2022 Buick Enclave

Consumer Reviews
0 Reviews
2021
The Car Connection
2021
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
July 6, 2021

Buying tip

The Enclave Premium offers the best value—especially now that automatic emergency braking is standard.

features & specs

AWD 4-Door Avenir
AWD 4-Door Essence
AWD 4-Door Premium
MPG
17 city / 25 hwy
MPG
17 city / 25 hwy
MPG
17 city / 25 hwy
MSRP
$57,100
MSRP
$44,800
MSRP
$51,800

The 2022 Buick Enclave smothers bumps and swaddles passengers in three rows of comfort.

What kind of SUV is the 2022 Buick Enclave? What does it compare to?

The 2022 Buick Enclave is one of the best luxury crossover vehicles GM builds. With three rows of seats for up to seven passengers, the 2022 Enclave blends tailored looks with expansive space to compete with vehicles like the Acura MDX, Lincoln Aviator, and Mazda CX-9.

Is the 2022 Buick Enclave a good SUV?

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Sold in Preferred, Essence, Premium, and Avenir trim levels, the Enclave earns a TCC Rating of 6.7 out of 10 with extra credit for its newly standard safety features and its lissome looks—but gas mileage is meh. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2022 Buick Enclave?

With the 2022 Enclave, Buick has finally made advanced safety technology standard, including automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, automatic high beams, and active lane control.

The new Enclave also bears a redesigned front end that’s more like the one on the smaller Envision, with tall air intakes and a fresh grille that do nothing to detract from its elegant roofline and curves. The Enclave’s one of GM’s best design efforts, and its interior strikes a perfect note of subtle luxury in the most pricey Avenir trim. 

Buick powers the Enclave with a 310-hp V-6 coupled to a 9-speed automatic. Power streams to the front or to all four wheels in a transparent, measured way. It’s not exciting or too quick, but the Enclave drives with confidence. It rides with sublime control, even when it’s strapped with 20-inch wheels, and does so quietly thanks to lots of noise damping material, even electronic noise cancellation. All versions can be upgraded to all-wheel drive; Premium and Avenir models get a trick system that can split power between the rear wheels for more responsive road manners.

Seven passengers fit in the Enclave. Four large adults can nestle comfortably in the front four bucket seats—no middle bench here, that’s for non-gated community types—and leather upholstery shines in all but the base model. With fold-down seats and 23.6 cubic feet of cargo space, the Enclave can tote up to 97.6 cubic feet of stuff or tow up to 5,000 lb—choose your own adventure.

Automatic emergency braking and its safety kin now come standard. The Enclave doesn’t have particularly bad outward vision to the rear, but we’d recommend the available surround-view camera system.

How much does the 2022 Buick Enclave cost?

Prices for 2022 Enclaves haven’t been released, but should start at about $42,000. That base front-drive model has power features, a cloth interior, 18-inch wheels, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. For about $50,000, we’d pick the Enclave Premium and its leather upholstery, heated and cooled front seats, second-row captain’s chairs, and power liftgate.

Where is the 2022 Buick Enclave made?

In Lansing, Michigan.

 

7

2022 Buick Enclave

Styling

The Enclave’s attractive, with a swanky interior.

Is the Buick Enclave a good-looking car?

It’s handsome all around, with just the right balance of details and expansive surfaces. The execution’s as good inside as it is outside, so we give it a point for each and call it a 7.

Judicious amounts of metallic trim and the hints of Coke-bottle curves keep the Enclave looking more trim than it actually is. This year’s tasteful reworking of the front end links it more closely to the smaller Envision, with vertical air inlets that bracket a handsome grille. The Enclave’s body tapers with a keen sense of proportions, and the chrome hook at its rear roof pillar lends a moment of elegance. Sport Touring versions have darker trim, and Avenirs have brighter metalwork, but neither is vastly different.

Simple and understated, the Enclave interior doesn’t read like a technophile’s wish list. It’s an appealing interpretation of luxury, with a sweep of controls that curve around the driver and wrap passengers in a nacelle of soft materials. The Enclave’s 8.0-inch touchscreen is impressive, if not overwhelming.

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6

2022 Buick Enclave

Performance

The Enclave’s no athlete, but it’s blessed with a buttery ride.

We give the Enclave a 6 for performance, with the extra-point nod for its ride quality. Acceleration and cornering take a back seat, though they’re fine. 

The Enclave taps a 310-hp 3.6-liter V-6 that’s also found in some Cadillacs, and teams it with a 9-speed automatic. It’s a drama-free combination, with most of its grumbling muted by active noise cancellation, and it’s free of the indecisive shifts of some rivals’ 9-speed gearboxes.

Is the Buick Enclave 4WD?

