When we first drove the 2018 Buick Enclave Avenir, we were impressed by the refined ride and better-than-expected handling, but we weren’t sure Buick had done enough to differentiate its three-row luxury crossover from the Chevrolet Traverse.
According to the latest report, though, a lot of customers don’t see the problem. In fact, demand has supposedly been so strong, Buick is looking to make top-of-the-line Avenir models even more luxurious and expensive than they already are.
Automotive News reports that Buick is currently selling Enclaves as quickly as it can build them and that 25 percent of all Enclaves sold are Avenirs. Demand even continues to outpace supply despite an increase in Enclave production back in March.
Through June of this year, Enclave sales are up 15 percent, and the average transaction price has increased by about $5,000. While a base Enclave costs slightly more than $40,000, the Avenir starts at $54,495, and a fully loaded example easily crosses the $60,000 mark.
“We saw the need to provide even more for Enclave, and it was a direct result of sales of the first generation. They were asking for even more options and equipment,” Jace Stokes, manager of product marketing for the Enclave, told Automotive News. He also said the success of the new Enclave has forced Buick to reconsider how far it can push the Avenir subbrand. “We certainly have more technology planned,” said Stokes. “I think next generation is where we’re going to push Avenir further.”
Soon, other vehicles in the Buick lineup will get an Avenir version, as well. And before long, every model Buick sells may get the Avenir treatment. “As a premium brand, we reach up into luxury and down into mainstream, and Avenir is the way we go toe-to-toe, I think, with some of these Tier 1 luxury brands,” Duncan Aldred, global head of Buick and GMC, told Automotive News. “You’ll see Avenir roll out across many more models and maybe the whole range over time.”
Based on Avenir’s initial success, that’s probably a smart decision for GM.