2015 Buick Encore Is a Winter Surprise

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Buick's tiny Encore is no stranger to exceeding expectations, most notably ride comfort and interior quality for a $25,000 small SUV. The subcompact SUV can easily add winter drivability to its list of accomplishments. After a storm dumped around 19 inches of snow on Chicagoland, my test all-wheel-drive 2015 Encore surprised me by proving it was up to the task.

Related: More Buick Encore News

With the Encore buried up to its front bumper and the undercarriage flattening the big snow mound underneath, the car clawed for traction and pulled itself up and over piles of snow with an almost Subaru-like confidence. Cars.com's long-term Jeep Cherokee test car with the basic all-wheel-drive system didn't muscle through the same snow pile as confidently the Encore.

By Joe Bruzek | February 20, 2015 | Comments (4)

2015 Buick Regal: Car Seat Check

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Buick's midsize sedan, the Regal, lives up to its name with its refined looks and powerful turbo four-cylinder engine. Parents will be thrilled with all these attributes as well as its ability to handle child-safety seats. With 37.3 inches of rear legroom, the Regal made easy work of car-seat installation.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

More Car Seat Checks

By Jennifer Newman | February 17, 2015 | Comments (1)

The Concept Cars of the 2015 Chicago Auto Show

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Car shoppers at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show will be able to get an up-close look at the year's newest vehicles, but it's not all business. This year's crop of concept cars is sure to catch a few eyes, from Buick's stunning and stylish Avenir sedan to Kia's hybrid off-road-ready Trail'ster.

More 2015 Chicago Auto Show News

This year's show starts Feb. 14 and continues until Feb. 22 at the McCormick Place convention center. Click here for tickets and times and here for a show floor map. Check out some of our favorite concept cars ... and a couple new production models that sure look like concepts.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 13, 2015 | Comments (0)

2015 Buick Encore, Chevrolet Trax Named IIHS Top Safety Picks

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Improvements to its structure have helped the 2015 Buick Encore, a subcompact crossover, earn a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Encore's lower-priced twin, the 2015 Chevrolet Trax, also received the Top Safety Pick designation.

Related: 2015 Chevrolet Trax Expert Review

The 2015 Encore received the top score of good in small- and moderate-overlap crash tests as well as side-impact, roof-strength and seat tests. The 2013-14 Encore rated good in four crash tests, but earmed the lowest score of poor in the small-overlap front crash test, which simulates the car's front corner colliding with a vehicle or a utility pole. This difficult test has caused many automakers to redesign their vehicles to provide better front crash protection.

To be named a Top Safety Pick, a car must receive a rating of good or acceptable in the small-overlap crash test as well as a good score in the remaining tests.

IIHS' highest award, the Top Safety Pick Plus, takes into account not only the crash-test scores but also if a vehicle has a frontal-crash prevention system. To earn the honor, a car's prevention system must receive a ranking of superior or advanced. The 2015 Encore earned the lowest rating of basic because it has an optional forward collision warning system. The Trax doesn't offer a forward collision warning system.

IIHS photo

By Jennifer Newman | February 10, 2015 | Comments (0)

GM Issues Stop Sale on Three 2015 Three-Row Crossovers

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A pending tire recall has prompted GM to issue a stop-sale mandate to dealers for three model-year 2015 SUVs. Approximately 6,000 versions of the Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclaves are affected. The vehicles use Goodyear tires that could crack.

Related: More Safety News

According to the Detroit News, the tire recall will include about 48,500 Fortera HL tires that were made from Nov. 30, 2014, through Jan. 10, 2015. Click here for the full story from the Detroit News.

Cars.com photo by Kelsey Mays

By Jennifer Geiger | January 22, 2015 | Comments (1)

2016 Buick Cascada Video

When you introduce your first convertible in 25 years to the public, you better hope it makes an impression. Cars.com's Kelsey Mays finds the European import to be rather unique in terms of where it fits in the U.S. market. In this video, he shows how the top retracts and how easy it is to get larger cargo in the trunk, even with the top down. But, yes … this Buick still has a lot of buttons for drivers to deal with.

Watch on YouTube

By David Thomas | January 12, 2015 | Comments (2)

More 2016 Buick Cascada Details and Photos

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Remember the Buick Reatta? That was the last convertible Buick offered in the U.S. This new Cascada arrives 25 years since the two-seat Reatta was discontinued, but what a return to open air motoring it is.

More 2015 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

From tip to tail, the Cascada oozes style.

In person, it's not quite as large as it appears in photos, a trick of the oversized wheels and tires, I suspect. It is extremely low and swoopy, and it's one of those rare convertibles that looks just as good with the top up or down.

By Aaron Bragman | January 12, 2015 | Comments (4)

Buick Avenir Concept Photo Gallery (26 Photos)

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Buick's new concept surprised for its stunning styling. The Avenir, French for future, is a full-size, all-wheel-drive sedan with a giant face, upswept LED headlights, 21-inch wheels and a sculpted body.

More 2015 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

Check out the gallery below; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears.

By Jennifer Geiger | January 12, 2015 | Comments (10)

Buick Avenir Concept: First Look

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Looks like: Buick acquired some French style along with its new concept's French name.

Defining characteristics: The all-wheel-drive, four-passenger full-size sedan has a bold face, broad shoulders and chiseled lines.

Ridiculous features: It's gorgeous … and it's a Buick.

Chance of being mass-produced: It's doubtful that it will see the showroom in a version even remotely close to the concept: "It demonstrates the growing international reach of Buick and offers an exciting vision of where it can go," the automaker said in a statement.

Related: More 2015 Detroit Auto Show News

Buick is bringing some European flair to this year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit; on the heels of announcing its new Opel-based convertible, the Cascada, GM's upscale brand also took the wraps off the Avenir concept, which is French for future.

By Jennifer Geiger | January 11, 2015 | Comments (6)

2016 Buick Cascada: First Look

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Competes with: Volkswagen Eos, Volkswagen Beetle, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro

Looks like: The spiritual successor to the old Chrysler 200 convertible

Drivetrain: 200-hp, turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder; six-speed automatic transmission; front-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Early 2016

Convertibles in the U.S. seem to come in only two flavors these days: muscle cars or expensive luxury models. The days of inexpensive convertibles for the common buyer are gone with the demise of the Chrysler 200 (nee Sebring) and Toyota Solara. If you want a four-seat convertible, you can have a rear-wheel-drive Chevrolet Camaro or Ford Mustang, or an expensive German, British or Italian luxury car. But now there's a new arrival from Europe that may give shoppers a stylish option.

More 2015 Detroit Auto Show News

Based on the Opel of the same name, the new 2016 Buick Cascada is set to arrive in about a year, providing a unique offering in showrooms that really has no direct competition in the U.S. Under the skin, the Cascada is essentially a Buick Verano turbo with two fewer doors and a folding roof, while its bodywork looks like the latest Opel Astra. It's a product of GM's new global initiative with Buick in which a number of U.S.-market vehicles are sourced from Europe's Opel division with a little rebadging and slightly different sheet metal.

By Aaron Bragman | January 11, 2015 | Comments (4)

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