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Chronic Car Buyers Anonymous

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  • jpp5862jpp5862 NCPosts: 297
    I had two Buicks this week for rentals this week, a Regal in Salt Lake City and a Verano in Denver. I liked the Regal when I first saw it a couple of years ago at the Chicago auto show but I'm no fan of GM so I never really cared to drive one. I went to the Emerald booth in the garage and she offered me a Cruze which I promptly refused. I asked for a Ford but the agent told me that location was owned by Chevrolet and all I could get was a Cruze, Regal or a front wheel drive SUV. I begrudgingly took the Regal and was prepared to hate it but have to admit in the end I actually liked the car. It drove well and had plenty of pep. Surprisingly the seats were very firm, not the "living room couch" feel I would have expected in a Buick. My only complaint is that the center stack was way too busy and figuring out basic controls took way too much time. The car only had 1,400 miles on it, so I'm still leery of what it would feel like at 50,000 miles but I do have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I still wouldn't pay low 30's for it (this was a loaded up turbo with heated steering wheel, seats, etc), to me it's a $28,000 car at most...but it wasn't as horrible as I expected.

    After Salt Lake I flew to Denver and found a Verano, after my experience with the Regal I decided to give it a try and was sorry I did. The overall feel of the Verano was disappointing compared to the Regal. The center stack was more intuitive and it had OK power but the seating position and overall comfort was very poor. When I first got in it felt like the driver's seat was way too high so I tried to adjust it down only to find that it was already in the lowest position. I tried raising the steering wheel but also found it was as high as it would go, so no dice on getting comfortable. The back seat seemed small although I didn't sit back there, but I'm 5'9" and with the driver's seat in a comfortable position I barely had room for my computer bag in the back floorboard. Overall a let down after a positive experience in the Regal.

    In Salt Lake I was traveling with a coworker who currently has a 2003 BMW 330xi, she mentioned that it was time to start looking for a new car. She thought the Buick was nice but her comment was "but I'm not buying a Buick" which shows me they still have a way to go with brand image. She's around 40, makes decent money and will not be visiting a GM dealership as she looks for a new car.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,579
    The Lacrosse we walked around yesterday was beautifully appointed and I've heard positive reviews about the Regal from co-workers so I'm not surprised that you really did like it. The Verano review surprises me though as the one I sat in at the dealer was extremely comfortable actually and I had no problem finding a comfortable position. It had power seats which probably made all the difference...did yours have power or manual seat functions? That could have been the problem. Like you, I detest the Cruze and the way it drives, sub par vehicle compared to the imports but that's just my opinion as I know a few in these forums who own one and love the car. You've whetted my appetite more now about trying any Buick product and my co-workers already know that the next few Buick's are going to me!

    Yesterdays Captiva's were a great effort from GM to make a very good vehicle so I know they can be as good...if not better than the imports. They just need to tweak a few areas to make this a reality. They need to follow the playbooks of Hyundai/Kia, Honda and Toyota to figure out why their vehicles are in such high demand with return purchases year after year after year...they have to unlock the secret and once they do, we'll all benefit.

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    P.S. No work today and I was all ready to take a road trip actually. Weekends are a good time to do the longer trips I think but it is what it is. Hopefully we'll have work this week so my next check can be as good as the last couple!

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,100
    I weigh 225lbs at 5'10" and it's not muscle :cry: and I fit in the F430 just fine, so you should be ok even if you're a little thick around the middle.

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 4,005
    "Changing gears, I had to put two new tires on the ION today. Got a credit for the two that wore out after 24,000 miles."

    Sheesh, what kind of tire wore out after only 24,000 miles? I guess city driving really kills their lifespan. Will they warranty them if they're not evenly worn and/or haven't been rotated?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm not surprised, the Regal was bred in Europe while the Verano is a Cruze in a nice suit.

    The latter is selling well, though, likely due to pricing.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,020
    In Salt Lake I was traveling with a coworker who currently has a 2003 BMW 330xi, she mentioned that it was time to start looking for a new car. She thought the Buick was nice but her comment was "but I'm not buying a Buick" which shows me they still have a way to go with brand image.

    My wife grew up in a "Buick family"- but I seriously doubt she will ever buy anything other than a BMW- or possibly a Nissan. It's not a status issue, she simply prefers the way they drive and in particular she is reluctant to give up the level of service our BMW dealer provides.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,579
    The Verano is selling well? Certainly not down here in South Florida where I hardly see any. They still are a bit expensive and one can get an import at a better price in 90% of the cases. And most of the imports do drive better with mileage to boot. The Verano is a nice looking vehicle I'll give ya that but the Sentra and Elantra still beat it in the looks department...the Verano is a bit sedate in comparison. I'd still love to try one and if that good, I wouldn't count it out as my next d d.

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • jpp5862jpp5862 NCPosts: 297
    I can see the difference, and now that you mention it the Verano is a bad rebadging of the Cruze. I'm sure the LaCrosse is nice, but I would never cross shop it against the Lexus ES. It's apples and oranges, which is how I felt about the Regal. I'm not sure what GM thinks it should compete against but I'd put it on par with a Camry and as I said earlier, no way it's worth that price premium.
  • jpp5862jpp5862 NCPosts: 297
    Ditto in NC, I've seen one Verano and I could count on both hands the number of Regals I've seen without rental bar codes on them. Styling is always subjective but neither of the Buicks wow me from that standpoint. They aren't ugly, but they aren't impressive either.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,579
    I call them "adequate appliances with a little extra" as they are a bit plushier than an everyday Chevy. And with Olds and Pontiac gone now, Buick is the next step up in the GM food chain. We had a Buick Skylark when we married and it was an o k car...the wife loved it but it was her 1st vehicle bought by her folks. They then swapped a Caddy for a Skylark coupe and it was a very nice "appliance" but the "appliance" the mother-in-law got next was a horror, a Olds Cutlass. The paint faded after a few years and the re-paint was a dismal failure. An accident totaled it out and that was the last GM in the family as we'd already moved on to imports.

