Buick has long been considered the industry's official caterer for older drivers. With a changing philosophy emphasizing class over utility, the brand has kept a demographic segment with an average age of 70 over the past several decades. Now, the average age is less after resurgence in technology upgrades and a rediscovery of sportiness and youth.
Here are the events and vehicles triggering Buick's comeback.
Debut of the 2012 Buick Verano – The new 2012 Buick Verano is the brand's first compact car and hopes to compete alongside the Lexis IS 250 and the Audi A3 by positioning itself as a luxury compact with Cruze-like features, including 10 standard air bags, a heated steering wheel and OnStar powered communications. It’s a welcome change for a brand with only three cars and a crossover in its lineup. The Verano goes on sale in Q4 2011.
Dependability – Buick has collected safety distinctions like clockwork, including JD Power Survey's vehicle dependability awards for the Lucerne, the brands flagship luxury car. Safety technology includes lane departure warning systems and Magnetic Ride Control.
The return of the Buick Regal – After a six-year absence, the Regal is back with a fresh sporty redesign and excellent power numbers with a 2.4 liter producing 182HP for 30 miles per gallon and a 7.5 0 to 60 mph time. At $26,000, it has garnered serious consideration over the class leading $34,000 BMW 3-Series which its sportiness which has severed ties with its Baby Boomer reputation.
The Buick Lacrosse – The Lacrosse is disengaged from past Buick's known for shoddy cabins and Mitsubishi-like styling with a fresh design that now boasts one of the most luxurious interiors in its class. Its price point ($27,000) is balanced between the entry-level luxury car segment and the higher trims of your Top 5 midsize sedans (think Fusion and Sonata). Plus, this car earned IIHS' Top Safety Pick award for 2011 and offers a generous four year, 50,000 mile warranty which is above average alongside competitors.