General Motors’ Buick lineup is becoming extremely solid, thanks to modern models like the Lacrosse or the Enclave, as well as with the leader of the new revolution, the 2011 Regal.
But GM isn’t done with the Tri-Shield brand, and according to Automotive News, will launch a compact sedan in 2012, called the Buick Verana.
We’ve already heard these rumors before, but this time it is extremely likely that Buick will get a more compact model in the range. Patent shots have already emerged, and the Opel Astra/Chevrolet Cruze-based Buick Excelle (pictured above) has already been launched in China.
Alongside the Verana, GM is also planning a hybrid Lacrosse model, which will attract green-minded people to the Buick range.
It seems that compact sedans are quickly becoming extremely popular in the USA, at least judging by the impressive array of new models set to arrive on the market. These include cars like the Chevrolet Cruze on the 2012 Ford Focus.
Now, a new contender is preparing for its own launch, the 2011 Hyundai Elantra.
We’ve already seen the Elantra be revealed in its native South Korea, at the Busan Motor Show, as the KDM-spec Hyundai Avante. At that time, no details were revealed about US availability. Now, as the Avante is hitting showrooms in its native country, Hyundai has confirmed that the 2011 Elantra will also be reaching US shores by the end of the year.
As you can see, the new model will boast the ‘Fluidic’ design we already saw on the bigger 2011 Sonata. In South Korea, the model is offered with the 1.6-liter Gamma inline-four cylinder engine, capable of 138 HP with 123 lb-ft of torque. While power figures aren’t all that impressive, it can achieve a combined fuel average of 38.8 mpg.
Expect more details about the US-spec 2011 Hyundai Elantra as we reach the end of 2010.
Seeing as how carmakers like Honda stick to five-year life cycles for their bread and butter models, you would think that the current generation Civic, launched in 2005, would receive its replacement in the next few months right?
Not so fast, says American Honda executive vice president John Mendel, as a few key problems have appeared, meaning that we won’t get to see the next Japanese compact sedan for at least another year or so.
Why the delay? Tougher emissions and fuel average laws plus an increase in competition on the compact sedan segment (*cough* 2012 Ford Focus sedan). As such, the Japanese company has been forced to modify the size of the next Civic, in order to keep it as light and as compact as possible, as well as its equipment levels, in order to keep it competitive against its rivals.
While the current model is still managing to move quite a lot of units, Honda needs to be extra careful with the next generation, especially considering the stiff competition heading onto the market segment.
Patent sketches once again foil the somewhat secretive plans of GM. After the Chevrolet Volt MPV5 concept was leaked before its debut at the Beijing Motor Show, another filing with the US Patent Office has revealed a new Buick compact sedan.
From the looks of it, this new model is almost exactly like the Buick Excelle, current available in China. It will no doubt be based on GM’s Delta platform, the same one that underpins the Chevy Cruze or the Opel Astra.
Still, according to a few voices, the compact sedan, that will slot in below the upcoming Regal, won’t be carrying the Excelle name in the US, but a completely new one, set to mark a fresh start for compact Buick models.
Expect the future 2012 model year sedan to boast a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, like the Cruze, but also a bigger 180 HP 1.6-liter turbo unit, like the Chinese Excelle.
Volkswagen has big plans for the North American market, as new reports indicate that the codenamed New Compact Sedan the company has been preparing might keep the Jetta nameplate. Also, according to Car and Driver, there are plans to bring the Polo compact hatchback in the US, in order to battle newly released models like the Ford Fiesta. Also, you should expect a new coupe concept to appear in motor shows soon enough.
First off, the new compact sedan (clever codename right?) will be manufactured at the Mexico plant where the Jetta is currently made. In order to keep the brand (or perhaps they ordered too many Jetta badges), the new model will bear the same name, and might arrive as soon as summer 2010 on the US market, and after a few tweaks, on the European one.
Seeing as how the newest trend in the USA are compact hatchbacks, with Ford’s Fiesta leading the new push into the segment, Volkswagen might be tempted to bring its Polo model, especially after it received the prestigious European Car of the Year award.
Last but not least, it seems that the German company is thinking about releasing a new coupe model, which will be previewed by an upcoming concept, that will make the rounds at the biggest auto shows. Depending on the reaction of the media and the market, a green light might be given.
Overall, VW is definitely preparing some big surprises for the US market, and alongside the new sedan, it might pull it off. What will work and what won’t is something only time will tell.
As you may have noticed, today’s updates were a bit late, as I just came back from Renault’s official launch of its new compact sedan, the Fluence in my country of Romania. The new model will replace the very popular old generation Megane Sedan, and aims at taking its segment to a whole new level in terms of style and quality, with its slogan being “Travel upgraded” or for my country, “Travel in business class.”
The launch, which was organized at a hotel in Bucharest, was preceded by a very interesting shadow theater show in which the four main attributes of the car: design, space, technology and dynamics, were highlighted in an unusual way.
But time for some number crunching: the Renault Fluence will be available in three flavors, a 1.6-liter 16 valve gasoline engine, which will output 110 HP, and register a mixed fuel average of 6.5 liters/100 km. The other two engine will be diesels, both measuring 1.5 liters, but one outputting 85 HP and the other 105 horses, they will register a mixed fuel average of 4.5 liter/100 km.
Prices will start from €12,900, for the 1.6-liter gasoline engine with the base trim level, and end at €16,950, for the 105 HP 1.5-liter DCi engine with the top Privilege trim line. Besides the high level of quality that Renault promises, the Fluence will also have the biggest passenger space in its class as well as the biggest boot space.
Either way, with the state of the recession and people not having enough money for expensive cars, this reasonably priced Fluence is definitely attractive for a lot of people. The quality level, from what I’ve seen on the display model is very high, and will definitely surprise a lot of people. Stay tuned for a drive test and a review in the following months, as soon as we can get our hands on the compact sedan from Renault. Until then, you can hit the jump for photos from the launch of the Renault Fluence and leave a comment with your opinion below.