2018 Buick Excelle Is China’s Posher Chevrolet Cruze Sedan

Even though sedans are falling out of love with the American consumer, China loves them a lot. And in a curious twist of events, the Middle Kingdom is the largest market for Buick. Given these circumstances, does it even come as a surprise the Chevrolet Cruze Sedan has a half-brother in the guise of the Buick Excelle?
2018 Buick Excelle 5 photos
Photo: Buick
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All new for 2018, you can think of the Excelle as the second-generation Verano the North American market isn’t going to get. Phased out after the 2017 model year, the U.S.-spec Verano from the first generation is indirectly replaced by the Regal Sportback, which starts at $24,990. Higher up, the LaCrosse rounds off the lineup at $29,565.

“Among the most popular family sedans in China,”
the Excelle was introduced in late 2003. And to date, SAIC-GM sold an estimated 2.7 million examples, making the Excelle one of the most popular nameplates in the world’s most populous country. These being said, what makes the newcomer better than its predecessor?

For starters, it doesn't share too much with the D2XX-based Excelle GT (hatchback) and Excelle GX (station wagon). The Excelle Sedan is the first General Motors product underpinned by the GEM (Global Emerging Markets platform), coming with a choice of two four-cylinder powerplants. The 1.5-liter LFV is the starting point in the range, followed by the 2.0-liter LTG shared with the likes of the Chevrolet Camaro.

Buick of China released one image of the 2018 Excelle at the time of writing, revealing Chevrolet Cruze and Opel Astra design influences on all four corners of the compact sedan. In regard to wheelbase, the 104.8 inches (2,662 millimeters) from front to rear axle translate to a little bit more room than the previous model.

“The new-generation Excelle incorporates many new technologies and technical standards for connectivity, driving control, fuel consumption, and safety.”
That’s about everything Buick has to tell for the time being, with more information to come closer to the on-sale date. As for production, GM-SAIC will start rolling out the Excelle sedan in the second half of year at the Wuhan Branch in Hubei Province.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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