Category Archives: Buick

How to Get a Newfangled Car through the Car Wash



I’m a big fan of Car Talk. I thought this was a really great question and wanted to share it.


Dear Car Talk:

I have a 2017 Buick LaCrosse that has the gas-saving feature of shutting off the engine at stops and then restarting when the brake is released. It also has an unfortunate feature of putting the transmission into park whenever the start/stop button is pushed to stop the engine; the only way to leave the car in neutral is to leave the engine running.

So, how do I manage to get the car through a commercial car wash? Are they familiar with this peculiarity? I asked a salesman at my Buick dealer this question. His response was that the car-wash tracks are wet and, therefore, slippery: “Just leave it in park and let the wheels slide.” That is about the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Is there a way to run the car through a car wash without sliding the tires? The only way I can think of is to leave the engine running, and then the transmission can be put into neutral. However, I don’t think the car-wash people would like that. — Newton

The salesman’s an idiot, Newton. I mean, I’m an idiot, too, but since this is my column, I’ll call him out first.

Putting the car in neutral is exactly what you should do. If your car wash is the most common type, where the driver stays in the car, then you can leave it running, use the foot brake when you come out the other end, then put it back in drive and go. If it’s a car wash that requires you to exit the vehicle, you may have to open the driver’s door first, before putting the car in neutral, to prevent it from shifting into park automatically when you open the door.

Actually, lots of cars are having trouble getting through automatic car washes these days. Car washes haven’t had this much publicity since “The Bikini Carwash Company II” came out in 1993. It turns out a lot of the new “autonomous driving” safety equipment is not playing well with these car- cleaning tunnels. For instance, a lot of new cars have a wonderful feature called “automatic emergency braking.” If the car senses an object in front of you — like a stopped car or a human dressed as a tuna fish sandwich — and you don’t brake in time, it assumes you’re distracted and it automatically stops itself for you. Now, what do you think it does when it sees a giant spinning buffer heading toward your grille (unless the system disengages itself when the car is put in neutral)?

Other cars automatically apply the parking brake if the car is stopped for more than a few seconds. This also is a great safety improvement. It’s prevented people from stepping out of the car without putting the transmission in park first and running over themselves. Hey, it happens!

So for people like you, with newer cars, you’ll have to check your owner’s manual. More and more of them now have instructions for going through an automatic car wash. It’s more complicated than in the old days, when all you had to do was decline the muffler polish, give the guy your eight bucks and remember to close the window. Now you often have to disable a bunch of safety features, lest you find yourself at the front of the line, unable to go forward through the car wash, with 16 people behind you getting furious while you scan the index of your owner’s manual.

I’m not intimately familiar with the 2017 Buick LaCrosse, but if it’ll stay in neutral with the car running, and it doesn’t have those safety features engaged, you should be fine. Hope you can clean yourself up, Newton.

Dear Car Talk How to Get a Newfangled Car through the Car Wash

Ray Magliozzi

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

2018 Buick Enclave First Drive Review | Fortress of quietude

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ATLANTA, Ga. — The 2018 Enclave is part of Buick’s effort to reinvigorate its brand, positioning itself as a maker of “attainable luxury” vehicles. That means a total redesign, a number of safety and technology upgrades, and the introduction of the Avenir sub-brand (think of that last one as sort of the Denali of Buick). It also means more space and more luxury. With this in mind, we traveled to Atlanta to get to know the new Enclave, both in the city and on a long drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains into North Carolina.

Our first impressions of the new Enclave came not from the driver’s seat, but from a

captain’s chair in the second row (which is the traditional seating arrangement for a true captain, of course). We were riding from the Atlanta airport to a studio to learn more about the vehicle. That very first impression was, “Wow, this interior is really nice.” The leather upon which we sat was soft, smooth to the touch, and interesting in its shapeliness. Looking around the cabin, we saw a lot of gentle curves and thoughtful accents that made the inside of the Enclave feel downright premium. It was a fresh and airy sense of taste though, and definitely not the seasoned wood-and-whiskey stodginess one might expect from the Buick name.

Our second impression: “Boy, it’s quiet in here.” Heading toward downtown Atlanta on the freeway, we were unable to pick up wind noise, and only just a smidge of road noise as the Enclave trundled over the occasional rough patch of pavement. This is, of course, completely intentional on the part of Buick. The windshield and front windows use acoustic glass. The doors are triple sealed for a tighter, quieter fit when closed. Buick has insulated the Enclave with more sound deadening and included active noise cancellation. “Our goal is to make it as social as possible,” said Dean Perelli, chief engineer for the Enclave. And social it is. It is easy to carry on conversation across the Enclave’s three roomy rows.

