2023 Buick Enclave Avenir AWD 1SP
“Versatility is Key blended with Luxury“
By Arv Voss
Buick first introduced its Enclave model lineup in 2007 and it has enjoyed positive sales success as a three-row luxury crossover ever since. Eleven years later, the Buick Enclave, was completely redesigned and the Avenir came on the scene as a sub-brand providing an elevated expression of luxury, blended with elegant styling cues and an extensive array of standard features and premium materials.
The new design architecture showcased a bold and balanced, athletic look, with revised proportions yielding a more aerodynamic persona that delivered greater efficiency with a lower roofline, increased windshield angle and longer wheelbase, all of which contributed to a more dramatic stance.
The Enclave is offered in three levels of trim: Essence, Premium and Avenir. Even the most basic Essense trim is loaded with an impressive inventory of features.
All Enclaves come with Buick’s IntelliLink infotainment system featuring Bluetooth, an 8-inch color screen, steering wheel controls, voice recognition and connectivity to various electronic devices.
Other standard fare includes OnStar, a tri-zone automatic climate control, a powered rear liftgate, 18-inch wheels, an 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, a heated leather steering wheel and a rearview camera system.
Premium trim models offer power folding exterior mirrors, cooling and heating for the front seats, a power tilting and telescoping steering column, and a Bose 10-speaker stereo system.
The top-of-the-line Avenir trim includes an exclusive and more attractive three-dimensional mesh grille that includes additional chrome work, along with 20-inch wheels. Inside, the Avenir gets contrasting seat stitching with quilted seating surfaces,. special floor mats and wood steering wheel.accents.
The base model Enclave comes only in FWD, while the other trim levels are available in both FWD and AWD.
A SINGULAR POWER SOURCE:
Only one engine is available across the Enclave lineup, – a powerful 3.6L V6 that produces 310 horsepower at 6,800 rpm along with 266 pound feet of torque at 2600 rpm. The engine mates to a 9-speed automatic transmission, which is enough to tow up to 5000 pounds. Despite its overall mass and powerful engine, the Enclave manages to return satisfactory fuel economy and is rated at 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway.
The exterior design is sculpted and evolves the sophisticated elegance of Enclave Avenir. The revised exterior includes restyled, contrasting front and rear fascias and rocker moldings, LED lighting front and rear, including daytime running lamps, a new sculpted hood, fenders and a larger, black-chrome mesh waterfall grille, integrated dual stainless steel exhaust with bright outlets, new 19 and 20-inch wheel designs, and more monochromatic design elements than the existing model. There is no longer a composite lower cladding surrounding the vehicle. A chrome glass profile surround trim and chrome capped door handles offer a pleasing touch along with the blacked out “B” and “C” pillars and floating roof effect.
Inside the cabin the interior design treatment is warm, inviting and elegant, displaying top-notch craftsmanship and attention to detail. NVH is improved through QuietTuning, which includes a new active noise cancellation feature that helps to further reduce, block and absorb noise. A new air ionizer is available that eliminates odors while providing better air quality.
An available rear camera mirror allows the rearview mirror to function as a traditional mirror or a camera, eliminating obstructions such as heads and headrests while expanding the rear field of vision by 300 percent. In addition, available Surround Vision provides an overhead, 360-degree view around the vehicle while maneuvering at low speeds.
Intelligent AWD with an active twin-clutch rear differential is available with a Buick-first switchable AWD for improved control and efficiency.
The Enclave serves up a high level of craftsmanship combined with an exceptional level of comfort. The interior benefits from an instrument panel and door trim with genuine stitching and soft ambient accent lighting along with climate controls and a revised look for OnStar buttons as well as front-row four-way adjustable head restraints. An eight-way power front passenger seat adjuster is optionally available. For entertainment, there’s a Premium audio system with AM/FM/HD and Sirius/XM radio, Bluetooth, USB port, CD player, auxiliary input jack, steering wheel-mounted controls, Buick IntelliLink seven-inch color touch-screen radio and available color touch radios with DVD and navigation.
