2020 Buick Enclave

2020 Buick Enclave Review: Just Falls Short

The Buick Enclave is GM's third offering in the midsize SUV segment, alongside the Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia. But it also competes with other brands such as the Honda Pilot. Compared to each of these crossovers, the Enclave tries to set itself apart by marking itself as a more luxurious model. It shares a similar powertrain to the rest of the segment, a V6 engine that develops 310 horsepower and 266 lb-ft, but it comes with a few more bits and bobs inside the cabin - at least when comparing base models. Add to this, impressive passenger and cargo space as well as a quiet and comfortable ride, and the Enclave certainly has some appeal, but rivals specced out to match the Buicks high price tag of $40,000 - $53,800 can usually deliver the same, if not better.

New 2020 Buick Enclave Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 Enclave?

Still quite fresh off the drawing board, the Buick Enclave doesn't receive many updates for the new year. The larger eight-inch touchscreen interface is now standard at every trim level, as is the HD rearview camera, while the Avenir gets an HD surround-view camera. The Premium and Avenir each get the four-way power lumbar on the front seats, and the latter gets some updates to its exterior, including a sleeker overall appearance and a lower panel that matches body color. New colors are also available: Rich Garnet and Dark Moon Blue. The Sport Touring Package is new for the Essence and adds a Sport grille with body-color surround, and 20-inch bright machined alloy wheels with Satin Graphite Pockets.

Pros and Cons

  • Comfortable ride
  • Long list of standard specs
  • Comprehensive and easy-to-use infotainment
  • Three rows of seats with ample space
  • High cargo capacity
  • High price tag for limited luxury appeal
  • Advanced safety features limited to upper trims
  • Middling fuel economy

Best Deals on Enclave

2020 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
$48,400
Avenir
3.6L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$53,800

2020 Buick Enclave Exterior

The Enclave is a testament to modest, but sophisticated, styling. It won't get second glances, but it's still handsome. The standard model gets 18-inch wheels, while the top-tier trim rides on imposing 20-inch alloys. LED headlights and daytime running lights are standard across the range. Between the headlights rests the broad grille, hosting the Buick logo upon a single horizontal bar. Crowning the range is the Avenir, uniquely styled with a chrome grille, front door badging, and a power dual moonroof.

2020 Buick Enclave Front View Buick
2020 Buick Enclave Front View 1 Buick
2020 Buick Enclave Rear View Buick
See All 2020 Buick Enclave Exterior Photos

Dimensions

Although it's classified as a midsize SUV, the three-row Buick Enclave is pretty large; spanning a total length of 204.3 inches, with the 120.9-inch wheelbase supplying plenty of passenger space. Not accounting for mirrors, the crossover measures 78.8 inches wide, while its 69.9 inches of height provides drivers with a great view. Needless to say, the Buick is pretty hefty, with the lightest model weighing 4,359 lbs while the heaviest maxes out at 4,685 lbs. This is mostly on par with the similarly appointed Chevrolet Traverse, which starts at 4,362 lbs.

  • 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

Exterior Colors

The color palette for the Enclave isn't particularly limited, but it can be pricey. On the lower trim levels, only Summit White comes free, while the metallics all cost $495. These options include Satin Steel, Ebony Twilight, Dark Slate, Quicksilver, and Dark Moon Blue, while Red Quartz is slightly more expensive at $595. The priciest paint available is White Frost Tricoat, adding $1,095 to the bill. The top-tier Avenir gets the metallic paints for free, but can only be dressed in Satin Steel, Ebony Twilight, Dark Slate, and Rich Garnet, while the optional White Frost Tricoat only costs $600 at this trim level.

Enclave Performance

With 310 hp and 266 lb-ft on tap, the Buick Enclave has enough power to satisfy the average driver, but those with a taste for speed and excitement won't find it here. It takes the bulky SUV a ponderous 7.2 seconds to move from 0-60 mph according to independent tests, but the average town driver won't find this displeasing. On the plus side, the Enclave can achieve a decent 130 mph top speed. While it may lack athleticism, the SUV can still pull its weight, quite literally. Properly equipped, it is rated to tow up to 5,000 lbs, besting rivals like the GMC Acadia, which falls short by 1,000 lbs. Only the Preferred trim is relegated to front-wheel-drive, while all the upper trims get the choice of an all-wheel drivetrain. The Essence gets a single-clutch system, while the Premium and Avenir get an active dual-clutch setup.

