Today we're taking a look at Buick's 2020 Enclave Essence, the mid-tier trim level version of Buick's seven-seater, three-row SUV sliding between the preferred and premium models.
Though all three of those are gonna sit below the top tier Avenir model.
But I think the one we're in today is sort of the sweet spot in the lineup.
So let's pull over and see what we're working with.
Now the Enclave's design is safe and non threatening.
It's kind of got a Mazda CX9 meets Ford Edge thing going on, much in the same way that Most vehicles in this class look pretty much the same.
Though the front end has been updated for the 2020 model year.
But what I wanna talk about is the cabin.
Which is very spacious as you can see, thanks to the large body around it, but it also features very premium materials on the dashboard.
Now, I wouldn't call this car luxurious, but premium definitely feels like a good word for For it, we've got leather here on the top of the dash.
Some faux wood and plastic which, for what it's worth, look and feel pretty good.
And in the middle of the dashboard, we've got an infotainment system that we've got a whole separate video on that you can check out to find out how good it is.
Spoiler alert, it's really good.
Now the essence model that we're in right now steps up to leather seats for the first and second row.
And that second row is going to use captain's chairs, which is really good for adults because not only do you get more shoulder room, you also get the ability to individually adjust them for more leg room here or on the third row.
And the third row is interesting because getting access to it's a little bit tricky, partially because Buick decided to only put this lift and slide seat on the passenger side.
The driver's seat doesn't do this.
So if you're loading up kids, this is the side you're going to want to do it on.
Now this second row also poses an interesting conundrum.
When it comes time to load this thing up with cargo When you've got the third row folded flat, now you've got to worry about things sliding forward in the space between them, but that's a problem for another day.
While we're back here, you definitely want to check out how spacious it is.
It's among the best in its class, and I definitely like this underfloor cargo area for hiding things away.
Leaving you with a flat loading floor for your groceries.
Now being safety oriented means that you definitely want some safety features on your Enclave.
And they are available, but they're hidden behind the pay wall.
For example, the Essence here features Ford collision warning, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alerts But if you want advanced features like adaptive cruise control, link it in a [UNKNOWN] or ford collusion breaking the cyst you are gonna have to step up to the top to your avenue model with the $2000 take package on top of that.
Which kind of pushes the limit for what I feel is a good value for this ride Now on the bright side which safety tech, the rear view camera is really sharp in high definition and area where most automakers skimp and go with something a little bit cheaper and lower quality here it looks really good.
It's got bright, vibrant graphics that are not just good to look at but it also makes it really easy for checking out details when you're backing up.
Let's hit the road.
Now save performance for the end because frankly it doesn't seem like it's a huge priority with the Buick Enclave.
Under the hood we've got a 3.6 litre V6 engine that makes 310 horsepower and 200.
166 pound feet of torque, which it puts through a nine speed automatic transmission on its way to the front wheels, or an optional all wheel drive system like we've got today.
A 310 horsepower may sound like a lot but reality it's kind of just exactly the right amount of power for a vehicle of this size.
How some power streams feel effortless in their acceleration role.
This one's not one of those It feels like it's earning its pay every single time you get behind the wheel, which would be endearing, but it's also sometimes a little bit out of character would be quiet tuning for the rest of this vehicle when you catch it sort of straining and weaving to get up a hill.
Now speaking of that quiet tuning, the suspension is set up to be very fast, which means that you get a really controlled and comfortable ride over bumps and undulations in the road.
But at the same time they've also managed to some kind of a way keep a lot of the slop out of suspension.
When you need to actually talk this thing around the corner though, I wouldn't do a whole lot of tough thing because this is a big heavy vehicle and at the end of the day, handling is still not enough 14th though maybe a more relaxed driving style to get better
Overall, the Buick Enclave is kind of alright it's a pretty good value but not the best value.
In its class, starting at around $42,000 for the base model, the one that we're in now the essence with options is around 50K.
And if you check all the boxes with the avenir you're looking at around a $60,000 SUV, when you consider that this slots in above vehicles like Subarus ascent Mazda CX nine around the mid to high 30s and below true luxury vehicles like Lincoln aviator.
Little German,it a lot of money to sort of consider and I think it's a little bit of an odd bird but find yourself behind the wheel of them.
They can be pretty comfortable