Buick's Launch of Avenir Sub-Brand Gets Underway With 2018 Enclave - 11 Percent More Money for Avenir

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
buick s launch of avenir sub brand gets underway with 2018 enclave 11 percent more

Pricing 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.

Avenir 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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  • Honda1 Honda1 on Jun 13, 2017

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

  • WildcatMatt WildcatMatt on Jun 26, 2017

    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.

  • Sooper Toyota already has no new vehicles on their lots; they are just another used car dealership now. So why introduce another model when Toyota appears to be going out of the new vehicle business?
  • Tassos There is nothing 'weird' about Finland's fine system. A few other nations have it too. Switzerland maybe, I am not sure.But you do not specify WHAT was that clown's income that required him to pay $120k for a speeding ticket?I am sure that for somebody like ELon Musk, $100k will barely operate his megayacht ONE LOUSY Day.
  • Bkojote On paper, GMC is supposed to be the understated, more sophisticated member of the GM truck family.In actuality, GMC is total garbage in the truck world - by the time they're on their second owner they're decked out with amazon wheel spacers, pizza dish wheels, punisher stickers, and really angry opinions about any president who's won the popular vote in the past two decades. And man, these things are ugly as sin too.That's because GM trucks as a whole are kinda the also-rans in the truck category. Yeah, they do sales, but they aren't anyone's first choice. Not as extreme as the Ram, not as category defining as the Raptor, not as well engineered as a Toyota, so you end up with owners who compensate big time to distract others from the endless repair bills. The only owners I know who are worse are the rollin' coal lifted Super Duty drivers. Like you bought a GMC because the guy who sold you your wife's acadia is less scary than having to grovel for a Raptor and you take the Ford guys making fun of you personally.
  • Tassos The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. I have mentioned this before, and it applies here again.Go to the U of Michigan College of Engineering parking lot. How can you say what car the $300,000 a year (ACADEMIC year of 9 months, mind you, summer pay is extra, and consulting a whole lot on top of that) and what does the $50,000 a year secretary drive?Hint: Teresa was out chair's secretary, started a year ago. She had to resign in just a few months because her 75 mile EACH WAY from her home in Lapeer MI to ANn Arbor MI just KILLED HER when gas prices rose.What car did Teresa drive? Take a wild guess. An F150? A Ram pickup? A Silverado? One of these. In a fee months she had to resign and find a lesser job in the whole lot lesser U of M Flint (but why would she care? she's just a secretary), which halved her commuting distance to a still significant 75 mile round trip every damned day.So the poor keep buying pickups and get poorer, and the rich keep NOT buying them and get richer.
  • Cprescott It is ugly enough. But why? You refuse to build enough of your products for your consumers.