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Not being one of the bean counters at GM sometimes it is hard to understand how it rolls. GM usually won’t tool up a bracket unless it knows it will sell six million of them. Usually. But then you see things like the for-China-only GL8 Avenir MPV and wonder why this Buick is only sold there?

Buick should give it a slight lift and call it an SUV

2022 Buick GL8 Avenir for China only
2022 Buick GL8 Avenir for China only | GM

Yeah, we know minivans aren’t killing the market, but Subaru has a universal plan for that. Just lift the suspension an inch or two and put black plastic around the wheel gaps and call it an SUV.  It seems to work every time. 

The thing is that GM spent millions of dollars tooling this sucker up. Why won’t it consider selling it elsewhere besides in The People’s Republic of China? But when you look at how many it sells there you sort of get it.

In the last three years, GM has sold around 150,000. Minivans may be slow-selling in the US but they’re smoking in China. And don’t forget that 2020 was a tough year for carmakers. 

What makes the Buick GL8 Avenir so great?

2022 Buick GL8 Avenir for China only
2022 Buick GL8 Avenir for China only | GM

So far this year the GL8 Avenir is only slightly off those numbers. But some of that could be due to it being a few years old. And that is why Buick did a facelift and some upgrades for 2022. 

In December GM worked its V2X technology into the GL8. Now it has added a hybrid system. That increases power and also fuel economy by six percent. 

“The GL8 Avenir family has been defining the premium MPV segment with strong demand since it was launched,” said Executive Director of Buick Sales and Marketing at SAIC-GM, Molly Peck, in a statement. “The 48V mild-hybrid technology is solid proof of Buick’s commitment to electrifying its portfolio for lower emissions. With enhanced styling and technology, the 2022 GL8 Avenir not only provides better fuel efficiency but also a more luxurious and intelligent in-vehicle experience, giving it additional strength for continued momentum,” she said.

The GL8 Avenir comes in three trims and can go to over $80,000

2022 Buick GL8 Avenir for China only
2022 Buick GL8 Avenir for China only | GM

Buick has added a bunch of luxury features to distinguish it from the competition. This may be why the price can go north of $80,000 depending on trim packages. A seven-, six-, and luxury four-seat versions are available. The four-seater is considered Buick’s flagship model. 

Now the turbocharged 2.0-liter LSY engine is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. To that is added an electric motor and 48-volt electrical system, replacing the traditional 12-volt we are all familiar with. No power numbers are available right now. 

So, while we sometimes wonder how GM works, digging a little deeper can tell you a lot. Still, we wonder why it doesn’t make sense to bring the GL8 Avenir to the states to see if it strikes magic here.


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