So, Buick has this great advertising line with some doddering old ladies, where one of them says to the other, “That’s not a Buick!” and the other retorts with simply “That’s what I told him!” Well, let’s be honest here–that’s a comment which hasn’t held water well in the past three years, as the current lineup still has a resemblance to teh products on the market as late as 2007-2008, which weren’t any good. The design was stale, the platforms were outdated, and, other than the new (at the time) Enclave SUV, the appeal was rather limited. Luckily, I think now that advertisement has finally come to fruition, and the new Avista proves that the new design language is here to stay.
Buick has worked for the past year to either satisfy the Chinese market, or to whet American appetites, depending on who’s talking. The Avista, the third in line of a set of three (thus far) larger cars, is a furthering of not only design language, but possibly where the brand wants to go. Buick has pushed hard recently to pick up younger buyers since 2012–but for the most part, I don’t think they’ve succeeded as far as they’ve hoped. The Verano and Regal, while not bad themselves, aren’t flagship material and the big LaCrosse, as nice a car as it is, won’t cut it either. The Avenir sedan, while a gorgeous piece of design, was slated to go towards the Chinese market, not our own. Luckily, the Avista seems to be pointed right at the USA.
Buick did a great job with this concept–and it seems like the most important parts are production-ready. The Alpha design architecture, already in use for the Cadillac ATS and CTS as well as the new Camaro, has been warmly received by both myself and by Nick. Buick also grabbed the twin-turbocharged 3.0L V6, familiar to us as the top-dog engine in the CT6, an 8-speed automatic transmission, touch-pad door handles, and a 2+2 interior layout. So, I see a smooth operator with a beautiful body and gorgeous appointments on the inside. Buick could easily pull off a nice grand tourer–and if they keep it around 55 large, I see this car as a popular choice for young professionals who may not want a BMW, but see a Cadillac as too much of an adult’s car. Nice job, Buick–now build it, because I’ll be happy to buy it and make everyone else in New Jersey do the same. In fact, call it the Riviera. Bring back that name and put it on this.
-Albert S. Davis