2018 Buick Enclave

#14
in Suvs
2018 MODEL
$39,995 - $55,715 See Inventory Prices

7.7

Overall Rating

FILTER BY YEAR

FILTER BY STYLE

2018 Buick Enclave Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

After a decade of introducing the world with the first Enclave, Buick finally breathes-in new life to it as it enters its second generation. The Enclave is one of the few SUVs that set the standard for the class, but over the years, newer, more powerful, and more luxurious brands took over. The 2018 Buick Enclave aims to recapture its position with a better exterior, luxurious interiors, and a plethora of standard techs.

See detailed review »

Pros

Quiet and composed handling

Plenty of cargo room

Fuel efficient

Great visibility

Cons

Third row not suited for 3 adults

A few places still show use of cheap materials

What's New?

Buick hasn't changed anything it the 2018 Enclave


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$39995

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

5

top speed

130 mph

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

83

horsepower

138 hp @ 4900 rpm

torque

266 lb.-ft. @ 2800 rpm

transmission

6-speed automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

10.6 in. /11.8 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

100.6 in.

length

168.4 in.

width

69.9 in.

height

65.3 in.

curb weight

3237 lbs.

ground clearance

6.2 in.

capacity

passenger volume

92.8 cu ft.

cargo volume

23.6 cu ft.

towing capacity

3500 lbs.

payload capacity

1018 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

9.8 sec.

zero to 100 mph

27.7 sec.

rolling start (5-60 mph)

6.8 sec.

standing ¼-mile

16.8 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

182 ft.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

25/28/33 mpg

ev range

329.8 mi.

highway range

462 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 years/50000 miles

drivetrain warranty

6 years/70000 miles

corrosion warranty

6 years/unlimited

roadside assistance

6 yr./ 70000 mi.


Pictures & Videos


Styles

 2018 Buick Enclave in Black Cherry Metallic color  2018 Buick Enclave in Dark Slate Metallic color  2018 Buick Enclave in Ebony Twilight Metallic color  2018 Buick Enclave in Quicksilver Metallic color  2018 Buick Enclave in Red Quartz Tintcoat color
Black Cherry Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

7.9

Engine

7.3

Fuel Economy

7.1

Interior

8.9

Exterior

7.3

Safety

4.0

7.7

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2018 Buick Enclave Base

Base

power
310 hp @ 6800 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
20 combined

$39,995


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 9A) Starting at $39,995 MSRP (17/20/25) 310 hp @ 6800 rpm, 3.6 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
9-speed automatic front wheel drive 7   Black Cherry Metallic
  Dark Slate Metallic
  Ebony Twilight Metallic
  Quicksilver Metallic
  Red Quartz Tintcoat

 2018 Buick Enclave Essence

Essence

power
310 hp @ 6800 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
20 combined

$44,215 - $46,215


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Essence 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 9A) Starting at $44,215 MSRP (17/20/25) 310 hp @ 6800 rpm, 3.6 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
9-speed automatic front wheel drive 7
Essence 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 9A) Starting at $46,215 MSRP (17/19/24) 310 hp @ 6800 rpm, 3.6 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
9-speed automatic all wheel drive 7

 2018 Buick Enclave Premium

Premium

power
310 hp @ 6800 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
20 combined

$48,015 - $50,315


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Premium 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 9A) Starting at $48,015 MSRP (17/20/25) 310 hp @ 6800 rpm, 3.6 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
9-speed automatic front wheel drive 7
Premium 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 9A) Starting at $50,315 MSRP (17/19/24) 310 hp @ 6800 rpm, 3.6 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
9-speed automatic all wheel drive 7

 2018 Buick Enclave Avenir

Avenir

power
310 hp @ 6800 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
20 combined

$53,415 - $55,715


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Avenir 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 9A) Starting at $53,415 MSRP (17/20/25) 310 hp @ 6800 rpm, 3.6 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
9-speed automatic front wheel drive 7
Avenir 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 9A) Starting at $55,715 MSRP (17/19/24) 310 hp @ 6800 rpm, 3.6 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
9-speed automatic all wheel drive 7