2018 Buick Enclave

When we got out of the Enclave, we had a chance to take it in from the outside. It features attractive, wing-like lighting front and rear. The front signature lighting uses technology called “Evonik Acrylite,” (a mouthful, even for the engineers) which is a polycarbonate material arranged in a dazzling, faceted and delicate array. The paint finishes we saw were attractive, with depth. The Enclave features a floating-style roof that extends into a rear spoiler, and it makes the rear three-quarter view our favorite angle from which to view the car. We really enjoyed the contrast of the painted rear bumper, a classier look than plastic cladding, which would have looked too rough for this refined Enclave. Its large aluminum alloy wheels look sporty, and offer nice finishes as well, our favorite being a just slightly less-than-glossy almost-chrome.

The new Enclave has a wheelbase two inches longer than the previous generation, which translates to more room for third-row passengers. The packaging of the suspension – MacPehrson front and five-link rear – is more compact than previous generations, allowing Buick to take advantage of the added space. The “Magic Slide” second-row captain’s chair on the passenger side can kneel forward to allow rear egress even with a child seat strapped on. There’s a good amount of room for stuff, too. The floor of the rear cargo area lifts up to reveal a deep well with hooks to keep your groceries in place. The spare tire is located even further below that, thanks to some spatial miracle on the part of Buick.

Before we got behind the wheel, we learned a bit about the air quality system. Not only does the Enclave feature tri-zone automatic climate control, it also has an ionizer for air purification. Located in the ductwork, it produces negative ions that capture finer pollutants and allergens like dust, pollen, smoke, bacteria, viruses and odors, and clumps them together to make them either fall out of the air or become more easily caught in the air filter. If you’re someone who suffers from seasonal allergies or lives in a smoggy city, you might appreciate this technology.

2018 Buick Enclave2018 Buick Enclave2018 Buick Enclave2018 Buick Enclave

The Enclave is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 producing 310 horsepower and 266 pound feet of torque. That power goes to the wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission. While it’s not underpowered, it’s not exactly what we’d call quick, either – 0-60 miles per hour comes in 6.4 seconds in the front-wheel drive version, while the all-wheel drive Enclave makes the same sprint in 7.1 seconds. There’s enough get-up to merge at highway speeds on a short onramp. The V6 mostly makes itself unheard, but on the occasions it does pipe up, it produces a pleasant note.

The really impressive thing about this powertrain is its smoothness, and the transmission is truly the highlight of the new Enclave’s refined drive experience. This CUV is already quiet, but its buttery shifts make acceleration a completely drama-free activity, and almost CVT-like in its linearity (without the awful droning that often accompanies continuously variable transmissions). While we could hear the shifts happening under full throttle, we couldn’t really feel them. We didn’t find much value or engagement using the paddles on the back of the steering wheel, and preferred to let this exceptional transmission sort the gears on its own.

The Enclave’s ride is just as isolating as the rest of the driving experience. Our car also had the upgraded suspension with continuous damping control. “We tied it down more than other vehicles,” Perelli told us ahead of our drive. This all translated to a calm ride up front, with the bumps largely unfelt and body roll quite well managed, even in the hairpin corners on the rural highways of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Sitting in the third row, though, we felt more motion through the suspension, but it was still comfortable through the corners.

Make no mistake about it, though: This is a big vehicle. On Atlanta’s city streets, it was difficult to be confident about placing the Enclave in its lane, mostly because the corners of the vehicle are hidden from view. While it might be a little tricky on a tight city street, the Enclave offers a number of features to help ensure safety and make the drive easier. It has a rear-view camera (with a spray nozzle), which displays in the mirror to provide a wider view à la the Cadillac CT6. A 360-degree camera view is extremely helpful when parking. Lane-keep assist is subtle, and helps keep it steady on the highway, where the lines are generally more defined. The adaptive cruise control works well, bringing the car to a full stop.

2018 Buick Enclave

The Enclave is also a connected vehicle. In addition to OnStar, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, it offers 4G LTE Wi-Fi running on AT&T’s cellular service. In all but the most remote parts of our trip through the Blue Ridge Mountains, it worked quite well with a number of people using it simultaneously. There’s enough room, even in the third row, to whip out a laptop and work online, assuming you’re not prone to motion sickness. Our vehicle also had a couple of USB ports in every row, allowing us to charge a phone from any seat in the vehicle.