Other cabin highlights include: LED ambient lighting around the dash that highlights Enclave’s flowing interior lines, while focusing on the cabin’s spaciousness; available memory presets on eight-way power driver’s seat include easy-exit driver’s seat, power outside mirrors and power tilt and telescopic steering column; available heated and cooled front seats; soft-touch materials and real stitching throughout the cabin, as well as true chrome accents; an available power, tilt-sliding sunroof a standard storage system under the floor in the rear cargo area and standard power windows with driver and passenger express up/down feature.
COMFORT, CONVENIENCE AND SAFETY:
Premium suspension with continuously variable real-time damping (CDC) is available on Avenir models providing a smooth, comfortable ride, with enhanced body control and handling, particularly in Sport mode.
In terms of safety technology, the Enclave is enhanced by: customizable safety alerts and seven standard airbags; a Driver Confidence Package available on Essence includes Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert; Driver Confidence II Package available on Premium and Avenir models includes: Lane Change Alert; Side Blind Zone Alert; Rear Cross Traffic Alert; Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning; Safety Alert Seat; Front and Rear Park Assist; Forward Collision Alert; Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking; Following Distance Indicator; and IntelliBeam headlamps
The Buick Enclave seats seven or eight passengers, with the second row featuring Buick’s SmartSlide system.
My test Enclave was an Avenir AWD 1SP MODEL. The base sticker read $59,100. while the as tesTed price came to $62,090, after factoring in options and the Destination charge. Optional fare included the dual moonroof with a power front and fixed rear; 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels; inside rear camera mirror; rearview with full camera featuring surround vision, Bird’s Eye View, front side and rear vision cameras; trailering equipment with cooling system and Heavy Duty Navigation. The exterior woree a Sage metallic coat while the interior was executed in Whisper Beige with Ebony accents.
The Buick Enclave has always been a luxurious and attractive crossover, but it has now reached a new sweet spot. It looks better with its visual enhancements, handles better with its mechanical improvements, and is more comfortable with its added convenience features.
Despite its two ton plus mass, the 2023 Enclave Avenir handles like a much smaller vehicle. Acceleration is more than adequate and shifting is smooth up and down through the nine gears. Stability is spot on, with no pronounced body roll and the interior displays a refined quiet, making conversation between front and rear occupants pleasant.
OUR BOTTOM LINE ANALYSIS:
In the final scheme of things, if you were a fan of the old Enclave, you’re sure to love this latest iteration luxury crossover ? it ranks as an ultimate family adventure cruiser with versatility and functionality to spare.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2023 Buick Enclave Avenir AWD 1SP
Base Price: $59,100.
Price as Tested: $62,090.
Engine Type and Size: 3.6-liter, DOHC, 24-valve,V-6 with SIDI Spark Ignition Direct Injection and VVT.
Horsepower (bhp): 310 @ 6,800 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 266 @ 2,800 rpm
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
Drive Train: Transversely front mounted engine / FWD.
Suspension: Front – MacPherson strut with hydraulic control
arm ride bushing and hollow stabilizer bar. Premium suspension with continuously variable real time damping.
Rear – Five-link independent with auxiliary spring aids and hollow stabilizer bar. Premium suspension with continuously variable real time damping.
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel ventilated discs with ABS, Duralife rotors and low-drag calipers.
Tires: Continental CrossContact 255/55 R20 107H mounted on 6-“V”-spoke polished aluminum alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 120.93 inches
Length Overall: 204.78 inches
Width: 78.8 inches
Height: 69.9 inches
Minimum Ground Clearance (inches) 7.5
Curb Weight: 4,358 lbs.
Turning Circle: 39.0 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 21.7 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 17 mpg city /25 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: Not listed
0 – 60 mph: Not tested
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