Buick Enclave: Best Car to Buy 2018 Nominee

October 20, 2017

Straddling the line between mass-market and luxury, the Buick Enclave offers families a pleasingly and shapely upmarket take on three-row transportation.

It took nearly a decade for Buick to revamp its Enclave, but the wait was worthwhile. The sleek, curvy Enclave's exterior styling is echoed by a coddling, dressy interior with good room in all three rows. That's something not too many three-row crossover competitors can boast; in too many rivals, third rows are merely a suggestion for adults.

MORE: Read our 2018 Buick Enclave review

The Enclave's 310-horsepower V-6 emits a muted purr thanks to ample sound deadening and active noise canceling. Its 9-speed automatic fires off quick shifts and helps this big crossover zip to 60 mph in around 6.5 seconds. Though its attitude is certainly tuned more for comfort than for performance, the Enclave handles smartly and is available with trick adaptive shocks that can take on just about any kind of pavement imperfections.

If there's one demerit to the Enclave, it's that automatic emergency braking is only offered on higher trim levels. That's something we'd like to see Buick's parent General Motors correct across its entire lineup.

A well-equipped Enclave slides in under our $50,000 price cap, although the base model at around $41,500 includes smart features like a power liftgate, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and LED headlights. A dressy Avenir trim level sits at the top of the lineup, but its $60,000-plus price tag is well over our Best Car to Buy limit.

We'll find out soon if it has what it takes to be our latest Best Car to Buy.

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