The 2018 Buick Enclave is at the peak of the model’s innovation. Before now, this medium-size SUV has reliably served countless millions of customers in its first generation design for around ten years. Up until this point, a few minor upgrades and redesigns have prolonged the inevitable feel of antiquity that comes with a model of this age.
This year, all that has changed with the introduction of the second generation of the Enclave. Sporting a new design with better overall specifications, exterior, and interior features, and a good feel behind the wheel, the 2018 Enclave is what entry-level luxury SUVs should feel like. Combining a good price with better features than other large SUVs of its size, this is one vehicle to pay attention to if you find yourself in the market for a new family transport.
The Enclave is a three-row sport-utility vehicle with a smaller feel than other more truck-like SUVs available on the market. In many ways, while some large SUVs try to do a little bit of everything, the Enclave is strictly primarily focused on daily commutes around town. When you have a large number of people to transport to different destinations, the Enclave is designed to give you the best riding experience possible.
A New Approach
Most notable compared to the previous generation, the 2018 Buick Enclave is sporting an updated look that has streamlined the overall exterior for better aerodynamics and fuel efficiency. Now you can see for yourself how the sculpted, graceful lines that flow from bumper-to-bumper allow air to gently flow around the exterior for better performance overall.
These graceful lines have been needed for a vehicle of this size. Unlike other full-size SUVs which retain a more sport-utility-like profile, the Enclave is closer to a traditional family van than something like the Chevy Suburban. In other words, this vehicle is a big box on wheels. The previous generation suffered some fuel efficiency because of its boxy design, meaning the GM designers had to go back to the drawing board to see how to improve a critical metric that many families think about before buying their next vehicle.
Luxury on the Inside
It is a highly accurate description to call this an entry-level luxury vehicle. While you can spend thousands more on more expensive vehicles with some finer options and upgrades, the Enclave does a good job of standing out from the traditional SUV pack with some important upgrades that still makes it relatively affordable at $40,999 starting price.
Given the boxy design, the Enclave sports a roomy interior that provides more headroom space compared to other three-row interior designs. The first and second rows, in particular, offer plenty of room for adults and children of all sizes. The second and third rows also support a number of anchor and tether points for child safety seats without feeling like everyone is squished inside the box.
The second row also manages to maintain a lot of space due to the captain seat design for the left and right passengers. This reduces the overall passenger capacity from 8 to 7 but allows for more room and comfort while still getting plenty of passenger capacity for larger families. This extra space is the perfect feel for longer road trips where you want every person in the family to feel comfortable during the drive. Combined with the unique interior accents and features, the Enclave offers a lot for families needing the extra room and entertainment for hours on end.
In the driver’s seat, you’ll notice luxurious touches the most. The steering wheel is ergonomically sculpted to keep your hands and arms comfortable while keeping them in a safe position. An electronic joystick acts as a shifter, making it easier to switch from park, neutral, drive, and lower gears on the fly. You will also appreciate the 4.2-inch color display near the instrument cluster which can show a variety of important information and metrics at the touch of a few buttons.
The convenience features that come with the Enclave are the biggest hint that a lot of things have changed in the second generation. While the first-generation Enclave was no slouch regarding technology, GM designers have taken it up to the next level to make sure the vehicle is not only on par with modern convenience system trends, but is delivering much more at a standard price.
Inside the vehicle, you will find a three-zone automatic climate control split up between the most common driver and passenger seats. This allows individual control of hot and cold temperatures for a personalized climate. Forget about the days when children and adults fought over the temperature. The Enclave gives most of the occupants the ability to tailor their own comfort level inside the SUV.
The infotainment system has received a major upgrade from the previous generation. Sporting an 8-inch central touchscreen interface, the infotainment system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also comes with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity hotspot so other smart devices, such as smartphones and tablets, can access the internet directly from the vehicle itself.
Checking Out the Enclave for Yourself
There is a lot to enjoy about the new Enclave on paper. Upgraded features and interior accents combined with an all-new exterior design makes this an attractive family SUV to consider for your next major purchase. Don’t let, however, the paper alone do all the talking. There is a better way to see if the Enclave fits your needs.
To truly experience what the 2018 Buick Enclave has to offer you and your family, it is time to get behind the wheel for a test drive. Once you feel the handling characteristics of this large SUV for yourself, along with experiencing the true luxurious touches it has to offer, you just might find yourself upgrading your family’s vehicle. For most people, all it takes is a couple of test drives to really understand how the Enclave stands out from the rest of the competition.