Buick is in a bizarre spot. The fancier, sportier shadow of Cadillac looms massive over this model, so with the intention to ship a product distinctive sufficient to earn its personal badge, Buick selected to lean in arduous on softness, particularly with its higher-end Avenir trims. The lately redesigned 2022 Enclave finest exemplifies how Buick is positioning itself within the US, and whereas it is fairly darn boring, it is also fairly darn comfy and decently properly outfitted.
The three-row household crossover form is not probably the most daring from the outset, and whereas the 2022 Enclave’s exterior redesign does look more energizing than earlier than, it is nonetheless not turning too many heads. Swapping out the single-piece headlights for a dual-layer getup does actually sharpen issues up within the entrance, however when you strip the badges from the rear finish, individuals might simply confuse it for a Mazda or some other mass-market household machine. The Avenir badges and distinctive grill assist set it aside a bit, however actually solely from different Enclaves.
The inside has a couple of extra ups than downs. The Enclave Avenir’s dashboard is properly designed, providing some attention-grabbing angles with out being intrusive. The leather-based feels good, however I want the Avenir’s matte wooden trim was supplied on extra than simply the door panels and heart console; as an alternative, the sprint wears a swath of piano-black plastic that picks up smudges and feels just a little low-cost. Half the controls are parts-bin GM bits. The ugly gear lever is gone, and as a substitute is a nicer set of buttons that does not take lengthy to get used to. The rear home windows lack auto-up functionality, a signature Detroit cost-cut that should not actually occur on a $60,000 SUV.
2022 Buick Enclave Avenir Drives Likes a Large Bowl of Molasses
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However even with these warts, practicality and luxury ooze out of each nook. The Enclave’s entrance seats, which pack air flow and massaging on my tester, are significantly comfy. The middle console is excessive, however it has a honkin’ hidey-hole underneath the gear lever, along with a capacious cubby underneath the armrest, and the sizable door pockets can choose up no matter’s left mendacity round. The second-row captain’s chairs are simply as comfortable because the entrance seats, and even with the rails ratcheted as far ahead as potential, there’s nonetheless a stunning quantity of room for a 6-foot beanpole like me. Transferring the captain’s chairs even just a little bit provides the power-folding third row a powerful quantity of legroom, and headroom is a lot appropriate for adults. With 23.6 cubic ft of cargo house behind the third row, there’s sufficient room to shove a household’s price of groceries or a couple of weekender luggage, and stowing the way-backs opens up a powerful 57.7 cubes of storage.
The 2022 Buick Enclave Avenir’s on-road character might be finest described as gradual and regular, like each enter is being fed via David Gilmour’s delay pedal, or a bowl of molasses. Flip right into a nook and the physique takes a second to react with some roll. Lean onto the gasoline pedal and it takes a second for the three.6-liter V6 to transform throttle place to driver, though as soon as the nine-speed transmission lastly settles on a gear, the engine’s 310 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque will probably be sufficient for many drivers. Step on the brake pedal and anticipate a little bit of squish earlier than pace begins to shed.
The Buick’s V6 is a lot peppy, however electrification remains to be en route.
My tester packs Buick’s $1,595 Avenir Expertise Bundle, which appears like a compulsory addition. Together with fancier headlights, the improve consists of an adaptive suspension that basically ramps up the consolation issue. Nasty bits of street disappear underfoot, and all that is left is a delicate experience that feels correctly luxurious. There is a Sport mode that corporations issues up, however… come on, it is a Buick, no person’s taking this factor out to the switchbacks until it is on the way in which to the golf course.
The Buick Enclave might be had with both front- or all-wheel drive, however AWD does not actually have an effect on gasoline economic system. FWD fashions are rated at 18 mpg metropolis and 26 mpg freeway, with AWD variants coming in 1 mpg decrease in every situation. A mixed common of 20 mpg is not precisely praiseworthy in 2022, however it’s about on par with opponents just like the Acura MDX (21 mpg mixed) and Lincoln Aviator (20). Sustaining a lightweight proper foot on the freeway helped me see 30 mpg for a number of minutes at a time, which is good, however even delicate electrification could be higher.
Buick’s infotainment system is greater than high quality, however as dashboards throughout the trade develop to include ever-larger screens, this one feels just a little missing.
On the tech entrance, the 2022 Enclave has nearly the whole lot you could possibly need, though it lacks any type of actual attention-getter. The usual 8-inch infotainment show runs a more moderen iteration of the Buick’s interface, which is a lot high quality and consists of all the trendy fripperies like a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, however the display is just a little small by trendy requirements (and based mostly on the dimensions of the sprint surrounding it). All three rows provide a pair of USB ports, however solely the entrance row will get a zippy USB-C. The Avenir additionally features a head-up show that is good and vibrant, along with a gauge cluster show that reveals all the standard details about the automobile and infotainment system.
Security-wise, the Enclave Avenir comes with the whole lot Buick can slap on its SUV, together with computerized emergency braking, forward-collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping help, adaptive cruise management, parking sensors, haptic seat suggestions and a surround-view digital camera system. You understand what it might use, although? Tremendous Cruise. Too dangerous there is not a single Buick that gives GM’s restricted handsfree tech, as its total lineup predates the required electrical and data-processing upgrades to deal with it.
Buick’s ADAS is simple to make use of, it is only a disgrace GM could not discover a approach to make Tremendous Cruise work on this era of autos.
For a marque that is not even on the high of its conglomerate’s meals chain, the 2022 Buick Enclave Avenir could be a dear proposition. My AWD tester’s sole improve is a $1,595 bundle that brings the bottom value from $58,295 to $59,890, together with $1,195 for the obligatory vacation spot cost. Absolutely loading up this dangerous boy can ship the value nearer to $65,000 territory. That places it on par with a well-equipped Acura MDX Advance or Lincoln Aviator Reserve, each of which really feel much more trendy, and the latter may even pack a plug-in hybrid powertrain for some extra scratch. In the event you’d moderately avoid wasting simoleons, a totally loaded Mazda CX-9 presents three rows of Nappa leather-based seats for about $50,000, and its engine is stronger, however you will must make do with Mazda’s middling infotainment. Hell, when you do not want the third row, you are sitting in Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class territory at this value level, and that could be a robust act to high.
The 2022 Buick Enclave Avenir is type of caught between a rock and a tough place. Whereas it is achieved a commendable job carving out its personal area of interest in GM’s hierarchy by specializing in smoothness above all else, efforts that repay in on-road placidity, it lacks any type of stand-out issue that brings new prospects via dealership doorways. That is likely to be sufficient for legacy consumers, however it could be inadequate towards a wave of ever-more-impressive massive SUVs.