The Buick Excelle (known in Chinese as 別克凱越 or 别克英朗) is a range of luxury compact passenger cars produced by Shanghai General Motors under the Buick brand in China that currently spans three generations.
The original, first-generation Buick Excelle, (“Kai Yue” in Chinese) is based on the Daewoo Lacetti developed by South Korean Daewoo Motors, which General Motors purchased in 2001. After the acquisition, GM rebranded the Lacetti as a Buick in China and as a Chevrolet in Europe.
The first iteration was available as a sedan, wagon and hatchback (HRV) body styles. The wagon and hatch were produced from 2005 to 2009 while the sedan continued to be produced in Shanghai from April 2003 to August 2016.
The range was priced between 96,900 yuan to 118,900 yuan throughout its production run.
Shanghai GM introduced the second-generation Buick Excelle (Ying Lang in Chinese) in 2010. The model was available in two body styles – a four-door sedan called the Excelle GT (别克英朗GT in Chinese) and a five-door hatchback called the Excelle XT.
The Excelle XT hatchback made its debut first in late 2009 at the Guangzhou Auto Show and went on sale in January 2010. The Excelle GT sedan was introduced and went on sale in June 2010.
Both the all-new Excelle GT and XT were sold alongside the original, first-geneartion Excelle sedan but for a higher price.
The second-gen Excelle family was based on the GM Delta II global compact car platform, which was developed at Opel International Technical Development Center (ITDC) in Rüsselsheim, Germany. The Chevrolet Cruze and Holden Cruze are also based on this same platform. The vehicle was essentially a rebadged Astra J (2009-2015) sedan and hatchback.
The Excelle XT hatchback was offered with the following three four-cylinder Ecotec gasoline engines:
- 1.6L turbocharged four-cylinder making 181 horsepower / 135 kW
- 1.6L naturally-aspirated four-cylinder making 114 horsepower / 85 kW
- 1.8L naturally-aspirated four-cylinder making 138 horsepower / 103 kW
All engines were mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with a sport mode.
Shanghai GM introduced the third-generation Buick Excelle in 2015. The vehicle is all-new, riding on the new GM-PATAC K platform and sporting completely overhauled exterior and interior. Production began in March 2015.
The third-gen Excelle is available as a four-door sedan (Excelle GT). The hatchback variant did not return for the third generation, as that model was replaced by the Buick Verano GS.
In October 2017, Buick announced a new addition to the Excelle lineup – a five-door wagon called the Excelle GX. The vehicle launched for the 2018 model year.
In addition, the Excelle GT was given an freshening for the 2018 model year, introducing automatic LED headlights, a feature that is uncommon in the segment, cloud-based eConnect technology, standard electronic stability control (ESC) and Side Blind Zone Alert (SBZA).
In August 2016, it was reported that Buick has decided to discontinue the Excelle. This has led to some confusion, as some believed that the entire Excelle range will be discontinued, which was not the case.
Instead, what Buick did was discontinue the original, first-generation Excelle, leaving the third-generation models intact. The first-gen Excelle had accumulated 2.68 million sales during its 13 years in production. The reason for the discontinuation is Buick’s objective to continue moving upmarket as premium-level brand and leave Chevrolet and Wuling to compete in the low-end market left by the original Excelle.