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2018 Buick Enclave Avenir First Look: Redesigned Flagship Crossover is Ready

New sub-brand adds even more luxury to storied brand

New sub-brand adds even more luxury to storied brand

The 2017 New York auto show is in for a double helping of Buick reveals. In addition to the all-new second-generation 2018 Buick Enclave, the automaker is introducing its new luxurious Avenir subbrand in the Big Apple. The 2018 Buick Enclave Avenir brings Buick luxury and exclusivity to a whole new level.

“The Enclave has been a successful formula for the Buick brand, with sales results that have defied traditional product cycles and 90 percent of customers purchasing in the top two trim levels,” Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick and GMC, said in a release. “It’s a beacon for the modern, attainable luxury Buick stands for and is a natural place to launch Avenir.”

The second-generation full-size Buick Enclave rides on the long-wheelbase (120.9-inch) version of GM’s C1XX chassis, which also underpins the redesigned 2018 Chevrolet Traverse; the midsize two- or three-row GMC Acadia and two-row Cadillac XT5 ride on the short-wheelbase (112.5-inch) version of the C1XX chassis. (The C1XX chassis replaces the Theta Premium and Lambda platforms and is the crossover version of the newer E2XX architecture that replaces the Epsilon II platform.) The 2018 Enclave measures 204.3 inches overall, stands 69.9 inches high, and is 78.8 inches wide.
2018 Buick Enclave Avenir side profile

With the new chassis comes new styling and proportions. Buick said the Enclave has a sleeker look and improved aerodynamics. The lower roofline and longer wheelbase are said to give it a more dramatic stance.

Much like the Denali is to GMC, top-spec Avenir models feature exclusive content, including a Buick-first Evonik Acrylite exterior forward lighting composed of more than 100 LEDs , which give the crossover a unique look. Those fancy new bifunctional LED headlights flank an exclusive three-dimensional mesh grille with chrome wings. Other exclusive exterior features include special badging and six-spoke 20-inch alloy wheels with a pearl nickel finish. The Enclave is available in five exclusive exterior color paint colors.

All Enclave models feature seven-passenger seating in three rows, but the Avenir model gets an available Avenir Chestnut and Ebony interior with seat piping, contrast stitching, and embroidered front headrests. Other unique features include a wood-accented steering wheel, Avenir floormats, and Avenir script sill plates on the front and rear doors.

Other standard features include heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, an 8.0-inch reconfigurable cluster display, navigation, wireless charging, a dual moonroof, a power-folding third-row, and a 360-degree camera system. The Enclave Avenir also gets Buick’s first application of GM’s rearview camera mirror. Buick said the Avenir comes with extensive active safety tech, including up to 17 radar, camera, and ultrasonic sensors. Available active safety and driver assist tech includes adaptive cruise control, full-speed forward automatic braking, and more.

“This is a vehicle intended for Buick customers who demand the best and the latest our brand has to offer,” Aldred said.

All 2018 Buick Enclave models are powered by GM’s 3.6-liter V-6 mated to a new nine-speed automatic transmission. In this application, the engine is preliminarily rated 302 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. Front-drive is standard, but Intelligent AWD with an active twin-clutch rear differential is available. The system is Buick’s first switchable all-wheel-drive system.

The suspension consists of a MacPherson strut in front and a five-link suspension out back. A continuously variable real-time damping suspension with Sport mode is optional.

Although the top-spec Enclave Avenir comes with lots of premium content, lesser models also come well equipped with standard features such as IntelliBeam headlights, which automatically switch between low- and high-beams. LED taillights are also standard.

Other standard features on all Enclave models include keyless entry and push-button start, tri-zone automatic climate control, universal home remote, an OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot (requires data plan after initial trial period), five years of complimentary OnStar Basic Plan, and the myBuick app with OnStar Smart Driver. Additionally, Buick’s tri-shield logo is projected on the ground below the standard hidden sensor for the hands-free power-programmable liftgate.

The 2018 Buick Enclave also gains a new air ionizer that cleans the air by attracting airborne contaminants with negatively charged particles. The system is said to reduce bacteria, viruses, dust, pollen, and other air impurities without filters or maintenance.

A new 10-speaker Bose Premium audio system with a redesigned subwoofer enclosure improves overall sound quality. The infotainment system features a frameless 8.0-inch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Teen Driver, and Rear Seat Reminder.

Buick said that the new Enclave is much quieter inside than before, thanks to QuietTuning and active noise-cancellation tricks, including the vehicle’s exterior shape, improved sealing, and sound-deadening materials.

A 10-inch-deep underfloor storage space provides 3.1 cubic feet of additional room in the rear cargo area, helping the 2018 Enclave gain 10 percent more cubic feet of overall interior space, according to Buick; the new Enclave has 23.6 cubic feet of cargo room behind the third row. Buick claims that with the fold-flat second- and third-row seats down, the Enclave has more cargo space behind the first row than the Acura MDX, Audi Q7, and Infiniti QX60. The automaker’s second-row SmartSlide seats improve access to the third row with the passenger side accommodating rear seat access with a(n empty) forward-facing child seat on the middle row.

All 2018 Enclave models feature a rearview camera, rear park assist, and seven airbags, including a new front-center airbag. Available safety tech includes front pedestrian braking, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, surround vision, and a safety alert seat.

The 2018 Enclave is the seventh new Buick model introduced in less than 24 months, and the automaker said it will launch at least a dozen redesigned or refreshed models globally by the end of the decade—not including new Avenir models.