2018 Buick Enclave redefines the standards for midsize luxury SUVs

Article by Christian A., on April 20, 2017

Buick unveils the latest 2018 Enclave at the 2017 New York Auto Show featuring versatile functionality, spaciousness and the latest technology. The midsize luxury SUV now has more space at the third row, an improved towing capability, various safety technologies, and a range of useful interior features. Inside, it boasts of premium materials which enhances the whole experience of cruising with this all-new seven-passenger midsize luxury SUV.

Despite its slimmer size and shorter height, the new Enclave is more spacious on the inside. The standard leg room on the third row offers 5.6 more inches compared to that of the Acura MDX, 4.5 inches more compared to the Audi Q7, and almost 3 inches more compared to the Infinity QX60. And compared to the outgoing model, the new Enclave comes with a longer wheelbase and tighter (by 1.4 feet) turning circle, contributing to better maneuverability.

The new Enclave has a seating capacity good for seven passengers, and provides 10 percent more cubic feet of cargo space (behind the first row) compared to the Acura MDX, Audi Q7 and Infiniti QX60. It even boasts of increased towing capacity, allowing up to 5,000 pounds of weight – that’s almost about the same weight as a typical 21-foot sport boat!

This midsize luxury SUV is illuminated for the first time by Evonik Acrylite lighting technology, exuding a distinctive light signature. It also sits in standard 18-inch wheels and available 20-inch variants.

Other standard equipment includes keyless entry and push-button start, hands-free power-programmable liftgate with a Buick tri-shield logo which lights up to illuminate the ground below the hidden sensor, tri-zone automatic climate control, universal home remote, and six USB ports.

It is also equipped with an OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and a five-year subscription of the OnStar Basic Plan – which includes the myBuick app and OnStar Smart Driver – without additional cost. Moreover, it comes with a frameless 8-inch diagonal infotainment system installed with Teen Driver, Rear Seat Reminder (reminding drivers to check the back seat upon exit), and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

The 2018 Buick Enclave offers three trim levels – Enclave, Essence and Premium. It is the seventh new Buick model from the company’s new Avenir luxury sub-brand, introduced in less than two years after the previous model. Production of the said midsize luxury SUV will take place in Lansing, Michigan and is expected to go on sale late this year (in fall, to be exact), with pricing to be announced shortly before that.

Exterior Design

According to Duncan Aldred, Global Buick and GM Vice President, the Enclave is one of Buick’s most successful and most important vehicles, and is considered as the game changer for the company’s rise in the midsize luxury SUV segment. It sets the standards of a “more progressive Buick”, upholding the company’s standards for smart and stylish luxury.

Its front end and grille (inspired by the Avista and Avenir concept cars) has been redefined and is accentuated by its new proportions, bodylines and accents – all of these give a more athletic appearance to the new Enclave.

The sleek look and new proportions give aerodynamic benefits to the new Enclave, improving efficiency. Its new body structure ensures safety, strength and mass efficiency – the vehicle itself is equipped with 17 radar, camera and ultrasonic sensors as well as a wide range of standard and optional safety technology – including customizable safety alerts.

Powertrain

Powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine with stop/start technology and paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission, the new Enclave gets 302 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque.

It also comes with a standard MacPherson strut front and five-link rear suspension which have been tuned to bring out a more refined and isolated driving experience.

To help improve control and efficiency, the 2018 Enclave comes with an intelligent AWD with active twin-clutch rear differential and a switchable AWD, a first for Buick.

Press Release

Elegant Design and Functionality Define the All-New Buick Enclave

New and versatile functionality, spaciousness and intuitive technologies mark the next evolution of the Buick Enclave. More third-row space, improved towing capability and a thoughtful combination of safety technologies, useful interior features and premium materials are a few highlights included on Buick’s all-new seven-passenger midsize luxury SUV.

Within a visually lower and slimmer body, the Enclave boasts more interior space. The third row alone offers 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. The new Enclave also features a longer wheelbase than the previous generation, yet its turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than before, pairing the space customers need with added maneuverability.

“Enclave was introduced as a game-changer for the Buick brand and has since become one of our most successful and important vehicles,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president, Global Buick and GMC. “It set the tone for a more progressive Buick, helping change perception for us and serving as the standard-bearer of what our products stand for: smart, stylish luxury.”

