Buick took some of us by surprise when it unveiled a posh GL8 Avenir concept last year at Auto Shanghai in China. From airline-styled headrests to reclining rear seats, the luxurious minivan pictured below had the refinement and features of a high-end premium sedan. For 2020, Buick is turning the concept into a production model by introducing the revised GL8 Avenir with a four-seat layout, joining an upgraded version of the regular seven-seat model and also a new six-seat variant.
We only have the top image to go by for the time being, but it’s easy to see the cabin has been largely carried over from last year’s concept. Ok, the nearly full-length center console of the showcar is missing from the production model, but the general theme has remained pretty much the same. Those cozy rear seats seem to be virtually identical, and there's plenty of legroom after getting rid of the second row. We’re noticing the dashboard has been reworked compared to the previous version of Buick’s people-mover since it now hosts a pair of digital screens.
Introduced back in 2000, the GL8 is actually Buick’s oldest surviving nameplate in China and received the fancy Avenir trim in 2016. The company isn’t willing to go into many details for the time being about the updated version, but it does say the four-seat model takes after last year’s concept. “Significant technology upgrades” to keep the model fresh and competitive are being promised.
The Buick GL8 is not the only luxury minivan available in China as the Mercedes V-Class is also sold in the People’s Republic. These two have to have to face a new rival coming from Lexus, which introduced a Toyota Alphard-based LM last year with an “opulent four-seat configuration” together with a regular seven-seat model.
Luxury minivans might seem like a niche not worth pursuing, but MPVs are still important in some parts of the world where crossovers and SUVs haven’t conquered every segment of the market.
Buick Redefines Luxury MPVs, Adding New Members to Popular GL8 Avenir Family
SHANGHAI — Buick today announced that it is adding four-seat and six-seat variants to its popular GL8 Avenir multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) portfolio in China. Along with an upgraded seven-seat variant, they will give Buick the freshest lineup in the luxury MPV segment.
“The newest members of the Avenir family push the boundary of the brand’s attainable luxury,” said Molly Peck, executive director of Buick Sales and Marketing at SAIC-GM. “They demonstrate our focus on offering tailored solutions for our local customers and will further solidify Buick’s leading position in the luxury MPV segment in China.”
The four-seat variant will become the new flagship model for the GL8 Avenir nameplate. It builds on the design philosophy of the GL8 Avenir concept MPV shown at Auto Shanghai 2019, presenting classic luxury in an innovative way. The cabin layout provides unprecedented roominess and comfort in its segment.
All new GL8 Avenir family members also offer significant technology upgrades, leveraging GM’s global resources and strong local expertise. In addition, they showcase Buick’s excellence in sculptured design, purposeful innovation and refined precision.
The GL8, which debuted in 2000, is Buick’s most enduring nameplate in China. The Avenir sub-brand was introduced in China on the GL8 in 2016. It represents the highest expression of Buick luxury backed by segment-leading customer service.
Buick has found success offering premium SUVs and cars with sculptural designs, refined performance, modern interiors and thoughtful personal technologies. Buick’s award-winning customer service and sales experience, along with the Avenir trim, the highest expression of Buick luxury, are attracting new buyers to experience Buick’s unique approach to attainable luxury in North America and China. Buick has sold over 10 million vehicles in China since its introduction by SAIC-GM in 1998. More information about Buick vehicles in China is available at www.Buick.com.cn.