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2019 buick Enclave

The Buick Enclave is a full-size, three-row crossover that's positioned between mainstream and luxury models in terms of price and quality. It offers space and comfort in spades, as well as a good range of upscale convenience and technology features.

Overview

The original Enclave became one of the key components of Buick's transformation from an outdated octogenarian favorite to an appealing and fully modern near-luxury brand. The second-generation model takes the torch from its predecessor with a more elegant look that falls in line with Buick's latest design language.

Up front, there's a wide rendition of the company's waterfall grille and discreet chrome accents. Out back, it boasts horizontal LED lights and more chrome. Bright accents around the windows add an upscale touch to the look. The spruced-up sheet metal hides an architecture that makes the Enclave up to 400 pounds lighter than before.

Life aboard

Make no mistake - the Enclave is a seriously large machine. That means there's ample room for passengers in all three rows to sit in comfort - even way back - and a full 23.6 cubic feet of cargo space is available with all seats in place. Fold all but the front seats down, and that figure increases to a class-leading 97.6 cubes.

Enclave's second-row - which can be configured with bucket seats or a bench seat - feature GM's SmartSlide system, a popular feature that allows easy entry to the third row with the pull of one handle. With SmartSlide, the second-row seat cushion flips up while the seatback slides forward, compressing the space occupied by the seat. The seats also have fore/aft adjustment - when scooted rearward, the second-row seat provides more legroom for taller passengers, while adjusting it forward results in more storage space or additional legroom for third-row passengers.

On the tech front, every Enclave regardless of trim level comes with an eight-inch touch screen that runs the latest version of Buick's infotainment system. The firm also includes six USB ports (two for the infotainment; four for charging) and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility. Buyers who subscribe to a data plan can also enjoy the car's built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.

Technical specifications

The Enclave's only available engine is a direct-injected, 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes 310 horsepower at 6,800 rpm and 266 pound-feet of torque at 2,800 rpm. It's bolted to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive comes standard, and all-wheel drive is offered at an extra cost. Properly equipped, the Enclave can tow 5,000 pounds.

Fuel economy checks in at 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway for the front-wheel drive model. Selecting all-wheel drive knocks one mpg from both figures.

Standard and optional features

Buick offers the Enclave in four trim levels called Preferred, Essence, Premium, and Avenir. The last three can be upgraded with all-wheel drive at an extra cost.

The generous list of standard features includes triple-zone automatic A/C, Bluetooth connectivity, an eight-inch touch screen, a six-speaker sound system, six USB ports, cruise control, a 4.2-inch driver information screen in the instrument cluster, keyless open and start, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a remote vehicle starter, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, seating for seven, a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel, LED daytime running lights, automatic LED headlights, and 18-inch alloy wheels.

There are no standalone options so the only way to get more content is to move up in the trim hierarchy. Range-topping Avenir models stand out with a trim-specific design, an eight-inch infotainment screen in the instrument cluster, embroidered floor mats, a power moonroof, wood accents on the steering wheel, and a bird's eye-view camera.

Occupant Safety

Standard safety items include dual front, front side and full-length side curtain airbags in addition an innovative front center airbag that deploys from the inboard side of the driver's seat to protect the driver and front passenger from far-side impact crashes. The Enclave also comes with traction and stability control systems.

Driving aids like lane-keeping assist and lane change alert become available as buyers explore the upper echelons of the trim range.

Key competitors

The Enclave occupies a niche between more modestly priced mainstream crossovers like the Mazda CX-9 and the Honda Pilot and true luxury soft-roaders such as the Audi Q7 and the Mercedes-Benz GLS.