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Overview (Final Score: A-)
The’s initial debut was in 2008, as the first-generation of the premium make’s three-row crossover. That generation won accolades for its roomy interior and quiet, well-heeled ride quality. For 2018, Buick redesigned the Enclave, but paid close attention to what made the crossover so popular.
The new 2018 Buick Enclave is smarter, stronger and more efficient. It retains its excellent interior quality, fine ride dynamic, and comfortable mentality. The 2018 Enclave is a bit larger than its predecessor, with added room for both second- and third-row passengers.
The 2018 Buick Enclave is offered in four trim levels, all using the same engine and transmission. All but the base model have all-wheel drive as an option and all Enclave models include three rows of seating.
What We Love About the 2018 Buick Enclave:
- Expanded third row gives more room than the average
- Nicely done powertrain with a well-balanced feel
- Lots of interior room and comfort
What We Don’t Love About the 2018 Buick Enclave:
- No good reliability estimates yet
- Some infotainment glitches on occasion
- Contemporary looks and streamlining may not appeal to everyone
Pricing and Value (8/10)
The value found in the 2018 Buick Enclave will largely be in the lower-than-luxury price paid for the upscale Enclave versus the non-luxury makes. Sales for the Enclave improved dramatically when the new 2018 models were introduced and pricing of the top-level Enclave Avenir is at parity with the highest-priced non-premium vehicles on the market, which likely means more bang for the buck with the Buick.
Most buyers will be in the $45,000 range in their 2018 Enclave purchase. Those willing to pay two or three thousand more might get a top-level Enclave without buying into a more well-heeled luxury marque, while receiving much of the same level of refinement.
Total Score and Competitive Comparison (72/80, 90%)
The 2018 Buick Enclave is difficult to compare to other makes, as Buick is one of the few premium-level marques whose price and accouterments fall just below the luxury-level makes, but sit well above the standard offerings in any given segment. GM leaves true luxury to the Cadillac brand and standard-level fare to Chevrolet. Most luxury makers compete with Buick at the lower end in their entry-level models, but are otherwise over and above.
With that being said, the Volkswagen Atlas newcomer could potentially take some market share from the Enclave, especially in the VW’s higher-end trim levels. Theis also a potential contender against the Buick, though the MDX trends towards more sport in its drive and less comfort in its ride quality. The mechanically-similar is also a potential competitor for the Buick model.
All told, the 2018 Buick Enclave is still a great vehicle and one of the best midsize three-row crossovers we’ve driven thus far. Improvements in this redesign are plentiful, and the overall presence and appeal of the Enclave is clear.
Now you can learn a lot more about the 2018 in the FULL REVIEW.