December's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

Avalon

Automakers won't report December sales results until later today, but we have data on the month's fastest and slowest sellers. The redesigned Toyota Avalon hit dealerships in the first week of December, and it stormed the fastest-selling list, with regular and hybrid versions averaging just eight days apiece on dealer lots. Shoppers moved toward the Ford F-Series Super Duty pickup truck, too. That’s likely a result of an improved construction market; November housing starts hit their second highest rate since mid-2008.

The redesigned Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, which hit dealerships in September, spent its third month among the fastest sellers; the new-for-2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek also marked its third month on the list. Of the 18 fastest-selling cars, 10 were repeat performers, with such regulars as the redesigned Subaru Impreza and new Scion FR-S. The Kia Soul's severe mileage downgrade doesn't seem to have sapped demand, and neither has the popular hatchback's age. It debuted way back in early 2009, but in December it placed among the fastest sellers for the third month in a row.

By Kelsey Mays | January 3, 2013 | Comments (3)

GM Confirms New GMC Canyon, Plus Nine New or Updated Cars by End of 2013

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In a conference call minutes ago, GM confirmed a redesigned GMC Canyon will roll off the assembly line at the automaker's Wentzville, Mo., plant at some point down the road. Officials at Buick and GMC also confirmed nine new or refreshed products coming from the brands by the end of 2013.

We've already seen the refreshed GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave, as well as the new Buick Encore. But GM confirmed updates, as expected, on GMC's full-size trucks and SUVs: the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL SUVs, as well as the Sierra and Sierra HD pickups. Expect significant updates or full redesigns to the Buick Regal and LaCrosse, too.

"The Terrain and Verano will be the oldest non-commercial models for each brand in the showroom at the end of 2013," Buick and GMC marketing chief Tony DiSalle told reporters.

By Kelsey Mays | September 20, 2012 | Comments (10)

2013 Buick Enclave Starts at $39,270

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Model-year 2013 pricing for GM's midsize crossovers is slowly rolling out. It was the updated GMC Acadia on Wednesday. Today, it's the Acadia's upscale sibling, the 2013 Buick Enclave.

The three-row crossover will start at $39,270 including an $825 destination charge. It's up about $2,000 compared to the 2012 model, but the new version includes more standard equipment.

For the new model year, the Enclave gets a refreshed exterior with LED-accented head- and taillights, an upgraded interior and GM's new multimedia system, IntelliLink. More standard features also join its equipment list, like a new center airbag for front-row passengers, a backup camera and a rear parking assist system.

By Jennifer Geiger | September 13, 2012 | Comments (15)

Buick's Different Sort of Collision Warning System

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Buick added a host of safety features for 2013: a standard backup camera and optional cross-traffic and blindspot alerts to the Verano, a standard front-center airbag for the Enclave and optional forward collision and lane departure warnings for the new Encore. An interesting tidbit: Rather than repurposing the radar from adaptive cruise control mounted near or in the car's grille — often the way collision warning systems work — the Encore sees oncoming obstacles with a windshield-mounted camera that takes 10 to 12 images per second.

"It looks at the change in size of [the] object as you approach it," GM safety engineer Ray Kiefer told us last week. "It works much like the human eye."

The system doesn't engage automatic braking, which some do. But it could help avoid fender benders and lower repair costs for the ones that happen.

By Kelsey Mays | August 9, 2012 | Comments (1)

GM Files 'Riviera' Trademark

Buick Riviera

The Buick brand has been gaining momentum in recent years with popular entries like the Enclave and the LaCrosse. As the premium marque continues to fill out its lineup with compact entries like the Encore and the Verano, there's some evidence the brand may get it's coveted “Riviera” nameplate back, according to GM Inside News, a General Motors' enthusiast web forum.

From the 1963-99 model years, the Riviera was a halo coupe car for Buick. Trademarking the Riviera name doesn't necessarily mean GM plans on making a production vehicle or even a concept vehicle for that matter. However, there are some indications that it wants to further expand the Buick lineup — especially to capitalize on growing sales in China, where Buick is one of the largest brands.

