Buick GL8

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Buick GL8
Buick GL8 ES facelift 001.jpg
Buick GL8 ES facelift
Body and chassis
LayoutTransverse front-engine, front-wheel drive/all-wheel drive
PlatformGM U platform

The Buick GL8 is a minivan that is made by Shanghai GM, a joint-venture between Chinese automaker SAIC Motor and American automaker General Motors. The Buick GL8 is only sold in China.

Introduced in 1999, the first generation Buick GL8 is similar to the GM-made minivans that are sold in North America (Chevrolet Uplander, Chevrolet Venture, Buick Terraza, Oldsmobile Silhouette, Pontiac Trans Sport, Pontiac Trans Sport Montana, Pontiac Montana, Pontiac Montana SV6, and Saturn RELAY), and is built on GM's U-body platform, which is also used by the GM-made minivans that are sold in North America, as well as the Buick Rendezvous and the Pontiac Aztek, which are both midsize crossover SUV's that were sold in North America by General Motors, also using GM's U-body platform.

A revamped edition was released in late 2010/early 2011, featuring 2.4 L and V6 3.0 L engines.[1] It is based on an old minivan platform from the U.S., but it would likely require costly upgrades to meet current U.S. safety and requirements. Sales amounted to 52,127 units in 2010, and it was relatively stable over past few years. The previous generation was still available as the GL8 First Land[2] until 2016.

The third generation model dubbed the GL8 ES was launched in 2017, with the second generation still available and updated as the GL8 Land Business Class. Both the GL8 ES and GL8 Land Business Class received a facelift with the GL8 ES receiving a Avenir luxury variant.

The fourth generation model called the GL8 Century was launched in 2022, with the second and third generation models both available and updated to be sold alongside the GL8 Century, resulting in a 3-generation lineup with the latter two generations both available with an Avenir luxury trim level.

First generation (2000–2016)[edit]

First generation
2010 Shanghai-GM Buick GL8, front 8.11.18.jpg
Buick GL8 (facelift)
Also calledChevrolet Venture
(Philippines; 2001–2006)
Production1999–2016 (GL8)
2005–2010 (GL8 First Land)
AssemblyShanghai, China 1999-2004 (SAIC-GM)
Shenyang, Liaoning, China (SAIC-GM Norsom Motors) 2004-2016
DesignerJames C. Shyr
(2005; GL8 First Land)
Body and chassis
Body style5-door minivan
PlatformGMT200 platform (2000–2005)
GMT201 platform (2005–2016)
RelatedChevrolet Venture
Oldsmobile Silhouette
Pontiac Montana
Pontiac Trans Sport
Opel/Vauxhall Sintra
Transmission4-speed automatic
6-speed automatic
Wheelbase2,845 mm (112 in) (2.5)
3,099 mm (122 in) (First Land)
Length4,757 mm (187.3 in) (2.5)
5,113 mm (201.3 in) (First Land)
Width1,847 mm (72.7 in)
Height1,712 mm (67.4 in) (2.5)
1,730 mm (68.1 in) (First Land)
Curb weight1,692 kg (3,730 lb) (2.5)
1,788 kg (3,942 lb) (First Land)

The GL8 first entered production in China in December 1999.[1][3]

The regular wheelbase GL8 is known as the GL8 2.5 while the extended wheelbase variant is called the GL8 First Land. There are five trim levels available, called the LT, CT1, CT2, CT3 and GT (which is only available on the Firstland). Pricing ranged between 218,000 to 318,000 yuan[4] (31,920 to 46,570 USD). Starting from October 2001, the GL8 was exported to the Philippines, where it was rebadged as the Chevrolet Venture and available in a 10-seater configuration until 2005.[5] Although reviews and sales were generally lukewarm, build quality was subpar and parts availability was also a source of persistent frustration for Venture owners in the Philippines. Its local competitors include the Hyundai Starex and the Kia Carnival which had better build quality. The Chevrolet Venture was sold in the Philippine market up until 2006, although some remaining units were sold in dealerships up until 2007.

The Venture is one out of two rebadged Chinese-market Buicks sold in the Philippines, the other being the Buick Regal-based Chevrolet Lumina. Both are sourced from Shanghai GM.

Pre-facelift styling

In 2005, the GL8 underwent a facelift for the 2006 model year, receiving a redesigned front end and new clear taillights.

Production ended in 2016.

Post-facelift styling


  • GL8 Business Edition: LE5 2.4 L I4
  • GL8 2.5: LB8 2.5 L V6
  • GL8 First Land: LW9 3.0 L V6

Hybrid Prototype[edit]

In 2001, the Buick GL8 XEA1 or Phoenix was developed as a collaboration between General Motors and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC). The Buick GL8 XAE1 is a hybrid vehicle that uses a 35 kW fuel cell and compressed hydrogen gas to deliver its power. The General Motors Phoenix was officially unveiled at the Pan Asia Automotive Technology Center in China in 2001.

