Buick’s largest sedan may be dead in the U.S., but that doesn’t mean it’s gone.
China is Buick’s largest market, and it’s a market that loves sedans. More so than Americans do, anyway. To that end, there’s a facelifted 2020 Buick LaCrosse, which GM quietly unveiled during the craziness surrounding the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. GM Authority originally reported the reveal, and provided some useful details. Despite the updated model, we won’t see the LaCrosse in the U.S. past 2019. That’s down to GM’s decision to close the Detroit-Hamtramck plant that currently builds the LaCrosse.
That’s a shame, in my mind. Even though it’s a relatively minor facelift, it’s quite a handsome looking car. It has a larger grille that ditches the waterfall design for a horizontal aesthetic. Around the back, the 2020 Buick LaCrosse features some smart new taillights, creating a look similar to the new Buick Enclave and Envision.
Unlike the North American LaCrosse, the Chinese model gets a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine under the hood. Mated to GM’s 9-speed automatic transmission, it puts out 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. It’s also the first engine capable of meeting China’s more stringest 6B emissions standards, which go into effect next year.
The large sedan is holding on – just
That’s all academic, of course, since the 2020 Buick LaCrosse will not make its way to our shores. That won’t upset some — particularly those who never really cared for Buick to begin with. For others who like Buick’s styling direction, the 2020 Buick LaCrosse foregoing the U.S. market may be upsetting news.
It’s not terribly surprising, mind you. Sales of the Buick LaCrosse have fell in recent years, as U.S. buyers — myself included — bought crossovers instead. The brand did manage to shift 20,161 examples of the LaCrosse last year, but that number was 23 percent down on 2017. The Enclave, on the other hand, sold 48,564 units. If you’re in the market for a large sedan, the market is still technically there, but it’s continuing to dwindle with each passing year.
Trouble is, as long as people shy away from cars toward crossovers and trucks, manufacturers will see less and less reason to keep selling cars like the 2020 Buick LaCrosse in the U.S. But I also own a crossover, so I can’t throw stones here.
At least there’s still the Regal, right?