Enclave highlights

New proportions, bodylines and accents combine for an athletic stance that accentuates the redesigned front end and grille.
A comprehensive offering of standard and available safety technology includes customizable safety alerts.
The all-new body structure was built for safety, strength and mass efficiency, and there are 17 radar, camera and ultrasonic sensors when fully equipped.
There’s seating for seven and more cargo volume behind the first row than the Acura MDX, Audi Q7 and Infiniti QX60.
Buick-first Evonik Acrylite lighting technology provides a distinctive light signature.
Tow capacity of up to 5,000 pounds is more than enough to tow a typical 21-foot sport boat.
A standard 3.6L V-6 engine with stop/start technology, Buick-estimated 302 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Standard MacPherson strut front and five-link rear suspension are tuned for a refined, isolated ride.
Available intelligent AWD with active twin-clutch rear differential and Buick-first switchable AWD help improve control and efficiency.
20-inch wheels are available (18-inch are standard).
Safety, style and convenience features further distinguish the next-generation Enclave

Enclave’s new design architecture enables a balanced, athletic appearance. New proportions give it a sleeker look with aerodynamic benefits for efficiency. The roofline is lower, the windshield is sharper and the wheelbase is extended, giving the vehicle a more dramatic stance. Its sculpted body creates a windswept appearance. It also showcases Buick’s front end design language, inspired by the Avista and Avenir concept cars and enhanced by advanced Buick-first lighting technology.

“Every detail of the all-new Enclave is designed to feel premium, well-crafted and integrated,” said Helen Emsley, executive director of Global Buick and GMC Design. “Customers in feedback clinics have described it as having a ‘sleek’ appearance, which isn’t typically a word associated with three-row SUVs.”

Extensive use of LEDs is integrated into Buick’s first application of Evonik Acrylite technology and bi-functional LED projector headlamps and LED tail lamps. The technology’s compound curvature application creates a smooth, uniform and recognizable appearance that will make the Enclave stand out on the road. IntelliBeam headlamps available on Premium and Avenir models also allow drivers to experience better road illumination and improved visibility without having to manually switch the high beams on and off.

A significantly enhanced suite of available advanced safety technologies is engineered to help drivers monitor their surroundings and feel confident when behind the wheel. Standard safety equipment on all 2018 Enclaves includes a rear vision camera, rear park assist and seven air bags, including a front center side airbag. Among the available crash-avoidance technologies are forward collision alert, rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, safety alert seat, following distance indicator and front park assist.

“The Enclave’s sophisticated suite of available radar, camera and ultrasonic crash avoidance technologies is engineered to help drivers continuously monitor their surroundings in an intuitive, assisting manner so they can feel more confident behind the wheel,” said Dean Perelli, chief engineer for the Buick Enclave.

Having leveraged the first-generation Enclave as a benchmark for quietness, the 2018 Enclave cabin is engineered to further minimize unwanted interior noise through its honed exterior shapes, sealing and sound-deadening acoustics, and strategic use of materials throughout. QuietTuning and active noise cancellation enhancements help to reduce, block and absorb noise, keeping it from entering the cabin. An available 10-speaker Bose Premium sound system with new components, new tuning and a redesigned bass enclosure further enhances the sound experience.

“For Enclave customers, who are often driving family and friends, the ability to easily carry a conversation with passengers in all three rows is essential to their daily driving experience,” said Perelli. “The enhanced QuietTuning and active noise cancellation in the all-new Enclave allow them to do just that.”

QuietTuning is one example of Buick creating a healthy, relaxing environment in its vehicles. An all-new air ionizer builds on that reputation by eliminating odors and providing higher air quality. It works by producing negatively charged particles that attract air-born contaminants and break down their structure, cleaning the cabin air.

The ionizer can help address external and internal odors and reduce bacteria, viruses, dust, debris and pollen, while also helping improve driver alertness. It requires no maintenance or filter replacement, and comes standard on Essence, Premium and Avenir models.

Enclave’s interior has flexible cargo solutions for large and small items. The vehicle has 10 percent more cubic feet of overall interior space when including the hidden underfloor storage, and 23.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row. Other space enhancements include a 10-inch-deep dry underfloor storage with 3.1 cubic feet of space.

Second- and third-row seating fold flat to create a wide, nearly-flat load floor. An optional power-folding third row makes reconfiguring more convenient, while available second-row SmartSlide Seats provide easy access to the third row. On the passenger side, the SmartSlide seat provides a pitch slide function to allow access even with an empty forward-facing child seat installed (using the LATCH system).

Standard equipment on every 2018 Enclave includes keyless entry and push-button start, a hands-free power-programmable liftgate with a Buick tri-shield logo illuminating the ground below the hidden sensor, tri-zone automatic climate control, universal home remote, six USB ports and more.

Every Enclave also comes equipped with an OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot (AT&T data plan purchase required after limited data trial period) and five years of the OnStar Basic Plan at no additional cost. Among other benefits like an industry-leading myBuick app, this connectivity plan features OnStar Smart Driver, an opt-in service designed to help Buick owners maximize their vehicle’s overall performance and become better drivers.

A frameless 8-inch diagonal infotainment system with Teen Driver, Rear Seat Reminder , and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is standard. Every Enclave features Rear Seat Reminder2, an industry-first feature designed to remind drivers to check the back seat as they exit their vehicles under certain circumstances.

Available in three trim levels — Enclave, Essence and Premium — and as a model from Buick’s new Avenir luxury sub-brand, the 2018 Enclave is the seventh new Buick model introduced in less than two years. It will continue to be manufactured in Lansing, Michigan, and goes on sale in the fall of 2017. Pricing and other details will be announced later this year.

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