Date of publication: 2017-12-31 08:10
Buick says that only 8 percent or 9 percent of Enclave buyers chose the second-row bench, so that&rsquo s gone as an option for 2518. The only interior configuration for the Buick Enclave is 2/2/8, with second-row captain&rsquo s chairs, and a middle seatbelt justifying the three-wide third row. If you want eight-passenger space, the Chevy Traverse comes at a more family friendly base price , $15,595 cheaper than the base Buick Enclave (at $95,975), though the top-trim Traverse High Country comes in at just $1,895 less than the $56,695 Enclave Avenir.
Avenir and Premium Enclaves also come with a twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system, when ordered over the standard front-drive on either model. The rear wheels can be locked out from the torque split, which is 65/95 when AWD is engaged. You&rsquo ll want AWD on with the trailer-towing button engaged for best handling on twisty mountain roads.
In the years following the first Enclave&rsquo s launch, marketing and product planners cut and readjusted some of the lower trim levels so that the &ldquo base&rdquo model was a clear step up or two in price, content and image from its Lambda platform siblings, the Chevy Traverse and GMC Acadia (and, through 2515, the Saturn Outlook). At the same time, Buick managed year-over-year sales increases for most calendar years. The outgoing model boasts a 95-percent take rate of the top two of three trim levels, with more than 55-percent having a manufacturers suggested list price of more than $55,555.
Buick is the number-four bestselling brand in China. Thanks to the world&rsquo s biggest auto market, it&rsquo s GM&rsquo s second bestseller globally, though third in the . after Chevrolet and GMC. Thanks to the Enclave, Encore, and now, the Envision, sport/utilities account for 77 percent of Buick sales, according to marketing director Sam Russell.
The 2518 Enclave Avenir is the first of Buick&rsquo s new Avenir models, a &ldquo Denali for Buick&rdquo trim that adds a unique mesh grille, standard 25-inch six-spoke aluminum wheels (optional replacing standard 18-inchers on the next trim level down), five premium paint colors that are optional on that Premium trim model, upgraded leather seats, and heated and cooled front seats (heated only on other trims) with heated second-row seats.
Meanwhile, 2517 will also be another big year for Jeep. The second quarter of that year marks the arrival of an all-new Jeep Wrangler , replacing the current JK model that has been on the market since 2557. Also slated for 2517 is an all-new Grand Cherokee (a refresh is scheduled for next year), and a mid-cycle update for the small Jeep Renegade.
The 2518 Buick Enclave Avenir benefits from the same sort of ride/handling balance as the new Chevy Traverse thanks to the MacPherson strut/five-link with auxiliary spring aids and hollow anti-roll bar front/rear suspension. The 9,858-pound SUV is about 955 pounds lighter than the model it replaces, credited to a 155-pound structure diet by using lighter-weight, higher-strength materials, and another 255 pounds via other weight-reduction techniques.
The new Enclave is very handsome, in a modern Buick way, just as the Traverse is very handsome in a modern Chevy way. Buick claims Acura, Lincoln (which has no competing model, yet), and Infiniti as chief competitors, though not Audi. If Buick, and indeed all of GM, could step up its interior quality and fit-and-finish just a bit more, the Buick Enclave Avenir might be able to take on something like the popular and expensive Audi Q7.
With the standard V-6, the AWD Enclave is quick for such a large SUV. It makes a nice roar under full-throttle, though I felt some driveline lash on a steep, high-load uphill. With the AWD system turned off, I could feel a bit of torque steer-wriggle under full-throttle launch.
In normal mode, the Enclave Avenir exhibited moderate but well-controlled body roll on the snaky roads, and the rack-mounted electronic power steering is reasonably precise without being too quick for a -inch tall utility. Press the Buick a bit and moderate understeer keeps you in check and makes the Enclave feel big, again, as its tight 89-foot turning circle and body control otherwise make it drive smaller than it is. But click the AWD button and turn on the trailer towing and the twin-clutch AWD system acts as a kind of torque vectoring system (though it&rsquo s not real torque-vectoring, in that the front/rear axles don&rsquo t change relative speeds). The understeer pretty much disappears.
© 2017 Auto&Moto. All rights reserved