All-New 2018 Enclave: Not Your Grandma’s Buick – Autoversed
All-New 2018 Enclave: Not Your Grandma’s Buick

Trying to appeal to a younger generation, Buick has made some significant changes to the all-new Enclave. Scroll down to learn about the Enclave’s defining characteristics:

Buick takes on the social stigma of their vehicles being bought and driven by senior citizens in a few of their recent commercials, and with the new look of their product line, it’s hard to deny the passing of boat-like, lumbering models and the introduction of sleeker, more stylish automobiles.

Focusing on the brand’s style, rather than past clientele, the designers at Buick have come up with even more reasons for younger generations to enjoy the new 2018 Buick Enclave. Sporting a trimmed waistline, classier luxurious accessories, and of course, all the creature comforts everyone — not just our elderly — enjoy, the 2018 Buick Enclave breaks new ground in the luxury segment.

Performance Specifications

The first Buick Enclave came out about 10 years ago and of course the engine has evolved as much as the styling has. The 2018 Enclave sports a 3.6-liter V6 engine block capable of 310 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission, the 2018 Buick Enclave is capable of 5,000-lbs towing capacity. Electric power steering is standard, and all-wheel drive models offer “an active twin rear clutch that provides torque vectoring to improve traction and handling.” A smoother ride is guaranteed by the five-link independent rear suspension and longer wheelbase.

Customers can choose from many paint colors:

  • Satin Steel Metallic
  • Summit White
  • Quicksilver Metallic
  • White Frost Tricoat
  • Ebony Twilight Metallic
  • Red Quart Tricoat
  • Havana Metallic
  • Black Cherry Metallic
  • Dark Slate Metallic

Edmunds also lists a Pepperdust Metallic color available. Whichever color you do choose, the large body panels and modern styling are sure to turn heads.

Fuel Efficiency

The 2018 Buick Enclave boasts an EPA estimated mpg of 18 city and 26 highway for front-wheel drive models. All-wheel drive models are capable of an EPA estimated 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. Kelley Blue Book notes a combined 21 mpg combined for front-wheel drive models, while all-wheel drive models arrive at 20 mpg.

A cool feature that concerns many first-time users is the start/stop function available on most newer models of all luxury cars. When you come to a stop at a light, the start/stop technology shuts down your engine to reduce emissions and boost fuel economy. No more idling! Simply take your foot off the brake — once the light is green, of course — and your engine will start again.

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Entertainment and Safety Features

The 2018 Buick Enclave options range from a base model available at $39,995 to $55,715 for premium models, of which the 2018 Buick Enclave Avenir is king. Base models include standard features like keyless entry, keyless remote start/stop, leather seats, a power driver’s seat, back-up camera, and audio and cruise controls featured on the steering wheel. The Essence is available in FWD or AWD and comprises the next tier, coming in between $45,190 and $47,190. Premium trim levels come in both FWD and AWD as well and feature a Bose sound system that beats to the price of $48,990 to $51,290.

The Avenir trim level is the most exclusive package and features an array of entertainment, aesthetic, and top safety picks. The front and second row seats are heated and as passengers enjoy the warmth of their premium leather seats, they can view the weather outside via dual moon roofs. Standard 18-inch wheels are replaced by 20-inch alloys finished in Pearl Nickel. Real wood accents, a wireless charging surface, and an eigh-configuration Driver Information Center top off this package. To provide even more comfort, Avenir trim models have an optional Continuously Variable Real Time Damping chassis that will make you feel like you’re driving on a cloud.

The 2018 Buick Enclave also features second- and third-row bucket seats that fold down flat for more space to store and haul. This mid-size luxury SUV offers tons of room for everyone inside, surrounding passengers with brushed chrome accents, triple door seals for the perfect temperature, and the option for an in-vehicle air ionizer. SmartSlide second-row seating moves out of your way with just a press of a button, for fast and easy maneuvering. The hands-free liftgate is activated with a single flick of your foot: simply look for the Buick LED logo on the pavement!

LED lamps with Evonik lighting illuminate your way, and the Enclave also comes with a Rear Camera Mirror and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. In a busy shopping center and trying to back out of your spot? No problem! The Rear Cross Traffic Alert will notify you in case of danger. The Front Pedestrian Braking system works in a similar way. In case of road troubles, 2018 Buick Enclaves come with OnStar, which offers a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot capability. You can also hook up your Android or iPhone via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, with an 8-inch touchscreen linked to Buick’s Infotainment System and capable of connecting to SiriusXM.

How the Buick Enclave Compares to the Competition

The SUV segment is extremely popular these days, but the luxury tier prides itself on craftsmanship, quality materials, and powertrain capabilities. Base model Buick Enclaves compete with other three-row models like the Volkswagen Touareg and new Atlas, the Acura MDX, the Lexus RX, and the Chevy Traverse. Mid-runners who rival the Premium versions of the Enclave include the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Land Rover Discovery, the Infiniti QX60, the Range Rover Sport, the Kia Sorento, and the GMC Acadia to name a few.

To distinguish the models mentioned so far really depends on price range, intended use, and personal taste. Lexus’ market stance is luxury above the basic Toyota models, while the same can be said of Infiniti and Nissan, but this might not be the level of sophistication some are looking for. Land and Range Rovers enjoy the prestige of pedigree, but the Grand Cherokee is a very capable and classy pick, for a Jeep.

If you’re really talking luxury though, of course we have to mention industry leaders like Audi and Mercedes-Benz. The Audi Q7 is smaller than the Buick Enclave, but offers drivers and passengers a different kind of experience. The name “Benz” is near-synonymous with quality and luxury, and though Mercedes SUVs might be big and mighty, they are powerful as well.

Pros

  • Generous room, even for third-row passengers
  • Sleeker styling
  • High towing capacity
  • D. Power Rating average; highest in features and accessories
  • Quiet, comfortable ride

Cons

  • Safety features only available on high trim levels
  • For the price of a Premium trim level, you could buy a Premium or Premium Plus Audi Q7
  • Comes in at the low end of the luxury segment
  • Fuel economy
  • Brand stigma

The 2018 Buick Enclave will have to work hard to reach those top levels of luxury, but by no means is it your typical base model SUV. Nestled among the middle of the pack, the Enclave offers an affordable sense of styling, comfort, and capability.

Ed Aldridge / Shutterstock

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