It’s not an oxymoron.
In the US, minivans are purpose-built family haulers designed to withstand torturous toddlers and apathetic adolescents. The body style has a different purpose in China, where minivans can breach six figures in price, though there is a more affordable option from Buick called the G8L Avenir. A new walkaround video gets us close to the luxury minivan to see how the brand packages a ton of luxury into a familiar-looking family vehicle.
The Buick’s styling may seem a bit overwrought for US standards, especially with all the chrome accents, though that’s not the case. Other luxury minivans, like the Lexus LM, sport even crazier styling. The GL8 Avenir still looks like a Buick with its corporate face and design elements. However, the real luxury lies inside, where the six seats (a seven-seat configuration is available) offer a plethora of technology and creature comforts, like the third-row heated and cooled seats.
Gallery: Buick GL8 Avenir (China-only)
The minivan comes packed with plenty of cup holders, big screens for the infotainment display and gauge cluster, capacitive touch controls, and plenty of charging ports. The model is only available in China, though it’s similar in driving style to other Buick SUVs. It has a soft and comfortable ride, with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder under the hood. It produces 233 horsepower (174 kilowatts) and 258 pound-feet (350 Newton-meters) of torque.
A fully equipped Buick GL8 Avenir isn’t cheap, costing around $83,000, though its competitors can easily surpass that, reaching over $100,000 or even $120,000, and the Buick is bigger, too. We don’t think of minivans as luxury vehicles in the US, but luxury SUVs and crossovers are pretty popular. Buick could find some success with the GL8 outside of China, though its appeal could be limited by the fact that it’s a minivan. There are plenty of luxury family vehicles available from other automakers.
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