For years, Buick was a bit of a punching bag, and while some of the shade tossed its way has been unfair or cliché, much of it was deserved. It’s rare for a product from the brand to stir up much emotion either way. Frankly, we were caught off guard by the way the 2018 Enclave — not just a Buick, but a crossover — made us feel, and it has us rethinking the brand. The price tag might still be a deterrent for some buyers, but if you’re looking at an Acura MDX or an Infiniti QX60, you ought to take a look at the Enclave, too. You might be just as surprised by it as we were. Furthermore, you might find some GM dealer incentives to sweeten the deal.
Unless it’s a fluke, the 2018 Enclave demonstrates a renewed savviness on the part of the brand in terms of technology, design, attention to detail, and that hard-to-quantify but perhaps most important quality, charisma. If this CUV is evidence of the brand’s new tack, (and Buick has basically said as much) we won’t be as surprised with Buick’s success as we were about how much this new Enclave resonates with us. In fact, this new Buick is something we could really get used to.

Continue reading 2018 Buick Enclave First Drive Review | Fortress of quietude

2018 Buick Enclave First Drive Review | Fortress of quietude originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 06 Oct 2017 09:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2018 Buick Regal GS Makes World Debut

2018 Buick Regal GS

Premium sport sedan offers all-new 310-horsepower V-6, nine-speed transmission and intelligent AWD with active twin clutch

Originally Published by Buick on 2017-07-19

DETROIT — Where spirited driving meets attainable luxury and sleek, sporty design meets modern usefulness, you’ll find the 2018 Buick Regal GS – a car for commutes that are anything but common. As the brand’s most dramatic expression of design and dynamics, this all-new model balances these key characteristics to provide customers excellent driving performance every day and in every season.

The 2018 Regal GS advances the nameplate with 51 more horsepower than the model it replaces, more refined transmission and AWD technology, all-new, heated/cooled and massaging performance seats and the added functionality and style of a five-door sportback design. Starting at $39,990 with destination charges, the Regal GS offers luxury features at a price more attainable than competitors from Audi and BMW.

“This is a sport sedan designed for everyday driving, but one that makes every drive special,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president, Global Buick and GMC. “The new Regal GS is in the sweet spot of the market: more refined and luxurious than the mainstream, more value for the price with style and premium features on par with higher-end competitors, and with standard features like AWD with active twin clutch and a rear sportback design that will surprise customers with its usefulness.”

Regal GS Highlights:

  • New 3.6L V-6 with 310 horsepower and 282 lb-ft of torque featuring direct injection, cylinder deactivation and stop/start technology
  • Standard nine-speed automatic transmission and intelligent all-wheel drive (AWD) with active twin clutch for improved vehicle control, and five-link rear suspension
  • GS-specific, AGR-certified, performance seats that are heated, cooled and massaging with adjustable seat and seat-back bolsters as well as thigh support
  • Second-generation Continuous Damping Control (CDC) capable of 500 adjustments per second and Interactive Drive Control with GS and Sport modes
  • Unique sport front and rear fascias, side skirts and rear spoiler
  • Standard 19-inch wheels
  • Performance brakes with Brembo front calipers
  • Sport-tuned exhaust system
  • Sport flat-bottom steering wheel and metal pedals
  • Available head-up display

Buick’s most advanced new propulsion components come standard on the new Regal GS. With 310 horsepower, its refined 3.6-liter V-6 provides more power than an Acura TLX A-Spec or a Lexus IS350 F-Sport but offers seamless auto stop/start technology and can cruise on four cylinders. The V-6 engine is complemented by a sport-tuned dual exhaust system.

Regal GS’ intelligent AWD system with an active twin clutch can precisely transfer torque between the rear wheels for more refined and efficient performance, and the GS receives one of the first applications of the nine-speed automatic transmission in the Buick lineup that’s mated to AWD. This advanced new transmission will soon be offered across five different Buick models.

Every Regal GS also features Buick’s Interactive Drive Control, allowing the driver to tailor the car’s dynamics based on different drive experiences through a standard setting or Sport and GS modes selected via the center console. Interactive Drive Control utilizes Buick’s second-generation Continuous Damping Control (CDC), which is able to adjust suspension damping up to 500 times per second.

Versus a standard 2018 Regal Sportback, the GS also has standard Brembo brakes for more confident stopping power.

