New Buick Excelle GT launched on the Chinese car market
Published on March 9, 2015 by Tycho de Feijter
The new Buick Excelle GT sedan has been launched on the Chinese car market. Price starts at 109.900 yuan and ends at 159.900 yuan ($17.530 – 25.512). The Buick Excelle GT is an addition to the GM line-up in China, based on a new platform. It features the Buick ‘waterfall grille’ and trendy crease lines over the side of the vehicle. The Excelle GT is made in China by the Shanghai-GM joint venture.
The name is confusing. This fine white vehicle is the outgoing Buick Excelle GT, based on the Opel Astra sedan and known as the Buick Verano in the United States. The outgoing Excelle GT is much larger car than the new Excelle GT. Compare:
Excelle GT (Astra, Verano) : 4671/1815/1478, wheelbase is 2685.
Excelle GT (new) : 4587/1798/1463, wheelbase is 2640.
It gets even better. The outgoing Excelle GT (Astra, Verano) will be succeeded by this sleek vehicle, which will be called… the Buick Verano, the first time for GM to use the Verano-name in China. The new Verano will debut on the Shanghai Auto Show next month.
More fuzz: this is the China-only Buick Excelle XT, based on the Opel Astra hatchback. There is no successor in sight as the new Verano is sedan-only. Therefore, GM has decided the Excelle XT will continue as it is, no matter that it has nothing to to anymore with the Excelle GT sedan.
Why GM uses an old name for a new car and an ‘alien’ name for a successor of an exiting car is unknown, and very weird. It was always the local Chinese automakers who made such a mess of their line-up, but here goes General Motors from America. I guess they have been in China a tad too long…
And the mess gets worse again! The car on this photo is a 18T. NOT a 1.8T. Because:
The Buick Excelle GT is available with two four-cylinder petrol engines: a 1.5 with 114hp and 143nm, and a 1.4 turbo with 144hp and 200nm. The 1.5 is mated to a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic, the 1.4 turbo to a seven-speed DCT.
The 1.5 is called ’15N’ and the 1.4 turbo ’18T’. It is not unusual for Chinese car makers, international and local, to come up with number-names that got noting to do with the engines, but calling a 1.4 turbo 18T might be a bit too confusing.
Whereas the exterior looks sleek but unsporty, the interior goes for the full-sporty red treatment, with a thick red rim over the dashboard, red-rimmed floor mats, and red stitching on the leather seats. The red stuff is matched with a shipload of chrome, making for a rather messy ensemble of colors and things.
More red in the back. Bench seems big enough for two adults and a child.
Cut half of the boot and you have a nice hatch, which then could be called the new Excelle XT, while not being the real new Excelle XT.
C-pillar best part of the design.
Shiny grille and angry lights.
This is the 1.4 turbocharged four in the Buick Excelle GT 18T.
I can see your muffler!