have said Lincoln MKC might also be worth checking out - but it sacrifices too much rear seat room, and you have to get the top trim to get the most luxo interior...

 

The Envision gets the really trick AWD system from GKN, so the handling - while being tuned for Buick comfort, rather outright sporty should be pretty good.

 

What kind of tires come stock on this auto?

They were Michelin tires.

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You could get a pretty well optioned GLC for $50k, you can't get everything, but you can still get $10k worth of options, if you avoid the $2900 sport package and $1900 air suspension you can get all the driver nannies and interior upgrades without getting too high in price.

 

Oddly enough the GLC300 has a better 0-60 time than the Envision or the 310 hp Cadillac XT5.  And it won't depreciate like those two.

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Unfortunately, the GLC has bottom-of-segment quality, and the maintenance & repair costs will eat up any resale advantage. It's really not a good competitor here.
 

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:pbjtime:   I like how Suave slipped the dfelt word "auto" in there.

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You could get a pretty well optioned GLC for $50k, you can't get everything, but you can still get $10k worth of options, if you avoid the $2900 sport package and $1900 air suspension you can get all the driver nannies and interior upgrades without getting too high in price.

 

Oddly enough the GLC300 has a better 0-60 time than the Envision or the 310 hp Cadillac XT5.  And it won't depreciate like those two.

But if it comes how it has to be for her to buy it..then it is what dfelt quoted. 

 

It sounds like his sister isn't a race car driver and a tenth or two to 60mph doesn't matter...like most people. 

 

It'll depreciate more as it starts 8ish grand more for similar product. 

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You could get a pretty well optioned GLC for $50k, you can't get everything, but you can still get $10k worth of options, if you avoid the $2900 sport package and $1900 air suspension you can get all the driver nannies and interior upgrades without getting too high in price.

 

Oddly enough the GLC300 has a better 0-60 time than the Envision or the 310 hp Cadillac XT5.  And it won't depreciate like those two.

Won't depreciate like those two?

Riiiiiight. Must be why you can pick up a "gently used" MB at great low prices.

Jaguar F-Pace is in this price range and has a 340 hp V6.

And it has that wonderful Jaguar reliability we've come to know and love for so many years. </sarcasm>

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You could get a pretty well optioned GLC for $50k, you can't get everything, but you can still get $10k worth of options, if you avoid the $2900 sport package and $1900 air suspension you can get all the driver nannies and interior upgrades without getting too high in price.

 

Oddly enough the GLC300 has a better 0-60 time than the Envision or the 310 hp Cadillac XT5.  And it won't depreciate like those two.

GLC 300 4 matic equiped like a Buick Envision Premium II package less the trailer hitch you cannot have without giving up a wide range of electronic devices my sister wants equals $ 59,615 with less rear leg room, less hip room, less head room plus much less in other areas. Less HP, Less Torque, Less, Less, Less, in way to many ways.

 

Plus I was totally cramped in the GLC 300 and lisa also felt like a sardine compared to the Envision. Envision truly give MB a run for the money in many ways.

 

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Envision Premium II has everything including the trailer hitch for $50,240

 

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In my opinion, this is one place that MB fails and does NOT live up to the value of the Buick.

 

Even the BMW X3  came in at $55,520. 

 

Only BMW and MB folks who thumb their nose at the Envision without looking at it will never realize the value and quality GM put into this.

 

This is also my concern for Cadillac if they really do not step up the game, China driven Buick could surpass Cadillac.

 

Do not trust me, go check out an Envision yourself. It surprised the hell out of me what you get for a fully loaded Envision Premium II package.

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Not sure why but the web site for MB is weird as today the package is higher than it was the other day I compared them. Plus for some reason I cannot add the trailer hitch without loosing the electronic safety gear my sister wants. Strange, but no matter how I look at it, when you put the name aside and compare basic Facts, the Buick Wins hands down over BMW and MB.

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You could get a pretty well optioned GLC for $50k, you can't get everything, but you can still get $10k worth of options, if you avoid the $2900 sport package and $1900 air suspension you can get all the driver nannies and interior upgrades without getting too high in price.

 

Oddly enough the GLC300 has a better 0-60 time than the Envision or the 310 hp Cadillac XT5.  And it won't depreciate like those two.

Won't depreciate like those two?

