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Buick Enclave: 2018 Motor Trend SUV of the Year Contender

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 11/15/2017 Motor Trend Staff

We like: Refined ride and capable handling

We don't like: Poor packaging for a premium SUV

The Enclave is Buick's first model to carry the Avenir badge, a subbrand that will bring more luxury to future vehicles in its lineup. Our judges praised its unique styling and ride quality but were disappointed in its equipment levels for a premium SUV.

Christian Seabaugh observed that the Enclave Avenir "still suffers from the same hard plastics below the beltline as the Chevy Traverse" despite looking somewhat luxurious at first glance.

a car driving down a dirt road© Motor Trend Staff

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Ed Loh said the package wasn't stellar. "The Enclave's third-row headroom suffers due to the rounded roofline. My head hits the roof, and it doesn't in the Traverse."

On the other hand, the Enclave Avenir received praise for its handling on the winding track and for its well-balanced suspension. "The big girl comported herself with unbelievable grace," Frank Markus said. "I was never aware of overt stability control intervention, and I was able to set up gentle drifts through some of the turns." Scott Evans added: "I am barely noticing the bumps on the 110 freeway section. It's by far the best ride." And Mark Rechtin summed up: "It feels like something you could drive all day. It's just planted."

However, against the criteria, the Enclave in the Avenir trim didn't stand out as much. With a $60,000 price tag, its value equation takes a hit. When compared to its cousin, the Chevrolet Traverse, it doesn't stand out as it should. For those reasons, the Buick didn't make the cut to be a SUV of the Year finalist.

2018 Buick Enclave Avenir front three quarter in motion 00© Motor Trend Staff 2018 Buick Enclave Avenir front three quarter in motion 00

Read about other 2018 SUV of the Year contenders:

2018 Buick Enclave AWD Avenir
BASE PRICE $56,690
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 7-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE 3.6L/310-hp/266-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6
TRANSMISSION 9-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 4,699 lb (57/43%)
WHEELBASE 120.9 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 204.3 x 78.8 x 69.9 in
0-60 MPH 7.0 sec
QUARTER MILE 15.4 sec @ 84.5 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 134 ft
MT FIGURE EIGHT 28.4 sec @ 0.60 g (avg)
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 198/135 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.98 lb/mile


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