Sports Utility Review: 2018 Buick Enclave

The 2018 Buick Enclave is an all-new version of the SUV after almost a decade with the previous version. The sheet metal on the Enclave is expressive with an elegant cockpit and reasonable space in the third row of seats. The handling has also been improved, although the fuel economy still is about average.

Powertrain and Mechanics

2018 Buick Enclave

The Enclave only offers one powertrain, a 3.6-liter V6 with 310 horsepower. However, you can opt for either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Depending on how you configure your 2018 Enclave, it can reach 60 mph in only 6.4 seconds with some help from the 9-speed automatic transmission and a slight drop in weight. This transmission also includes paddle controls along with a semi-manual mode. With 21 mpg combined for front-wheel-drive models, the Buick Enclave gets reasonable gas mileage but nothing that stands out. That V6 powertrain has a boost of 22 horsepower from the previous model year and delivers 266 pound-feet of torque.

You can also use the Enclave to tow up to 1,500 pounds on most trims but up to 5,000 pounds when you opt for the towing package. It is also important to note that there are actually two different all-wheel-drive systems. The AWD on mid-grade Enclaves has an open differential system with antilock brakes that control the wheelspin. The AWD on the top two trims includes a rear differential with the ability to clutch in rear wheels to tailor the power delivered.

Seating and Interior Space

2018 Buick Enclave Interior Space

Although cloth upholstery is standard, nearly all configurations get leather upholstery instead. It is easy to access the third row of seats thanks to the second row’s ability to tilt. Impressively enough, adults will have good leg and headroom in the third row. The third row also offers cupholders and USB ports. All Enclaves come with power seats in front, with most configurations also adding heating and cooling functionality. The second-row seats can slide to maximize legroom or cargo space. Behind the third row, you will find 23.6 cubic feet for cargo. This increases to 58 cubes behind the second row and 97.6 cubes behind the first. You can opt for a power-folding version of the third row and take advantage of the 3.1-cubic-foot storage space underneath the cargo floor.


The Buick Enclave no longer appears to be bottom heavy, instead offering a sleeker and lower nose. Most trims feature vertical slats on the waterfall-style grille, but the Avenir trim uses mesh instead. Along the side, you will find a nice expressive line that gives the Enclave some character. The interior feels elegant across the lineup with spare lines sweeping and matte metallic frames.

Safety and Features

As a family-friendly model, the 2018 Buick Enclave delivers plenty of safety features. Every single configuration has a rearview camera, forward-collision warning, parking sensors, and a rear-seat reminder. You can also get automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, a surround-view camera, and active lane control featuring lane departure warning. Just some of the standard features on the Enclave include cruise control, keyless ignition, power accessories, a hands-free power liftgate, LED headlights, and remote start.

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