Buick is on a long-term quest to reel in the younger crowd and it’s been a tough battle. The Enclave Avenir, alongside their existing and planned model updates proves they have the secret sauce in the kitchen now.
I recently attended Buick’s unveiling of the Enclave Avenir, set to go on sale as a 2018 model. I’m a younger guy, who admittedly fell out of the fast, affordable, and fun car (in other words, $20,000 used German cars) scene. This trumped any attention I had left of any modest daily drivers with warranties that admittedly, fit my rapidly adulting life much more suitably. So going to a Buick event intrigued me, but in all honesty, I wasn’t expecting anything to fit my tastes, to say the least. Except maybe some free high-end waters, or some cool people to network with.
Enough to impress the BMW and Mercedes lot?
I’m thrilled to report, the water was delicious. The people were more Mercedes or BMW affluent types. And the car…the car surprised me. American cars, even post-bankruptcy fallout, featured novelty features and ergonomics improvements. The exterior and interior designs also showed signs of improvement, gradually edging ever so much closer to borderline extremely impressive. The Avenir, based upon the seven passenger Enclave crossover that Buick already sells, is loaded with actually appealing standard and optional treats.
A cabin air ionizing filter, a rear view mirror camera, and truly next level LED headlamps all caught me off guard. This is stuff I’d expect to see in a BMW 5-Series. Meaning, if I bought a 540i tomorrow, I’d expect this level of equipment.
Enough of that trio. Let’s discuss things that aren’t listed as features on the window sticker. The 3.6 liter V6 makes 302 horsepower, and 260 pound-feet of torque. The car can tow a 5,000 pound speedboat (as they said in the unveiling).
Buick builds quality
The build quality? Holy moly. GM is really there! And, in a Buick! The colorway of the interior was modern, pleasing, and revealing (i.e. not just all black). The leather was smooth, the gaps were minuscule, and interior trim had that unique comforting feel like you’d expect in that 5-Series or Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
Buick, you’ve come a long way since straining to get Tiger Woods to sell your cars. You haven’t sold cloth bench seat grandpa-mobiles in a long time, but still, you’re generations ahead of where you were a few years ago. You’re on the map. The real map, not the “wow GM is doing really well, but not well enough for me” map. That leads us to the biggest question of all.
Would I buy one? No. But, only because it’s way more than an unmarried 30-something needs. If I had a wife and two kids? I’d test drive one ASAP – very impressive.
– By: Pat Miller
2018 Enclave Avenir Specifications
|Model:||Buick Enclave Avenir|
|Body style / driveline:||midsize SUV / front-engine; front-wheel drive and available all-wheel drive|
|EPA vehicle class:||sport utility vehicle|
|Manufacturing location:||Lansing Delta Township|
|Key competitors:||Acura MDX, Infiniti QX60, Lincoln MKX|
|Engine:||3.6L V6 with stop/start technology|
(cu in / cc):
|223 / 3649|
|Bore & stroke (in / mm):||3.7 x 3.37 / 94 x 85.6|
|Block material:||cast aluminum|
|Cylinder head material:||cast aluminum|
|Valvetrain:||DOHC, four valves per cylinder with VVT|
|Fuel delivery:||direct fuel injection|
(hp / kW @ rpm):
|302 / 227 @ 6800 (est.)|
(lb.-ft. / Nm @ rpm):
|260 / 353 @ 2800 (est.)|
|Buick-estimated fuel economy (city / hwy / comb):||17 / 25 / 20 (FWD)
17 / 24 / 19 (AWD)
|Buick-estimated 0-60 mph (seconds)||7.2 (FWD)
|Transmission:||Hydra-Matic nine-speed automatic|
5,000 (with factory-installed towing package)
|Suspension (front):||MacPherson strut|
available AWD with active twin clutch
available premium suspension with continuously variable real-time damping (CDC)
|Steering type:||electric variable power-assist steering (EPS) with Active Return Assist|
|Turning circle (ft / m):||39 / 11.9|
|Brakes:||four-wheel-disc, variable brake system with power assist; Duralife brake rotors and four-channel ABS|
|Wheel size and type:||20-in. cast aluminum with Pearl Nickel finish|
|Wheelbase (in / mm):||120.9 / 3071|
(in / mm):
|204.3 / 5189|
|Overall width (in / mm):||78.8 / 2001.5|
(in / mm):
|69.9 / 1775|
|Track (in / mm):||67.3 / 1709 (front)
67 / 1702 (rear)
|Curb weight (lb / kg):||4358 / 1977 (base)|
|Fuel tank (gal):||19.4 (FWD)
|Seating capacity:||up to seven passengers|
(in / mm):
|front: 41 / 1041.4 (without moonroof)
2nd row: 39.9 / 1013.5 (without moonroof)
3rd row: 37.6 / 955
(in / mm):
|front: 41.2 / 1046.5
2nd row: 38.9 / 988.1
3rd row: 33.7 / 856
(in / mm):
|front: 62.4 / 1581
2nd row: 61.7 / 1566
3rd row: 57.3 / 1455
(in / mm):
|front: 59.1 / 1500
2nd row: 57.7 / 1465
3rd row: 48.5 / 1233
(cu. ft. / L):
|97.6 / 2764.5 (behind first row)
58 / 1642.9 (behind second row)
23.6 / 668.2 (behind third row)
3.1 / 88.6 (underfloor storage bin)
*Measurements calculated according to new SAE standard. Cargo space behind the first row has increased overall by seven cubic feet from the first generation Enclave.