What Is It?
The 2018 Buick Enclave is the very long-awaited successor to the brand’s 3-row family crossover. In short, it’s even more spacious than before, boasts more power and is more likely to be considered a proper luxury vehicle.
As before, the Enclave shares much in common with the Chevrolet Traverse, which has also been completely redesigned. Exterior dimensions and interior layout are basically the same, meaning that third-row occupants have more space and there’s more cargo room behind them. The Enclave can only be had with second-row captain’s chairs, though, meaning that its total seating capacity is seven rather than the Traverse’s eight.
Despite the size increase, though, weight has gone down by about 400 pounds. Besides enhancing maneuverability and fuel economy (Buick estimated at 19 miles per gallon in combined driving with FWD vs. 18 mpg for the 2017 model), the lighter curb weight results in considerably improved acceleration given the new V6 engine that’s good for 302 horsepower. Towing capacity has also been enhanced by 500 pounds, to 5,000.
Buick also promises an even quieter cabin and sharper handling, while the improvements to the cabin are obvious. The design is completely different from its Traverse sibling (there were far more similarities between the last-generation Enclave and Traverse), while the materials quality is more in keeping with luxury brand expectations. This is elevated further with the new Avenir trim level, which boasts upgraded materials and unique color choices. The Avenir’s exterior trim is also upgraded, most notably in the grille.
Buick hasn’t announced pricing, but given the push upmarket, we wouldn’t be surprised if the base price goes up by at least $1,000 compared to the current model’s $39,065.
When Can You Get It?
Add It to Your Shopping List Because…
The 2018 Buick Enclave now seems to be more of a legitimate luxury model, meaning that it represents a far more appealing alternative to luxury SUVs like the Acura MDX, Infiniti QX60 and Volvo XC90. Specifically, those in need of lots of cabin space would be wise to check it out.
Other Cars to Consider
2017 Acura MDX — The latest MDX offers more convenience and technology features but less overall space for passengers and cargo. The MDX’s all-wheel-drive system is more sophisticated than that of the Enclave.
2017 GMC Acadia — The Acadia is smaller, lighter and more maneuverable than the vehicle it replaces as well as the new Enclave. There’s no denying it’s less spacious inside.
Used Cadillac Escalade ESV — If you need more space than the Enclave can offer, your best choice is one of GM’s extended-length SUVs like the Cadillac Escalade ESV that boast superior towing as well. The regular-length versions actually have less third-row space than the Enclave.