2018 Buick Enclave: Even Bigger Time

The Enclave has been a big deal for Buick. First introduced way back in the pre-GM-bankruptcy days of 2007, it initially had GMC and Saturn siblings (the Acadia and the Outlook); the Saturn fell away and the Chevrolet Traverse now completes the trio. The Enclave was a hit right off the bat, and its sales have remained strong enough that General Motors felt comfortable delaying the arrival of its successor for nearly a decade. Now the second-generation Enclave finally is here, and, in more ways than one, it’s even bigger than before.

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The 2018 Enclave’s unveiling trails that of the new Chevy Traverse and the GMC Acadia, and the differences among the three are greater than they were. The Enclave, like the Traverse, has grown in size, while the Acadia has gotten smaller. Both the Chevy and the Buick now ride on a 2.0-inch-longer wheelbase (120.9 inches) and stretch 204.3 inches from stem to stern, an increase of 2.4 inches in the case of the Buick. That puts the Traverse and the Enclave at the outer edge of the mid-size, three-row crossover segment, beyond the Ford Explorer and the burly new Volkswagen Atlas (both 198.3 inches long) and the Mazda CX-9 (199.4). The Acadia, by contrast, rides on a wheelbase roughly eight inches shorter, and the GMC’s overall length of 193.6 inches puts it closer to the Honda Pilot (194.5) and the Toyota Highlander (192.5).

Despite their differences in size, the three use variations of the same vehicle architecture and share key mechanical components. As before, a 3.6-liter V-6 is the Enclave’s single engine offering, with preliminary output figures of 302 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque (previously 288 hp and 270 lb-ft). Chevy and GMC also use a 3.6-liter V-6 (with slightly different outputs) along with four-cylinder base engines not seen in the Buick. The Enclave, like its siblings, will come with front-drive or all-wheel drive, and a new nine-speed automatic replaces the previous six-speed. Buick expects EPA ratings…

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