What’s New for 2018
The 2018 Buick Enclave is a full redesign, changing the interior, exterior, features, technology and even the underlying platform that the car is built on. The most notable change is the addition of the high-end Avenir sub-brand, designed to move the Enclave upmarket to compete with higher-end luxury vehicles. However, even buyers of the regular Enclave trim lines will enjoy the many improvements in comfort, technology and style that the 2018 update brings.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 Buick Enclave – The Pros
1. A Stylishly Modern Look
Over the last decade, Buick has worked hard to shed its reputation for conservative styling, and the new Enclave seems to be that revolutionary spark that finally gets it there. The placid rounded features that characterized the old Enclave are nowhere to be found here, replaced by sharp angles, artistic creases and an aggressive stance. The new Enclave is eye catching and beautiful to look at.
2. High Material Quality
The 2018 Buick Enclave offers a very well appointed interior, and it is practically impossible to find anything that is not to premium or luxury standards. This is especially true of the Avenir models, which are trimmed out with wood grain accents, contrast-stitched seats and a luxurious Chestnut and Ebony color pallette.
3. Spacious Seating
The Enclave was already on the larger end of its segment before this year’s redesign, and it makes the most out of its even longer wheelbase this year. All three rows of seating offer plush and supportive seats with more than adequate leg and headroom, making it painless to fill it to its full eight-person capacity.
4. Versatile Cargo Area
Even when carrying plenty of passengers, the 2018 Buick Enclave offers lots of space to store cargo. There is 23.6 cubic feet of storage space behind the third row, which can fold down to provide a practically flat load floor. That puts it near the top of the class as far as cargo space is concerned.
5. A Quiet and Composed Ride
Continuing to combine the practical with the aesthetically pleasing, Buick’s rework of the Enclave’s body and cabin for 2018 included a lot of very efficient sound insulation, matched by equally sophisticated noise cancelling technology. Combined with the car’s well-balanced suspension, the Enclave offers a very calm and nearly silent ride for its passengers.
6. Improved Powertrain
Buick has upgraded both the engine and the transmission for the 2018 Buick Enclave, with improvements across practically every metric. The V-6 engine gets a small increase in performance to bring it to 302 horsepower, as well as a new nine-speed automatic transmission. The improvements give the car smoother shifts and more consistent power output, leading to a very comfortable cruising experience.
7. Impressive Tow Rating
The 2018 Buick Enclave was clearly not intended to just be a good-looking show car, but a versatile and hard-working one as well. Not only does it offer lots of storage space and a good cargo capacity, but it is also capable of towing up to 5,000 pounds. While this might be of no interest to many buyers, for others that could mean avoiding having to buy another car for their towing needs.
8. Technologically Friendly
The new Enclave is filled to the brim with features that make using technology easy and enjoyable. A large 8-inch touchscreen is standard on all models, and includes both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, allowing most smartphones to use their apps through the car’s interface. Using a smartphone on the go is made even easier with a wireless charging station and Wi-Fi hotspot that is standard, and Spotify sounds really great through the 10 optional Bose speakers.
9. Lots of Standard Features
The 2018 Buick Enclave gives buyers a lot of value thanks to its impressive array of standard equipment. In addition to the already-mentioned 8-inch infotainment, wireless charging and in-car Wi-Fi, even the base Enclave includes push-button start, three-zone climate control, a hands-free rear liftgate and a smartphone app that provides control over many vehicle functions.
10. A Full Slate of Safety Features
While a modern car like the 2018 Enclave can be expected to deliver staples like a collision warning with pre-collision automated braking, lane keep assist and a rearview camera, the new Enclave goes above and beyond with new innovative features. Full LED light arrays provide top-level lighting at night and during low visibility, while a new smart rearview mirror can display a live camera feed from behind the car for improved visibility.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 Buick Enclave – The Cons
1. Sub-par Fuel Economy
The new powertrain may have improved the Enclave’s fuel economy, but it is still well below many of its competitors. Nor is the Enclave helped by the fact that only a V-6 engine available, with no option for a turbocharged four-cylinder, a diesel engine or a hybrid, which can all be found among its competitors.
2. No Avenir Brand Recognition
The Enclave is the first Buick model with an Avenir line. While it is well-equipped, it still lacks the prestige of other luxury sub-brands like Denali or High Country.
3. Awkward Market Position
The Enclave’s price point and equipment might be the perfect match for some customers, but because it is competing with both mass-market and luxury vehicles, it is possible to find more attractive competitors, or ones that are just as well-equipped at a lower price.
How It Stacks up to the Competition:
The Buick Enclave competes with other full-size SUVs, including both luxury and mass-market models, and does well in both matchups thanks to its versatile design. The Acura MDX is just as spacious as the Enclave, and offers good performance, but its ride is not nearly as smooth and refined, and it costs significantly more than the Buick. The Kia Sorento is a great mass-market option that can provide a very similar level of options and technology to the Enclave at a much lower price point. However, it is nowhere near as good-looking or well-appointed as the Enclave.
The 2018 Buick Enclave is the product of an excellent redesign that manages to take the advantages of several different vehicles and bring them together in one attractive package. It offers excellent value through its standard and optional equipment, has the high material quality of a luxury car and offers excellent utility and versatility of a full-size SUV. For buyers who need all of these things in their next car, the Enclave looks to be the perfect choice.
• Why buy a 2017 Buick Enclave? w/ pros vs cons