2018 Buick Enclave Preview
- Buick’s midsize SUV is all-new for 2018
- Bigger, lighter, smarter, and faster than the previous version
- Based on the same platform as Cadillac XT5, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia
- Buick introduces the Avenir, its top trim level with exclusive features, interior, and exterior fittings
- Expect to see the Avenir trim level applied to other Buick models
The Enclave is Buick’s flagship model and their biggest SUV. Now it seeks to compete with premium crossovers such as the Acura MDX, Audi Q7 and Infiniti QX60 with its latest iteration, which boasts a more refined cabin, greater functionality, and a better driving experience.
Polishing this 7-passenger crossover even further is the Avenir trim level, which will represent the top-of-the-line fitting for the Buick lineup. It’s similar to the Denali treatment on GMCs, and will spread to other upcoming Buicks.
The 2018 Buick Enclave will be built in Lansing, Michigan and will be in dealer showrooms in the fall of 2017.
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The new Enclave gets rid of the wide-eyed, startled look in the front fascia and replaces it with a more handsome and traditional headlamp and grille. The body is sculpted throughout and tapers off in the rear, giving it a sleek appearance. The base model comes with 18-in. wheels, while upper trim levels sport 20-in. wheels.
Buick has fitted the Enclave Avenir with an exclusive 3-dimensional grille, badging, 20-in. 6-spoke aluminum wheels with a pearl nickel finish, and five unique colors to set it apart from the rest of the Enclave lineup.
The Buick Enclave may be termed midsize, but its cargo capacity competes in the full-size category, with 23.6 cu. ft. of space available with all 3 rows in use, 58 cu. ft. behind the second row, and an impressive 97.6 cu. ft. with the rear seats folded. The space is accessible by opening the standard hands-free power liftgate. Second-row passengers benefit from captain’s chairs and their own climate controls.
Inside the Enclave Avenir you’ll find a choice of Avenir Chestnut and ebony interior with piping and contrast stitching, along with badging on the front-row headrests, floor mats, and sill plates. The Avenir will also be outfitted with heated and cooled front seats and heated second-row seats.
The 2018 Enclave comes in four trim levels: base, Essence, Premium, and Avenir.
The new Enclave may be fitted with a suspension with continuously variable real-time damping for better road isolation. Those living in areas with inclement weather may want the all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, which can split power not only front and rear, but left and right in the rear wheels for enhanced traction.
Under the Hood
Buick’s 3.6-liter V-6 engine provides motivation for the Enclave Avenir. It produces 302 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque; Buick says this will move the Enclave with front-wheel drive (FWD) from 0 to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. A 9-speed automatic transmission is tasked with sending the power to the front wheels or the optional AWD system. It’s rated to tow up to 5,000 lbs. when properly equipped.
Buick shaved 1.4 ft. from the Enclave’s turning diameter with the 2018 model, increasing its maneuverability in tight parking lots.
Buick states that the FWD Enclave will get 17 mpg city and 20 mpg highway, with 25 mpg average. Opting for AWD decreases those numbers slightly, down to 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined.
A host of available active safety technology features arms the Enclave Avenir, including rear park assist, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. Parent company GM’s Rear Seat Reminder feature dings upon vehicle exit to remind you to check the back seat for little ones to make sure you’re not making a tragic error.
Every 2018 Enclave SUV is equipped with a frameless 8-in. screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone projection from which to manage your infotainment options. A Rear Camera Mirror displays the view out of the rear of the car into an embedded screen in the rearview mirror.
On board every Enclave is a subscription-based 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. GM’s Smart Driver is an opt-in service that analyzes your driving and gives you pointers on becoming a better, more efficient driver.
Buick hopes that you’ll breathe easy with the ionization feature, which not only helps eliminate odors but also reduces viruses, bacteria, pollen, and other pollutants.