GM’s joint venture with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) launched the third generation Buick GL8 on Sunday to consolidate its lead in the MPV market. Four all-new trims are introduced with prices ranging between 288,000 and 388,000 yuan. They will go on sale in a month or two alongside two refreshed trims of the second generation.
Guided by Shanghai GM’s Pan-Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), the new GL8 gets more space, power, and features. The powertrain is upgraded to the match a 2.4L DVVT Eco-tech, found on the current Regal and LaCrosse, or a 3.0L V6 with a 6-speed automatic gearbox.
While all six trims to come have the same wheelbase (3099mm), they are of two different kinds. The two 2.4L, second-generation ones (called "business" editions) are built on the SGM201 platform; the revamped four (called "luxury business" editions) get two engine options, 2.4L and 3.0L, and are based on the SGM258. The latter look more aerodynamic too.
The entry-level trim comes with a price tag of 228,000 yuan. For some extra money one can have advanced features like OnStar telematics, bi-xenon headlights, panoramic sunroof, heated leather seats, DVD/GPS, TCS, and dual-zone climate control.
GL8 has been one of the most popular MPVs in China since its first launch in 1999. Last year it delivered more than 40,000 units, outselling Honda Odyssey, Brilliance Jinbei Geruisi, VW Touran, among others.
Click here for more photos and details of the 2011 Buick GL8.