• Avenir sub-brand grows to 3 models
  • Revamped infotainment and safety assists
  • Pricing estimated in high $30,000-low $40,000 range

 

Buick unveiled the next chapter in its Avenir story, and the latest vehicle to get the top-line treatment is the 2019 Regal Sportback. The Regal is now the third U.S. model to receive the premium Avenir treatment, akin to the Denali line for GMC vehicles. It follows the introductions of the 2018 Buick Enclave Avenir crossover SUV and 2018 Buick LaCrosse Avenir sedan.

Buick says the new Avenir sub-brand has connected with new-car shoppers, with these versions of the Enclave 3-row SUV selling faster than all other trims and comprising 20 percent of sales for the model. The LaCrosse Avenir, meanwhile, sells 70 percent faster than all other trims of Buick’s full-size sedan.

“Avenir sales have exceeded our expectations,” said Phil Brook, vice president, Buick and GMC Marketing. “Buick customers value the exclusive styling, premium features and convenient experience Avenir provides, and we are excited to extend that successful formula to Regal.”

While mechanically similar to other trims, Buick Avenir models stand out with features like plusher materials and distinctive design elements.

More: 2019 Car Reviews: First takes on new models

“The Best of the Best”

Avenir is a French term for the future. But it also means “the best of the best,” said Chris Hilts, Buick’s director of interior design, at a media unveiling in Saratoga Springs, New York. “What we learned with Denali is that people gravitate to sub-brands.”

Just as that topline level for GMC vehicles has built itself into a sales powerhouse and has lured buyers with extra amenities over the past couple of decades, Buick hopes its own Avenir sub-brand will similarly entice its buyers.

For the Regal, which was reborn this year from a sedan to a sleek 5-door liftback, the Avenir treatment includes exclusive features like diamond quilt-stitched leather front seats and 19-inch wheels. It also features a three-dimensional mesh upper grille and Avenir badging inside and out, Bose audio system, navigation and wireless phone charging cradle.

Also: Get your first look at the new and redesigned cars of 2019

New Infotainment and advanced safety

The 2019 Regal Avenir will be the first Buick to showcase a new cloud-connected infotainment system that allows drivers to create profiles and user preferences for features like navigation and apps, and take them from compatible vehicles in a seamless transfer. During a quick demo, we found the new infotainment system far sleeker and faster than the current, aging one.

Active safety and driver-assistance features that are optional on other Regal Sportback models will be standard on the new Avenir edition. Among them are lane change alert with blind spot monitoring, parking sensors, auto-leveling LED headlamps, and driver-side auto-dimming mirror. Other features like adaptive cruise control are optional.

Like the other trims, this topline Buick Regal Sportback will be powered by a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine good for 250 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. The Regal will use GM’s familiar 9-speed automatic transmission. If there’s one caveat for buyers, it’s that the Regal Avenir will be offered in front-wheel drive only, not with the optional all-wheel-drive system that provides enhanced traction in foul weather.

The 2019 Buick Regal Avenir is set to go on sale in early fall. Pricing will be announced closer to its arrival. For reference, a base Regal Sportback begins around $26,000 and tops out just under $40,000.

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