2019 Buick Enclave

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2019 Buick Enclave Review: Premium Crossover On A Budget

The Buick Enclave continues in its second generation, occupying the mid-size SUV segment as a similar three-row offering to its less upmarket sibling, the Chevrolet Traverse, and corporate cousin, the GMC Acadia, as well as rivals from outside the family like the Honda Pilot. A single engine choice is available: a 3.6-liter V6 generating 310 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. This is mated to a nine-speed automatic gearbox and your choice of either front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive. A classier alternative to some cheaper rivals, the Enclave is no Audi, but its wealth of standard equipment and whisper-quiet ride are certainly attractive features, while class-leading towing capacity makes it a suited SUV with some brawn. Pricing starts at $40,000 and can reach well over $50,000 depending on spec.

2019 Buick Enclave Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2018 Enclave?

The Enclave is virtually unchanged for the 2019 model year, although Premium and Avenir trims now get a heated steering wheel as standard. There is also a new base trim called Preferred, which features the same transmission and engine as the rest of the range, but is not available in four-wheel-drive.

Pros and Cons

  • Good passenger space across all three rows
  • Composed handling and quiet ride
  • Decent towing capacity
  • Numerous standard features
  • Sharp exterior styling
  • Chevrolet Traverse does almost everything better for less money
  • Standard safety equipment lacking, full driver-aid suite is optional only on top trim
  • All but one paint option costs extra unless you opt for the top trim

What's the Price of the 2019 Buick Enclave?

The front-wheel-drive Enclave starts at $40,000 for the base Preferred trim, before its $1,195 destination charge and other fees. A slightly more premium model exists in the Essence, whose base price is $42,000 (all-wheel-drive is $2,000 extra). The Premium model adds more safety equipment and costs $48,100, but oddly on this and the next trim, all-wheel-drive is a $2,300 option. The top-of-the-range model is the Avenir, starting at $53,500 while AWD adds the aforementioned $2,300 premium. Fully-specced, this trim will exceed $63,000 before taxes, fees, and potential incentives.

Best Deals on 2019 Buick Enclave

2019 Buick Enclave Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Preferred
3.6L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$40,000
Essence
3.6L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$42,000
Premium
3.6L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$48,100
Avenir
3.6L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$53,500
See All 2019 Buick Enclave Trims and Specs

2019 Enclave Exterior

2019 Buick Enclave Front View Buick
2019 Buick Enclave Front View 1 Buick
2019 Buick Enclave Rear View Buick
See All 2019 Buick Enclave Exterior Photos

Dimensions

  • Length 204.3 in
  • Wheelbase 120.9 in
  • Height 69.9 in
  • Max Width 78.8 in
  • Front Width 67.3 in
  • Rear Width 67.0 in
  • Curb Weight 4,359.0 lbs

2019 Enclave Performance

2019 Buick Enclave Front View Driving Buick
2019 Buick Enclave Rear View Driving Buick
2019 Buick Enclave Badge Buick

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine
    3.6L V6 Gas
  • Transmission
    9-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Enclave is certainly no track-day racer, but body-roll is surprisingly well-regulated across the range. An optional adaptive suspension is also available, but the standard setup is cosseting and comfortable enough. Whether running over corrugations or crashing into potholes, the Enclave handles most imperfections well. Only the biggest bumps are likely to be detected by occupants whose eyes are not on the road ahead. Steering is similarly impressive, with inputs being direct without being twitchy. No one will accuse the Enclave of offering too much feedback, but that's not the aim here, and a smooth, almost detached ride is a commendable trait in the three-row SUV. Braking is similarly impressive and easy to modulate, offering no surprises, shudders, or scares on your way to a sudden stop. All-wheel-drive is optional on all but the base model, adding between $2,000 and $2,300 to the starting price depending on trim, and while capable, it is not necessary for those who do not live in ill-tempered climates. However, this drivetrain does add Traction Select, which can switch to front-wheel-drive when you don't need maximum grip.

