The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide

THE RIDE: Four-door, seven-passenger 2018 Buick Enclave Avenir luxury crossover SUV.
DOWN THE ROAD: Based on a body-on-frame, the extra power in the overhauled Enclave is plentiful to propel the 4,358-pound plus vehicle. The ride is solidly built for rapid acceleration from any speed, generous passing ability and precise balance/handling. And who can forget the legendary Buick QuietTuning, which insulates occupants from road and wind noise?
TECH & PERFORMANCE: Under the hood resides a sole 3.6-liter V-6 cylinder engine that now cranks out 310 horsepower (increase of 22 hp from its predecessor) @ 6800 rpm and 266 pounds-feet (down by 4) of torque @ 2800 rpm. Power is routed through an immensely impressive 9-speed auto gearbox (forget the previous 6-speed). Available as a front-wheel or all-wheel drive and in an all-new Avenir trim, suspension is driven by an able MacPherson strut front and five-link independent rear. The electric power rack-and-pinion steering is quick, accurate and direct.
LOOK & FEEL: With a boost in wheelbase up by nearly 2 and length by 2.5 inches, the totally redesigned Enclave shows off a three-dimensional mesh grille and a centered tri-shield emblem with chrome wings. It is surrounded by bi-functional LED projector headlights, daytime running lamps, and standard upper/lower grille shutters. This being a Buick, you are assured of a luxurious and generous cabin. Ice-blue ambient lights highlighting the rounded instrument cluster, and the 8-inch color display atop dashboard for navigation, audio, rearview camera and phone, immediately draw attention. Our chestnut interior with ebony piping on plush leather seats looks elegant and classy. While the second-row Captains chairs slide fore and aft, the third-row power seat folds flat effortlessly. With both rear seats folded, you get a notable 97.6 cubic feet of space. There is also a colossal hidden under-floor cargo hold and well-placed bins and cubbies. Other standard goodies include eight-way power driver and six-way front passenger seats, tri-zone auto a/c, hands-free power lift gate, wood-accented power tilt/telescopic steering column, wireless phone charger and a dual moon roof.
SAFETY FIRST: Standard features include dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, front center side airbag, front/rear park assist, StabiliTrak system with traction control, four-wheel antilock brakes, rearview camera, forward-collision and rear-cross traffic alert, lane keep/departure warning, surround vision, remote keyless entry and tire pressure monitoring system.
OUT THE DOOR: $53,415, plus tax, tag, delivery and destination charges.
BY THE NUMBERS: Tires, P255/R20; wheelbase, 120.9 inches; length, 204.3 inches; fuel capacity, 19.4 gallons; city, 18 mpg; highway, 26 mpg;  web site,
WHY DIG IT: There is ample of room for passengers and cargo as well as commendable tow capacity at 5,000 pounds (up by 500). What is there not to like? Despite tough competition in the premium crossover SUV segment from Acura, Lexus, and BMW among others, the Enclave should serve the needs of large households quite nicely.

CALLING ALL BUICK DEALERS IN THE WEST CENTRAL AREA: if you would like to be listed here as one of the test-drive dealerships, e-mail us at