Buick is attempting to make the most of a vehicle marketplace that’s gone crazy for upscale SUVs with the second generation of its Enclave mid-size crossover, which enters its second year of production for 2019.
While the Enclave’s overall shape is quite similar to that of the first-gen model, there are a lot of details that set this newer design apart, even if the look is pretty generic in a segment that contains a lot of boldly styled vehicles.
But our suspicion is that as eager as Buick says it is to appeal to younger demographics, the brand’s typical buyer is probably still pretty conservative and unwilling to commit to something as bold as, say, a Lexus RX and its in-your-face front end styling.
Changes to the Enclave are limited to some minor shuffling of standard and optional features across trim levels, which remain the same for 2019. They include Essence, Premium and Avenir.
All three use a 3.6L V6 engine that makes 302 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque and comes hooked up to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Essence trim starts with FWD that can be optioned to AWD, but the higher trims are AWD-only.
Buick wants to put the Enclave on a level with vehicles like the Acura MDX and Audi Q7 with its more modern styling and tech like a suspension that tightens up at the touch of the sport button and a rearview camera mirror. We’re not sure it’s there yet, but all the same the Enclave at least lives up to Buick’s reputation with a quiet, comfortable interior.
Standard features include 18-inch wheels, chrome exterior trim, blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic and lane change alerts, hands-free tailgate, LED headlights, seven-passenger seating, 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, passive keyless entry, rear park assist, remote engine start and three-zone automatic climate control.
Premium trim adds forward collision alert with pedestrian detection and low-speed automatic braking, front park assist, automatic headlights, power-folding side mirrors, 120-volt power outlet, 10-speaker stereo, power-folding third-row seats and ventilated front seats.
Finally, Avenir models get 20-inch wheels, dual-pane sunroof, navigation, configurable digital gauge cluster, leather and wood-trimmed steering wheel, 360-degree exterior camera system and wireless smartphone charging.
Fuel consumption estimates are 12.9/9.0 L/100 km (city/highway) for FWD models and 13.8/9.4 with AWD.