In the mid-2000s, the marketers at Buick touted a top trim level named Ultra, offering near-Cadillac luxury content and extra design flourishes. That notion has now been revived for 2018 as a sub-brand named Avenir, first applied (outside of a minivan sold in China) to the Enclave SUV. Now there’s an Avenir version of the most loaded, plushest LaCrosse possible.
The new 2018 LaCrosse Avenir does for Buick customers what the Park Avenue Ultra did when sedans with three-across bench seating were in vogue. Avenir script badges appear on the doors and sills and are embroidered into the headrests. Avenir-specific 19-inch wheels are standard, while 20-inch wheels come with adaptive dampers on the optional Dynamic Drive package. A new Chestnut leather interior, a darker version of the current Brandy color, is exclusive to Avenir models, although the seats in the LaCrosse don’t have the white piping found in the Enclave Avenir. The LaCrosse Premium trim level’s optional navigation system, 11-speaker Bose stereo, and panoramic sunroof are all standard in the Avenir, as is the top-grade 3.6-liter V-6, paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Just as GMC does with its Denali models, Buick wants its Avenirs to stand out, so the black vertical grille lines are swapped out in favor of a chromed crosshatch pattern to ensure that owners can spot their cars when parked next to Buicks that are merely Premium grade. All-wheel drive and safety features such as automated emergency braking are still extra-cost options. It’s possible to crest $50,000 on a fully loaded LaCrosse Premium AWD, so we expect the LaCrosse Avenir (which hasn’t been priced yet) to exceed that top end when it arrives at dealerships in January.