Second generation (2010-present)[edit]

Second generation
Buick GL8 II Land Business Edition 003.jpg
Buick GL8 II facelift (Land Business Edition)
AssemblyShenyang, Liaoning, China (SAIC-GM Norsom Motors)
DesignerJames C. Shyr
Body and chassis
Body style5-door minivan
PlatformSGM258 platform
  • 2.0 L LTG turbo I4 (2011–2019)
  • 2.0 L LSY turbo I4 (China 652T; 2020–present)
  • 2.4 L LE5 I4 (2011–2015)
  • 2.5 L LCV I4 (2017)
  • 3.0 L LFW V6 (2011–2017)
Transmission6-speed DSS automatic
9-speed 9T50 Hydramatic automatic
(China; 652T 2020–present)
Wheelbase3,088 mm (121.6 in)
Length5,256 mm (206.9 in)
Width1,878 mm (73.9 in)
Height1,800 mm (70.9 in)

Introduced in 2010 for the 2011 model year, the GL8 II has an all-new appearance inspired by the Buick Business concept car that was shown in 2009, with a drastic dip in the beltline. The wheelbase is the same as for the GL8 First Land, 3,099 mm (122 in). Developed by the Pan-Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), another joint venture of SAIC Motors with General Motors, the vehicle is based on a vehicle architecture of over a decade old.[6]

Engines include a 2.4-liter DVVT Ecotec four-cylinder and a 3.0-liter V6, with an available six-speed automatic gearbox for the V6.[1] To differentiate the new GL8 from its predecessor which remains on sale as a "Business Edition", the new one is sold as the "Luxury Business Edition".

After the 3rd Generation GL8 on sale, to differentiate the new GL8 (3rd generation GL8) from its predecessor which remains on sale as a "Business Edition", the new one is sold as the "Luxury Business Edition". And it has a new engine called LCV, a 2.5-liter DVVT Ecotec. But the old 3.0-liter V6 was canceled.

Pre-facelift styling

Post-facelift styling

This generation GL8 was given a facelift in May 2020 with a new exterior known as the "Land Business Edition" and had a single trim level on offer known as the 652T. The 2 litre LSY turbocharged petrol engine is standard paired with the 9-speed Hydramatic automatic gearbox. Twelve models are available and pricing ranges from 232,900 yuan to 529,900 yuan (33,320 to 75,820 USD - July 2020 exchange rate).[7] [8]

Second facelift styling

Third generation (2017–present)[edit]

Third generation
2017 Buick (Shanghai-GM) GL8 ES, front 8.6.18.jpg
Buick GL8 III
AssemblyShanghai, China (SAIC-GM)
DesignerNicolas Huet
Body and chassis
Body style5-door minivan
PlatformSGM358 platform
  • 2.0 L LTG turbo I4 (2017–2019)
  • 2.0 L LSY turbo I4 (China 652T; 2020–present)
Transmission6-speed DSS automatic
9-speed 9T50 Hydramatic automatic
Wheelbase3,088 mm (121.6 in)
Length5,203 mm (204.8 in)–5,256 mm (206.9 in)
Width1,878 mm (73.9 in)
Height1,776 mm (69.9 in)–1,811 mm (71.3 in)
Buick GL8 III (rear)

The third generation Buick GL8 debuted in China in October 2016 dubbed the GL8 ES and was sold alongside the second generation model.

The Buick GL8 ES received a complete exterior overhaul using the newly introduced winged Buick grille treatment, as well as a redesigned roofline. The entire engine lineup was replaced by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four producing 253 hp (189 kW; 257 PS).

The last generation was sold as 25S with a 2.5-liter I4 in the new base model. The new version is based on an updated version of the same platform, abandoning the current torsion beam rear suspension in favor of a new independent setup. The entry-level price was lowered to RMB 229,000 for the old GL8 25S, while a luxury version, the most expensive GL8 Avenir, at RMB 449,000.[9][10]

2020 facelift[edit]

Originally revealed as the Buick GL8 Avenir concept during the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show, the production GL8 and GL8 Avenir facelift was revealed in March 2020. The GL8 facelift is available with a four-seat layout, six-seat layout, and seven-seat configurations. Technology is a significant focus for the post-facelift GL8, including the 12.3-inch integrated display and Buick’s eConnect 3.0 connectivity technology and head-up display.[11]

Post-facelift styling

Fourth generation (2022–present)[edit]

The fourth generation Buick GL8 was unveiled in August 2022 and called the GL8 Century.


  1. ^ a b c "Shanghai GM Unveils Revamped Buick GL8 MPV". ChinaAutoWeb.com. 2010-11-28.
  2. ^ Klayman, Ben (2011-04-26). "GM minivan gone in US, but still thrives in China". Reuters.
  3. ^ "Shanghai GM joint venture overview on Chinaautoweb.com".
  4. ^ "2005 Buick GL8 specs".
  5. ^ "Obscure Rebadges From Around The World: Part 6".
  6. ^ "China's Hottest Wheels for Executives: A Buick Minivan". Archived from the original on 2014-11-11. Retrieved 2014-11-11.
  7. ^ "2020 Buick GL8 Land Business Edition specs".
  8. ^ "2020 Buick GL8 Land Business Edition pictures".
  9. ^ Wang, Joey (18 May 2016). "Leaked: This Is The New Buick GL8 For China". Car News China. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  10. ^ Syzmkowski, Sean (6 March 2017). "What's Old Is New Again: Buick GL8 25S Revealed". GM Authority.
  11. ^ "Buick GL8 Avenir Fully Revealed In China As Four-Seat Luxury Minivan".

External links[edit]