Two years ago, Buick told us it was considering adding a coupe, convertible and wagon to its lineup.

If those models are still in the cards, it's possible that the coupe/convertible could get the Riviera nod, but we'll just have to wait and see.

GM Trademarks Riviera Name For Vehicle Use (GM Inside News)

By Colin Bird | May 11, 2012 | Comments (7)

Recall Alert: 2011-12 Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia

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General Motors is recalling 50,001 model-year 2011 and 2012 versions of its midsize crossovers due to problems their windshield wiper arms, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The recall affects Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia models registered in the following Snow Belt states: Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Alaska and the District of Columbia. In these vehicles, snow or ice buildup on the windshield wipers restricts them and could loosen the arm, rendering it inoperable. This decreases visibility and increases the risk of a crash.

GM will notify owners starting April 16, and dealers will tighten the wiper arm nuts free of charge. Owners can call NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info.

By Jennifer Geiger | April 12, 2012 | Comments (0)

Second-Row Supremacy for Three-Row Crossovers

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There's one hard and fast reality about three-row crossovers: You — or more likely your kids — have to get past the second row to get to the third. It's just plain logic.

More 2012 New York Auto Show Coverage

At the 2012 New York auto show, one of my favorite second rows in terms of third-row access is found in GM's trio of three-row crossovers — the Buick Enclave, Chevy Traverse and GMC Acadia. All three have recent upgrades for the upcoming model year, but even the current models are appealing.

By Sara Lacey | April 10, 2012 | Comments (0)

2013 Buick Enclave: Photo Gallery

2013 Buick Enclave

The 2013 Buick Enclave gets the same treatment that its sibling crossovers — the Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia — received for the model year, including a new face and interior updates.

More 2012 New York Auto Show Coverage

The Enclave is the only one of the trio to get the new front center airbag as standard equipment. The Enclave also gets the new IntelliLink multimedia system standard, too.

By Colin Bird | April 6, 2012 | Comments (14)

2013 Buick Enclave: Up Close

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Buick unveiled the redesigned Enclave in New York today, and its look is sleeker and more up-to-date. The grille is a bit bigger and LEDs surround the headlight cluster and taper back along the hood a bit give a more upscale look, a la Audi, a brand that Buick is happy to point out it outsold in 2011. The Enclave's rear end seems less bulbous than the previous generation, with the exhaust outlets worked into the bumper.

More 2012 New York Auto Show Coverage

Buick says the interior design came after studying equestrian equipment, and there's certainly that feel inside with ample leather coverings. In addition, Buick has added the same ambient blue lighting inside that it features in its current sedan lineup. The most noticeable change inside is the center stack. It was one of the old Enclave’s stodgiest features, and the new version has IntelliLink, Buick’s entertainment system.

Intellilink, which comes standard, has customizable screens much like MyFord Touch, but Buick says it will be easy to use. We'll have to try it out to see if it delivers on that promise. It has a 7-inch screen that also displays the standard backup camera's image. The climate controls are also updated, with knobs that are large but seem substantial unlike the plastic feel of the previous generation. While the center stack is updated, the steering-wheel controls remain the same as the previous generation.

By Patrick Olsen | April 3, 2012 | Comments (3)

2013 Buick Enclave at 2012 New York Auto Show

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  • Competes with: Acura MDX, Infiniti JX, Lincoln MKT
  • Looks like: Small changes should maintain sales
  • Drivetrain: 288-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 engine; six-speed automatic transmission; front or all-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: This fall

We've seen GM's updated versions of the GMC Acadia and the Chevy Traverse, and now the company's luxury three-row crossover gets similar enhancements. Most noticeable is a reworked hood running into an industrial-styled grille and, as is par for the course these days, LED running lights.

More Coverage of the 2012 New York Auto Show

The back gets similar LED lights and a few other slight tweaks you can see in the photos below, and there are some new wheel choices, but the Enclave will probably be the hardest to tell apart from its predecessor of the three.

By David Thomas | April 3, 2012 | Comments (5)

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