2022 Buick Enclave

By January 19, 2022

The 2022 Buick Enclave is one of the best luxury crossover vehicles GM builds. With three rows of seats for up to seven passengers, it blends tailored looks with expansive space. In its top trim, the cabin strikes a perfect note of subtle luxury, as it delivers a buttery ride.

For 2022, the Enclave gets a redesigned front end that more resembles the smaller Buick Envision, with tall air intakes and a fresh grille that complement its curves under an elegant roofline. Also for 2022, standard advanced safety equipment includes automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, automatic high beams, active lane control and rear parking sensors. It also gets new and better headlights.

The Enclave is powered by a 310-hp V-6 coupled to a 9-speed automatic transmission. It’s front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive available; the top two models have an advanced AWD system that can divide the power between the left and right rear wheels. The Enclave is neither especially quick nor thrilling, but it’s quiet and rides with sublime control.

The three-row Enclave uses captain’s chairs, with no middle bench being available. Leather is standard on all but the base model. The third row folds to create 97.6 cubic feet of storage space.

The Enclave is EPA rated at 17/25/20 mpg with all-wheel drive and 18/26/21 mpg with front-wheel drive.

The NHTSA gives it five stars overall in safety, with four stars for frontal impact protection. Safety options range from adaptive cruise control to a surround-view camera system, a head-up display, front parking sensors, and a rear camera mirror.

Model Lineup

Made in Michigan, the Enclave comes in Preferred, Essence, Premium, and Avenir trim levels. Prices for 2022 start from just below $45,000 for the Preferred, which comes with power features, a cloth interior, heated front seats, 18-inch wheels, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

For $51,415, the Enclave Premium adds leather upholstery, cooled and massaged front seats, heated captain’s chairs, premium audio, six USB ports, parking sensors, and a power liftgate.

The $56,245 Enclave Avenir slips into Cadillac country. It has distinctive trim, 20-inch wheels, softer leather, wireless smartphone charging, a surround-view camera system, and a panoramic sunroof. Options include a tow package and adaptive dampers. The Enclave can tow up to 5,000 lb with the tow package.


The Enclave’s sleek body disguises the capacity of a minivan. It’s handsome all around, with nice balance between the details and expansive surfaces. Tidy metallic trim and hints of Coke-bottle curves keep the Enclave looking trim.

This year’s tasteful reworking of the front end links it more closely to the smaller Envision, with vertical air inlets that bracket a handsome grille. The Enclave’s body tapers with a keen sense of proportion, and the chrome hook at its rear roof pillar lends a moment of elegance.


Simple and understated, the interior is an appealing interpretation of luxury, with a sweep of controls that curve around the driver, and soft materials wrapping the passengers. Every Enclave uses premium materials in the cabin, the Avenir especially so. The Preferred has a cloth interior, but it’s a premium cloth. Every model has power-adjusted heated front seats. The Enclave’s 8.0-inch touchscreen does a lot for its size.

The cabin is a refined space that’s relaxing on long trips, as if it were built for that purpose—especially with the sweet ride. Even when it’s strapped with 20-inch wheels it’s quiet, thanks to lots of noise damping material, and electronic noise cancellation.

At 204 inches long the Enclave is a big vehicle, so there is plenty of room inside. The second-row captain’s chairs are supportive bucket seats like the front row, with 38.9 inches of leg room, and available heating.

The third row is a pleasant surprise. It’s wide enough for three medium-size passengers (on short trips), and there’s 33.5 inches of leg room, as much as some mid-size sedans.

There is 23.6 cubic feet behind the third row, and 97.6 cubic feet of cargo with the second- and third-row seats stowed and folded.

The Enclave has limited views to the rear quarters due to seat headrests and thick roof pillars.

Driving Impressions

The Enclave uses a 310-hp 3.6-liter V-6 that’s also found in some Cadillacs. It weighs more than two tons; even with 310 hp it’s not very fast, but can keep an 80-mph freeway pace without a blink.

The V-6 is mated to a 9-speed automatic that’s smooth, silent (thanks to active noise cancellation), and decisive. Its programming is sure of itself, unlike some rivals’ 9-speeds that hesitate when shifting at slow speeds.

The Enclave’s base all-wheel-drive system simply sends power to the rear wheels when traction slips at the front. But the Premium and Avenir get a more sophisticated twin-clutch system that can further split the power between the rear wheels. This helps in dry cornering, not only on slippery surfaces.

In relaxed driving, the Enclave has responsive steering. But it’s a tall family wagon that’s built for comfort, not cornering. Its soft suspension is challenged on twisty two-lanes. With the Avenir’s adaptive dampers and its high-tech AWD system, the Avenir can better meet that challenge. But it will cost $60,000 to get there.

Final Word

If the 2022 Buick Enclave is seen as entry-level luxury, it fits the bill. There will be no complaints from passengers about comfort or style. The ride is relaxing, the 9-speed transmission is smooth, and there’s enough power from the proven V-6 so the driving doesn’t take work.


—by Sam Moses with driving impressions by The Car Connection

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