Nearly a decade after the launch of the Enclave, Buick has given the three-row crossover a complete overhaul. But the 2018 Buick Enclave launches more than just a redesign — it is the first U.S. Buick to receive the new Avenir super lux sub-brand treatment.
The sub-brand takes its name after the Buick Avenir concept, which made its debut at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Buick says all Avenir models will feature an exclusive three-dimensional mesh grille that is paired with chrome wings inspired by its concept cars.
“The Enclave has been a successful formula for the Buick brand, with sales results that have defied traditional product cycles, and 90 percent of customers purchasing in the top two trim levels,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick and GMC, in a statement.
“It’s a beacon for the modern, attainable luxury Buick stands for and is a natural place to launch Avenir.”
The 2018 Enclave sports an all-new body structure with a lower roofline and an extended wheelbase of 120.9 inches, up two inches from last year’s model. It measures 204.3 x 78.8 x 69.9 inches (L x W x H) and weighs in at 4,358 pounds.
Up front, the new Enclave features new “Evonik Acrylite” bi-functional LED projector headlamps and LED tail lamps. It also offers 17 radar, camera, and ultrasonic sensors when fully equipped.
Under the hood, the Enclave gets a 3.6-liter V-6 engine that offers an estimated 302 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The V-6 is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. The AWD version has an estimated 0-60 mph time of 7.2 seconds.
The SUV can also tow up to 5,000 pounds (if you opt for the towing package) and comes with a standard five-link rear suspension. It’s available with continuously variable real-time damping (CDC) and all-wheel-drive with active twin-clutch rear differential.
Inside, the Enclave Avenir offers more cargo volume behind the first row than the Acura MDX, Audi Q7, and Infiniti QX60 Buick claims. Enclave’s interior has 10 percent more cubic feet of overall interior space over the previous model, and 23.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row.
Second- and third-row seats can fold flat and a power-folding third row makes it easy to haul lots of fancy stuff.
It features heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, a navigation system, wireless charging, dual moonroof, an 8-inch display, and a 360-degree surround vision camera system.
“This is a vehicle intended for Buick customers who demand the best and the latest our brand has to offer,” adds Aldred.
A rear camera mirror that can function as a traditional mirror or as a camera is also standard. Like the ones found in new Cadillac SUVs, it helps eliminate obstructions like rear passenger heads and headrests while expanding the rear field of vision. It can also cause headaches if you are near sighted and wear glasses or contacts.
The 2018 Enclave Avenir also gets an air ionizer that eliminates odors and provides higher air quality according to Buick. Here’s how the company describes it:
“It works by producing negatively charged particles that attract air-borne contaminants and break down their structure, cleaning the cabin air. The ionizer can help address external and internal odors and reduce bacteria, viruses, dust, debris and pollen, while also helping improve driver alertness.”
Sounds magical to us.
Other standard tech goodies include: rear park assist, rear cross traffic alert, front pedestrian braking, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, safety alert seat, and surround vision. Adaptive cruise control and full speed forward automatic braking are also available.
A 10-speaker Bose Premium sound system, keyless entry, push-button start, and a hands-free power-programmable liftgate with a Buick tri-shield logo illuminating the ground below the hidden sensor are standard.
The Enclave Avenir rolls on 20-inch, six-spoke aluminum wheels with a pearl nickel finish and is available in five premium shades. Buick claims the estimated mileage is in the 17/24-mpg city/highway mile range.
It goes on sale in the fall of 2017 and is still built in Lansing, Michigan. Pricing will be announced later in the year.
2018 Buick Enclave Avenir
ON SALE Fall 2017
PRICE $44,000 (est)
ENGINE DOHC 3.6-liter V-6/302 hp @ 6,800, 260 lb-ft @ 2,800
TRANSMISSION 9-speed automatic
LAYOUT 4-door, 7-passenger, front-engine, FWD/AWD SUV
EPA MILEAGE 17/24-25 mpg
L X W X H 204.3 x 78.8 x 69.9 in
WHEELBASE 120.9 in
WEIGHT 4,358 lb
0-60 MPH 7.2-7.5 sec
TOP SPEED N/A