Buick unveiled its all-new Enclave, along with its new Avenir sub-brand, at the New York auto show this week.
Like the Denali name on GMC vehicles, the Avenir becomes the highest trim level on the Enclave SUV and officially launches within the Buick brand on this new version.
The 2018 Enclave now marks the sixth new model Buick has introduced in less than two years, and the company promises at least a dozen new or updated ones globally by the end of the decade, including in China, where the Buick brand sells particularly well.
Avenir models will include an exclusive group of standard features and use premium materials throughout. On the Enclave, it will include LED headlamps, a rear camera mirror, 20-inch six-spoke wheels, seat piping and contrasting stitching, wood-accented steering wheel, and exclusive mesh grille. The Avenir trim also adds a dual sunroof, heated and ventilated seats, wireless charging, 360-degree camera, and navigation as standard equipment.
The all-new Enclave has a longer wheelbase but a shorter turning circle, adds a lower roofline, and as before, seats seven passengers. There’s now more room for passengers in the third row, and Buick says there is now 10 percent more interior space (although you have to include the underfloor storage bin for that).
Both the second and third rows fold into a flat cargo floor. The third row is power-folding, and even when a child seat is installed, the second row can be slid forward to provide access to the final row.
A hands-free liftgate is included as standard equipment, and since it can sometimes be tough to find the “sweet spot” to kick under the bumper to operate these power units, the Enclave casts an illuminated Buick logo on the ground in the right spot.
Power is provided by a 3.6-litre V6, rated at an estimated 302 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is available and can be switched to front-wheel when desired for improved efficiency. A continuously variable real-time damping system is available to smooth out the ride.
Safety and assist features include front pedestrian braking, lane-keeping assist, a safety alert seat that vibrates a warning when the assists go off, and a front centre side airbag, which inflates in a side-impact crash to prevent the driver and passenger from smashing against each other. Buick says that when it’s fully optioned, the Enclave holds 17 radar, camera, and ultrasonic sensors.
The Enclave also comes standard with Rear Seat Reminder, which Buick says is an industry-first feature. Busy parents have been known to forget children when they’re sleeping in their child seats, and the system reminds drivers to check the rear seat before they exit the vehicle.
Built in Michigan, the 2018 Enclave goes on sale in the fall of 2017, with the top-line Avenir trim line available in Canada as well.