Riiiiiight. Must be why you can pick up a "gently used" MB at great low prices.

Jaguar F-Pace is in this price range and has a 340 hp V6.

And it has that wonderful Jaguar reliability we've come to know and love for so many years. </sarcasm>

 

If I were in the market for a vehicle in this price range...and only planned to own for a couple years to be covered under the warranty... I would consider the F-Pace. I just think it looks great and 340hp would be on the fun side as well. But absolutely NOT if it was outside of warranty. And that goes for about anything German as well. 

 

Everything "high end" depreciates like a son of a bitch. Maybe one or two hold 1-2% over the others.. but in general they all fall like a brick once off the dealers' lots. MB is no better than Jag or BMW or Audi save for a % or two.. 

Not sure why but the web site for MB is weird as today the package is higher than it was the other day I compared them. Plus for some reason I cannot add the trailer hitch without loosing the electronic safety gear my sister wants. Strange, but no matter how I look at it, when you put the name aside and compare basic Facts, the Buick Wins hands down over BMW and MB.

Did you look at the Q5 also?  That's in that same category of small-ish CUVs, right? 

 

Or MKX? Not sure if size-wise it stacks up but it starts at 38k so I just assumed it was the competitive Lincoln. 

Edited by ccap41
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Not sure why but the web site for MB is weird as today the package is higher than it was the other day I compared them. Plus for some reason I cannot add the trailer hitch without loosing the electronic safety gear my sister wants. Strange, but no matter how I look at it, when you put the name aside and compare basic Facts, the Buick Wins hands down over BMW and MB.

 

Or MKX? Not sure if size-wise it stacks up but it starts at 38k so I just assumed it was the competitive Lincoln. 

 

Yes looked at the Q5 as well as the MKX. She did not care for the styling or the layout of the Q5. The MKX was a good choice till it died on her on the test drive. Had plenty of gas but just stopped and had the engine dummy light on. At this point she made the comment, Fix or Repair Daily is still the moto at Ford? Was quickly off her list to consider.

 

Will say that the last 2 months have been a drive of CUVs in trying to help her narrow it down. At this point I think she is set on the Envision. Only thing holding back now is the finalization of her divorce first and then a new auto to start a new life.

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Mercedes and BMW aren't selling on a value proposition, the GLC has the best interior of any small SUV, both the X3 and GLC have the rear drive handling advantage also. 

 

You could compare an Escape or Hyundai Santa Fe and load one of those up and be under $40k and have great value proposition too.  Buick is still not a luxury brand in my mind.  They are a step above Ford or Hyundai, but not on par with BMW or Mercedes.  Cadillac isn't even on par with BMW or Mercedes yet.  The XT5 is sized like a GLE, but priced like a GLC.

 

For $40k I bet one could find a well equipped certified M-class and they have a 2 year unlimited mile warranty.

Edited by smk4565
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Not sure why but the web site for MB is weird as today the package is higher than it was the other day I compared them. Plus for some reason I cannot add the trailer hitch without loosing the electronic safety gear my sister wants. Strange, but no matter how I look at it, when you put the name aside and compare basic Facts, the Buick Wins hands down over BMW and MB.

 

Or MKX? Not sure if size-wise it stacks up but it starts at 38k so I just assumed it was the competitive Lincoln. 

 

Yes looked at the Q5 as well as the MKX. She did not care for the styling or the layout of the Q5. The MKX was a good choice till it died on her on the test drive. Had plenty of gas but just stopped and had the engine dummy light on. At this point she made the comment, Fix or Repair Daily is still the moto at Ford? Was quickly off her list to consider.

 

Will say that the last 2 months have been a drive of CUVs in trying to help her narrow it down. At this point I think she is set on the Envision. Only thing holding back now is the finalization of her divorce first and then a new auto to start a new life.

 

Yeah that would leave a bad taste in my mouth as well, the MKX. 

 

That's good she at least tried both of those out as well. Cannot hurt to try on too many cars when they are that large of an investment. 

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Mercedes and BMW aren't selling on a value proposition, the GLC has the best interior of any small SUV, both the X3 and GLC have the rear drive handling advantage also. 