2020 Buick Enclave Front View Driving Buick
2020 Buick Enclave Rear View Driving Buick
2020 Buick Enclave Rear Grill Closeup Buick

Engine and Transmission

The entire Enclave range shares the same engine, a 3.6-liter V6 that develops 310 hp and 266 lb-ft. Regulated by a nine-speed automatic transmission, this power is directed to the front wheels as standard, or optionally to all four wheels on all but the Preferred Trim. The transmission works just fine for the powerplant, but it can occasionally miss a step when selecting the right gear. Overall, the Buick doesn't lack power for its size, but it's not about to blow your mind either. It will manage town driving and commuting without much fuss, and merging onto the highway doesn't take too much effort. Ease of passing will be determined by what exactly you are trying to pass. The Enclave doesn't really stand out, matching most rivals in power and offering the same choice of drivetrains.

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

Handling and Driving Impressions

As you'd expect from an SUV that advertises itself as a rival to more refined luxury brands, the Buick Enclave is a composed driver. Even without the available adaptive suspension, the crossover delivers a soft and quiet ride that puts it a step or two above run-of-the-mill rivals. Almost all road imperfections are absorbed in the portly Enclaves stride.

Following the same trend of comfort and convenience over performance, the steering is light and precise, tuned towards stately town driving, with capable highway cruising abilities. Don't expect much communication from the wheels, though - they are just as silent as the ride quality. The brakes are more than powerful enough to stop the hefty SUV, and pedal inputs are well-modulated.

For such a bulky vehicle, the Enclave handles itself quite well, with body roll managed without much notice at everyday speeds. Push the wanna-be luxury family car a bit, though, and its limits come clearly into focus, alarmingly quickly. This is no road athlete. But, so long as you drive like an average Joe, the Buick will make you feel like royalty on the road. Just don't look too closely at your throne and you won't notice the fool's gold.

Enclave Gas Mileage

Very few SUVs in the midsize segment get particularly impressive fuel economy figures, but even though the Enclave is a bit behind segment leaders, its gas mileage isn't that bad. Equipped with the front-wheel drivetrain, the Buick gets 18/26/21 mpg across the city/highway/combined cycles, while the all-wheel drivetrain sees this drop to 17/25/20 mpg. Similarly sized and powered rivals like the Acura MDX and Lincoln Nautilus get 20/27/23 and 21/26/23 mpg, respectively. The front-wheel-drive Enclave comes with a 19.4-gallon tank that carries the SUV over 407 miles, while the all-wheel-drive gets a larger 21.7-gallon tank, increasing maximum range to 434 miles.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    19.0 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 18/26 mpg
* 2020 Buick Enclave Preferred FWD

2020 Buick Enclave Interior

The interior is quite attractive for a vehicle in this price range, but that beauty is only skin deep. Closer inspection reveals that there are quite a few cut corners to keep costs down. The entry-model gets the more budget cloth upholstery, while all the rest get plush leather, but the genuine wood trim is reserved for the most expensive model. There are quite a few features on even the base Preferred but they are laid out for ease of access, and the standard power front seats make it even easier to find the perfect position. The infotainment suite is quite comprehensive with inclusive Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and 4G Wi-Fi. Don't expect the same level of quality that you'd find in a Mercedes GLE or BMW X5, but the Enclave is a passable, affordable imitation.

2020 Buick Enclave Infotainment System Buick
2020 Buick Enclave Interior Overview Buick
2020 Buick Enclave Navigation System Buick
See All 2020 Buick Enclave Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

There are seat appointments for up to seven inside the Enclave, with second-row captain's chairs coming standard. There is good headroom all-around, with even taller adults accommodated pretty easily. For the most part, legroom follows suit, but the third-row is naturally a bit more cramped. Still, there is actually enough legroom to fit an average adult for a short drive, far more than you'd expect in this segment where many rivals provide up to ten inches less room. The standard seating includes an eight-way power driver's seat and six-way power passenger seat, with both offering heating, while heated rear seats and ventilated front seats with lumbar support are offered on the higher trim levels. Getting in and out is generally a simple task, but getting into the third row does require a bit more effort. Overall, visibility is pretty good, but the SUV is quite long, and filling the cabin with passengers can hinder rearward visibility.

