2022 Buick Enclave Review | More style and features doesn't mean better
The Buick Enclave has been updated for 2022, and it delivers some added style and additional features, it also doesn't do anything to lift Buick's three-row SUV beyond average for the segment. For the most part, the 2022 Buick Enclave is the same as it was when this generation launched for the 2018 model year. On the plus side, it has a powerful V6 and a smooth transmission. The cabin is incredibly spacious, and additional standard safety features are certainly welcome. The base price is also quite low for three-row premium SUVs at just under $44,000.
Where this biggest of Buicks falls short is in the finer details. The engine isn't well isolated, allowing coarseness into the cabin. The cabin also doesn't rise to the level of Lincoln, Acura, Infiniti and Volvo -- brands that aren't exactly the upper crust of luxury, but certainly beyond Ford, Chevy or Honda. For instance, while its controls are easy-to-use, the buttons and knobs feel low rent and are obviously shared with cheaper GM models. There isn't anything that makes it particularly stand out from the competition, either. So while the Enclave is spacious, affordable and decent enough to drive, we think there are nicer options wearing luxury badges as well as vehicles like the Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade that surpass it in their uppermost trim levels.
Interior & Technology | Passenger & Cargo Space | Performance & Fuel Economy
What it's like to drive | Pricing & Features | Crash Ratings & Safety Features
What's new for 2022?
The Enclave gets a variety of small updates mainly consisting of styling changes and feature additions. The exterior features new front and rear designs with new LED lighting front and rear. New wheel designs and exterior colors are also available. Inside, it's nearly identical to last year's model except for a new steering wheel, new push-button shifter and updated seat designs. A variety of other features have been added either as standard or as options such as a wireless phone charger, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a power sunshade for the rear sunroof, a front camera, head-up display, rear-pedestrian alert, adaptive cruise control, rear camera mirror and surround view camera. Furthermore, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic alert and automatic headlights are now standard.
What are the Enclave interior and in-car technology like?
The Enclave's interior would be fine for a mainstream three-row SUV, but in the upscale segment where Buick attempts to play (or at least for the $40,000+ price range), it falls short. The curvy design starts out well, but the generic GM instrument panel and switchgear bring it down. The odd painted trim is a bit out of place, too. The higher-level Avenir trim alleviates some of these issues with nicer trim and stylish quilted leather upholstery.
On the plus side, the Enclave is quite spacious for front and second-row occupants in all directions. The front seats are a bit narrow, but are otherwise comfortable with supportive foam. The available power lumbar adjustments are welcome, too. The second-seats are somewhat flat, but have soft and comfortable cushioning. Third-row access is very good, though the rearmost seats are fairly hard and upright.
The infotainment system is lifted right out of other GM products. It's not particularly cutting edge, but it's very easy to use with a sharp and snappy display. We're also very grateful for dedicated climate control knobs and buttons and a volume knob, plus shortcut buttons for the home screen and tuning radio stations or skipping tracks.
How big is the Enclave?
The Enclave competes in the large three-row SUV segment, and given its price point, can be considered alongside the Lincoln Aviator, Infiniti QX60, Volvo XC90 and Acura MDX, plus upper trim levels of the Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade. It is larger than all of them, though, and usually by a considerable margin. It's a very big vehicle, and feels like it behind the wheel. Of course, that means that there's quite a bit of space for first- and second-row occupants. Third-row space isn't the advantage it used to be for the Enclave compared to other larger three-row SUVs.
Cargo space behind the third-row of seats is 23.6 cubic feet, which makes it the largest in the segment. It bested the next-biggest three-row crossover, the Kia Telluride, quite handedly in our luggage test comparison. Cargo space expands to 57.7 cubic feet with the third row folded and to 97.4 cubic feet with both rows stowed.
What are the Enclave fuel economy and performance specs?
The Enclave comes with only one engine and transmission combination. It features a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 310 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. Power goes to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel and all-wheel drive are available, with the former being more efficient. Fuel economy for the front-wheel-drive model is 18 mpg in the city, 26 on the highway and 21 combined. All-wheel-drive drops everything by 1 mpg to 17 city, 25 highway and 20 combined. With a towing package, the Enclave is also able to tow up to 5,000 pounds.
What's the Enclave like to drive?
The Enclave is a fairly average SUV to drive. The V6 makes strong power, though it requires a fair amount of revs to get the most out of it. At least it sounds fairly good at those high revs, but on the low end, where you'll spend most of your time, it's coarse and noisier than it should be for a premium SUV. The nine-speed automatic is very smooth and borderline slushy with its gear shifts, and it does pick gears well. Downshifts are prompt when needed, and it gently shifts to higher gears when it's time to cruise.
Ride quality is solid. It's on the firmer side, but it has fairly good body control, only getting floaty over the worst bumps. The cabin is generally quiet except for some aforementioned engine noise and the occasional tire noise over bumps. In corners, the Enclave exhibits little body roll, and has reasonable grip. Steering is numb, but it's weighted well and is highly accurate.
What other Buick Enclave reviews can I read?
Kia Telluride vs Buick Enclave Luggage Test | What actually fits behind that third row?
We learn how much real-world stuff can fit in the Buick Enclave, and how it compares to another highly-rated three-row SUV, the Kia Telluride.
How much is the 2022 Enclave price and what features are available?
Base price for the Buick Enclave is $43,995. That's for the front-wheel-drive Essence trim level. Standard exterior features include 18-inch alloy wheels, stainless-steel exhaust tips, LED lighting and heated side mirrors. Inside, the Enclave has perforated leather upholstery, power-adjustable and heated seats, heated leather steering wheel, three-zone automatic climate control, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and wireless charging. Convenience and technology features include a hands-free power hatch, active noise cancelling, a six-speaker sound system and proximity locking and push-button start. An appearance package for the base Essence trim is also available for $1,695 called "Sport Touring" that adds 20-inch wheels, a unique grille, "ST" badging and door handles without chrome.
Two other trims are available: Premium and Avenir. Premium starts at $50,995, and Avenir starts at $56,295. Premium adds front seats with memory, ventilation and power lumbar adjustment, a household power outlet, a larger instrument screen, a head-up display, a Bose 10-speaker sound system, navigation, heated second row seats, power-folding third-row seats, power-adjustable steering column and a rear camera mirror. Avenir includes these features and further adds a unique grille, special badging, 20-inch alloy wheels, quilted and embroidered leather upholstery, unique interior trim, a power front sunroof with fixed rear sunroof and embroidered floor mats.
There are a couple of other noteworthy options. There's a towing package that adds a hitch, heavy duty cooling system and guidance system, which is available on all Enclaves. The Avenir is available with a trim-exclusive package that includes adaptive suspension.
What are the Enclave safety ratings and driver assistance features?
This refreshed Enclave has not yet been tested by IIHS or NHTSA, but it should perform nearly identically to last year's model. In IIHS testing, the Enclave (which gets its results from its platform mate, the Chevy Traverse) received top "Good" ratings in all crash tests, though it hasn't been rated for the passenger-side small-overlap test. Its headlights and collision prevention systems haven't been rated, either. Child seat LATCH anchor access was rated the second-highest "Acceptable" rating. As for NHTSA, the government gave the Buick an overall rating of five stars. Frontal impact and rollover ratings were four stars, and it received five stars for the side impact test.
The Enclave comes standard with plenty of safety features and driver assist systems. It includes automatic headlights, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and rear parking sensors and a front camera. Available on higher trims or as options are rain-sensing wipers, front and rear parking sensors, surround-view cameras, adaptive cruise control and rear pedestrian alert.
You Might Also Like