2019 Enclave Interior

2019 Buick Enclave Infotainment System Buick
2019 Buick Enclave Navigation System Buick
2019 Buick Enclave Central Console Buick
See All 2019 Buick Enclave Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
    7-seater
  • Front Leg Room 41.2 in
  • Front Head Room 42.6 in
  • Rear Leg Room 38.9 in
  • Rear Head Room 39.9 in

2019 Enclave Trunk and Cargo Space

2019 Buick Enclave Sunroof Buick
2019 Buick Enclave Interior Overview Buick
2019 Buick Enclave Top View Buick

2019 Enclave Safety and Reliability

Warranty

  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    6 Years \ 70,000 Miles
  • Rust-Through:
    6 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Corrosion:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    6 Years \ 70,000 Miles
  • Maintenance Note:
    1 Year \ 1 Visit

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: Is the 2019 Buick Enclave A Good SUV?

The Buick Enclave has some disappointing interior plastics and trimmings but does benefit from the best available engine in Buick's SUV range. It won't wow ex-Audi drivers, and those who have sat in a cheaper Chevy will notice the parts-sharing immediately. However, the Enclave will certainly impress those who value a quiet and comfortable ride, and the amount of cargo and storage is truly impressive for the segment. Even in base trim, it is focused on comfort and usability, which is a positive. Available all-wheel-drive also does not impact gas mileage too much, but it's not all good from here on out. We must bemoan the shortage of standard safety features. In a supposedly luxury car, the Enclave ought to have essentially all available tech regardless of trim. Even the top-tier model requires extra cash for you to earn all of the range's safety features. This is disappointing. If we wanted to pay extra for the best driver aids, would a cheaper and almost identical Chevrolet Traverse not make more sense? We'd give this one a miss - the extra cash does not justify the more premium badge.

What Buick Enclave Model Should I Buy?

The Buick Enclave is more expensive than its almost identical Chevy cousin, but if a more premium badge appeals to you, the best value would be a Premium model with the Experience Buick package. All in all, this spec would include city collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, park sensors in the front and at the rear, an upgraded Bose sound system, heated and ventilated front seats with heating for the second row, and a heated steering wheel. The third row of seats also folds away electrically, and you get a sunroof and 20-inch wheels. Unless you live in a continually slippery environment, we'd stick with front-wheel-drive, bringing the cost to a not-too-unreasonable $51,845 before destination charges and other fees.

2019 Buick Enclave Comparisons

Chevrolet Traverse Chevrolet
GMC Acadia GMC
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Buick Enclave310 hp18/26 mpg$44,800
Chevrolet Traverse 310 hp18/27 mpg$33,700
GMC Acadia 228 hp22/29 mpg$36,800

2019 Buick Enclave vs Chevrolet Traverse

The mechanically identical Chevrolet Traverse should be on your list of test drives if you're interested in the Buick Enclave. The Traverse is a less-premium version of the same sort of vehicle and therefore has less rich materials and more hard plastics inside, but besides that, it is almost identical in terms of available features. The Chevy may be a more budget-friendly vehicle, but it isn't by any means ugly, and interestingly, makes the same power, gets identical gas mileage, and has more maximum cargo space. A top tier Traverse AWD High Country starts at below $55,000, with the top-spec Enclave almost $1,000 more expensive for the same specs and features, making us wonder what benefit the extra money offers besides the badge. Based on the raw data, there is absolutely no logical reason to buy the Buick over the Chevy. The only justification possible here is brand loyalty or the pursuit of exclusivity.

See Chevrolet Traverse Review

2019 Buick Enclave vs GMC Acadia

Another GM brand worth considering here is GMC and its Acadia. The Acadia is also a more affordable option over the Enclave, starting below $30,000, and for those who don't need maximum towing capacity, it has the availability of a smaller and more economical 2.5-liter four-cylinder. The Acadia does offer less cargo space, but this is thanks to its smaller dimensions, which also allow greater maneuverability. Unfortunately, this also impacts on interior comfort and roominess, making the Acadia a worse people-carrier. Fitted with the optional engine that does standard duty in the Buick, GMC's offering still has a maximum towing capacity 1,000 lbs less than the Enclave. The Buick wins here, making the GMC a sensible choice only for those who are willing to sacrifice space, towing capacity and comfort in order to spare some change.

See GMC Acadia Review
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