photo by Tanya Gazdik
Buick continues to reinvent itself with an all-new to the U.S. brand, the Envista crossover.
The General Motors division, known for decades as the maker of premium sedans, has transitioned to an all-SUV lineup.
The latest, the crossover Buick Envista, sports a long wheelbase, low roof and sleek profile. Although it’s got plentiful cargo space (like a SUV), yet it drives like a sedan. It hugs the pavement on curves.
Most impressive is the slew of standard equipment including lane keep assist, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, from pedestrian braking, forward collision alert, following distance indicator and Intellibeam auto high beams.
And you get all that with a starting price of $23,495.
Just a few years ago, in 2019, nearly half of the industry priced their vehicles below $30,000. Today that number drops to 15%, which makes the Envista’s low MSRP even more noteworthy.
The exterior has sports car styling including stylish wheel covers, a honeycomb front grill and a decent amount of chrome. This is the first Buick to feature the new 3D logo of three separate crests next to each other.
One negative is its estimated 30 mpg combined city and highway.
The Envista doesn’t offer customers tech for tech’s sake but rather “purposeful technologies that help simplify their lives,” Sam Russell, Buick’s advertising and marketing director, tells Marketing Daily. “It's purposeful use of cost in the right place. You don't have to over-engineer the vehicle across every dimension.”
The brand has had a “momentum-building year,” he says.
“It starts with how we positioned the brand over the last several years, really trying to drive the positioning towards this premium space, not only in terms of the content, but the experience,” Russell says. “From an experience perspective, premium starts with the product, but it ultimately ends with how you treat your customer. And that's critically important with what we do with our dealer partners.”
The Envista is one of five launches the brand has planned over 18 months, including the Encore GX, which went on sale in June, and a new Envision, which was unveiled in June and goes on sale later this year.
Loyalty is the best expression of how well the portfolio is doing and Buick’s is the highest it has been since 2004, Russell says.
The new portfolio of products is an an opportunity to lean into a younger, educated, more affluent customer, he says.
“We're going to continue to establish Buick as a modern, tech-forward brand and really grow the brand with like-minded individuals, people who see what the brand is doing, appreciate what the brand is doing,” Russell says.
The marketing launch will include capitalizing on “highly anticipated and on-trend events,” he says. Social media and owner influencer programs will play a large part of that.
“This is our calling card to an entire generation of consumers that may never have even considered Buick or even GM,” Russell says. “It's the right price, it’s unbelievable styling and it's the right set of features for its price that actually exceeds customer's expectations.”