Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A blue 2021 Buick Avenir is shown leaving a pre-owned Buick dealer.

Buicks Road to Luxury is Paved with Stars

Unless you are part of a very exclusive and elite group of the car-buying market, you fall into the largest group of luxury auto shoppers—the 4% of top 10 performers and premium achievers. You know what you like and need, assess what you have to put towards obtaining it, and make it happen. One of the car world’s most humble secrets is that pre-owned Buick dealers all over the country have been selling luxury sedans, crossovers and SUVs for many years. It’s a pretty big accomplishment since Buick has faced challenges at every turn while gaining the appeal of even the most discriminating luxury car connoisseurs.

A red 2019 Buick LaCrosse is shown speeding down a city street.

The Layers of Luxury

Another unexplored area for most of the car-buying public is that Luxury cars fall into one of three tiers which is fantastic because so do their drivers. My crash course in luxury cars came quite surprisingly during my first Rodeo Drive experience. Not just because every storefront only displayed three items to choose from with no price tags on any of them, but mainly because I did not recognize one single car model. Why? Because they were all part of the Tier One luxury car club––the super-luxury Tier.

Like rare jewels found on some faraway planet where only a rare species of people knew how to drive them, they zipped past me and lined the curbs as I gazed in awe. I prayed Leonardo DiCaprio was in one of them and that my Payless pleather boots were not insulting the pavement beneath my feet. These unfamiliar vehicles were Bentleys and Rolls Royces. Rare and reserved for the status level associated with the GOATs of this world. Title-winning athletes, celebrities, and major business mega moguls.

Now that we’ve gotten the 1% of the luxury market out of the way, we can focus on the meat and potatoes 5% of the luxury car market—Tier Two and Three. The easiest way to remember these tiers is to match them to their celebrity equivalents. Think (One) Leonardo DiCaprio, (Two) Leo’s doctor (Three) Leo’s massage therapist. Of course, there are exceptions, and neither level diminishes or degrades the other in any way.

  • Tier Two is for the true luxury brand enthusiasts (Leo’s doctor) like Lexus, Maserati, Audi, Cadillac, Genesis, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW.

Often touted as the status brands of choice, these are not just reserved for people who need attention. These distinctive machines largely appeal to many people who really know cars and appreciate the reputation of engineering excellence these brands have maintained for decades.

From the performance and powering expertise of German engineering to the longevity and endless functionalities of Japan and South Korea, these cars have effectively captured the luxury car audience. Consumers who are label-conscious because they not only bring a history of prestige but come with a performance record that supports their status. They are willing and able to pay for well-made things because they perform and last.

  • Tier Three is for premium brands and consumers (Leo’s massage therapist), where Buick reigns along with Lincoln, Acura, and Infiniti.

The primary difference between luxury and premium levels is that a luxury car’s features exist as standard attributes of all models, whereas Tier Three premium brands offer a model vehicle with luxury features, designs, and price tags that can directly compete with any Tier Two model. These models are most commonly referred to as their Flagship vehicles.

While not as auspicious as its Tier Two competitors, the Third Tier’s a charm for the largest luxury car buying group by sheer necessity alone. Premium manufacturers offer the best of both luxury worlds and meet the needs of more buyers than any of the three tiers. The fact of the matter is, when considering a used vehicle, the average family of 4 or more will lean more towards a reasonable SUV car payment that offers safety and reliability over prominence in engineering excellence.

Many will argue that selecting a Buick family vehicle allows them to get into a Tier Two ride that satisfies Mom or Dad’s joy rides and date nights. Premium car owners need to meet both immediate and long-term financial goals, and real priorities will always beat status and image in this market segment.

A silver 2018 Buick Envision is shown driving on an open road.

How Buick Maintains Luxury Brand Status

If you’ve been paying attention, you know that your grandparent’s cotton top club car reference doesn’t apply anymore. By providing a competitive luxury vehicle at better price points, Buick has more than proven the irreplaceable value of substance over style. Any veteran car manufacturer still placing in the field of a luxury market is impressive for today’s highly competitive automobile industry.

As the oldest car manufacturer in the USA and the reason we use directional signals today, it’s hard to discount their validity as a brand to be reckoned with. DiCaprio-worthy or not, Buick has outlived both General Motors brands Saturn and Oldsmobile and shows no sign of slowing down. Much like their premium consumers, they are realistic, resilient, and able to overcome setbacks through innovation, flexibility, and the ability to provide quality vehicles.

While fulfilling an 80% market segment in China, they have cut the fat from their North American lineup and focus solely on the 40% crossover market. You can still find one owner, low mileage FWD and AWD LaCrosse, Lucerne, and Verano sedans, as well as the fun convertible Cascada for the sun-worshiping crowd. The Regal Sportback Hatchback is a great option for those not quite ready for a full-size SUV but want to ease into more cargo space.

Any one of these options will satisfy your luxury pride and performance needs, but the shining star of the Buick lineup is the Enclave. The Enclave garners high rankings for the most cargo space per cubic foot combined with comfort and power and loaded with today’s best technology features. It also maintains one of Buicks most notable attributes: an amazingly quiet ride for such a sizable vehicle. You’ll hardly hear your fans screaming as you roll down Rodeo Drive.

With four trims available, there’s something for everyone who gets an Enclave. Whether you select the Preferred, Essence, Premium, or Avenir, you are getting the same V6 engine power, tech, and don’t forget that famous super quiet cabin. What you need above and beyond this will determine which model is right for you. Variations in safety features, all-wheel drive, leather seating, and console display size change as you move up in models, with the Avenir offering the best of the best like leather seating, enhanced suspension, and auto braking adaptive cruise control.

Has Buick Maintained Its Luxury Car Status?

When considering the merits of luxury cars, Buick has remained a contender due to its dedication to relevance and adaptability to the luxury market’s need for opulence at affordable price points. Using innovative design improvements and upscale trims, they are speaking to the masses, and that’s where the rubber meets Rodeo Drive. The true power of the automobile industry is in the large number of people buying premium luxury vehicles, and it always will be. That fact alone warrants celebrity status that counts.