2020 Buick Enclave

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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 The 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 2020 Buick 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
See All 2020 Buick Enclave Trims and Specs

2020 Enclave Exterior

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

  • 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

2020 Enclave Performance

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

Engine and Transmission

  • 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.

2020 Enclave Interior

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

  • 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

2020 Enclave Trunk and Cargo Space

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

2020 Enclave Safety and Reliability

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

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

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

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.

2020 Buick Enclave Comparisons

Chevrolet Traverse
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

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

2020 Buick Enclave Popular Comparisons

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