The 2021 Buick Enclave is a premier mid-size crossover that exudes style and comfort while offering practical space and available all-wheel drive. The Enclave provides plenty of interior space and comfortable seating, as well as premium infotainment and connectivity options. Whether optioned for all-wheel drive or not, the Enclave is powered by the smooth and strong 3.6-liter V6, giving the crossover SUV the appropriate amounts of power and efficiency. With lighter construction and more advanced materials than its predecessor, the Enclave continues to be a solid option for those who appreciate the finer things.
The 2021 Buick Enclave is available with multiple drivetrain configurations; both of these configurations are powered by the same workhorse V6 engine. The High Feature V6 has been continually upgraded throughout its lifespan to continue providing the best experience in the vehicles it powers, with standout performance over the years in vehicles such as the Cadillac ATS, Cadillac CT5 and CT6, Buick Regal, and top of the line variants of the Chevrolet Malibu.
Overall, the High Feature V6 makes smooth power and strong torque while being creating the smallest of burdens on the wallet. For this reason, a specially equipped version of the High Feature, the LFY, was assigned to power the second-generation Buick Enclave.
The LFY produces 310 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque, while providing up to 26 MPG on the highway. An all-aluminum design, the LFY is equipped with dual overhead camshafts and direct injection, allowing for precise engine tuning and quite low emissions, respectively.
While the LFY engine is a specific variant of a tried and tested engine, the 9-speed automatic that transfers its power to the rest of the driveline is new. Its greater number of speeds and faster shift times allow the Enclave’s engine to always be well within its optimal RPM range, whether that be for power or efficiency. The 9-speed automatic is easy to use, and it contributes to overall comfort with soft shifts.
The 2021 Buick Enclave comes in both efficient front-wheel drive and highly stable all-wheel drive configurations. Depending on one’s own priorities and budget, both have their optimal use cases. The front-wheel drive Enclaves are more efficient in terms of fuel usage, while the all-wheel drive variants offer unsurpassed confidence and capability in inclement weather conditions. An active twin clutch differential is used at the rear of the all wheel drive Enclave’s driveline, to further enhance driveability and grip.
The Buick Enclave’s interior is a beautifully integrated mix of warm, colored leather, sleek black background, and chrome accents. Less professional and more sumptuous than European luxury rivals, the Enclave manages to take the feel of a plush old family couch and meld it with the ambiance of a high-end hotel lobby.
That high-end feel is partly facilitated by the Enclaves’ primary infotainment screen, mounted in the center of the dashboard. This screen is rather large, with eight inches of display space to provide access to a wide variety of functions. Said functions include Bluetooth streaming audio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bose performance-enhanced ten-speaker audio system, Siri EyesFree, and a Natural Voice Recognition system for radio and phone control.
Further interior technology is also standard, like multiple USB ports that can transfer both data and power, an auxiliary jack, and the ability to download popular third-party apps directly to the Enclave’s infotainment system and thus customize the home screen. Rear seat infotainment systems are also available, with eight-inch displays that are built into the rear of the front seat headrests. They can be optioned with DVD players and provide a highly ergonomic viewing experience, being better on viewer’s necks over long journeys than the single ceiling-mounted screens used in other family vehicles.
While the Enclave’s look, feel, and technology are all capable of going toe to toe with European luxury vehicles at a much lower price, its comfort amenities help provide that truly comfort-focused American luxury experience. The driver’s seat has available 8-way power adjustability, and both front bucket seats are heated. These heating elements can be activated via the Enclave’s available remote start ability, meaning the interior’s atmosphere and seating arrangements will already be toasty and warm when the Encalve’s occupants arrive at the vehicle.
The Enclave offers large amounts of both interior room and cargo space for a mid-size SUV, with up to 97.6 cubic feet of cargo volume with the second and third rows folded. The 2021 Buick Enclave’s interior features list is long even with the lowest trim level and grows to multiple pages of technology features, and comfort-enhancing amenities the further up you go in the Enclave’s four trim lineup. No matter which Enclave one gets, all will take very good care of their occupants.
The 2021 Buick Enclave’s underlying platform and unibody frame are the most advanced they have been since the model’s inception, and the several hundred pound weight reduction granted by better optimization and more advanced materials pays dividends in every area of performance and efficiency. Nearly four hundred pounds have been taken out of the vehicle depending on trim level, improving gas mileage, acceleration, braking, handling, and even the amount of wear on vehicle components.
The construction of the Enclave lends itself to a more supple ride as well, as a more rigid body shell makes suspension tuning easier and more direct. The Enclave uses Macpherson strut suspension in front, and in the rear, an independent five-link suspension system that controls body motion and imparts a silky-smooth ride. Auxiliary spring aids help carry the Enclave over rougher terrain, while a hollow stabilizer bar makes the driving experience more stable, user friendly, and safe.
The 2021 Buick Enclave rides on eighteen-inch wheels as standard, with an available upgrade to more substantial twenty-inch wheels. Both wheel sizes are shod in all-season tires for a combination of grip, efficiency, durability, and comfort.
The Buick Enclave represents a perfect nexus between luxury, technology, safety, and comfort. It has all the technology one could ask for, but doesn’t use that technology to cover a lack in real luxury: space and plush seating. The Enclave’s interior is as warm as it is modern, with accents and details giving a premium look and feel unheard of for the price.
The Enclave’s exterior is as beautiful as its interior. Sharp character lines blend seamlessly with wispy curves to create a crossover SUV shape that is genuinely gorgeous, all without sacrificing the interior space that crossover buyers require.
The chassis and suspension systems of the Enclave are also quite capable, with large reductions in weight combined with improved ride comfort. The Enclave makes short trips a joy and long trips relaxing. And while the 4G LTE wi-fi hotspot may help with that, and the eight-inch displays might make things easier, and the lane-keeping system and automatic emergency braking might add to one’s peace of mind, none of this is the real reason why the Enclave is a great luxury machine.
The reason why, is simply that the 2021 Buick Enclave is a vehicle where one can get in, close the door, descend slightly into the plush leather, and feel at peace.