  • Seating capacity
    7-seater
  • Front Leg Room 41.2 in
  • Front Head Room 41.0 in
  • Rear Leg Room 38.9 in
  • Rear Head Room 39.9 in

Interior Colors and Materials

Only the base-model Preferred comes with cloth upholstery, with no choices when it comes to color - only Dark Galvanized is offered. This comes paired with soft-touch plastics around the high traffic areas, and low-grade fake wood accents trim the dash and doors. Leather comes standard on the remaining trims, with the Essence offering a choice of Dark Galvanized, Brandy, and Shale, each paired with Ebony accents. The top-of-the-range Avenir is dressed in the same upholstery, but gets access to exclusive colors like Chestnut or pure Ebony. It's also the only trim to get a real wood-accented steering wheel, and natural grain wood trim is used to enhance the cabin. While the materials may be mostly higher quality, the Enclave lacks the same build quality you'd find in true luxury SUVs.

2020 Buick Enclave Trunk and Cargo Space

The 2020 Buick Enclave isn't just a car designed to be spacious for passengers, it also boasts pretty impressive cargo capacity. With all the seats in place, 23.6 cubic feet of space is provided to easily accommodate your weekly groceries. Carpooling all the neighborhood kids to school should be just as effortless. A significant 58 cubic feet is available after you fold down the rear seats in a 60/40-split, supplying enough space to fit several suitcases and carry-ons for a family weekend getaway. When it comes to hauling particularly large and unwieldy items, the Enclave is near the top of the segment, with 97.6 cubic feet available with both rows of rear seats down.

If you're expecting to be hauling seven passengers regularly, you won't be disappointed with the small-item storage inside the cabin. Every row of seats gets its own set of cupholders, and each of the four doors has large enough pockets for water bottles. There is a standard glovebox with another cubby just above it, and the center console armrest storage bin.

2020 Buick Enclave Top View Buick
2020 Buick Enclave Rear View 1 Buick
2020 Buick Enclave Trunk Open Sensor Buick

Enclave Infotainment and Features

Features

There may be better-specced luxury SUVs out there, but the Enclave has nothing to be ashamed of. An eight-way power driver's seat works in concert with the manual tilt-and-telescoping steering column to help drivers find a good seating position. Comfort is handled by the cloth upholstery and tri-zone climate control, while keyless entry and ignition, remote start, a 4.2-inch driver information display, and cruise control cover the conveniences. A rearview camera, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and rear sonar comprise the standard safety suite. The Essence bolsters this offering by adding blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane change alert, along with leather upholstery. Ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, and a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column become standard on the Premium, while forward collision avoidance, front and rear sonar, lane keep assist, and lane departure warning bolster the safety suite. Rounding out the offering, the Avenir adds a rear camera, a surround-view camera, and an eight-inch driver information display. Adaptive cruise control and enhanced automatic emergency braking can be optioned on.

Infotainment

The Enclave comes standard with GM's IntelliLink infotainment suite, which comprises an eight-inch touchscreen interface equipped with Bluetooth functions, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. The standard sound system consists of six speakers, while six USB ports are available to charge devices. The Essence adds SiriusXM to the mix, while the Preferred further expands listening options with HD Radio. The Premium trim upgrades the sound system to a ten-speaker Bose premium audio setup. Navigation only comes standard on the top-tier Avenir, which also adds a wireless charger and 120-volt power outlet to supplement the USB charging points. Every model, save for the Preferred, can option on the rear-seat entertainment system, which comprises dual eight-inch screens with two-channel wireless headphones, and HDMI or USB compatibility. DVD playback is available at extra cost.

Buick Enclave Common Problems and Reliability

The 2020 Buick Enclave continues to score well in terms of dependability, with J.D. Power awarding the SUV a score of 85 out of 100. The new year sees Buick's clean recall record broken, with over 3,000 units called back for a cracked right-hand frame rail. New Buick Enclave purchases are covered by a 36,000-mile/36-month bumper-to-bumper warranty, while the powertrain and roadside assistance plan are valid for 60,000 miles/60 months. A single complimentary maintenance visit is provided within the first year of ownership.