The Enclave is front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive can be fitted. On the Enclave Essence, the AWD setup simply sends power to the rears when the fronts scrabble for traction. On Premium and Avenir models, Buick fits a twin-clutch system that splits power front to rear, and then divvies it up between the rear wheels for optimum power placement. It’s an excellent system that helps brighten the Enclave’s cornering grip.

How fast is the Buick Enclave?

Still, it’s not very fast. The Enclave weighs in at more than two tons. It’s a tall family wagon with a soft ride, and it’s built for comfort. Hence the soft setup of the base suspension, which isn’t adept at tighter corners or at handling complicated roads. With the trick AWD system and the Avenir’s adaptive dampers, the Enclave tightens its control over the road, without lapsing into sporty clichés. In relaxed driving, the Enclave shows off responsive steering and the ability to keep an 80-mph highway pace without a blink. 

The Enclave also can tow up to 5,000 lb with the right tow package.

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8

2022 Buick Enclave

Comfort & Quality

The Enclave excels as a people-and-thing mover.

The Enclave wraps minivan-size room in a deceptively sleek body. It’s an 8 here, with plenty of room for four adults and as many as three more passengers, with good seat comfort and plentiful cargo space.

It’s a big vehicle, after all, at more than 204.3 inches long. Buick whittles all the available space out of the shape for great passenger space, particularly in the front two rows. The front seats get power adjustment and heating on all models; we’ve driven versions with softly supportive buckets with cooling and massaging functions and found them to be fine for long trips.

The second-row captain’s chairs have similar support, 38.9 inches of leg room, and available heating; the Enclave’s score of 8 here might be a 9, if Buick offered a three-row bench seat as an option. It’s row three that’s the pleasant surprise: three medium-size passengers can fit for short trips, since the Enclave’s third row has as much leg room (33.5 inches) as some mid-size sedans. 

The Enclave carries up to 23.6 cubic feet of stuff behind the third-row seat, and as much as 97.6 cubic feet of cargo with the second- and third-row seats stowed and folded.

The Enclave interior’s fitted with premium materials, and Avenir versions are particularly good. It’s a refined space that’s purpose-built for long trips.

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7

2022 Buick Enclave

Safety

Mixed crash-test results offset the Enclave’s newly standard safety gear.

How safe is the Buick Enclave?

It’s safer than last year’s model, now that Buick installs automatic emergency braking, active lane control, blind-spot monitors, rear parking sensors, and automatic high beams on every model. We give it a 7 here.

It might be higher, as the IIHS recalibrates its score. Last year’s model had “Marginal” headlights, but the new lighting may raise the Enclave’s score. The NHTSA pegs it at five stars overall—with the caveat of four-star frontal-impact protection. Safety options range from adaptive cruise control to a surround-view camera system, a head-up display, front parking sensors, and a rear camera mirror. 

The Enclave has limited views to the rear quarters due to seat headrests and thick roof pillars.

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8

2022 Buick Enclave

Features

The Enclave goes long on safety gear and infotainment.

Prices for 2022 haven’t been announced (we’ve estimated them here, for now), but the Enclave should cost at least $42,000 in base trim, which now includes a wealth of safety gear that boosts its standard-features score—and its overall score here, to an 8.

Which Buick Enclave should I buy?

The Enclave Preferred comes with few paint choices and front-wheel drive, with 18-inch wheels, heated front seats, cloth upholstery, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s fine, but we’d skip it and the Essence trim to select the nearly $50,000 Enclave Premium. It comes with heated and cooled front seats with massagers, premium audio, six USB ports, parking sensors, leather upholstery, second-row captain’s chairs, heated second-row seats, and a power liftgate. Spend about $2,300 more and it comes with all-wheel drive.

How much is a fully loaded Buick Enclave?

The Enclave Avenir slips into Cadillac country with a price of about $55,000 in front-wheel-drive form. It has distinctive trim, 20-inch wheels, softer leather, wireless smartphone charging, a surround-view camera system, and a panoramic sunroof. On the options list, it offers a tow package and adaptive dampers; all in, it’s priced at nearly $60,000.

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4

2022 Buick Enclave

Fuel Economy

The Enclave lacks hybrid alternatives.

Is the Buick Enclave good on gas?

It’s good for a gas-only car, with EPA ratings of 17/25/20 mpg with all-wheel drive and 18/26/21 mpg with front-wheel drive. That’s a 4 here. Rivals have more efficient engines in their lineup—or hybrids with 36-mpg combined ratings, as with the Toyota Highlander.

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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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$42,800
MSRP based on FWD 4-Door Essence
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6.7
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 7
Performance 6
Comfort & Quality 8
Safety 7
Features 8
Fuel Economy 4
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