    I would give the verano a fighting chance as my next vehicle if it passes muster with the fit and finish and mileage figures. It also has to have that "FTD" feature, "fun to drive", the one Backy talks about. But he's right, my next, and possibly last, vehicle has to have that "FTD" variable in spades as driving should be fun. With this job now, I've relearned this and have fun in whatever vehicle they put me in, even the lowly Chevy Spark I drove recently...it was extremely noisy but that was the only real drawback as it drove acceptably and could scoot along the freeway nicely. Cranking up the tunes made a big difference so if I had to drive another one in the future, I'd be fine with it. I usually have been lucky enough to get a vehicle which I'm happy with and really have not had a bad ride, except that horrible, miled up Chevy Cruze...felt like a Flintstone car but it got me where I needed to go. luckily some of the others always want the Cruze so I have given one up numerous times now without a word. A win/win for us all and brownie points for me! Really, if another co-worker really has a strong preference for whatever I have that day, I gladly switch with them as I usually get the better car or one I've not had yet. And I really want to try every car at least once just to drive them. Again, a win/win for me here every day I can work!

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,100
    When I had the displeasure of working at a GM dealer for a couple days last year I checked out the Verano we had on the showroom floor and was quite impressed. The driver's seat was among the softest and cushiest and most of any car I sat in (very very comfortable and I did not want to get out of it). The Sales Manager said that if Buick would be called Opel or something else, they'd sell a ton more. The cars are nice but most people under 40 think of Buicks as cars for grandpas and grandmas and for the money prefer something less geriatric sounding.

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • jpp5862jpp5862 NCPosts: 297
    One other thing on the Verano, it had the fixed glass panel in the A pillar. Not sure why they think that's a good idea. It didn't work on the 1992 Lumina APV and it doesn't work today.
  • jpp5862jpp5862 NCPosts: 297
    Your description of the Buick is perfect, appliances with a little extra. The Verano I drove had power seats but the driving position wasn't comfortable. It wasn't bad, but not something I'd buy. And I definitely wouldn't pay what they are asking for either model. If I was writing a check I'd give them $20k tops for the Verano and $28k tops for the Regal that was loaded up.
  • jpp5862jpp5862 NCPosts: 297
    Agreed, while i think the exterior styling could be sleeker, the Buick name just doesn't have the credibility GM needs to be successful. No one under 60 "wants" a Buick. Like my coworker who rode in the Regal, she liked the car but she'll never buy a Buick....simply because it's a Buick.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,579
    Yep, my thoughts exactly. I wouldn't pay any more for the Verano than for my Civic LX. I'd be happy to buy the Buick if it will be just as good as the imports but sadly, they are not. this was proven to me at a stop light the other day. A gray haired pulled up nest to me in a Verano, looked real nice but I noticed a small trim piece of chrome on the front door mis-aligned...it was so obvious but no one at the Buick plant caught it, no quality control person saw it, reported it or fixed it. To let it out of the facility like that just shows the lack of commitment of GM to making the finest product for the money. This little incident of which most would not have even noticed, I did and if it were my car, well, I would have chosen another car on the lot or have made them fix it before i took delivery. Call me anal, crazy whatever...when i plunk down that much cash on a product, it had better have no defects or any problems at all. If it does, fix it before hand so i get an almost perfect product as there are many more similar products out there in the market place that take quality control seriously!

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,923
    I think I have seen one or two Veranos, that's it. A few more Regals, but still a rare car. I had a Regal rental in ATL, not a turbo but still nice, a German-made one, beat 30mpg on the highway, which was nice.
  • jpp5862jpp5862 NCPosts: 297
    Right or wrong that's why the market gravitates to Honda and Toyota instead of the domestics. If the big three want to be competitive they have to produce a quality product and a head turning product. I only say the latter because they have to dig themselves out of a hole (which they dug themselves). Build a stunning product to get people in the showrooms and build it rock solid so they'll forget about Camcordnatas.

    Ford built a stunning car with the new Fusion, they need to make it hold up and initial reports indicate it may not. GM might have a car that will hold up but it's not stunning. Chrysler/Fiat, keep trying. The new Dart and GC aren't bad looking but rebuilding goodwill is like nailing jello to a tree.
  • jpp5862jpp5862 NCPosts: 297
    Completely agree, if I were writing a check today I'd take your Civic over a new Buick anyday. I stand by my comment that the new GM cars aren't bad, but they certainly aren't competitive.
  • jpp5862jpp5862 NCPosts: 297
    Not surprised on the Verano. As you discovered, the Regal isn't a bad car, but there are much better options in that price range. If it was $5 -7k less it might be a good buy.

    GM set their sights too high and forgot how bad they burned consumers. I read somewhere that Buick touts the average age of their buyer has decreased. Typical GM thinking, so what if you decreased age by 5 years, appeal to younger consumers with the Regal/Verano or you'll be bankrupt again. No one under 60 who is looking for an entry level luxury car will cross shop Buick with an Acura, Infiniti, Lexus, etc. Forget what Buick WAS and build a better brand to get the consumers you're targeting.
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,100
    the new GM cars aren't bad, but they certainly aren't competitive.

    Not to mention a Civic will be worth a few times more than a Buick in 5-10 years.

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

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