 

You could compare an Escape or Hyundai Santa Fe and load one of those up and be under $40k and have great value proposition too.  Buick is still not a luxury brand in my mind.  They are a step above Ford or Hyundai, but not on par with BMW or Mercedes.  Cadillac isn't even on par with BMW or Mercedes yet.  The XT5 is sized like a GLE, but priced like a GLC.

 

For $40k I bet one could find a well equipped certified M-class and they have a 2 year unlimited mile warranty.

WOW, You have swallowed the WHOLE OCEAN of Koolaid. You need to get out and really look at the Buick Envision. The interior and Exterior destroy the GLC. That Hard Plastic poorly assembled german JUNK is way over priced compared to what you get in the Envision.

 

Yes Buick is not focused to compete against MB, but here they destroy MB GLC. MB is in denial if they think they are better than what Buick has built. After comparing them back to back, anyone can see that Buick is a superior auto.

 

Go out and test drive, take some pictures and post a real review as I have done before you pound the MB is superior drum. I have clearly compared them and MB FAILS in so many ways.

 

Now your just pounding the Badge is better than Buick Marketing Fluff that is a LIE!

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Not sure why but the web site for MB is weird as today the package is higher than it was the other day I compared them. Plus for some reason I cannot add the trailer hitch without loosing the electronic safety gear my sister wants. Strange, but no matter how I look at it, when you put the name aside and compare basic Facts, the Buick Wins hands down over BMW and MB.

 

Or MKX? Not sure if size-wise it stacks up but it starts at 38k so I just assumed it was the competitive Lincoln. 

 

Yes looked at the Q5 as well as the MKX. She did not care for the styling or the layout of the Q5. The MKX was a good choice till it died on her on the test drive. Had plenty of gas but just stopped and had the engine dummy light on. At this point she made the comment, Fix or Repair Daily is still the moto at Ford? Was quickly off her list to consider.

 

Will say that the last 2 months have been a drive of CUVs in trying to help her narrow it down. At this point I think she is set on the Envision. Only thing holding back now is the finalization of her divorce first and then a new auto to start a new life.

 

Yeah that would leave a bad taste in my mouth as well, the MKX. 

 

That's good she at least tried both of those out as well. Cannot hurt to try on too many cars when they are that large of an investment. 

 

 

My Dad had an auto repair business growing up so had the ability to see plenty of what was always coming in for repairs and the changes from manufacture to manufacture.

 

The one thing that has always stuck in my mind that my dad said:

 

"Every OEM builds good auto's, just some biuld better than others and this changes from year to year and over time."

 

Testing everything out there and comparing them is the only way to do this and this long comparison has clearly weeded out junk and less than true rated quality.

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Well to be fair, the GLC is assembled in the USA, so it can't be poorly assembled German junk.  I haven't driven a GLC, only a C300, but I had no complaints about it and thought it was pretty nice.  The GLC did just win a comparison test over Lincoln, Lexus, and some other forgettable crossover, and it has gotten good reviews overall.  GLC might not be for everyone, but it isn't junk or at the bottom of the class.

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Well the residuals for a typical lease length for the 24 or 48 mos is actually favourable for the GLC...

 

But the GLC is fine and dandy...but IT HAS has this stupid thing. You turn turn off the engine, but before you press the park button, the transmission shifts to neutral. So on an incline, it's fricking scary to do a parallel park job.

 

And they won't fix it even though CR reached them about it.

 

What evs. My main issue with the this Buick is that it should be made in USA (assembled rather)....aside from that, it looks pretty good. But the exterior is lacking some pop, you know what I mean? It looks kinda bland compared to the Lacrosse....

