Buick has the most sustained history of all American automakers. Founded in 1899, it was then later incorporated as the Buick Motor Company in 1903. Buick was the first American company to use turn signals in its products.
For over 100 years, Buick developed its brand as a premium one that sells luxury vehicles at entry-level prices. That’s what you’ll find with Buick today, too.
Buick doesn’t have a wide variety of vehicles, allowing it to focus on its valuable niche. There are three crossovers in three choices of size, ranging from the subcompact Encore to the spacious midsized Enclave. Additionally, Buick offers the Regal Sportback and LaCrosse sedans. New Buicks start between $26,695 and $44,795, increasing with package and upgrade selections.
Buick vehicles depreciate fast. Both the Enclave and the Encore dropped drastically in value in the first year. According to Edmunds, the Enclave depreciated $26,989 over five years. The Encore depreciated $11,970 in the same period.
The century-old American automaker has a reputation for reliability. Consumer Reports backs up these claims, ranking the Enclave as one of the top large luxury SUVs.
The Enclave also received a Consumer Reports score of 76. This score factors in predicted owner satisfaction, road test performances, crash prevention systems, predicted reliability, and national crash-test results. The Envision also receives high marks for its suite of safety features.
21 mpg combined
The 2020 Enclave comes with a brand-new package called the Sport Touring package. It’s an option you can only get at the mid-range Essence level. The Sport Touring package adds 20-inch chrome and graphite wheels, a black mesh front grille, and a grille surround that matches the body color. All Enclaves come with a 360-degree exterior camera and Buick’s infotainment system on an 8-inch display.
The Enclave returns 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.
27 mpg combined
Compared to last year, the 2020 Encore is missing a few features. For example, the Sport Touring package no longer comes with an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone climate control, or standard navigation. Likewise, there is no longer a choice in the engine; all Encores come with a 138-horsepower engine. Car and Driver tested a Buick sister brand with the same engine and reached 60 miles per hour in 9.3 seconds.
The Encore returns 25 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.
28 mpg combined
Though the name may sound familiar, the 2020 Encore GX is brand-new. It comes with two choices of three-cylinder turbo engines. The default engine is a 1.2-liter engine capable of generating 137 horses, but you can upgrade to a 1.3-liter that ekes out another 18 horses. The smaller engine transmits power to the front wheels through a continuously variable automatic transmission, but the larger engine gets a nine-speed.
The Encore GX gets 26 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.
25 mpg combined
Envision buyers have two choices of four-cylinder engines for the 2020 market. The standard engine is a 2.5-liter one that generates 197 horses, paired with a six-speed automatic and either a front- or all-wheel drive. You can upgrade to a 2.0-liter engine that gets over 250 horses, paired with a nine-speed auto transmission. In either case, the Envision comes with plenty of room for a whole family.
The Envision achieves 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.
Buick Regal Sportback
26 mpg combined
Underneath the hood, the 2020 Regal has a 250-horsepower turbo engine that gives it the juice to drive fast and responsively. The default gearbox is a smooth nine-speed that transmits power to the front wheels, but you can change this setup. The other option is an eight-speed automatic with an all-wheel drive. Car and Driver tested these vehicles and noted the eight-speed doesn’t shift as smoothly as the default transmission. However, an all-wheel-drive Sportback is by no means slow, reaching 60 mph in 5.6 seconds.
The Regal Sportback returns 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.
In 2019, J.D. Power ranked 31 automaker brands for dependability, and Buick ranked fifth. Some Buick models ranked well for reliability, meaning your Buick will likely last for years. Even reliable cars need regular maintenance and occasional repairs over the years, though.
According to RepairPal, Buick drivers pay an average of $608 per year for repairs. On average, Buick drivers visit a mechanic for unscheduled repairs 0.3 times per year. Of those unscheduled repairs, 13% are severe.
Buick’s QuietTuning feature helps reduce and absorb unwanted road noise with active noise-cancellation technology. For example, the Enclave comes with a noise-reducing rear suspension, acoustic laminated glass, and triple door seals.
Select Buick models also receive the brand’s infotainment system. The touch screen displays a high-resolution, full-color interface. It’s an intuitive and attractive interface that utilizes Bluetooth smartphone streaming for music and navigation.
Buick vehicles come with many standard and optional safety features like lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, forward collision alert, pedestrian braking, and a rear camera mirror.
Lane-keep assist keeps drivers centered in their lane if their attention wavers. Buick’s lane-departure warning system alerts the driver when the vehicle drifts away from the current path. It only activates when the driver doesn’t use a turn signal to change lanes.
The forward collision alert feature warns you if the Buick detects the potential for an accident. For example, if you’re getting too close to the car ahead of you, the alert will trigger. Front pedestrian braking relies on a similar detection system but responds to someone suddenly walking ahead of your vehicle. Finally, a rear camera mirror with high-definition surround sound gives drivers greater visibility when backing up a Buick.
Buick models also generally receive good ratings in safety tests. For example, the 2020 Encore received “Good” in all tests except in small overlap front driver protection, which received an “Acceptable” score.
What’s Next?/Future Products
In July 2020, Buick announced a battery-electric compact crossover SUV called the Velite 7. The company developed the Velite 7 for the Chinese market, but it’s based on another General Motors’ make and model: the Chevy Bolt EV. There aren’t many details about the Velite 7, but, likely, Buick will not have its name on any American version.
Buick also has something new in store for the 2021 Envision SUV. Next year’s model will come with an all-new exterior design that will make the Envision look less unassuming. Buick hasn’t revealed much information about the redesign yet, so it’s hard to say which trim will offer the best balance of features and price. If these factors remain unchanged from 2020, the Essence and Premium trims will likely continue to satisfy most buyers.