X

2018 Buick Enclave Avenir: Introducing a high-end trim on its flagship SUV

Thanks to both a fancier Enclave and the brand new Avenir sub-brand, you won't find a fancier Buick than this.

img-4356-2
Emme Hall
img-4356-2
Emme Hall Former editor for CNET Cars

I love two-seater, RWD convertibles and own a 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata for pavement fun and a lifted 2001 Miata for pre-running. I race air-cooled Volkswagens in desert races like the Mint 400 and the Baja 1000. I have won the Rebelle Rally, seven-day navigational challenge, twice and I am the only driver to compete in an EV, the Rivian R1T.

2 min read
buickenclaveavenirstill.jpg
Watch this: 2018 Buick Enclave gets the luxury Avenir treatment

Buick's Avenir sub-brand, announced late last year, is similar to GMC's Denali line -- vehicles catering to those wanting a more luxurious Buick. Each model will have a unique grille, 20-inch wheels, plenty of standard features and high-quality materials throughout.

Here at the New York auto show, we saw the first model to get the Avenir treatment, the Buick Enclave. With a sleeker front fascia and loads of tech, the Enclave Avenir is a three-row crossover that should compete nicely with the Audi Q7 and Infiniti QX60.

Look for loads of cameras and sensors on this 2018 model. The Enclave Avenir has a 360-degree surround view camera system, lane-keep assist and lane-departure warning. There's also a super-cool rear camera mirror, which can function as either a traditional mirror or a digital display. Adaptive cruise control and autonomous emergency braking are available, too.

2018-buick-enclave-avenir-011.jpg
Enlarge Image
2018-buick-enclave-avenir-011.jpg

The headlights are reminiscent of other new Buicks, like the LaCrosse and Encore.

Buick

Expect the interior to get even techier. The 8-inch gauge cluster screen is reconfigurable, and there's wireless charging if your phone supports it. The 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system includes GM standards like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as the Teen Driver function, which helps parents keep a virtual eye on their kids once they surrender the keys. Also standard is the vibrating safety alert seat that lets your butt know when you've strayed from a lane or are approaching a vehicle too rapidly. A 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot is also along for the ride.

For those with allergies or for people who just want a fresh-smelling car at all times, the Enclave Avenir has an air ionizer. Negatively charged particles attach to airborne baddies and break them down, Buick claims, resulting in cleaner air for the cabin. The system requires no maintenance or filter replacement.

Under the hood is a 3.6-liter V6 engine, good for 302 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Power gets to the pavement through a nine-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is available. Buick estimates the front-wheel drive Enclave Avenir will see 17 mpg in the city, 25 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg combined, with the all-wheel drive model getting slightly less. The Enclave Avenir can tow a respectable 5,000 pounds, too.

Almost 98 cubic feet of space is available below the first row of seats, more than the Acura MDX, Audi Q7 and Infiniti QX60. Bring up the second row of seats and there is still 58 cubic feet of space and nearly 24 cubic feet behind the third row.

There's no word on pricing yet, but expect the 2018 Buick Enclave Avenir to go on sale in the fall of 2017.

2018 Buick Enclave Avenir is a quiet beauty

See all photos