Auto123 reviews the 2022 Buick Enclave.
The outgoing generation Buick Enclave arrived for the 2019 model-year. After three years, it was thus time for a revision, and so it is done.
We can't call it a radical transformation for 2022, though. Essentially, the vehicle retains the same essential elements, both visual and mechanical. Change-wise, the front and rear bumpers have been redesigned, as have the headlights. Note that our Avenir model under test gets exclusive exterior styling to justify its $63,000 price tag.
Inside, Buick has enhanced the luxury aspect with quilted leather, massaging front seats and new wood inlays in the cabin. Frankly it’s a welcoming place to spend time, and an interesting option for those who need space but find the typical minivan interior too dull.
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The Enclave is the fancy-pants alternative to the Chevrolet Traverse, and its level of elegance makes it a nice stop for those unwilling to go the really expensive route, that is to the German luxury brands. It's less flashy than the models produced by BMW and Mercedes-Benz, but gives you more living space. The three rows of seats allow for comfortable seating for all family members.
While you won’t find a level of interior design and finish as refined as the German models, the starting price is much more palatable.
All Enclave models offer automated emergency braking, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring and automatic high beams. More advanced technologies like adaptive cruise control, head-up display and rear pedestrian alert came with our Avenir version. On the infotainment side, GM offers some of the most enjoyable products to use. Connecting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with the Enclave is a breeze and both work wirelessly.
Poised and quiet
No change under the hood, as Buick kept the 3.6L V6 of the outgoing model, good for 310 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. This powertrain worked well and still does with the smooth and quiet 9-speed automatic transmission.
Our Enclave Avenir tester comes with four-wheel drive and our average fuel consumption at the end of our week displayed at 11.6L/100 km. If you need to tow, you'll be able to haul up to 5,000 lb.
Performance-wise, the model's relatively quiet nature doesn't encourage fast driving, but we're talking about a Buick here after all, and this manufacturer is a master of discretion behind the wheel. The suspension is supple, without being soft. The cabin is very well soundproofed and the comfortable seats invite you to enjoy the experience. The rough roads of Quebec's Eastern Townships were not enough to disturb the quietude inside the cabin and, without being sporty, the ride is reassuring.
One notable point is that the ride is not proportional to the size of the vehicle. By which I mean, the Enclave drives smaller than it is; behind the wheel, you tend to forget this is a pretty imposing vehicle.
About the space
You'll have to opt for a Suburban if you want to have more space in a family vehicle than this but are allergic to minivans. If you don't use the last row of seats, you have 1,642 litres of cargo space, and that increased to 2,764 litres if you also fold down the second-row seats. That’s a lot of golf and hockey bags and whatnot.
There are a few minor irritants that will undoubtedly bother some drivers, for example the second-row seat that only slides out on the passenger side to free up space for the third row. There are also a few finishing details, like the ersatz woodgrain, that disappoint in a $60,000+ vehicle.
Overall, the Enclave is handsome and practical but it skips over the attention to detail a bit.
The 8.0-inch touchscreen IntelliLink system offers a nice interface and layout with graphics with simple functionality. In addition to having Apple CarPlay and Android Auto wirelessly, you have on-board internet space and wireless charging. All three rows of seats also have two USB ports for charging devices.
Most driving aids are standard. Our Avenir version offered a few additions like the adaptive cruise control that worked very well without being too intrusive like some competitors (we’re looking at you Lexus and Infiniti).
Spending the $63,000 for the top-of-the-line Avenir model doesn’t quite deliver the luxurious environment the Germans have accustomed us to. However, the price is lower and space overall is more generous. Then again, for the same space at a lower price, you can get yourself a Chevrolet Traverse. It’s a consideration worth mulling over.
Generous space for cargo and passengers
Quiet and smooth ride
Comprehensive roster of standard equipment
Efficient, user-friendly infotainment system
We like less
Doesn't offer the level of luxury of the German competition
No mechanical alternatives to the V6