Top Buick Cars

2019 Buick Enclave
8.3/10

Engine: 310 hp @ 6800 rpm, 3.6 L V-6

MPG: 21 combined

2019 Buick Encore
7.8/10

Engine: 138 hp @ 4900 rpm, 1.4 L I-4

MPG: 28 combined

2019 Buick Regal
7.9/10

Engine: 250 hp @ 5400 rpm, 2 L I-4

MPG: 26 combined

2018 Buick Regal TourX Wagon
7.8/10

Engine: 250 hp @ 5400 rpm, 2 L I4

MPG: 24 combined

2019 Buick Envision
7.8/10

Engine: 197 hp @ 6300 rpm, 2.5 L I-4

MPG: 25 combined

2019 Buick Regal GS Sportback
7.9/10

Engine: 310 hp @ 6800 rpm, 3.6 L V-6

MPG: 22 combined

2017 Buick Verano
7.9/10

Engine: 180 hp @ 6700 rpm, 2.4 L I4

MPG: 24 combined

Expert Review


CARHP Editorial September 21, 2018

7.7

Overall Rating


The 2018 Buick Enclave has set its starting price at $39,995 which goes up to $55,715 for the top Avenir trim. A standard 3.6 liter V6 and a 9-speed automatic transmission powers the Enclave. FWD is standard, while AWD can be had with any trim except the base trim for $ 2,000. The all-new Buick has a lot to offer inside and out. And providing so much at a reasonable price makes it a tough rival for affordable SUVs from Honda and Ford, and even to luxurious brands like Lexus and Acura.


7.9/10
Features

 

7.3/10
Engine

 

7.1/10
Fuel Economy

 

8.9/10
Interior

 

7.3/10
Exterior

 

4.0/10
Safety

 
 
 

2018 Buick Enclave Features

7.9/10

The 2018 Buick Enclave comes in 4 trim levels: 1SV, Essence, Premium, and Avenir. All the trims are powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission. The base 1SV trim can only be had with an FWD drivetrain, while all other trims can be upgraded to AWD.

Trims Enclave 1SV Essence Premium Avenir
MSRP (FWD) $40,990 $45,245 $49,095 $54,495
MSRP (AWD) N/A $47,295 $51,395 $56,795
Features Available OnStar 4G LTE with built-in Wi-Fi hotspot (limited trial). Perforated leather-appointed seats Includes or replaces features on Essence, plus: Includes or replaces features on Premium, plus:
  Buick Infotainment System with 8″ diagonal color touchscreen Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert Bose premium 10-speaker system Unique exterior/interior styling
  Keyless open and push-button start, remote engine start Rear Cross Traffic Alert Second-row heated seats Buick Infotainment System with Navigation
  Heated driver and front passenger seats 3-month trial of Sirius Satellite Radio Ventilated driver and front passenger seats Wireless charging
      Heated steering wheel Power dual moonroof with rear fixed skylight
      Safety Alert Seat 8″ diagonal reconfigurable driver information center
      Front Park Assist Surround Vision with a full display inside rearview mirror
      Power-fold third row seats  
      Power steering column  

Even at the base level, you get a lot of features that would suffice most buyers. The Essense trim adds additional safety features, while the Premium adds more luxury. The top-of-the-line Avenir trim, which can be considered the Denali of Buick family, adds an intelligent twin clutch AWD system, much like the Cadillac.

We Recommend

To get the most out of your Enclave while still restricting the cash flow, we recommend the Premium trim. It adds features like low-speed forward collision mitigation, driver seat and mirror position memory, and an upgraded Bose audio system.

2018 Buick Enclave Engine

7.3/10

“The Enclave shares its 3.6-liter V-6 engine with the Traverse (there is no four-cylinder option). It develops an ample 310 horsepower and 266 lb.-ft. of torque—up 22 horses yet down 4 lb.-ft. versus the previous 3.6-liter. The new engine’s 2800-rpm torque peak, however, comes 600 rpm lower than before, which, along with the standard nine-speed automatic transmission, improves overall drivability” – Car and Driver

Engine and Transmission

The standard powertrain of the 2018 Buick Enclave comprises of a 3.6-liter V6 engine with VVT (variable valve timing) and a 9-speed automatic transmission. The refined powertrain helps the Enclave to have a smooth and quick acceleration. The transmission is smooth with no juddering, which is a huge improvement over the previous Enclaves.

