The 2023 Enclave doesn’t change much from the 2022 model. Buick offers an attractive exterior design, high-tech features, and a cozy cabin that oozes comfort for any trip. The Enclave base price is about $45,000 for Essence; $53,000 for Premium; and $58,000 for the top-end Avenir trim.
The Enclave is a premium three-row SUV that keeps its cost out of the eye-opening luxury SUV segment price range while offering pretty impressive accommodations. I think this is GM’s diamond SUV that is not considered luxury – it certainly is Buick’s most popular offering.
The Buick Enclave will never be accused of getting too aggressive with its exterior styling. Perhaps “conservative” is an appropriate descriptor for the overall exterior look, though it has a very classy and refined profile. Upfront you do have the distinctive Buick grille and very cool elongated headlights that make the biggest statement.
My tester featured LED lighting, a power liftgate, and 20-inch gloss black wheels. The 20-inch wheels are the perfect size for what is a big SUV. There’s nothing really unique going on in the rear, though the power liftgate makes for easy access to the huge utility space when the seats are in the lowered position.
The interior design falls somewhere between nonluxury SUVs and the highest levels of luxury. It’s a strong entry-level setup that places the Enclave in a strong position to compete in terms of the overall quality of materials and cabin comfort.
The Enclave features leather seating for seven passengers, with rear seating being adjustable to allow for more cargo. Front seats are heated, as is the steering wheel and ventilated front seats are offered. While it looks and feels like the premium SUV it is, it does not try to be a luxury cabin.
Passengers will find plenty of legroom and headroom – even the third row is a good size. The Enclave offers more overall cargo space than key rivals including the Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride. There is a hidden extra storage spot up front below the center console.
A 3.6-liter, V6 engine is paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission. Offering 310 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque, Enclave has standard front-wheel drive with optional all-wheel drive.
This SUV is definitely a family-friendly ride, but it will provide power when you need it, such as in merging situations. A unique push-button shifting setup is very unique, and it saves space in the center console. The Enclave can tow up to 5,000 pounds. The fuel mileage with AWD is 17 city/25 highway/20 combined. The FWD versions get 18 city/26 highway.
Enclave offers a great tech package, which was upgraded with the 2022 model. The Buick Intellilink infotainment system has a sharp look, is easy to control with touch commands, and is also responsive to voice commands for audio, navigation and phone calls. The system is centered around an 8-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth connectivity for calls and music, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and in-vehicle apps such as Spotify, Weather and Wall Street Journal. Also of note is the high-quality Bose premium audio system, which rivals the top systems in today’s SUVs in terms of overall sound and performance.
As a family vehicle, this SUV is extremely safe. Buick delivers as much as any competitor in the segment in terms of safety features. Highlights for the Enclave’s safety include: Forward collision mitigation, including automatic braking when needed; lane keep assist with lane departure warning; lane change alert with blind-spot monitoring; rear cross-traffic alert; safety alert seat, which vibrates the driver’s seat when safety aids are triggered; adaptive cruise control; and a multiview rear backup camera for those challenging parking days.
The 2023 Buick Enclave is a roomy and versatile three-row SUV with a sophisticated interior design. Between its powerful sound system, impressive tech and safety features, you get an impressive entry-level luxury ride without the high cost of the luxury SUVs. My tester landed at $51,430, which is about in the middle of the potential costs for Enclave.
• John Stein is a freelance journalist based in Chicago. He has more than 25 years of experience driving, testing and writing about the automotive industry, its latest innovations and vehicles.