2018 Buick Enclave Proves Big Can Be Beautiful
Buick’s Large Crossover Gets a Long-Overdue Redesign
First introduced for 2008, the Buick Enclave, along with its Lambda-platform stablemates, the GMC Acadia, the late Saturn Outlook, and Chevrolet Traverse were in many ways the modern interpretation of the traditional fullsize station wagon. Although it received a mid-cycle refresh in 2013, the Enclave had remained fundamentally unchanged since its introduction a decade ago. Finally, for the 2018 model year, the Enclave gets a full ground-up redesign, as well as adding a premium trim of Buick’s just-announced Avenir sub-brand.
Like the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse, the Enclave rides on the long-wheelbase version of GM’s C1XX crossover platform. The Enclave’s 120.9-inch wheelbase and 204.3 inch overall length put it squarely in fullsize territory, with an overall length nearly identical to a Chevrolet Tahoe and a wheelbase almost 5 inches longer. The Enclave puts its generous size to good use, offering more cargo space behind the first row than the Acura MDX, Audi Q7, and Infiniti QX60. The Enclave even offers an impressive 23.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row. For the first time, the Enclave offers 3.1 cubic feet of underfloor cargo space.
LED lighting is used extensively on the Enclave, with a new Evonik Acrylite technology for the running lights. All 2018 Enclave models feature a rear vision camera, rear park assist, and seven air bags. New for 2018 is an active air ionizer that produces negatively charged particles that bind with odor-causing particles to reduce bacteria, viruses, dust, and pollen. The system requires no additional maintenance or filter replacement. Keyless entry, pushbutton start, a hands-free programmable power rear liftgate, and tri-zone automatic climate control are also standard.
The upscale Avenir trim adds an exclusive three-dimensional mesh grille with chrome wing accents, 20-inch six-spoke wheels with a pearl nickel finish, Avenir Chestnut and Ebony interior trim with contrast stitching and piping on the seats, embroidered first row headrests, Avenir floormats, a wood-accented steering wheel and Avenir-script sill plates on all four doors.
All Enclaves are powered by a 302hp 3.6L V-6 engine mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Equipped with the optional towing package, the Enclave can to up to 5,000 pounds. Fuel economy estimates are 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway for the front-wheel-drive model and 17 city and 24 highway for the all-wheel-drive model. All Enclaves are equipped with auto stop-start. All-wheel-drive models feature an active twin-clutch system for precise control and traction, and a driver-selectable switch for full or part-time operation. Like its predecessor, the 2018 Enclave will be built in Flint, Michigan. Pricing and additional details will be released closer to its on-sale date this fall.