Models Buick Enclave GMC Acadia Honda Pilot Acura MDX
MSRP $39,995 $35,995 $30,900 $ 44,200
Engine 3.6L V6 SIDI VVT Gas engine 3.6L V6 SIDI DOHC Gas engine  (VVT) 3.5L i-VTEC V6 Gas engine 

3.5L V6 Gas engine              

Transmission 9-speed automatic 6-speed automatic 6-speed automatic 9-speed automatic
Power 310 hp @ 6800 rpm 310 hp @ 6600 rpm 280 hp @ 6000 rpm 290 hp @ 6200 rpm
Torque 266 lb.-ft. @ 2800 rpm 271 lb.-ft. @ 5000 rpm 262 lb.-ft. @ 4700 rpm 267 lb.-ft. @ 4700 rpm

The Enclave and Acadia are at par in almost all grounds, but Acadia is cheaper and generates more torque than Enclave. The Honda twins, Pilot and Acura MDX, deliver less power and torque than Enclave’s engine, Pilot at a cheaper cost, while Acura MDX costs almost $ 5,000 more than Enclave.

Acceleration

The 3.6 liter V6 with VVT technology makes sure you get the most out of the engine. The 9-speed automatic transmission is smooth and provides seamless acceleration. 2018 Buick Enclave’s agility is enough for your daily drives, quick enough, but not ludicrously high, or deafeningly loud.

Models Buick Enclave GMC Acadia Honda Pilot Acura MDX
0-60 mpg 6.4 sec 6.8 sec 6.0 sec 6.8 sec
Quarter mile 15.1 sec @ 84 mph 15 sec @ 90 mph 14.6 sec @ 95 mph 14.0 sec @ 100.2 mph
Engine 3.6L V6 SIDI VVT Gas engine 3.6L V6 SIDI DOHC Gas engine  (VVT) 3.5L i-VTEC V6 Gas engine 3.5 L  V6 Gas engine

Emission Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year

8.4 8.8 8.0 8.0

The smooth transmission allows Enclave to be faster than cousin Acadia in the 0-60 mph test, but Acadia almost catches up with Enclave on the quarter mile mark. The Acura MDX is slower at first but beats Enclave’s quarter-mile timing by almost a second.

Handling and Steering

The 2018 Buick Enclave is a big SUV, and expecting it to drive like a sports car is just setting yourself for disappointment. But surprisingly, the Enclave drives with a composed grip around corners with almost no body roll. The steering is tight, yet it is easy to turn the wheel.

The Enclave’s top trims also have the option of an adaptive suspension system, which further improves the ride quality. The electric-assist power steering has an active return assist feature that gives the steering a lighter touch while driving.

Braking

The 2018 Buick Enclave has a satisfyingly firm brake pedal that is both reassuring and capable. No matter your speed, the Enclave provides sharp body control thanks to its firm suspension as well as Four-wheel disc brakes and their linear stopping power.

Model Buick Enclave GMC Acadia Honda Pilot Acura MDX
Brake pads Front (in) 12.8 12.6 12.6 12.6
Brake pads Rear (in) 13.0 12.4 13.0 13.0
Curb weight (lbs.) 4359 3956 4288 4001
60-0 MPH (ft.) 134 126 119 123

The Enclave is heavier than most of its competitors, and although it provides a strong brake feel, it does not do significantly well in panic stops. The Honda Pilot, though only slightly lighter than Enclave, takes 15 feet less than Enclave in the 60 – 0 panic stop test.

Towing Capacity

With a rating of a mere 1,500 pounds, the base towing capabilities of the 2018 Buick Enclave are well below average. Thankfully, a new trailer-towing package is available this year. The package adds additional cooling amongst other enhancements that elevate the towing capacity to a respectable 5,000 pounds.

Model Buick Enclave GMC Acadia Honda Pilot Acura MDX
Capacity (lbs.) 5,000 5,200 5,000 5,000
Power Train 3.6L V6 SIDI VVT Gas engine 3.6L V6 SIDI DOHC Gas engine  (VVT) 3.5L i-VTEC V6 Gas engine 3.5 L  V6 Gas engine
Drive Train AWD AWD AWD AWD

Although Enclave raises its towing capacity to 5,000 with the towing package, the rivals innately match or surpass these numbers. GM’s other crossover, the Acadia, has a maximum capacity to tow 5,200 pounds, while the Hondas match Enclave’s ratings.

