The last time Buick had graced the cover of Motor Trend magazine was way back in August of 1982, with the release of the Century T-Type. We couldn’t be happier to see that Buick is now getting the recognition is properly deserves while it transforms itself from “grandpa’s car” into a modern, premium brand. That revolution started with the release of the Enclave a couple years back, and continued with the release of the LaCrosse luxury sedan last year, and now with the release of the Regal sport sedan this year.
I’ll be the first to admit that before the transformation, Buick was stale – I, being in my early twenties, would never have considered buying a Buick. The last model that appealed to me would have been the late-80’s GNX, of which you’ll find about 400 examples nation wide, and was more of an anomaly for Buick than a stepping stone. The cars of the 90’s and into the 2000’s were made and marketed for the older generation, with no regard for young buyers in mind. The Enclave was really the first step Buick took to become proactive in looking for customers in a new demographic – sure it’s still got the luxury and ride to appeal to the older generation, but take one look at it and you can’t tell me it wouldn’t fit right in in the garage of a young family.
The LaCrosse came next, and that really got everyone thinking about the new direction this brand was heading in – like the Enclave it still had all the amenities you would want out of the Buick, but in a much, much more appealing (for me, anyway) package. Not to mention the slew of technological options inside – ie stereo, navigation, flip up rear DVD screens – that could be had.
Lastly, and finally, came the Regal this year. After generating buzz at auto shows with its new styling and flair, dealers started getting their first shipments of the new sport sedan in spring of this year. In his review of the 2011 Regal, Motor Trend Editor-in-Chief Angus Mackenzie says the Regal “is the first Buick in history with internationally chic sheetmetal and sophisticated road manners to match,” and that it “is truly likely to appeal to young, affluent, trend-setting import buyers.” I couldn’t agree with him more – I’ve never looked at a Buick the way I look at the Regal, and a couple years ago when we were selling Centurys and Park Avenues (great cars in their own right, just not my style) I would have never imagined a Buick being compared to a Lexus or Audi the way the Regal and LaCrosse have been. This coming year we are expecting to see the Regal GS – although it hasn’t been officially announced by GM – and I can’t wait to see the buzz around that car. A Buick AWD sport sedan with a turbo and 6-speed stick you say? Sign me up. The latest word we’ve got has been hinting at a small premium car, as well as a small cross-over in the coming years – I say if they keep up the work they’ve done with their last few models, keep ’em coming!