Lexus has been trying to beat BMW at the mid-size sports sedan game since 1998, joining Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi in attempts to out-do the much-loved BMW 3-Series. The first and second generations of the Lexus IS fell short of the mark, but that doesn't mean they were terrible cars -- far from it. But overall competence isn't enough to get enthusiasts shopping in the near-luxury sports-sedan segment to part with their money.
Once upon a time, the Hyundai Azera was a bland near-luxury sedan that did well as a value proposition against other bland near-luxury sedans, thanks to its low price. That all changed in 2012, when Hyundai redesigned the Azera, giving it striking looks.
Buick's shift to a younger buyer demographic began in part with the introduction of the Enclave crossover as a 2008 model in 2007, which is slightly ironic since at least one of our staffers, who's still on the south side of 40, derided the Enclave's interior as being boring and aimed at older folks. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, though, and Buick has been getting plenty of younger beholders into the Enclave (the average buyer age for the Enclave is 54, which seems high until you remember that Buick's average buyer age was 64 not long ago). That's why its changes are more evolutionary than revolutionary. The same could be said of its Chevrolet twin on the Lambda platform, the Traverse (GMC's Acadia offers more change, at least in terms of exterior design), but the Enclave really stays close to the outgoing model.
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