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Buick Enclave Avenir: big and broad

Photo courtesy of Buick

Competent, comfortable, and not especially costly.

The Enclave is one big dude, to be sure, towering over lesser sedans and compact crossovers. It’s big inside, too, with broad, comfortable front seats, a pair of captain’s chairs in the second row, and a third-row bench that has seat belts for three. Smooth, graceful exterior styling, which eschews weird creases or gaping grilles, is likely to age well.

The Enclave’s interior is elegantly modern, especially in top-level Avenir trim, with wood accents and acres of leather. Controls are simple and easy to locate. But the crossover’s size and poor rear visibility from the driver’s seat make it less than adroit at dogfighting in a congested parking lot.

Rather, the Enclave excels on the open road: A well-sorted suspension keeps this land yacht stable when rounding corners and soaks up pavement irregularities with ease. Meanwhile, Buick’s QuietTuning noise-reduction system assures serenity in the cabin. But advanced safety features come only on higher-priced trim levels.

A V6, the only engine offered, can tow a hefty 5,000 pounds and provides ample oomph. Buyers can choose FWD or AWD. And though the Avenir edition is pricey, the base model goes for about $42,000, something of a bargain compared to large, upscale European or Asian crossovers. If that’s still a budget stretch, consider the Enclave’s corporate twin, Chevrolet’s less-expensive Traverse.

With the Auto Club's free Car Buying Service, members can enjoy a no-hassle experience when purchasing a new or used vehicle. Get estimated pricing and access to online inventory before visiting a AAA-recommended dealer near you. For details, go to AAA.com/auto or call 800-709-7222. 

Vehicle layout: 3.6-liter V6 (310 hp), 9-speed automatic, FWD
MSRP, base model: $41,195 (as tested: $54,695)
MPG, city/hwy/combined (FWD): 18/26/21
Crash-test ratings: NHTSA: 5 stars overall; IIHS: not yet rated
Basic warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles
Final assembly: United States
Spare tire: Compact temporary

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