The 2019 Buick Enclave edges over from the redesigned 2018 model year with only minor trim and options and offered updates, and that’s a good thing. We like the Enclave’s long list of standard features and its high level of in-vehicle technology. You can select from either front- or all-wheel-drive versions of all trims, but for the new front-wheel-drive-only Preferred.
Whichever version you buy, know that you’ll have a quiet and comfortable cabin that can seat up to seven passengers. The Enclave is one of the biggest SUVs in its category, in fact, and seat comfort and roominess are two of its strong points. Folding down both the second- and third-row seats offers up to 97.6 cubic feet of cargo space.
Equally big is the Enclave’s corporate brother, the Chevrolet Traverse. Besides styling, the main reason to get the Enclave is its considerably higher number of standard features. Even the base Enclave lands with keyless entry and push-button start, a hands-free liftgate, and excellent standard infotainment technology that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability.
The Enclave does not have the road-hugging chops like some of its European rivals, and it’s not the least expensive in the segment. But if a comfortable highway ride, a roomy interior and getting lots of features are priorities, take a look at the 2019 Buick Enclave.
What is new
Coming through last year’s full redesign, the 2019 Buick Enclave continues virtually unchanged. A new front-wheel-drive Preferred trim debuts, as does an automatic function for the heated steering wheel.
The Enclave with the most bang-for-your-buck is the midgrade Essence. This trim earns from the Enclave’s already excellent standard technology features and includes leather seating surfaces and driver assist functions to make both highway and city driving safer.
trim levels & features
The 2019 Buick Enclave is offered in four trims. They all use the same 3.6-liter V6 engine (302 horsepower, 260 pound-feet) and a nine-speed automatic transmission. The Preferred is offered only in front-wheel drive; the remaining trims are offered in front- or all-wheel drive. The Essence features additional safety and comfort tech, while the Premium trim adds more luxury and safety amenities. At the top, the Avenir promises tech, safety and comfort features on par with what’s available in the best luxury crossovers. All Enclaves have seating for seven.
Even in base Preferred trim, the Enclave lands with features that make it competitive in the three-row SUV segment. It lands standard with 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, rear parking sensors, keyless entry and ignition, remote engine start, three-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats with heating, adjustable second-row captain’s chairs, and 60/40-split folding third-row seats. Standard in-car technology includes an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, OnStar communications (with 4G LTE and a Wi-Fi hotspot), USB ports (two in front and four for rear passengers), and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio.
The Essence has a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert, a cabin air ionization system and leather seating surfaces. Optionally, you can include all-wheel drive, a heavy-duty tow package that allows you to pull up to 5,000 pounds, a top-down parking camera system, and a sunroof.
Premium models add low-speed forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, front parking sensors, driver-seat memory settings, a 10-speaker premium Bose sound system, lane departure warning and intervention, a heated steering wheel, heated seats for outboard second-row passengers, ventilated seats for the front row, and power-folding third-row seats.
Top-trim Avenir models roll on 20-inch wheels and get a navigation system (optional on the Essence and the Premium), a larger driver information display, a rearview mirror with integrated camera display, a sunroof, a top-down parking camera system, premium leather upholstery, upgraded interior trim, and a wireless device charging pad. Optionally, you can spec your Avenir with the Avenir Technology package that includes adaptive cruise control, upgraded automatic emergency braking and an adaptive suspension.
The V6 offers a nice bit of thrust off the line when you put your foot down, but it tapers off at higher rpm. Expect a 0-60 mph sprint of about 7 seconds, which would be an average time for a three-row SUV. Handling capability should be similarly class-average.
Active noise canceling lowers extraneous wind, road and powertrain noise. Automatic three-zone climate control is standard. And all trims aside from the base benefit from an air ionizer. The offered adaptive suspension should further aid smooth out the ride.
Buick’s seven-seat configuration should offer ample room for second-row and third-row passengers. Getting in and out is facilitated by a tilt-up second-row seat that can provide quick access to the third row, even with a child safety seat mounted.
With all rear seats folded down, you have a huge load floor. Standard roof rails can handle optional crossbars to load bulky and large items on the roof. Maximum cargo space is a healthy 97.6 cubic feet.
Smartphone integration is offered standard, but advanced driver help functions are only offered in higher trim vehicles. The Essence and the Premium can be offered optioned with a Bose speaker system, and the Avenir can be fitted with adaptive cruise control.