Debuting on the redesigned and ever popular (and profitable) Enclave, Buick’s new Avenir sub-brand aims to bridge the gap between premium and luxury with a new batch of tech things, extensive standard kit and a smattering of bling.
Buick’s intention is immediately illuminated by the brand’s first ever Evonik Acrylite LED lighting system both back and front; the brand says “the technology’s compound curvature application creates a smooth, uniform and recognizable appearance that will make the Enclave stand out on the road.” The 50 LEDs arranged into each headlight riff on those belonging to the cruelly beautiful Avista concept, the Enclave a seven-seat reminder of what the brand can’t have.
Sticking with the Avista theme, all Avenir-trimmed Buicks will get a new three-dimensional grille flanked by chrome wings inspired by the surprise concept, plus 20-inch pearl nickel six-spoke wheels, a Chestnut and Ebony interior with accent piping and contrast stitching. Buick even throws in embroidered front headrests, a wood-trimmed steering wheel and Avenir-branded door sills.
The Enclave’s new exterior brings a quiet athleticism thanks to reworked proportions with a lower roofline, a stretched wheelbase and sharper rake to the windshield.
But truthfully, forget about Avista, because instead of chasing hot, risky business, Buick stuck with what hauls in bank, and the Enclave is a big part of that. “The Enclave has been a successful formula for the Buick brand, with sales results that have defied traditional product cycles, and 90 percent of customers purchasing in the top two trim levels,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick and GMC.
Motivating the 2018 Enclave Avenir is GM’s ubiquitous 3.6-liter V6 engine with stop/start technology hooked to a new nine-speed automatic gearbox. Its 302 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque is routed through an available twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system and should be good for up to 5,000 pounds towing.
Moving inside, drivers are greeted by an army of advanced tech and interior creature comforts that come standard on the Enclave Avenir. Stuff like heated and ventilated front seats, an eight-inch infotainment screen, navigation, wireless charging, dual moonroof, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, along with Buick’s first application of GM’s rear camera mirror technology.
Every 2018 Enclave features all the keep-me-safe goodies you’ve come to expect from Buick: adaptive cruise control, forward automatic braking, rear park assist, rear cross traffic alert, pedestrian baking, lane keep, lane departure, a vibrating safety seat and 360-degree surround vision, plus, 17 radar, camera and ultrasonic sensors when fully kitted.
Buick boosted the Enclave’s cargo capacity by 10 percent, which includes a hidden underfloor storage compartment; behind the third row the Enclave offers 23.6 cubic feet of cargo space. Second- and third-row seating folds flat to create a nearly flat load floor. SmartSlide second-row seats tilt and slide to allow access to the third row even with a child seat installed.
Entering the realm of the superfluous, the Enclave Avenir brings an interior air ionizer that eliminates nasty odors, while upping the cabin’s overall air quality. Buick says it works by “producing negatively charged particles that attract airborne contaminants and break down their structure, cleaning the cabin air.” It’s great for families with young children, since the ionizer helps eliminate external and internal odors, while reducing airborne bacteria, viruses, dust, debris and pollen.
Upping interior comfort factor is Buick’s tried-and-true QuietTuning technology which is joined by active noise cancellation and a 10-speaker Bose Premium sound system.
Shoppers won’t see the redesigned Enclave until the fall of this year, with pricing and packaging details released closer to the crossover’s on-sale date. The Enclave will continue to be manufactured in Lansing, Michigan, alongside the redesigned Chevrolet Traverse.
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