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2020 Buick Enclave

Starting at $41,195

5.5/10 C/D RATING
2020 buick enclave sport touring
5.5/10 C/D RATING

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  • Highs Graceful styling, generous infotainment offerings, cargo-hauling champ.
  • Lows Obvious evidence of cost cutting, expensive driver-assistance tech, mediocre fuel economy.
  • Verdict A mainstream product wearing a premium price tag.
By Drew Dorian


Taken on its own, the Buick Enclave presents as a nicely equipped, semi-luxurious, child-toting family truckster. Its premium pricing, however, puts it toe-to-toe with true luxury offerings from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo, which dulls the Buick's shine. Sharing much of its mechanical bits with the down-market Chevrolet Traverse doesn't bolster its intended positioning, although its V-6 engine and driving demeanor are both smooth and agreeable. The Enclave trades instead on its cargo-friendly cabin and its attractively curvy exterior styling.

What's New for 2020?

The Buick Enclave rolls into 2020 with a new, optional Sport Touring package. Available exclusively on the mid-range Essence trim, the new appearance package adds a black mesh front grille, body-color grille surround, and chrome-and-graphite 20-inch wheels. All Enclave models now come with an updated infotainment system with an 8.0-inch display; high-definition backup and 360-degree exterior cameras are also available. Premium and high-end Avenir models offer slightly more in the way of luxury thanks to a massage function for the driver and front-seat passenger; four-way power-adjustable lumbar support is also now standard for those seats. The Avenir receives a subtle facelift in the form of lower body panels that are painted rather than left as black plastic for a sleeker appearance. Champagne Gold metallic, Rich Garnet metallic, and Dark Moon Blue metallic all join the list of available colors.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

Spending big bucks on the top-spec Avenir model doesn't quite get you the lux environs we expect from a premium SUV, so we'd save the money and go with the midrange Essence. At a bit more than $43,000, it's a well-equipped family vehicle with plenty of features that will keep passengers happy; on-board Wi-Fi, perforated leather seats, and six USB ports.


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Engine, Transmission, Performance, and Towing

Under the hood of every Enclave is a 3.6-liter V-6 making 310 horsepower driving either the front or all four wheels via a smooth-shifting nine-speed automatic transmission. It's not the quickest crossover, but the Enclave is fast enough that there's never any cause for anxiety when driving around town or merging onto the highway, and the engine goes about its business while leaving the passenger cabin undisturbed. For those who need brawny towing capacity, Buick offers a Trailering package that ups the Enclave's capacity to 5000 pounds.

A well-damped suspension helps the Enclave hide its mass, but it never feels as athletic as the Audi Q7. Instead, it trades on comfort with a smooth, luxurious ride, gliding over pockmarked asphalt and barely registering harsher impacts. The steering provides an appropriate amount of feedback for a crossover, responds relatively crisply, and is nicely weighted.

2020 buick enclave avenirView Photos

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

It's unfair to expect economy-car fuel efficiency from a hulking three-row such as the Enclave, but rivals such as the Volvo XC90 and the Acura MDX simply outshine it in this category. But the EPA's ratings have these people haulers in a close heat with each other, and on our real-world highway fuel-economy test route our all-wheel-drive Enclave Avenir delivered exactly what it promised: 25 mpg on the highway.

Interior, Infotainment, and Cargo

The Enclave's cabin is as roomy inside as you'd expect from a vehicle this size, and Buick has integrated many comfort and convenience features. Altogether, the interior's design is handsome and practical, but material quality and attention to detail are what holds the Enclave back from being competitive with its luxury-branded rivals. The wood trim looks and feels chintzy, the sunshades for the optional panoramic roof aren't power operated, and only the passenger-side second-row seat slides forward to allow third-row passengers in and out—a clear cost-cutting move that compromises convenience.

Nestled into the dash between two asymmetrical air vents is the Enclave's standard 8.0-inch IntelliLink touchscreen infotainment system. The interface is user-friendly and rendered in a lovely arrangement with crisp graphics and an abundance of features. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard, and users can connect their devices to the internet via an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot powered by a 4G LTE data connection. Navigation with real-time traffic and weather updates is optional, as is a wireless charging pad for smartphones. All three rows of seats have two USB ports for charging devices, too.

If cargo space is your main concern, the Enclave is the best choice in this segment, as it offers the most cubic feet of storage space in each of its configurations. In our testing, it swallowed a whopping 38 carry-on boxes with all of its seats down and provided space for an impressive five carry-ons behind its power-operated third row of seats.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)

View Crash Test Results

Plenty of space for child seats and a five-star crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sound appealing but adding almost all of the Enclave's driver-assistance features requires upgrading to a more expensive version—something that may discourage some buyers. Key safety features include:

  • Available automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Available lane-keeping assist with lane-departure warning
  • Available adaptive cruise control and automatic high-beam headlamps

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Buick offers the most powertrain-warranty coverage among its key rivals and even sweetens the deal with a free maintenance visit within the first year of ownership. The XC90's powertrain-warranty term isn't as long as the Buick's, but the XC90 offers a lot of extra maintenance and six more years of corrosion protection.

  • Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers 6 years or 70,000 miles
  • Complimentary maintenance is covered for the first visit


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