- Some markets, like China, still like minivans, especially luxurious ones.
- The Buick GL8 Avenir Concept was unveiled at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show.
- By to looks of it, it competes with Rolls Royce and Bentley.
North America has all but completely fallen out of love with minivans. Other markets feel differently, especially in Japan and China. As we all know, Buick remains a strong brand in China and the GL8 minivan, sold there since 2000, is fairly popular. At last year’s Shanghai Auto Show, Buick revealed the ultimate luxury minivan in the GL8 Avenir Concept and now, it’s going into series production.
Now, unlike minivans as we know them, the GL8 Avenir, which looks strangely like the final generation of the Nissan Quest, will not seat eight and carry loads of stuff. In actuality, this minivan is designed for four where the rear passengers are treated like members of a royal family. The leather is quilted, there’s a console with tables and trays, storage, and unmatched levels of comfort and room. It will be luxurious and loaded with technology.
The Buick GL8 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine that produces 260-horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque that, with its 6-speed automatic transmission, isn’t exactly fast… But that’s not the point.
Don’t expect it to ever come to North America. The last Buick minivan, the Terraza, a clone to the Chevy Venture, Oldsmobile Silhouette and Saturn Relay, wasn’t exactly a hit.