2018 Buick Enclave Fuel Economy

7.1/10

As compared to the Enclaves of yesteryears, the 2018 Buick Enclave has improved its fuel economy ratings by 3 MPGs. One of the reasons for this better fuel economy is the addition of the new auto start-stop function. In FWD, the crossover gets 18/26 in city/hwy. In AWD, these ratings fall by 1.

Model Buick Enclave GMC Acadia Honda Pilot Acura MDX
MPG city 18 17 18 19
MPG highway 26 25 26 26
MPG combined 22 20 22 22

Only a few in class can match Enclave’s excellent fuel economy. The Honda Pilot matches Enclave’s numbers, but the Acura MDX is a few of those who actually put better city mileage numbers.

2018 Buick Enclave Interior

8.9/10

“Getting into the way back is easy thanks to the gap between the second-row seats, as well as the available passenger-side SmartSlide seat. It can slide forward even when a child-safety seat is installed using the LATCH connectors” – US News

The old Enclave had decent exteriors, but time has taken its toll on the interiors. Thankfully, the 2018 Buick Enclave bears no resemblance to the previous generation. The cabin looks more like Cadillac’s now. The Premium and Essence get perforated leather in shale, black, or brandy color. The 1SV comes only in black, and the Avenir comes exclusively in chestnut interiors.

The center console holds a container, and removing the container reveals a much deeper pit. In front of the console, the area under the shifter is hollow, which can easily store a handbag. The traditional shifter is also replaced with an electronic shifter, which is easy to use. You can also change gears manually with the paddle shifters.

Seating and Comfort

With captain’s chairs in the second row, the 2018 Buick Enclave can accommodate 7 people. Premium and Avenir have memory seats. The standard driver’s seat is 8 way power adjustable with 2-way power lumbar. The passenger’s seat is 6-way power adjustable with 2-way power lumbar.

The base model has cloth upholstery and heated front seats. The higher trims add leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, and a heated steering wheel. The seats are roomy and comfortable, except for the third row, which struggles to accommodate 3 adults. The second-row seats can slide front and back.

Interior Features

Here is a list of the standout features in the 2018 Buick Enclave’s cabin:

Standard gauge with 4.2-inch multifunction display

  • Backup Camera
  • 3 zone automatic climate control
  • 3 stage heated seats
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror

Exclusive features include:

  • 8-inch digital cluster in Avenir
  • Power adjustable steering wheel in Premium and Avenir
  • Wireless charging in Avenir
  • Surround vision in Avenir
  • 3 stage ventilated seats in Premium and Avenir
  • Moonroof in Avenir

Infotainment

Although the 2018 Buick Enclave received substantial upgrades in almost all aspects, the infotainment system remained unchanged. The Enclave still uses the on-going version of Buick’s IntelliLink system. There is not much to complain, though. The system is responsive and includes modern amenities like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Still, a complete redesign should have included an infotainment system like the one used in the new Cadillac.

Enclave has a highly connective infotainment system. Services like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, OnStar, 4G LTE WI-FI on AT&T service, etc. make for an entertaining trip. The standard setup has a six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, and an 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system. HD Radio and a 10 speaker Bose audio system are also available.

Cargo

Cargo space is generous in the new 2018 Buick Enclave. It provides better storage than most in the class. With 23.6 Ft.3 of cargo space behind the third row and maximum space of 97.6 Ft.3, it easily thwarts the competition.

Model Buick Enclave GMC Acadia Honda Pilot Acura MDX
Behind 3rdRow(ft.cube) 23.6 12.8 18 14.9
With 3rd  row folded (ft.cube) 58 41.7 47.7 38.4
With 2nd row folded (ft.cube) 97.6 79 87.0 68.4

It is also easy to load cargo into the Enclave. The hands-free power lift-gate is standard in all trims. To further ease the process, Buick projects its logo right under the sensor where you have to wave your foot. The floor of the rear cargo area also lifts up to reveal even more cargo area.

