Why even bother with the Caddie?
A couple of months ago at LA, Buick unveiled its new flagship sedan, the LaCrosse Avenir. Placed above the current range-topping LaCrosse Premium, the Avenir won't come cheap. Buick has just released pricing for its Avenir sub-brand sedan and it's about the same as the Cadillac XTS base price. The LaCrosse Avenir starts at $45,795 for the front-wheel-drive model, according to Automotive News. That's 8.8 percent higher than the LaCrosse Premium, which begins at $42,095. Want AWD? The price increases to $47,995.
What does that additional $3,700 get you in the FWD LaCrosse Avenir? There's a fancier 3D-mesh upper and lower grille at the front, and Avenir badging on the front doors. The big sedan also rides on a set of 19-inch Pearl Nickel wheels or optional 20-inch Midnight Silver wheels. The Avenir logo is also embroidered in the headrests. Question is though, is the extra money worth it? Apparently yes, for Buick customers. Nine out of ten LaCrosse buyers are choosing one of the top two trim levels - customers are signaling they want more from Buick," Duncan Aldred, global vice president of Buick and GMC, said when announcing the car in November.
What's also interesting is that there appears to be more customers willing to pay more for a Buick LaCrosse, which shares a platform with the Chevrolet Impala, than the also FWD-based Cadillac XTS. The latter carries a base price of $46,395. Think about that. Buick offers its fully loaded flagship sedan for about the same price as a base trim XTS. Considering the XTS, launched in 2013, rides on an older platform that, ironically, underpinned the previous generation LaCrosse and Impala, it's kind of tough to find value here. To its credit, Buick has definitely found itself and a place in the market, while Cadillac, in some ways, is still struggling to worry its German rivals.