Month: August 2014 reviews the 2015 Buick Enclave

So everyone from urban warrior to rural-route box-holder could use a family oriented full-size crossover, right? Well, Buick is expected to return with its 2015 Enclave lineup in late summer of this year with a few upgrades and refreshments that should please both the warrior and the woodsman.

2015 Buick Enclave

This plus-size people-hauler will return in its traditional three trims (or “groups” in Buick-land) with said versions to include the base Convenience Group, the midlevel Leather Group and the flagship Premium group in defining affordable luxury. The standard 3 rows of seating for 7 via second-row captain’s chairs also return in the latest Enclave iterations, with the Premium Group again remaining eligible for an available second-row bench seat for 8-passenger capacity. Also expected back for 2015 is the relatively roomy 115.2 cubic feet of cargo area that yawns before you when the rear seatbacks are folded down.

One thing that remains unchanged for the coming model year’s Enclave stable is the standard (and only) powertrain offering. Expect this hefty crossover to return packing a 3.6-liter variable-valve-timed (VVT) V6 and the capable 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission of yesteryear, with the consequent ability to deliver 288 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. Towing should remain maxed out at 4,500 pounds with the available trailer hitch and wiring installed, while mileage figures are expected to again come in at an estimated 17 mpg city/24 highway in the standard front-wheel-drive (FWD) iterations. If, however, the possibility of snow and ice and muck is forecast, the 2015 Enclave can be delivered with available full-time all-wheel drive (AWD) to make said inconveniences just a tad more bearable.

Look for this crafty crossover in each trim guise to again flaunt a veritable plethora of cabin bling. Depending on the trim selected, be on the lookout for 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels, a roof rack, heated power-adjustable mirrors and a power liftgate outside, as well as cloth or leather upholstery, heated and ventilated power-adjustable front seats and reclining second-row seats inside. Full power accessories, cruise control and telescoping tilt-wheel steering should again be delivered in the entire 2015 Enclave lineup, as should a rear-view camera, rear parking sensors, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a remote garage door opener and OnStar Directions and Connections technology interfaced with Bluetooth hands-free calling. Alas, the 2015 Enclave seems not to have been invited to the party where favors include the new 4G LTE WiFi interface.

The Leather Group and its swankier Premium Group sibling are expected to offer such additional bling as memory for driver’s settings and reverse-tilt outside mirrors, with the Upscale Premium Group also adding a power-folding feature to the outside mirrors.

Entertainment-wise, look for lower trims to sport a single-CD player with 6 speakers and satellite radio, while the Premium Group is expected to remain toting its standard Bose premium system with 10 speakers including a subwoofer. All audio systems, by the way, should return interfaced with a 6.5-inch dashboard display screen.

In keeping with tradition, lower Enclave trims should once more be eligible for optional items that come standard in higher trims, while upgraded and upsized wheels should again remain available for 2015. Optional touchscreen navigation and a power sunroof also return in the Leather Group and the Premium Group, while the available rear-seat DVD entertainment system is re-situated for 2015 to reduce the incidence of motion sickness for those who can’t do without their daily/weekly/monthly movie fix.

Finally, antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags and 3-row head airbags, along with Buick’s unique center-mounted front airbag system all remain standard safety equipment, as do the LED daytime running lights from a mid-2014 refresh. Additionally, turn-signal-integrated mirrors, high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights, OnStar emergency assistance, a post-collision safety system and a remote antitheft alarm are also expected back for the 2015 Enclave lineup. Meanwhile, look for the top-shelf 2015 Enclave Premium Group to return flaunting standard safety extras like lane-departure and rear cross-traffic alerts, as well as a blind-spot warning system and adaptive headlights.


Next-gen LaCrosse, Cascada convertible coming to Buick showrooms in 2016 – Autoblog

By  Brandon Turkus RSS feed Google+

Posted Jul 23rd 2014 6:03PM

Opel Cascada

According to Automotive News, we should expect the next-generation LaCrosse to arrive late next year or early in 2016, as a 2016 model. AN expects big design changes, as Buick attempts to further the LaCrosse from its popular platform-mate, the Chevrolet Impala. The changes won’t be so radical, though, as to do away with its front-drive architecture, as the latest version of the Epsilon platform will underpin the next LaCrosse. The 3.6-liter V6 is likely to carry on, although a smaller, budget-minded offering is also extremely likely (we’ll eat our hat if it’s not the 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder from the Regal, Verano and Cadillac CTS et al.).

The other issue plaguing Buick’s lineup is a lack of a midsize crossover. This is particularly damning for the brand as most of its showrooms are shared with GMC, which boasts its own midsizer in the form of the Terrain. With the upcoming Envision (see here for teasers), that problem should be addressed. Like the LaCrosse, the Envision will likely be a 2016 model. It will debut and launch in China early next year, while we can expect it to arrive stateside later next year, or even early in 2016. For American consumers, both a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and the aforementioned 2.0T could see action in the Envision.

Finally, while Buick can boast a pair of vehicles available with manual transmissions, it’s still far from what we’d call a brand for fun driving experiences. Of course, one way of solving that problem is with a two-door convertible. Yes, it’s extremely likely that the Euro-market Opel Cascada convertible will be sold in the US early in 2016. Whether it keeps the Cascada name is unclear (all in favor of Skylark, say “aye”). Regardless, adding a reasonably priced, relaxed, two-door droptop to the Buick range to fill the space left by the not-so-dearly departed Chrysler 200 Convertible seems like a no brainer.

What are you thoughts on these plans? Should Buick be addressing other needs? Would you consider a Buick convertible? Should the brand push even further to distinguish the LaCrosse from the Impala? Have your say in Comments.