Buick Is Back
Your grandfather's brand regains its design mojo
One brand, though, stood out so much from its reputation (or, at least, my perception of it) that it was like running into Superman when you're expecting Clark Kent -- yep, there's a flicker of recognition, but you're sure the DNA must be different.
That brand -- and good for them -- is Buick. At the company's press conference this morning, watching the doors slide up and the Enclave, followed by the new Lacrosse, pull out was to re-evaluate what you know of Buick. They're seriously great-looking cars. If Buick is your grandfather's brand, that suddenly means the snap-brim fedora you inherited -- once again back as the height of fashion -- rather than a pair of high-waisted polyester-blend pants.
The third car to pull out on the dais was the all-new Buick Regal. Well, all-new in a sense: The car is actually based on the hugely popular European Opel Insignia -- it even retains the European specs to keep the fun level up behind the wheel.
Best of all, though, was that there was no obvious sign that the company sacrificed anything: The interiors looked and felt luxurious (even in the Lacrosse, which is positioned as near-luxury); the leather was supple; the displays, control panel and center clusters were well-designed and modern-looking (and the signature ice-blue ambient light should play particularly well among the younger crowd, who are likely to associate the color with high-end tech); and the doors -- indeed, everything -- felt substantial and well-crafted.
Price has yet to be announced, so there's a chance you'll have to pay dearly for it (the MSRP for the Lacrosse, for sake of comparison, runs from about $27,000 to $33,000); however, if the company can hold true to its press conference promise of "a luxury sedan without the luxury price tag," it might have a bona fide hit on its hands.
(Image via Carsuk.net.)
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