By on June 12, 2017

2018 Buick Enclave Avenir - Image: BuickPricing for the long-awaited, second-generation 2018 Buick Enclave starts at $40,970, nearly $1,000 more than the 2017 model, according to Automotive News.

But it’s at the top of the 2o18 Enclave’s lineup where Buick begins the launch of its new Avenir sub-brand. The 2018 Buick Enclave Avenir is a $54,390 three-row crossover; $56,690 for an Enclave Avenir with all-wheel drive.

Buick has high hopes for the new Enclave, and rightly so. With the brand’s U.S. car sales flagging, the Enclave takes its place as the rightful flagship of a three-pronged crossover lineup — a lineup that now accounts for more than three-quarters of Buick’s U.S. sales. Already helping itself to high average transaction prices, the Enclave will become an even more premium entity with the new Avenir trim.

And how will you know it? Enclave Avenirs feature a “three-dimensional” mesh grille, pearl nickel 20-inch wheels, and badges on each front door and the left side of the tailgate.

2018 Buick Enclave Avenir grille - Image: BuickAvenir by no means represents General Motors’ first foray into premium sub-brands.

In fact, individuals who played a major role in GMC’s Denali success, Helen Emsley and Tony Disalle, are key to making Avenir something more than just a top-spec trim. Buick doesn’t want Avenir to merely represent the top rung on the ladder — like the Touring Elite trim on a Honda Odyssey or the Kia Optima’s SX Limited. No, Buick wants Avenir to earn the same cachet as Denali does at GMC.

Denali garners a younger, more affluent audience than conventional GMCs, doesn’t disrupt the Cadillac Escalade’s success, and more thoroughly differentiates GMC from Chevrolet. And it also makes GMC more profitable.

Customers who are willing to move up from the $40,970 Enclave, past the $45,190 Enclave Essence and the $48,990 Enclave Premium will find a $54,390 2018 Buick Enclave Avenir that comes standard with a hands-free power liftgate, power-folding third row, and Buick’s first implementation of GM’s Rear Camera Mirror. Also part of every Enclave Avenir are heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, navigation, dual sunroof, 360-degree surround view camera.

Buick will still make you pay extra for adaptive cruise, however — a standard bit of kit on refreshed 2018 Honda Fits with CVTs. Included with adaptive cruise in the Avenir Technology Package is front automatic braking, and a premium suspension with continuously variable real time damping.

Since its arrival in 2007, the Buick Enclave has generated more than 540,000 U.S. sales for General Motors. Peak volume was reached in 2014, proving that old age did little to impact the Enclave’s appeal as the market turned toward SUVs and crossovers.

The Enclave Avenir is certainly not the Avenir the auto show circuit demanded. But it is the beginning of a move further upmarket for Buick, a move the brand has to make if it’s to be perceived seriously as a true Lexus rival.

[Image: General Motors]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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33 Comments on “Buick’s Launch of Avenir Sub-Brand Gets Underway with 2018 Enclave – 11 Percent More Money for Avenir...”


  • avatar
    Car Guy

    Sounds like Avenir is the like the GMC Denali. If so, there is a lot of money to be made with these expensive option packages.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I was hoping that they would build the actual Avenir sedan, but I suppose there’s not really a case for a large, RWD Buick sedan / four-door-coupe.

    Still, this is a good way to eke profits out of the tri-shield division.

  • avatar
    newenthusiast

    Denali:GMC::Avenir:Buick = profit.

    If it works the same way it did for GMC, particularly by bringing in younger customers, then this is a no brainer.

    Plus, it still fits in with GM’s goal of keeping Cadillac a completely

    • 0 avatar
      newenthusiast

      …sigh……

      “Plus, it still fits in with GM’s goal of keeping Cadillac a completely”

      WHY DID THE REST OF THIS GET CUT OFF???

      Let me try again:

      Plus, it still fits in with GM’s goal of keeping Cadillac a completely distinct entity, as the Escalade is not a related vehicle, and the Denali trims on GMC aren’t exactly like the Escalade either, thus nominally separating ‘premium’ from ‘luxury’ in the GM family.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Oooh…kind of like those little square “GM” badges they plastered on every single car they produced there for a while??

    But much like the Denali variants, I’m sure Buick will sell an ape-ton of these top-spec units and there will be much rejoicing at the Ren!

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Not really. The iconic GM “Mark of Excellence” emblem appeared on the sides of the cars for MY2006. General Motors seemed to be making a concerted effort to ensure the customer knew that his / her car was a GM car, as well as an Insert Brand Here…not that it was too hard to make the connection when you had badge-swap jobs like the Relay / Terraza / Uplander / Montana.

      The badges promptly disappeared on most products after 2009, when GM went bankrupt, and the brand image was poisoned. They did, however, appear on some cars that were introduced or redesigned in 2009 as 2010 models, like the 2010 SRX and 2010 Camaro.

      This Avenir thing, on the other hand, is a sub-brand that will transcend multiple models.

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        Yeah, the “Chiclets” didn’t last very long. Some of us are old enough to remember when Mopars came with a little gold pentastar emblem, usually mounted low on the right front fender.