Warranty

  • Warranty Note:
    Preliminary 2020 Warranty Note \ 
  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Rust-Through:
    6 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Maintenance Note:
    1 Year \ 1 Visit

Buick Enclave Safety

As it did in 2019, the Buick Enclave, once again, earns an overall five-star safety rating from the NHTSA. The Enclave hasn't undergone review by the IIHS as comprehensively, with only moderate overlap front, and side crash tests, performed. For those tests, however, the Buick Enclave received a top rating of Good for both, the institute's best scoring.

US NHTSA crash test result

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

Buick Enclave Key Safety Features

The standard safety features on the Enclave aren't as extensive as we'd like, with only ABS, stability and traction control, a rearview camera, and rear sonar coming standard. There are slightly above-average seven airbags, covering dual front, driver knee, front side, and side curtains. Getting access to the available advanced driver-assistance features requires upgrading to at least the Essence, which comes with blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane change alert. The penultimate Premium adds forward collision avoidance, pedestrian detection, a following distance indicator, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, and front sonar. A surround-view camera and rear camera mirror come standard on the Avenir, with enhanced automatic emergency braking available on the Avenir Technology Package.

Verdict: 🏁Is the Buick Enclave a good SUV?

In review, there is not much overtly wrong with the Buick Enclave. It has a capable powertrain, plenty of standard features, ample passenger space, and quite a bit of cargo space compared to similarly-sized rivals. And yet, it doesn't score that well in most critics' opinions.

This is because Buick once again does as it always has: it packages the same features and characteristics you can find on its cheaper brands in the more premium veneer of the luxury nameplate, expecting buyers to pay more for the sake of status.

The Enclave's cheaper sibling, the Chevy Traverse, can give you everything the pricier Buick can, including the same levels of power and utility, at significantly less cost. But, looking outside the family, there are far more popular midsize SUVs on the market in the USA, like the eminently capable Honda Pilot. Spec these crossovers up, and they can match the Enclave in terms of luxury and comfort, and usually surpass it since they don't cut corners like Buick does in terms of materials and build quality.

Still, the Enclave's handsome cabin and comfortable, quiet ride have helped keep the near-luxury SUV in the running. But savvy buyers will see Buick for the snake-oil salesman it is, and look elsewhere to find value for their hard-earned money.

🚘What’s the Price of 2020 Buick Enclave?

As a near-luxury SUV, the Buick Enclave comes in a bit pricier than traditional affordable rivals, with the entry-level Buick Enclave Preferred carrying a price of $40,000. With improved upholstery and standard driver-assistance features, the Essence asks for $42,000, with an available all-wheel drivetrain for an additional $2,000. The Premium lives up to its name with even more advanced safety features and improved creatures comforts, with the FWD costing $48,400 and the AWD $50,700. Topping things off, the uniquely styled Avenir requires an investment of $53,800, with its all-wheel drivetrain adding $2,300. All pricing excludes US tax, licensing, registration, and Buick's $1,195 destination charge.

2020 Buick Enclave Models

Four trim levels make up the Buick Enclave range for 2020: the Preferred, Essence, Premium, and Avenir. Every model is powered by the same 3.6-liter V6 engine that develops 310 hp and 266 lb-ft. Mated to a nine-speed automatic gearbox, this engine powers the front wheels on every trim, with the upper three having the option of equipping an all-wheel drivetrain,

The base-model Preferred rides on 18-inch alloy wheels and comes equipped with automatic LED headlights, as well as LED daytime running lights and a hands-free power liftgate. The cabin comes upholstered in cloth with an eight-way power driver's seat and six-way power passenger seat. Both front seats are heated, and tri-zone climate control, cruise control, keyless entry and ignition, and remote start come standard. The infotainment suite consists of an eight-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and a six-speaker sound system. A rearview camera and rear sonar comprise the basic safety systems.

