• GM brand celebrating 110th birthday
  • Now offers five models: three sedans, two SUVs
  • Models from $24,000 Verano to $40,000 Enclave

Buick is officially celebrating its 110th anniversary in the car business. The brand officially incorporated on May 19, 1903, debuting its very first model -- dubbed the Model B -- the following year.

Through the years, the brand has seen its share of ups and downs. Perhaps the most important moments in the brand's early years came during World War II, when its factories were converted to build military equipment. In 1942, the famed M18 Hellcat tank was built on the very same assembly line where popular vehicles were built just a few years earlier.

Over the years, the brand's most popular models have included the Electra, the Riviera, the Skylark and the LeSabre. While none of those model names are in use today, the popular Regal nameplate was introduced 40 years ago, in 1973. From almost the beginning, the brand was placed among General Motors' lineup as a slightly less expensive alternative to Cadillac -- a position it holds today.

The brand's lineup consists of five models. The least-expensive model is the Verano, a 4-cylinder sedan that shares its platform with the Chevrolet Cruze. It starts around $24,000 and boasts 180- or 250-horsepower engine options.

Stepping up from the Verano is the midsize Regal, which starts around $30,000. Also available with only 4-cylinder engines, the Regal's model line is topped by the high-performance Regal GS, which offers a 270-hp turbocharged engine.

The flagship sedan is the LaCrosse, which starts around $32,500 and offers two engines: a 4-cylinder eAssist hybrid and a muscular 303-hp V6. Upscale LaCrosse trims with the brand's V6 can start as high as $40,000 before options.

Two SUVs are offered, as well. The smallest, dubbed the Encore, debuted for the 2013 model year. With a starting price of around $25,000, the Encore boasts a 138-hp 4-cylinder engine capable of reaching 25 miles per gallon city and 33 mpg highway.

At the highest end is the Enclave SUV, which boasts three rows of seats and a standard V6 engine, with a base price of around $39,000.

Buick has indeed come a long way since its founding, and -- thanks to a push for new products like the Verano and Encore -- it looks like the brand has many more years ahead.

What it means to you: As the oldest American car brand, it offers a new product lineup that's steeped in history.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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