    • 0 avatar
      deanst

      As long as they don’t go back to the idiotic days of putting the car name on the dashboard – usually in a lovely written font on top of the faux wood.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        The only cars we had in the family in which that was the case were a couple of early-eighties Buick Rivieras, which said “Riviera by Buick” on the right-hand side of the dashboard. One of them was a T-Type, so it might have also had T-Type badging. And the Riviera had its own logo even into the final mid-late 90s model anyway (which also had dashboard-badging), so that’s no surprise.

        My dad’s 1992 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight just had “Oldsmobile” embossed into the dashboard in that Century Gothic typeface they liked to use, but it didn’t say the model name.

        Currently, the only car I can think of that does this is the current (2015+) Mustang, but it’s done tastefully. http://st.motortrend.com/uploads/sites/5/2013/12/2015-Ford-Mustang-interior.jpg

  • avatar

    Can I change my TTAC Avatar to Avenir?

    • 0 avatar
      Prove Your Humanity 2+9=?

      Avenir is French for “Future”. I guess Faraday beat them to the trademark office on that one.

      Unfortunately for GM, it’s also Spanish (a venir) for “to come”… in all senses of the word.

  • avatar

    It’s good because only a few Buicks will work this way. The residual value of a Regal or LaCrosse Avenir won’t make it worthwhile.

    The other thought? Once Escalade sales fade, just kill Caddy already. This is painful. Buick/GMC can carry it all.

  • avatar
    ceipower

    Maybe not “lipstick on a pig” , but nothing much really happening here. Pretty typical GM move.

  • avatar
    Rocket

    The Avenir trim’s cosmetic changes are relatively subtle, but a significant improvement nonetheless. The black mesh grille is particularly well done. But the darn thing is too big for me. Now if they would make an Avenir trim of the Regal Tour X, including the V6, I might just consider buying my first GM product in nearly 25 years.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      The TourX has the same cargo capacity as a Saab 9-5 SportCombi at around 73 cubic feet. The Envision has 56 cu ft.

      Nothing wrong with the 2.0T especially with AWD to curtail the low end torque the V6 doesn’t have.

      • 0 avatar
        Rocket

        I disagree. I’m done with 4-cylinder turbos until I no longer have a choice. I hated my BMW 2.0T, and disliked the 2.0T in my wife’s Audi nearly as much. Her GLC’s 2.0T is the best I’ve sampled, but it still can’t compare with the refinement of a V6. I walked away from the CX9, A4 allroad and V90 CC for the same reason, although in the Volvo’s case the infotainment was a contributing factor as well.

        Sorry, but there will NEVER be an Envision in my garage.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          I haven’t experienced those 2.0T. The Ecotec LHU and LTG is very smooth in stock form. My dad was standing near the car parked on the grass and asked it was still running he couldn’t hear it at 650 rpms.

          In stock form they are soft off the linear but when ecu tuned to almost 100 lb-ft more torque it is turbine smooth.

          • 0 avatar
            9Exponent

            Sorry about your dad’s hearing impairment.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            9exponent, his hearing is still very good and no need of hearing aids in the near future. That Ecotec 2.0T purrs from the outside and sits on vacuum assisted motor mounts. You don’t feel it at all. Unless you are into it and the decatted downpipe is singing under full throttle.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    I’m afraid I’ve lost the plot. I thought if you wanted a GM that was better than a Buick you bought a Cadillac. Then again, I thought the space for brand between Buick and Cadillac went away with LaSalle.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Cadillac ride firm and the best at handling. Buick has the smoothest and quietest ride, today.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        “Cadillac ride firm and the best at handling. Buick has the smoothest and quietest ride, today.”

        Does that mean Chevys are noisy, ride rough, and handle like crap? Do they sit around trying to figure out how to make them suck in comparison to the other brands?

        I think they try just as hard to make Chevrolets smooth, quiet, and handle well.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          All Chevy are quieter than their Japanese competition that focus on less weight for better fuel economy. A Cadillac and Buick would better it’s Chevrolet equivalent.

          Sounds like someone hasn’t jumped from seat to seat at an autoshow recently?

  • avatar

    Avenir grill looks poor IMO, for the money it should be outstanding and it’s not.

  • avatar
    honda1

    Amazing gm can sell this crap, nothing like plastic chrome
    and and silly shinny stuff to attract the glitz/glam girls.

  • avatar
    honda1

    They can buy this to sit next to hubbies “pro grade” truck, hahahahaha

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    If this is successful — and I will probably always root for the tri-shield, so I hope it is — I really think it is a serious question to ask what it means for Cadillac.

    I know the CPOBC ladder is long dead, but I think it’s worth taking a hard look at the gap left between Avenir and Cadillac. At the very least, it seems to isolate Caddy even further from the rest of the General. And that could be a Good Thing or a Bad Thing; it could allow Cadillac to shrink its lineup and focus on a core of true luxury vehicles: 1 sedan, 1 crossover, 1 SUV.

    Although, being GM, whatever they’re trying to do they’ll probably find a way to screw it up.


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