Buick is a hot brand in China, so if General Motors wants something to sell well over there, it may not hurt to slap a Buick badge on it, like it did with the Chevrolet Volt.
Buick's in the middle of what it calls the "Buick Blue" strategy, during which it will bring a number of hybrids, plug-ins and EVs to China. The-- or, as it'll be known in China, the Buick Velite 5 -- is one of those vehicles.
It may sport a number of Buick badges, and its interior looks a bit nicer, but underneath this frippery, it's still the same ol' Chevy Volt. It's an extended-range electric vehicle that pairs a 1.5-liter I4 with an 18.4-kWh battery and electric motors. It can go 53 EPA-estimated miles on electricity alone, and its gas engine achieves 42 mpg by itself. Long story short, it's plenty efficient.
The rest of the Velite 5's equipment is no different from the Volt's, as well. Its 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system supports Apple CarPlay, and the OnStar 4G LTE data connection is on offer, too. There's a Bose premium sound system and multiple driver aids, like adaptive cruise control and automatic parking assist.
The Velite 5 is the second car to arrive in China under the Buick Blue plan, the first being a hybrid-electric version of thesedan. In the US, it's only offered with a 3.6-liter V6, and it's unclear if Buick feels like bringing the LaCrosse hybrid over to the US.