2018 Buick Enclave Exterior

7.3/10

"Riding on a 120.9-inch wheelbase and measuring 204.3 inches in overall length, the 2018 Buick Enclave is a big boy and yet the svelte exterior styling takes a bit off that bulk. Gone is the waterfall grille design, a styling cue that has not aged well for Buick. In its place is a more contemporary opening with wings extending from either side of the rather largish Buick tri-shield logo."-KelleyBlueBook

After 10 years of the production of the first Enclave, Buick steps into the second generation of Enclave with all new design and features. The very first thing that comes into notice is the keyless open and go, along with remote start, which was not present even in the top trim till last year is now standard across trims. The 2018 Buick Enclave also grew in length, and now stands at 204 inches.

Model Buick Enclave GMC Acadia Honda Pilot Acura MDX
Curb Weight (lbs.) 4359 3956 4288 4001
Length(in) 204.3 193.6 194.5 196.2
Width(in) 78.8 75.4 66.3 77.8
Height(in) 69.6 66 69.8 67.4
Ground clearance(in) 7.7 7.20 7.3 5.6
Wheel base(in) 120.9 112.5 111 111
Track width(in) F/R 67.3/67 64.5/65.5 66.3/66.3 66.3/66.3

In the front, the Enclave wears the new Buick waterfall grille with a horizontal chrome strip running across. This grille comes with the bottom 3 trims. The Avenir gets its own special grille with dark chrome mesh, based on the Avenir concept car. The parking lamps and the turn signals sit low near the base of the vehicle.

From the side, the place of portholes has been taken by functional fender vents. The back of the vehicle has a nice chrome accent that runs across the back and leads into the tail lights. The roofline sits lower and the windshields get a more aerodynamic flow.

Exterior Features

Some of the exterior features include:

  • LED headlights
  • LED Daytime Running Lights
  • Power adjusting, auto dimming, and heated side view mirrors
  • Power folding and memory side mirrors in Premiere and up
  • Blindside indicators in Essence
  • Buick's Evonic Acrylite Lighting*

*Evonic Acrylite Lighting refers to the use of 100 LEDs across the vehicle with the help of compound curvature application.

2018 Buick Enclave Safety

4.0/10

The 2018 Buick Enclave does quite well in the safety tests. It gets 5 out of 5 stars overall and in side crash in NHTSA crash tests.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Ratings

Overall 

5 out of 5

Front Crash

4 out of 5

Side Crash

5 out of 5

Rollover

4 out of 5

Safety features in 2018 Buick Enclave include:

  • Rearview Camera
  • Rear Parking Sensors
  • Pedestrian Detection
  • Automatic Emergency Braking
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Active Lane Keep assist
  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Safety Alert Drivers Seat*

*Safety Alert seat vibrates when other safety systems are activated.

2018 Buick Enclave Competition

Acura MDX vs Buick Enclave 

The Acura MDX and 2018 Buick Enclave both lie in the same class, both are quite similar in performance and fuel economy, too. But still, the Enclave is a better option than the Acura MDX. For starters, the MDX fails to provide comfortable space for adults in the third row, neither does it provide enough cargo space. The infotainment system of MDX has a steep learning curve. On top of that, the MDX has a higher price than the Enclave. All in all, the Enclave matches all of MDX’s strengths, and does better in its weaknesses.

GMC Acadia vs Buick Enclave

If this competition was for the year 2017, the Acadia would have emerged as the clear winner. But alas, the 2018 Buick Enclave makes the competition much fiercer. The new Enclave is longer than Acadia, by almost 11 inches. It has a wider yet more aerodynamic stance. In terms of power, both perform equally, although Acadia generates more torque. Acadia also has a slightly better fuel economy but seeing that it also has a higher price, the benefits don’t outweigh the cost difference.

2018 Buick Enclave Final Verdict

Affordable or luxurious? Powerful or Economic? If these are the dilemmas in your mind for choosing your next SUV, then the 2018 Buick Enclave is here for your rescue. The new Enclave is a well-balanced amalgam of luxury and affordability. It is cheaper than some higher trims of rivals like Ford or Honda, while still being feature filled like an entry level Lexus or Acura.

Although Enclave’s price tag is not what everyone would call ‘affordable’, but one look at what it has to offer more than just justifies that price. Enclave offers power from its V6 engine, and a smooth and comfortable ride from its spacious and tech filled cabin. It may not be the best, but it is definitely one of the toughest competition in the class.

Competitors like the Acadia or MDX do surpass the Enclave in a field or two, but with all things considered, Enclave continues to stand out with its new body and a refreshed soul.