2021 Buick Enclave

2021 Buick Enclave
2021 Buick Enclave Rear View
2021 Buick Enclave Infotainment System

2021 Buick Enclave Review: An Imposing Seven-Seater

by Michael Butler

The Buick Enclave lives comfortably in the world of plus-size models and extra-large sodas. This seven-seater SUV boasts a ton of space and impressive comfort and features for not a massive amount of money, but it's the logo on the hood that is its biggest enemy. Who buys Buicks these days? Sure, it's a bit unfair to judge a book by its cover, but it's the harsh reality the premium brand is facing. Under the hood of the Enclave sits a 310-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Power is sent to either the front or all four wheels. This big Buick does battle with its cousin, the Chevrolet Traverse, and SUVs such as the GMC Acadia. Our Enclave review will determine how it stacks up against these SUVs.

2021 Buick Enclave Changes: What's the difference vs. 2020 Buick Enclave?

2022 will see the Enclave undergo a minor facelift, so for now, there are no major updates to the 2021 version. The 2022 model will receive interior and exterior updates and is expected to arrive next year and continue to use the 3.6-liter V6 engine currently employed under the hood.

Pros and Cons

  • Good looks
  • Lots of standard features
  • Spacious interior
  • Lots of cargo space
  • Old-school V6 engine
  • It's not exactly the cool kid on the block

What's the Price of the 2021 Buick Enclave?

A new Preferred trim Buick Enclave will cost you $40,300 in the US excluding tax and registration. Every Buick Enclave price here is also exclusive of a $1,195 destination charge. The Essence will set you back $42,300. The Premium goes for $48,400 and the Avenir costs $54,100. Adding AWD to the Essence will cost $2,000 and $2,200 for both the Premium and Avenir. Due to the Buick badge on the hood, you'll be able to find a good used model for sale with reasonable pricing at most secondhand dealerships. This is a worthwhile option since the 2021 model is virtually unchanged from last year's Enclave.

Best Deals on 2021 Buick Enclave

2021 Buick Enclave Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
3.6L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
3.6L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
3.6L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
3.6L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2021 Buick Enclave Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

Buick advertises the Enclave as a premium SUV and superior to the Chevy Traverse, which it shares a platform with. Buick doesn't lie about the premium part: the Enclave is a vehicle that drives like a dream and soaks up most undulations and road imperfections at slower speeds, giving it an almost cloud-like feeling. Buick has clearly tuned the Enclave for comfort over performance and focuses on ease of operation rather than dynamic ability. The steering is light for such a big car but is accurate enough to pinpoint the vehicle's nose in the right direction at any speed. Steering feedback is non-existent, however. Driving with more enthusiasm and at higher speeds will show its true colors. Body roll is managed reasonably well but is more pronounced than smaller mid-size SUVs, and it will let you know very quickly when the limits of grip have been reached. Understeer naturally follows. The good news is that the Enclave's brakes are strong enough to bring the car to a halt from most speeds and feel well-modulated.

Verdict: Is the New Buick Enclave A Good car?

Buyers in the USA love a name brand, which is the Buick Enclave's biggest downfall; yes, it provides a convincingly refined ownership experience, but can it match the brand equity of cars such as the Audi Q7 or even the Chevy Traverse? If you can look past the Buick emblem, then you're left with an imposing seven-seater SUV. The exterior is handsome, and the specs even more so. Under the hood, that 3.6-liter V6 will be keen going for thousands of miles, despite its heavy fuel consumption. The interior isn't up to German levels of quality, but it is a refined place to be in and comes packed with standard features. Go for the Premium trim, and you also get a massive list of standard driver assistance features. Starting at $40k, the Buick Enclave offers a significant amount of value for money and should be on your list of seven-seaters to look out for.

What 2021 Buick Enclave Model Should I Buy?

The Enclave doesn't pretend to be the best luxury crossover SUV that money can buy; hence we would recommend going for the Essence trim. This trim represents a good balance between luxury and affordability. At $42,300, the Essence adds premium features such as perforated leather seats and offers more safety thanks to the addition of lane change alert with side blind zone alert and rear cross-traffic alert. For only $1,395 extra, you can also add navigation and a slick ten-speaker Bose sound system. The Essence is also the first trim level to be offered with AWD.

2021 Buick Enclave Comparisons

Chevrolet Traverse Chevrolet
GMC Acadia GMC

2021 Buick Enclave vs Chevrolet Traverse

These two cars share the same platform, engine, and transmission and are very similar in many ways, but the Buick is most certainly the more upmarket of the two. Starting at only $29,800, the Traverse is aimed at families who need a utility vehicle and not a plush cruiser. These cars share most of the same performance metrics, but the Chevrolet is able to offer slightly more cargo room when all seats are folded. In terms of its interior, the Traverse doesn't offer the same type of refinement, even when you go up in trim levels. Going for the top-trim Traverse will save you a lot of money and still bag you some good features. Go with the Traverse if you're looking for utility, or go with the Buick if you're after exclusivity.

See Chevrolet Traverse Review

2021 Buick Enclave vs GMC Acadia

The GMC Acadia is a more rugged-looking seven-seater SUV that undercuts the Enclave on price and offers more engine options but less space. The Acadia is provided with your choice of 2.5-liter inline-four producing 193 horsepower and 188 lb-ft, a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four with 230 hp and 258 lb-ft, or a 3.6-liter V6 that also makes 310 hp. Due to its smaller size, the Acadia is slightly quicker than the Enclave but will tow 1,000 pounds less weight. On the inside, the Acadia looks good and feels fresh and funky compared to the Enclave, but can't match it for comfort. Cargo space is also drastically cut, but with a significantly lower asking price, the Acadia is still a good option, especially if refinement isn't high on your priority list.

See GMC Acadia Review
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