Sitting atop the Buick SUV lineup, the 2022 Enclave is a stylish, family-friendly, and value-packed alternative to European luxury crossovers. Although less flashy than rivals from BMW or Mercedes-Benz, the Buick manages to appear more upscale than average. Inside, three rows of seats mean there’s room for a large family. Like its corporate cousin, the Chevy Traverse, the Enclave is powered by a 3.6-liter V-6, which delivers sufficient power and quiet operation. What buyers won’t find is the level of interior fit and finish that many of its rivals offer. However, the Buick’s relatively low starting price puts it at an advantage for those who are seeking a bargain.
What’s New for 2022?
Buick’s largest SUV receives a styling refresh for 2022, complete with modernized front and rear bumpers, updated exterior lighting elements, redesigned wheels, and a revised center console with a new push-button shifter. The top-spec Avenir gets a luxury boost in the form of unique exterior trim, quilted leather upholstery, massaging front seats, and new wood inlays for the cabin. The rest of the lineup benefits from a host of newly standard driver assists, such as automated emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, and automatic high-beams. More advanced tech such as adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, and a rear pedestrian alert feature are optional. On the infotainment front, Buick has upgraded the Enclave’s standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto features to work wirelessly.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Under the hood of every Enclave is a 3.6-liter V-6 making 310 horsepower. It powers either the front or all four wheels via an unobtrusive nine-speed automatic transmission. It’s not the quickest crossover, but the Enclave is fast enough that there’s never any cause for anxiety when merging onto the highway, and the engine goes about its business while leaving the passenger cabin undisturbed. For those who need brawny towing capacity, the Buick can tow up to 5000 pounds, when properly equipped. A well-damped suspension helps the three-row SUV hide its mass, but it never feels as athletic as, say, the Audi Q7. Instead, the Enclave trades on comfort with a luxurious ride that glides over pockmarked asphalt and barely registers harsh impacts. The steering provides an appropriate amount of feedback for a crossover, with crisp responses and moderate effort.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
It’s unfair to expect economy-car efficiency from a hulking three-row such as the Enclave, but rivals such as the Volvo XC90 simply outshine the Buick in our testing. While the EPA’s ratings have these people haulers in a close heat with each other, the XC90 significantly exceeded its EPA highway estimate. On our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, the all-wheel-drive Enclave Avenir delivered exactly as promised: 25 mpg. Not bad, but not on the others’ level. For more information about the Enclave’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Enclave’s cabin is as roomy inside as you’d expect from a vehicle this size, and Buick has integrated many comfort and convenience features. Altogether, the interior’s design is handsome and practical, but material quality and attention to detail are what hold the Enclave back from being competitive with its luxury-branded rivals. The wood trim looks and feels chintzy, the sunshades for the optional panoramic roof aren’t power operated, and only the passenger-side second-row seat slides forward to allow third-row passengers in and out—a clear cost-cutting move that compromises convenience. If cargo space is your main concern, the Enclave is the best choice in this segment, as it offers the most cubic feet of storage space in each of its configurations. In our testing, it swallowed a whopping 38 carry-on boxes with all of its seats down and provided space for an impressive five carry-ons behind its power-operated third row of seats.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Nestled into the dash between two asymmetrical air vents is the Enclave’s standard 8.0-inch IntelliLink touchscreen infotainment system. The interface is user-friendly and rendered in a lovely arrangement with crisp graphics and an abundance of features. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard, and users can connect their devices to the internet via an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot. Navigation with real-time traffic and weather updates is optional, as is a wireless charging pad for smartphones. All three rows of seats have two USB ports for charging devices, too.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
A host of standard driver-assistance technology are offered on even the base Preferred model, but buyers wanting upgraded features such as adaptive cruise control will need to go for a higher trim or purchase an option package. For more information about the Enclave’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-keeping assist with lane-departure warning
- Available adaptive cruise control