2018 Buick Enclave

Performance


$39,995 MSRP
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2018 Buick Enclave Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.1

The 2018 Buick Enclave's performance is very civilized. The engine provides brisk acceleration without feeling harsh, and the automatic transmission's seamless shifts fade into the background. The Enclave's handling is much the same, with composure around turns and comfort over rough roads.

  • "Our expectations for the Enclave's on-road performance weren't particularly high. It's a three-row crossover which, despite a lighter-weight chassis and significant suspension changes, is still a 4,400-pound people mover at heart. Suffice it to say that we were quite pleasantly surprised to find that, like its cousin, it's an incredibly competent hunk of steel." -- Left Lane News
  • "Not necessarily looking to win any drag races, the Enclave still outperforms most other three-row competitors in terms of horsepower and bests many when it comes to fuel economy." -- New York Daily News

Acceleration and Power

A 310-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine powers the 2018 Enclave. The V6 is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. The Enclave gets up to 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway with standard front-wheel drive, which is good for the class. Models with all-wheel drive lose 1 mpg in both city and highway driving.

The Enclave's V6 engine has plenty of power for quick acceleration – but don't expect to be thrown back in your seat or hear the engine roar. It's more refined than that; the engine gets the vehicle up to speed smoothly, and the well-tuned automatic transmission’s shifts are nearly imperceptible from inside the cabin.

  • "The V6 provides a responsive drive experience with plenty of power and smooth shifts that, in keeping with its luxury roots, won't disturb passengers even when you mash the gas pedal." -- Boston Globe
  • "With the standard V-6, the AWD Enclave is quick for such a large SUV." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The transmission works its way through the gears with such smoothness that it's hard to discern when it's shifting unless you're listening for it. This powertrain makes for properly smooth acceleration." -- CNET

Handling and Braking

The Enclave isn't exactly sporty, but its handling is level and composed around corners despite its large size. The steering is tight, yet turning the wheel is easy. The Enclave has a very smooth ride, especially in models with the available adaptive suspension system. The brakes are forceful and function smoothly. Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is available.

  • "When the going gets spirited, there's surprisingly little body roll for such a big vehicle. Whether or not your Enclave comes with electronic adaptive dampers, its ride is on the comfortable side without feeling like the chassis is wallowing about." -- CNET
  • "The steering on the Enclave is precise and communicative. The electric variable-assist power steering also features an active return assist feature that gives the steering a lighter touch when unwinding the wheel. The ride is well-damped and comfortable and the vehicle exhibits little in the way of body roll when pushed in corners. Four-wheel disc brakes provide plenty of linear-feel stopping power …" -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Enclave's ride is just as isolating as the rest of the driving experience. Our car also had the upgraded suspension with continuous damping control. … This all translated to a calm ride up front, with the bumps largely unfelt and body roll quite well managed, even in the hairpin corners on the rural highways of the Blue Ridge Mountains." -- Autoblog
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