“With the all-new 2018 Regal GS, we set out to make a driver-focused, engaging and entertaining sport sedan without sacrificing the smooth ride and refined character expected of any modern Buick,” said Martin Hayes, chief engineer for the Buick Regal GS. “Our new V-6 and nine-speed transmission, intelligent AWD and CDC all work to deliver excellent driving performance.”

Outside, Buick’s signature sculptural beauty presents the car’s sporting nature in an understated way with aggressive front and rear fascias, standard 19-inch wheels, a rear decklid spoiler and GS badging front and rear. Full LED headlamps are an option.

Inside, the Regal features unique perforated GS-specific performance seats with integrated headrests and adjustable lumbar and thigh support bolsters. The seats are heated and ventilated and come standard with a massage function. The interior also features a standard heated flat-bottom sport steering wheel and GS-specific pedals and sill plates.

The 2018 Regal GS offers a cohesive and connected infotainment experience with an 8-inch diagonal touchscreen and 8-inch diagonal reconfigurable instrument cluster as standard equipment. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility both come standard. A full-color head-up display is available with an optional Driver Confidence II package that also includes several safety features including Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert and Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Automatic Braking.

The Regal GS is a highest performance expression of the 2018 Buick Regal GS Sportback. Other Regal Sportback models will offer a standard 2.0T engine and sleek new design at a starting price — $25,915 – that’s approximately $2,000 lower than the 2017 Regal

The first-ever Regal TourX, which combines car-like handling and SUV capability, launches with limited availability of select higher trim levels later this year. TourX models with a starting price of $29,995 are expected to be available at dealers in February 2018.

Every Regal also comes equipped with a 3 month/3 gigabyte trial of OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot[1] and access to an unlimited data plan for $20 per month[2], as well as five years of the OnStar Basic Plan[3] at no additional cost. Among other benefits like the myBuick app[4], this connectivity plan features OnStar Smart Driver, an opt-in service designed to help Buick owners maximize their vehicle’s overall performance and become better drivers.

All prices above exclude tax, title, license and dealer fees.

Buick is an international modern luxury brand offering vehicles with sculpted designs, luxurious interiors and thoughtful personal technologies, along with responsive-yet-efficient performance. Buick is attracting new customers with its portfolio of award-winning luxury models in North America and China. Learn more about Buick cars and crossovers at, on Twitter @buick, on Instagram, or at

[1] Visit for vehicle availability, details and system limitations. Services and connectivity may vary by model and conditions. Eligible vehicle and data plan required. 4G LTE coverage not available everywhere. Data plans provided by AT&T. After 22GB of data usage, AT&T may slow speeds.

[2] Plus applicable taxes and fees. Plan provides access to AT&T wireless data services for your equipped vehicle for 30 days. Payments are non-refundable (subject to applicable law). Visit or for plan details.

[3] OnStar Basic Plan is available for five years from the delivery date of eligible 2015 model year and newer vehicles and is transferable. Basic Plan does not include Emergency, Security or Navigation services; these and other services require a paid plan. Visit for details.

[4] Compatible mobile device required. Some features require a paid OnStar service plan.

Elegant Design and Functionality Define the All-New Buick Enclave

2018 Buick Enclave © General Motors

2018 Enclave builds on the success of its first-generation predecessor

NEW YORK — New and versatile functionality, spaciousness and intuitive technologies mark the next evolution of the Buick Enclave. More third-row space, improved towing capability and a thoughtful combination of safety technologies, useful interior features and premium materials are a few highlights included on Buick’s all-new seven-passenger midsize luxury SUV.

Within a visually lower and slimmer body, the Enclave boasts more interior space. The third row alone offers 5.6 more inches of standard legroom than an Acura MDX, 4.5 inches more than an Audi Q7 and nearly three inches more than an Infiniti QX60. The new Enclave also features a longer wheelbase than the previous generation, yet its turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than before, pairing the space customers need with added maneuverability.

“Enclave was introduced as a game-changer for the Buick brand and has since become one of our most successful and important vehicles,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president, Global Buick and GMC. “It set the tone for a more progressive Buick, helping change perception for us and serving as the standard-bearer of what our products stand for: smart, stylish luxury.”

Enclave highlights

  • New proportions, bodylines and accents combine for an athletic stance that accentuates the redesigned front end and grille.
  • A comprehensive offering of standard and available safety technology includes customizable safety alerts.
  • The all-new body structure was built for safety, strength and mass efficiency, and there are 17 radar, camera and ultrasonic sensors when fully equipped.
  • There’s seating for seven and more cargo volume behind the first row than the Acura MDX, Audi Q7 and Infiniti QX60.
  • Buick-first Evonik Acrylite lighting technology provides a distinctive light signature.
  • Tow capacity of up to 5,000 pounds is more than enough to tow a typical 21-foot sport boat.
  • A standard 3.6L V-6 engine with stop/start technology, Buick-estimated 302 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission.

