There is no doubt that American families have started moving away from minivans and are quickly gravitating towards fashionable crossovers. GM started the process ten years ago by replacing the Rendezvous, Rainier, as well as the Terraza minivan with the Lambda-based Enclave crossover. Following its debut, the Buick Enclave went on to win numerous awards as one of the most affordable crossovers on the market. However, the Buick Enclave ran with the first-generation model for a total of ten years and Buick is now hoping to achieve the same storied success with the second-generation 2018 Buick Enclave.
Like its Chevrolet sibling, the new Traverse, the 2018 Enclave aims to be better than its predecessor in every way possible. With a beautiful exterior design, a renewed interior with more room for passengers, and modernized technology options, the 2018 Buick Enclave is ready to take on the segment by storm. We had the chance to experience the new Enclave with the range-topping Buick Enclave Avenir and here is what we thought.
2018 Buick Enclave Avenir Exterior
The exterior of the 2018 Buick Enclave is hands down one of the best we’ve seen in the segment. Mixing a comprehensive blend of luxury touches with a sporty attitude, the 2018 Buick Enclave looks remarkably upscale and chic when compared to the outgoing model.
The sophisticated front end of the new 2018 Buick Enclave is highlighted by a distinctive new grille along with sleek LED headlamps. Unlike other crossovers, the rear of the new Enclave has a lot of personality with stylish LED taillamps.
Our test model, the 2018 Buick Enclave Avenir, features an exclusive three-dimensional mesh grille paired with chrome wings, 20-inch “pearl nickel” finish wheels, and Avenir badging on the sill plates on all four doors.
Unlike the outgoing versions of the Lambda-based crossovers (including the Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, and GMC Acadia) that were nearly identical in size, the 2018 Buick Enclave and 2018 Chevrolet Traverse have both grown by two inches in wheelbase and length. The new Enclave sits on a wheelbase that measures 120.9-inches with an overall length of 204.3-inches. The width of the new 2018 Enclave comes in at 78.8-inches while the height stands at 69.9-inches.
Overall, we think that Buick nailed the exterior design of the new Enclave. Unlike its opponents, which are either too edgy or too monotonous, the Enclave strikes the perfect balance of sport and luxury.
2018 Buick Enclave Avenir Interior
Since the length of the 2018 Buick Enclave has grown by two inches, passengers will now appreciate an extremely roomy cabin. The third-row gets a total of 33.5-inches of legroom which is quite a bit more than its rivals like the Acura MDX and Audi Q7. The second-row of the Enclave is no slouch either with a total of 39-inches of legroom.
When it comes to the interior design, the 2018 Buick Enclave features a very stylish and fluid interior. Every aspect of the interior seems to flow right into the other with an excellent blend of high-quality materials. Our test model, the Buick Enclave Avenir, features a range of upscale touches including a real mahogany wood steering wheel, Avenir embroidered headrests and floor mats, a power dual moonroof with rear fixed skylight, and much more. The Buick Enclave Avenir also comes fully packaged with all the bells and whistles including heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, tri-zone climate control, an 8-inch configurable driver information screen, wireless smartphone charging, an 8-inch touchscreen display with navigation, a ten-speaker Bose sound system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, OnStar 4G LTE and built-in WiFi hotspot, six USB ports, and much more.
2018 Buick Enclave Avenir Performance
Like the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse, the 2018 Buick Enclave is also powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces a total of 310 horsepower and peak torque of 266 lb-ft. Mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission and an optional all-wheel-drive system, the 2018 Buick Enclave Avenir can go from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds with a top speed of 131 mph.
The 2018 Buick Enclave Avenir can also be ordered with the Avenir Premium Suspension Package which allows for a smoother and more comfortable ride. If you plan on going on a long road trip and need to haul extra cargo, the all-wheel-drive Enclave can tow up to 5,000 pounds.
When it comes to fuel economy, the EPA rates the 2018 Buick Enclave all-wheel-drive at 18/26 mpg* (city/highway).
Overall, we were very fascinated with the ride quality of the new 2018 Buick Enclave. It is quick when it needs to be and a very comfortable cruiser during long runs.
2018 Buick Enclave Avenir Safety
As with most vehicles of today, the 2018 Buick Enclave comes with a range of standard and optional driver assist features. Our test model came standard with a rearview camera, a surround vision camera, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, forward automatic braking, a heads-up display, and much more.
2018 Buick Enclave Avenir Overall
Yes, the 2018 Buick Enclave is better in every way when compared to the outgoing model. In fact, it is better than some of its competitors. If you’re in the market for a seven-passenger crossover, we highly advise taking the new Buick Enclave for a test drive. Prices for the new Enclave start at just $39,995** for the base model and $53,500** for the Enclave Avenir. Visit your local AutoNation-affiliated Buick dealer for a test drive today.
*Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.
**MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.