You won’t find the revived Century nameplate at a Buick dealer near you anytime soon. The new Buick Century is actually a super luxury minivan made for the Chinese market. It comes in either a four-seat or six-seat layout and offers eye-popping features like a minifridge and a 32-inch sliding entertainment screen. The luxury van segment is alive and well, but it exists mostly outside of North America.
Century of Ultra-Luxury
Believe it or not, Buick has been working in the luxury van segment in China for a long time. But this new ultra-luxury van brings back an old nameplate that should be quite familiar to consumers in the United States. The Century used to be a pretty basic midsize family sedan. It was never all that exciting, but it was practical for many families. The Buick Century minivan is anything but practical, but that won’t stop it from doing numbers in China. As it turns out, China is extremely into luxury vehicles that allow passengers to be chauffeured in ridiculous opulence. Enter the luxury van segment. The Century is the latest and greatest example of that. The four-seat layout looks like a private jet cabin with a partition that separates the rear passengers from the driver. The partition is actually a 32-inch flat-screen display that slides aside at the press of a button.
Rear Cabin Magnificence
The rear cabin in either layout is incredible to behold. The rear seats are more like luxury recliners wrapped in Nappa leather than your average car seat, and there’s even a 13-liter fridge nearby for drinks. If you can’t imagine what else they could add to increase the opulence, well, don’t look up. The Century’s ceiling is covered in 366 individual LED lights to create the illusion of a starry sky. Adding to that, 162 of the lights twinkle like stars, and you can utilize a variety of lighting modes to set the mood. A 21-speaker Bose sound system puts the finishing touches on the rear cabin experience. If you’re interested in what’s powering this luxury van, the answer is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a mild hybrid system.
What Does It Cost?
Naturally, the incredible luxury of this van isn’t cheap, but at the same time, the price might surprise you. According to current exchange rates from the yuan to the dollar, the starting price for the Buick GL8 Century is $74,500 and it goes up to $97,000. On the surface, yes, that’s a lot of money for a minivan. But this is obviously not just any minivan, and it’s not like those prices are all that unusual for a giant SUV that won’t include half the luxury niceties of the Century. However, there probably isn’t a huge market for luxury minivans in the United States, so it’s still unlikely you’ll ever see it at your local Buick dealer.
In China, Buick now has a huge lineup that dwarfs what it sells in the United States, so the Century is likely to sell just fine over there.
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