2018 Buick Enclave bows in NY, is first to get the Avenir luxury treatment

The second-generation Enclave grows roomier, goes upscale

All-new for 2018, the Buick Enclave marks a significant evolution from a styling point of view, sporting a lower roofline and a front end inspired by the Avista and Avenir concept cars.

It also roomier, more advanced technologically, and more luxurious than before. Furthermore, it’s the first-ever Buick production model to gain an Avenir luxury trim — similar to GMC's Denali range-topping trim.

But first thing’s first. The Enclave looks sleeker and more modern than before, and under its flowing lines, there’s a roomier cabin. Buick says the seven-passenger midsize luxury SUV offers more three-row space — more specifically, 5.6 more inches of standard legroom than an Acura MDX, 4.5 inches more than an Audi Q7, and nearly three inches more than an Infiniti QX60.

Cargo volume behind the first row is bigger than the Acura MDX, Audi Q7 and Infiniti QX60 — 97.6 cu-ft/2,764.5 liters. Even with all seats in place, cargo capacity is generous at 23.6 cu ft (668 liters). The roomier cabin owes a lot to the longer wheelbase (120.9 in/3,071 mm) compared with the previous-generation Enclave.

Despite that, Buick says the turning circle is 1.4 feet (426.7 mm) tighter than before, enhancing maneuverability. Since we’re talking about an SUV, the tow capacity of up to 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) is enough for the Enclave to tow a 21-foot sport boat.

Customers have a single engine option on the 2018 Enclave, a 3.6-liter V6 with stop/start technology that delivers 302 hp and 260 lb-ft (352 Nm) of torque. The engine is paired as standard with a nine-speed automatic transmission.

AWD is offered as an option and features an active twin-clutch rear differential, allowing the driver to switch to 2WD when all-wheel drive is not needed.

Safety-wise, the 2018 Enclave is equipped as standard with a rear vision camera, rear park assist, and seven airbags (including a front center side airbag). Optional driving-assist tech includes forward collision alert, rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, safety alert seat, following distance indicator and front park assist.

While the Enclave is available in three trim levels (Enclave, Essence, and Premium), it is also the first model to get the Avenir treatment from Buick's luxury sub-brand.

The Enclave Avenir adds more standard features and premium materials, as well as distinctive styling cues such as a 3-dimensional mesh grille, badging, exclusive 20-inch wheels. Also standard are features such as the Rear Camera Mirror, and hands-free power programmable liftgate, among other things.