Buick's latest China-only GL8 luxury minivan is available this week. The premium van will have a price range of about $43,000 to $58,000 in U.S. dollars.
For some context, the Enclave starts at about $77,800, adjusted to U.S. dollars. The last-generation GL8 was a good performer for Buick. Since the GL8 debuted in 1999, 330,000 units have been sold. For those who can't afford this new GL8 luxury van, Buick plans to update the current vehicle and offer it with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission at a lower price.
Whether in China or the U.S., Buick has a reputation for selling vehicles with at least some premium flair, and the GL8 has the features to claim "luxury minivan" status. Two-tone leather seats, a two-piece panorama sunroof, electric sliding door, one-touch electric lift rear door are all available. Audiophiles might appreciate the 10-speaker 5.1-channel Bose sound system. A 7-inch touchscreen display is integrated up front while a 10.2-inch WVGA HD display is placed in the back. Just like other Buicks, blue ambient lighting is included.
HID headlights and "crystal-like" chrome LED taillights further add to the upscale appeal, though we'd like to see the GL8 in-person before judging whether Honda or Buick more successfully incorporates the kink in the side windows.
The obvious question is whether Buick should bring this vehicle to the U.S. Before you give us your answer, let's compare the dimensions of the new GL8 and the 2011 Chrysler Town & Country, a minivan which carries a starting price above $30,000.
The GL8 is 206.9 inches long, 73.9 inches wide, and 70.9 inches tall. Chrysler's 2011 Town & Country is 202.8 inches long, 78.7 inches wide, and 67.9 inches tall. The two vehicles' wheelbases are almost the same: 121.6 inches for the GL8 and 121.2 for the Town & Country.
So, what do you think. Would a properly priced luxury minivan like the GL8 sell as well in the U.S. as it has in China?
Source: General Motors