Buick has made a name for itself as a company of luxury with vehicles that last. Anyone who owns a Buick understands the value of a vehicle that supports your body comfortably, rides smoothly over the road, embraces you in a hushed cabin, surrounds you with the classic wood grain and leather interior, and every knob and button feels built to last. Though many might remember sitting in the back seat of a Buick sedan as a child, Buick SUVs have the same level of comfort, style, and luxury. Every click of the turn signal and every bump on the road beneath your tires is the same with an SUV as with a sedan.
When you need an SUV, you’re looking for a vehicle that handles well in snow and ice that can take rough roads and has the power to get you and your gear where you need to go. You may think of a Buick as a luxury model, but have you thought about what a Buick SUV can tackle? It might surprise you to find that Buick has built SUVs to handle the same rugged road conditions as other brands, but with the dependability and comfort, you know Buick delivers.
The Enclave Is a Spacious Ride Fit for a Family
Starting with the largest of the SUVs, the Enclave is the most spacious and luxurious of all Buick’s SUV options. Luxury is taken to a whole new level within the 98 cubic feet of available cargo space—equal to the space in some tiny homes—and fully equipped with all the comforts of home. Travel in the Enclave will treat you well, with the modern upgrades of comfort like heated, ventilated, and massaging front seats in the Premium and Avenir trims, and the ease of assisted front and rear parking. The cutting edge of luxury is still the standard on the Enclave.
Imagine the ease of being able to use voice commands for navigation or to look up a nearby restaurant through Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, both of which come standard on all Enclave trim levels. Without ever needing to take your hands off the wheel, you can ask your phone to call home to let the family know you’re running late or play music from your favorite streaming app. On the upper trim levels, you get heated back seats and driver’s seat memory settings, but all trims have a bevy of safety features like side blind-zone alert and land departure warning along with a rear-view HD camera.
When traveling with your family, you may want to tow your boat or small camper, and Buick has a towing package available for towing up to 5,000 pounds. The 3.6-liter V6 engine is certainly up to the task of towing, and the technology that comes with the trailering features help to maintain stability and safe braking. A powered liftgate and powered folding back row seats will make packing for your long trips a snap, and if you fill all three rows with passengers, the sliding second-row seats will allow easy access to the third row. In the case of inclement weather or rough roads at the campground, the Enclave has the option of all-wheel drive in all but the Preferred trim level, so you can confidently take your trips without worry.
Envision: You and the Road
Buick has thoughtfully offered an SUV in between the three-row Enclave and the compact Encore, a vehicle that satisfies the need for space without the hefty size of its three-row cousin. Features you expect from Buick, like the wood-grain dash, fold-down armrests, and leather-wrapped steering wheel, will serve to settle you right into the quiet comfort you know and love with this brand. Noise-canceling in the cabin is better than ever before, and that’s a value of Buick’s branding, so many buyers have come to appreciate about driving their vehicles.
The handling is relatively crisp, and in the Premium and Premium II trim levels, you can enjoy the turbocharged power of a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that puts a little more pep in your step with each press of the gas pedal. Convenient features like auto-dimming rear-view and side mirrors, rear parking sensors, remote start, and keyless entry are standard on even the base trim. Just as with the Enclave, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come with every trim level, combined with an 8-inch touchscreen, rear-view camera, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.
All-wheel drive is available for all trims and actually comes standard with the Premium trims, so you know that, combined with the wide range of driver-assisted safety features, the Envision can handle any road conditions. If you think tri-zone ionized climate control is only for three-row vehicles, think again: Buick adds this as a standard feature in the Essence trim and above, plus you can enjoy the sleek leather seats which are heated in front and back. Everyone can get comfortable here, no matter where you sit.
Applause for the Encore
Don’t judge an SUV by its size alone. The Buick Encore is compact but packed with the same tech that the larger Buick SUVs employ, and it also comes with the option to add all-wheel drive to better handle weather and rough roads. If you live in a city where parking is tight, a compact SUV is the perfect choice, and when you go for the options on the Essence trim level, you can utilize the front and rear parking sensors to guide you safely into your parking spaces. Buicks of the past relied partially on their effusively expansive size to indicate the level of luxury customers expect, but size isn’t everything. Sometimes smaller is better, and luxe comes in lots of packages.
Long drives will be as comfortable in the Encore as in any other Buick, with the same level of attention to heated, powered seats in the front and intelligent placement of all the driver controls. The 8-inch infotainment screen with Bluetooth comes standard on all trims, perfect for travel or long days of running errands. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay also come standard on all trims, an extension of the convenience that comes with the larger models.
Even though it’s compact, when you fold down the back seats, you gain lots of cargo space, which can be extended when the passenger seat is folded flat. In case the back seats are occupied, the Encore comes standard with roof rails to toss your cargo up above, or to travel with your bikes on a rack. The Sport Touring trim will add even more interior cargo space at 50.2 cubic feet, as compared with the 48.4 cubic feet of the other trims, and has a more aggressive front end, spoiler on the back, and a little more sass.
Buick’s Encore has been decked out with attention to luxury in all the trims, though upper-level trims will pay off with leather seats, a heated steering wheel, and rain-sensing wipers. Regardless of the trim, the Encore will pleasantly surprise drivers who want the security of all-wheel drive without the size restrictions of the larger SUV models. Even so, the Encore will still offer drivers a higher view of the road, a feature that many SUV lovers enjoy.
Across the spectrum of SUVs, Buick does what it always does well by making comfort a top priority. Safety ratings on all models of SUVs are in the top of the range, and the quality of Buick’s builds is just as present in the SUVs as in the sedans of the past. The real test will be to take a 2020 Buick SUV for a drive to decide if one of these models suits your needs.