Next, the Essence primarily improves the advanced driver-assistance features, adding blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane change alert. Leather upholstery also comes standard from this tier up, along with SiriusXM. The Premium further improves safety by including front and rear sonar, a following distance indicator, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, forward collision avoidance, and pedestrian detection. Comfort features also get some attention, with ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, and a ten-speaker Bose premium sound system with HD Radio added to the offering.

The top-of-the-range Avenir gets the larger 20-inch alloy wheels as standard, and upgrades the 4.2-inch driver information display to an eight-inch model. It also gets a rear camera mirror, a surround-view camera, and a power dual moonroof. A wireless charging pad and 120-volt power outlet make it easier to keep your devices running, while built-in navigation expands the infotainment suite.

See All 2020 Buick Enclave Trims and Specs

Buick Enclave Additional Packages

While each model in the Enclave line-up serves a specific function, there is no reason you can't add your own flair to the base trims. Several packages allow buyers to customize their purchase, such as the Luxury Package ($1,425) for all but the Avenir. This adds a chrome surround grille with black mesh, and molded assist steps. The Trailering Package ($650), for all but the Preferred, equips a trailer hitch, a heavy-duty engine cooling system, and trailering assist, increasing towing capacity to 5,000 lbs. The Sun and Sites Package ($1,395) equips the Essence with built-in navigation, a 120-volt power outlet, and a ten-speaker Bose premium sound system. For the top-tier trim, there is the Avenir Technology Package ($2,095), which equips the chassis with continuously variable real-time damping, while also adding the premium suspension package, adaptive cruise control, and enhanced automatic emergency braking.

🚗What Buick Enclave Model Should I Buy?

While there are many equally capable SUVs for sale out there with similar, or even lower, price tags, we won't hold it against you if you find the Buick nameplate alluring. If you have your heart set on this particular range of midsize crossovers, then we'd recommend stopping just short of the pricey Avenir. The increase in price isn't really worth what it offers over the penultimate Premium trim. With access to all the advanced driver-assistance features available to the Enclave, as well as an upgraded infotainment suite and heated and ventilated front seats, the Premium has everything you could want in a daily driver for the whole family. You can almost keep the final bill below the $50k mark by opting for the front-wheel drivetrain, as all-wheel-drive isn't a must unless you expect to be dealing with ice-slicked roads on a regular basis.

2020 Buick Enclave Comparisons

Chevrolet Traverse
GMC Acadia GMC
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Buick Enclave310 hp18/26 mpg$40,300
Chevrolet Traverse 310 hp18/27 mpg$29,800
GMC Acadia 193 hp21/27 mpg$29,800

2020 Buick Enclave vs Chevrolet Traverse

Sharing almost everything in common with the more 'premium' Buick Enclave, the Chevrolet Traverse is naturally a direct competitor to its sibling. In terms of features, both SUVs draw from the same list. Moving up the trim levels, all that really sets the two apart is the choice of materials and styling. That's not to say the Traverse is less attractive than the Enclave, but it doesn't try to hide its hard plastics from view. In fact, the Chevy actually matches its sibling crossover in every performance metric while managing to beat it in utility by offering more cargo capacity. You can pick up the top-tier Traverse at a lower cost than the Buick Enclave Avenir, so it's clear which brand offers better value for money. Still, Buick represents the illusion of exclusivity, and that's what many buyers are willing to pay extra for.

See Chevrolet Traverse Review

2020 Buick Enclave vs GMC Acadia

A cousin of the Buick Enclave, the GMC Acadia is a particularly affordable alternative when shopping for a midsize SUV. It offers two powertrains, the standard 193-hp four-cylinder and a six-cylinder that matches the 310-hp one under the hood of the Enclave. But, while the Acadia is a bit quicker than the Buick, it isn't quite as strong, towing a full 1,000 lbs less. It also supplies less cargo capacity as a result of its slightly smaller overall dimensions. Nevertheless, the GMC looks good inside, and comes with many, if not all, of the same features as the more premium Enclave. However, only buyers who are willing to sacrifice overall utility and a bit of passenger comfort for a cost-saving will consider the Acadia over the more capable Buick.

See GMC Acadia Review

Buick Enclave Popular Comparisons

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2020 Buick Enclave Video Reviews

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