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    • By William Maley
      Currently, Buick only offers their upscale Avenir trim on only the Enclave crossover. But that will be changing in the coming weeks as the brand has announced the 2018 LaCrosse Avenir.
      The LaCrosse Avenir stands out from its brethren with new mesh grille inserts, chrome "wings", 19-inch wheels (20-inch wheels are optional), and Avenir badging. Inside, Buick went all out by using chestnut-brown leather upholstery, embroidered headrests, and special sill plates. Like the Enclave Avenir, the LaCrosse Avenir comes fully loaded with a Bose audio system, panoramic moonroof, and the 3.6L V6 with 310 horsepower. Optional equipment includes all-wheel drive, a suite of active safety equipment, and Dynamic Drive Package.
      Pricing will be announced closer to the LaCrosse Avenir's launch.
      Source: Buick
      Press Release is on Page 2
      Buick LaCrosse Avenir Makes World Debut
      Buick’s highest expression of luxury expands to flagship sedan LOS ANGELES ― With the arrival of the 2018 LaCrosse Avenir, Buick’s new sub-brand expands its offerings and provides customers a way to experience the highest expression of Buick luxury, regardless of whether they’re shopping for a car or SUV. First introduced with the 2018 Enclave that went on sale in October, Avenir features unique styling cues, an extensive set of standard features and exclusive premium materials for customers who want more.
      “Nine out of ten LaCrosse buyers are choosing one of the top two trim levels — customers are signaling they want more from Buick,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick and GMC. “With even more content and an elegant look, Avenir adds a unique name and appearance for those who want the best of our attainable luxury.”
      Like the Enclave Avenir, the LaCrosse Avenir’s design details were channeled from our award-winning concept cars for a more dramatic look, expressed through a unique three-dimensional mesh upper and lower grille paired with chrome wings. Avenir script badging on the front doors and exclusive 19-inch Pearl Nickel or available 20-inch Midnight Silver wheels create a commanding road presence and complement the LaCrosse’s timeless design.
      “Exterior styling is very important to LaCrosse buyers, and its sculpted beauty withstands passing trends,” says Bob Boniface, global director of Buick Exterior Design. “For Avenir, we focused on maintaining the timelessness of the LaCrosse, while giving these customers subtle and tasteful details that elevate this car to a new level.”
      Inside, Avenir-exclusive details include a Chestnut interior color theme, embroidered first-row headrests and Avenir-scripted sill plates.
      Features available on other LaCrosse models come standard on the Avenir, including a powerful 310-horsepower V-6, nine-speed automatic transmission, navigation and Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound premium audio, as well as a panoramic moonroof.
      Additional available features include Ebony interior, Intelligent Twin-Clutch AWD, Dynamic Drive Package featuring continuous variable real-time dampening control and a suite of advanced safety features.
      LaCrosse Avenir will arrive at dealers in early 2018.
    • By William Maley
      Last month, General Motors announced an ambitious plan to launch 20 electric and hydrogen vehicles by 2023 with all of their brands playing a role. But Buick could be playing a prominent role in this plan.
      Duncan Aldred, vice president of sales and marketing at Buick-GMC tells Wards Auto that Buick will play a "huge part” in the coming years when it comes to EVs.
      “We will have multiple entries in a fairly short period of time. We’re GM’s biggest brand in the world’s biggest market. You’ll see a number of different technologies to go toward (our) zero-emissions objective,” said Aldred.
      That biggest market Aldred is referring to is China. In 2019, the country will require 10 percent of an automaker’s sales to be made up of low and zero-emission models. This rises to 12 percent in 2020. 
      “A lot of the electrification adoption will be driven by legislation.”
      Already, Buick sells a hybrid version of the LaCrosse and rebadged Chevrolet Volt as the Velite5 in China. Rumor has it that Buick is working on an electric crossover using the Chevrolet Bolt as a base.
      Aldred wouldn't go into what Buick's plan entails, only saying that will not only be electric vehicles.
      Source: Wards Auto

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Last month, General Motors announced an ambitious plan to launch 20 electric and hydrogen vehicles by 2023 with all of their brands playing a role. But Buick could be playing a prominent role in this plan.
      Duncan Aldred, vice president of sales and marketing at Buick-GMC tells Wards Auto that Buick will play a "huge part” in the coming years when it comes to EVs.
      “We will have multiple entries in a fairly short period of time. We’re GM’s biggest brand in the world’s biggest market. You’ll see a number of different technologies to go toward (our) zero-emissions objective,” said Aldred.
      That biggest market Aldred is referring to is China. In 2019, the country will require 10 percent of an automaker’s sales to be made up of low and zero-emission models. This rises to 12 percent in 2020. 
      “A lot of the electrification adoption will be driven by legislation.”
      Already, Buick sells a hybrid version of the LaCrosse and rebadged Chevrolet Volt as the Velite5 in China. Rumor has it that Buick is working on an electric crossover using the Chevrolet Bolt as a base.
      Aldred wouldn't go into what Buick's plan entails, only saying that will not only be electric vehicles.
      Source: Wards Auto
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