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First-Ever Enclave Avenir Offers Progressive, Family-Oriented Luxury

2018 Buick Enclave Avenir © General Motors

Enclave ushers in the arrival of Buick’s new luxury sub-brand

NEW YORK — Debuting with the 2018 Buick Enclave, the new Avenir sub-brand represents the highest expression of Buick luxury. Avenir offers unique styling cues and an extensive set of standard features and premium materials throughout the vehicle. New and versatile functionality, interior spaciousness, and intuitive technologies build on the Enclave’s established popularity.

Smart innovation and style come standard on the 2018 Buick Enclave Avenir. Buick-first Evonik Acrylite exterior lighting illuminates the road ahead with the power of more than 100 LEDs across the vehicle. A Rear Camera Mirror provides a clearer, broader view of what’s behind. And in-vehicle ionization leaves the air cleaner and fresher. It’s all packaged within an elegant design that combines concept car inspiration with improved interior luxury amenities and roominess for up to seven passengers.

“The Enclave has been a successful formula for the Buick brand, with sales results that have defied traditional product cycles, and 90 percent of customers purchasing in the top two trim levels,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick and GMC. “It’s a beacon for the modern, attainable luxury Buick stands for and is a natural place to launch Avenir.”

Enclave Avenir highlights

  • Avenir model comes standard with extensive active safety, connectivity and luxury features for a simple and convenient buying experience.
  • It has an all-new body structure for safety, strength and mass efficiency, plus 17 radar, camera and ultrasonic sensors when fully equipped.
  • It accommodates seven passengers comfortably and offers more cargo volume behind the first row than the Acura MDX, Audi Q7 and Infiniti QX60.
  • Standard hands-free power-programmable liftgate with a Buick tri-shield logo illuminates the ground below the hidden sensor and power-folding third row.
  • Avenir-exclusive 3-dimensional mesh grille, badging, pearl nickel 20-inch aluminum wheels and luxurious interior materials are standard.
  • Buick-first Rear Camera Mirror is standard on Avenir.


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Buick Introduces Expressive New 2018 Regal Sportback

2018 Buick Regal Sportback ©General Motors

Sleek appearance, excellent driving performance and unexpected flexibility

DETROIT — With the 2018 Regal Sportback, Buick builds on its track record of making bold moves outside traditional vehicle segments to deliver unique customer offerings that fit modern lifestyles. The Regal Sportback provides a sleek, sporty, coupe-like design, the spirited performance of a premium sports sedan and unexpected versatility in one sophisticated package for a perfect balance of form and function.

The coupe-like roofline captures the expressive style and passion customers want, while the five-door layout enables easier access to cargo space. With the split-folding second row seats in place, the new Regal Sportback offers 31.5 cubic feet of cargo space, more than twice as much as the 2017 Regal.

In keeping with its sporting nature, the Regal Sportback’s cabin takes a driver-centric approach, with the center stack skewed towards the driver for a cockpit feel. The cabin’s craftsmanship is characterized by clean lines, uncluttered surfaces and premium seating materials.

“The new Regal Sportback was developed with today’s active, independent, premium car customer in mind,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president, Global Buick and GMC. “They have an SUV in the garage and are looking to complement it with a sport sedan, but have an appreciation for the usefulness of a versatile cargo space when an occasional need arises.”

Regal Sportback highlights:

  • Available intelligent all-wheel drive (AWD) with active twin-clutch for improved vehicle control and efficiency in any conditions.
  • AWD models have an eight-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel-drive models have a nine-speed automatic.
  • The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine produces a GM-estimated 250 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque (FWD) and 295 lb-ft of torque (AWD).
  • The discreetly integrated rear opening has a tri-folding 40/20/40 rear seat available and a 60/40 split-folding seat standard.
  • Safety innovations include a Buick-first active hood pedestrian safety system, Front Pedestrian Braking and Lane Keep Assist.
  • There’s more overall cargo space than the Audi A5 Sportback and BMW 4-series Gran Coupe, with 60.7 cubic feet behind the first row.
  • Signature Buick QuietTuning includes all-new tire insulation to help reduce road noise on front-wheel-drive models and premium five-link rear suspension on AWD models.

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