2018 Buick Enclave Comfort & Quality

9.0
Comfort & Quality

The Buick Enclave has plentiful space in all three rows of seats, great cargo space, and a very well-finished cabin. It’s a 9 out of 10 for comfort and utility. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Buick pits the Enclave against vehicles like the Acura MDX and Honda Pilot, the Infiniti QX60, and the Mazda CX-9. The Enclave rides on a 120.9-inch wheelbase, and is 204.3 inches long, and Buick says that nets it better third-row space than almost any rival. It should: those dimensions are more in line with the Chrysler Pacifica minivan.

The 2018 Buick Enclave doesn’t look the part, but it’s more minivan than SUV.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Front-seat passengers have excellent head and leg room in the Enclave, and relatively firm, supportive front seats. We’ve yet to try out the base model’s cloth seats, but all models have power front seats, and most versions also heat and cool the front buckets.

A large console divides the driver and front passenger. The padding and height are ideal for the driver’s right arm, but the door armrest is low, and far away. The steering wheel telescopes, but could use a couple inches more stroke. The console is deep, and the door pockets are as well; the wireless smartphone charging pad lines a bin that’s blocked in part by the stubby shift lever.

Second-row accommodations are fine, with similarly firm bucket seats that slide to expand leg or cargo space. They occupy a space with lots of head room even with the dual-pane sunroof. An aisle permits step-through to the third row, but the right-side second-row seat pivots forward without folding, for even third-row access, even when a child safety seat is installed.

The third-row seat is the Enclave’s pleasant hideaway. Six-foot adults can sit comfortably on it. The bottom cushion is mounted low, and the sculpted headliner touches the back of tall passengers’ heads, but cupholders and dedicated USB ports on some models make up for the slight inconvenience.

In all, Buick says the Enclave has 23.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third-row seat, 58.0 cubic feet behind the second row, and 97.6 cubic feet behind the first row. The load floor isn’t perfectly flat, but that’s vast space to fill; only the Pacifica has a better solution. The Enclave also has a 3.1-cubic-foot storage well under the cargo floor, and available power folding for the third-row seat.

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