The Enclave is the midsize three-row crossover from Buick. It’s a solid offering in the class with responsive handling, smooth ride, comfortable cabin, lots of tech, and tons of room for passengers and cargo. The main drawback is that the price can easily climb into luxury territory.
The Enclave is the flagship SUV for Buick and has helped to modernize the brand. It was introduced in 2008, got a makeover for the 2018 model year, renamed the base trim in 2019 and gets some small updates for 2020.
The seven-passenger Enclave is available in four trims: Preferred, Essence, Premium and Avenir. Starting prices range from $40,000 to $56,100 which are higher than many other midsize crossovers and SUVs. Front-wheel-drive is standard and all-wheel-drive is available.
There’s one engine: a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 310 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
The Enclave is pleasant to drive and performs well in everyday driving situations. Acceleration is snappy, the transmission shifts smoothly and quickly, steering is responsive, brakes feel strong, and there’s little body lean when cornering. While it’s not exactly sporty, the Enclave is effortless to drive which is nice in a family vehicle.
Fuel efficiency is average for the class. EPA ratings for my tester are 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway with a combined rating of 20. I got 20 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.
The cabin is appealing and spacious but there are some hard plastics which make it feel less luxurious than some rivals. Adults enjoy plenty of leg- and headroom in the first two rows. As is usually the case, the third row is best suited for kids. The second row easily slides forward making it a snap to get into the third row.
There’s a long list of standard features including proximity keyless entry, remote start, rearview camera, tri-zone automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, heated front seats, eight-inch touchscreen, six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Siri Eyes Free, six USB ports, Wi-Fi hot spot, hands-free power liftgate, and rear parking sensors. Also standard are roof rails and Buick’s noise cancellation system called QuietTuning.
Available features include leather upholstery, eight-inch configurable driver display, ventilated front seats, massaging front seats, heated steering wheel, heated second-row seats, navigation, wireless device charging, 10-speaker Bose audio system, dual-pane moonroof, power-folding third row, and 120-volt power outlet, rear camera mirror, surround-view parking camera system and safety alert seat.
Available driver assistance systems include blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, a pre-collision warning system with pedestrian detection, forward automatic emergency braking, front parking sensors, and rear cross traffic alert.
The infotainment system works great. Menus are easy to figure out, the system responds quickly to touch- and voice- commands, graphics are sharp, and there are plenty of buttons and knobs for routine functions. More automakers should have user-friendly systems like this!
The Enclave has more cargo space than many rivals. There are 23.6 cubic feet with all three rows of seating in place, 58 cubes with the third row folded and a whopping 97.6 cubes with both rows folded. A power hands-free power liftgate is standard.
Pleasant to drive
Cavernous cargo hold
Lots of standard and available features and tech
User-friendly infotainment system
Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Performance not as athletic as some rivals
Some low-rent materials in the cabin
My tester starts at $56,100. The Avenir Technology Package is $2,095 and adds advanced adaptive cruise control, enhanced automatic emergency braking, and premium suspension with continuously variable real-time damping. White Frost topcoat is $600. Destination charge is $1,195 bringing the grand total to $59,990.
Consumers have lots of great choices when it comes to choosing a midsize three-row crossover or SUV. The 2020 Buick Enclave is a good all-around pick thanks to its smooth ride, cavernous interior and tech. But the upper trims are fairly pricey and can cost as much as some luxury brands.