2018 Buick Enclave Avenir offers unique styling cues, more
standard features and upscale touches throughout.
debate that Buick is exploring the future of luxury with its 2018
Enclave Avenir. After all, Avenir is French for future.
crossover SUV is the first in the lineup to get the Avenir luxury
designation, which means unique styling cues, more standard features
and upscale touches throughout. The redesigned, second-gen Enclave
is longer and roomier, too.
overdue redesign makes it arguably one of the best-looking
crossovers on the road, with its rounded edges and lower roofline. A
black mesh grilled gives Avenir a more premium look and the 20-inch
six-spoke wheels don’t hurt, either. All Avenir interiors have
chestnut wood with ebony accents.
one engine available, too, but it’s all most anyone will need. GM’s
3.6-liter V-6 was upgraded for 2018 and puts out 310 horsepower —
a 22-hp boost — and 266 pound-feet of torque, which proved more
than ample even when climbing hills even with several passengers and
A new 9-speed
transmission distributes the power to two or all four wheels. And,
for the first time, Enclave can get a twin-clutch all-wheel-drive
system (a $2,300 option) that can be switched on with the push of a
button on the dash.
lighter on its feet than its curb weight of 4,358 pounds might
suggest. Acceleration to 60 mph is a full second quicker this year,
at 6.4 seconds. Handling is competent even while cutting tight
On the open
road, Avenir is smooth, quiet and comfortable thanks to a dynamic
suspension system that actively makes adjustments depending on road
conditions. It is impressive as it effectively keeps bumps and dips
impressive are mileage figures for Enclave: An EPA-estimated 18 mpg
city, 26 highway for a combined 21 mpg.
Enclave’s longer and wider body translates to more headroom,
legroom and cargo space, it’s the upscale look and feel that makes
Avenir’s cabin a special place. It starts with ultra-comfy
heated/cooled and ventilated front seats — heated seats in the
second row, too.
padded dash feels rich, and the controls and dials are easy to reach
and operate. Avenir gets Buick’s premium shifter which is a little
tricky and takes some getting used to.
mirror can convert to camera for a view without backseat passengers’
heads in the way. And GM’s best infotainment screen includes
navigation and the goodies that come via Apple CarPlay and Android
roofs, powered in front and fixed in the rear, introduce warmth,
daylight or starlight into the three-row, 7-passenger cabin. Good
vibes emanate from an upgraded 10-speaker Bose audio system.
also has better cargo space than most three-row SUVs: 23 cubic feet
behind the third row, 58 with the third row folded down (just push a
button), and a cavernous 97 cubic feet with both the second and
third rows folded.
cargo area with the swipe of a foot under the bumper — and you won’t
lose balance searching for the right spot: A lighted Buick logo
shines on the ground to show you just where to swipe. Nice touch,
Surround View camera standard, plus lane change and blind spot
alerts. Optional is a safety-technology package ($2,095) which adds
adaptive cruise control, with full-speed stop and go, and forward
automatic braking at all speeds. All-wheel-drive is available for
futuristic may be a stretch, but the Enclave Avenir does give us a
peek at the next level of luxury for Buick.
$56,200 (with Technology Package, $2,095)
the excitement about? Buick’s redesigned Enclave is first to wear
the new Avenir luxury badge
3.6-liter V-6 produces 310 horsepower, a 22-hp boost over last year
performance? Quiet and smooth with an adaptive suspension that makes
adjustments based on road conditions
fuel economy? EPA-rated at 18 mpg city, 26 highway, for a combined