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Enclave: Buick’s all-new capable family hauler has 3 big rows

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Buick’s all-new 7-passenger midsize luxury SUV features impressive interior features and premium materials that make the cabin a great place for the family to be on the move. New safety tech to protect the fam and more towing capability add to the allure.

The 2018 Buick Enclave’s all-new design delivers an athletic appearance that balances between ‘big family’ and ‘powerful’ impressions. Overall, the Enclave has moved to a much more athletically proportioned design that is contemporary and handsome. My Premium trim tester was perched on a great set of 20-inch aluminum wheels.

While the base Enclave starts at $40,970, my tester landed $57,055, a good indication of how diverse the Enclave can be based on your budget.

Cabin

The Enclave’s cabin environment is quiet and most notably offers soft-touch materials in all the right places, a huge upgrade over previous models. Buick’s QuietTuning system filters out road noise and a cabin ionizer cleans cabin air.

The Enclave’s price of admission delivers big on roomy spaces and comfortable seating. Row three offers an impressive 33.5 inches of legroom and the second-row seats slide forward for easy third-row access.

My tester featured a power dual-moonroof that slides back past row two and opens up the entire cabin space. If you are looking for room, row-3 seats can be folded down effortlessly via a power switch.

Front row delivers outstanding sightlines for the driver and easy visual connection to gauges with a sweeping dash treatment. Row two has its own AC control and there are six USB ports for everyone to tap into.

Tech/Safety

Enclave has 17 radar, camera, and ultrasonic sensors to help the driver. One of those camera systems operates in the rearview mirror, allowing it to be used normally or as a camera when the driver’s view is blocked. The Enclave also has a surround-view camera that provides an overhead 360-degree view of the vehicle.

Cargo

My tester provided 23.6 cubic feet of space behind the third row. Fold that third row down and you’ll have 58 cubic feet of cargo space. Fold down everything behind the front row and you can haul 97.6 cubic feet of stuff. A wet storage area below the cargo deck is an added convenience.

Power

The new Enclave gets a proven 3.6-liter V6 engine that delivers 310 horsepower and 266 lb.-ft. of torque. Mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission with standard front-wheel drive (AWD is available), shifts are seamless and quick. Fuel economy with front drive is 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. Subtract one mpg if you choose AWD.

Safety

Offering a rearview camera, rear park assist, and seven airbags as standard equipment, the Enclave delivers an impressive range of optional safety technologies to help the driver avoid crashes.

Available safety technologies include forward collision alert, rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, a following distance indicator, front park assist, and a safety alert seat that vibrates to alert the driver to various monitored situations.

Overall, the Buick Enclave is a great-looking midsize SUV with exquisite cabin comfort and conveniences and great power-on-demand performance.