Buick’s Fabulous Five
Buick has overhauled its entire model line up by cancelling out models and bringing out several new vehicle lines.
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The Buick Motor Division of the General Motors Corporation is in transition, much like the rest of the venerable auto company. Old models have been canceled, new models added, and the current line up is radically different from just three years earlier. Now down to five models, the remaining vehicles in the Buick line up are all winners. Let’s take a look at each model and what they have to offer to you, the consumer.
<b>Lucerne</b> – Buick’s Roadmaster and LeSabre are both gone, but the full size Lucerne have taken their place. Featuring V8 power and luxurious appointments such as heated and cooled seats, liquid heated windshield fluid, and leather appointments, the big Lucerne is based on the Cadillac DTS, but the car sells for more than $10,000 less than its up market Caddy cousin.
<b>Lacrosse</b> – This five seat sedan is sleek, aerodynamic, and quiet. With starting prices in the low 20 thousand dollar range, the car competes against the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.
<b>Rainier</b> – The larger of two Buick SUVs, the Rainier comes standard with a 275hp I6, Stabitrak suspension/steering system, eight way driver powered seats, leather seating, and more.
<b>Rendezvous</b> – As Buick’s first SUV, the Rendezvous has succeeded where its Pontiac cousin, the Aztek, failed. Available in two or four wheel drive, the Rendezvous features seating for five [with available seating for seven], four wheel disc brakes, and a host of sought after outdoorsmen desired accessories.
<b>Terraza</b> – Is it a minivan or is it an SUV? The Terraza is part of a family of GM crossover vehicles introduced in the 2005 model year. This seven passenger vehicle comes equipped with a 3.5L I6 engine and is available in either front wheel drive or all wheel drive. As GM considers getting rid of its aging and unpopular line of minivans, the Terraza and its cousins will likely step in and fill the hole.
General Motors has been fairly silent regarding the future of the Buick division. Some have been concerned by the steady depletion of models while others are seeing Buick make a clean break from its past which has included several uninspiring models such as the Century and the Roadmaster.
In spite of everything, the Buick Enclave, featured at the recently ended Detroit Auto Show received rave reviews. The Enclave is yet another crossover vehicle and it should hit Buick showrooms by 2008.
Clearly, Buick could use a wider variety of vehicles to ensure its long term success. Perhaps the type of success the division had when the Regal was part of the fold would reinstate the division to its past glory, if a car matching the Regal’s caliber was developed.