2022 Buick Enclave Gets Rough and Tough

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
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2022 buick enclave gets rough and tough

It seems unlikely that 2022 Buick Enclave buyers asked for a more-aggressive/more-masculine face for its popular three-row crossover, but who knows what’s said in focus groups convened in windowless conference rooms — or, over the past year, over Zoom.

Whatever the case, Buick has bestowed the Enclave with rough-and-tumble looks that sharpen the rounded design — and seem meant to remove the label of “mom-mobile.”

The looks aren’t the only thing that’s changed, as the Buick Driver Confidence Plus Package is now standard. The suite of driver-aid tech includes automatic emergency braking, front-pedestrian braking, lane-keep assist with lane-departure warning, lane-change alert with side blind-zone alert, rear park assist, forward-collision alert, following distance indicator, rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic high beams.

Standard or available features will include wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, front park assist, rear pedestrian alert, color head-up display, heated and cooled and massaging front seats, and rear-camera mirror.

Specific design cues will include a new center console with push-button shifter for the transmission, new front fascia, new headlamps, and new grille. The rear fascia is also different, and the wheel choices are changed.

The top-trim Avenir gets to stand out from the rest of the line via different front and rear fascias, a different grille, different interior trim, the heated/cooled/massaging front seats, available adaptive damping suspension, adaptive cruise control, and enhanced automatic emergency braking.

The changes really do seem minor, though the styling is different enough that it’s more than just a refresh — you’ll recognize this vehicle in traffic and know it’s different from the previous generation.

Meanwhile, I am back to the mystery of who asked for this — the previous Enclave was attractive, though a bit bland and boring. Perhaps the focus group was upper-middle-class suburban middle-aged dads who got tired of hearing jokes from their buddies who drive Yukons?

[Images: Buick]

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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  • Gregtwelve Gregtwelve on Jun 06, 2021

    I bought a 2018 Lacrosse premium 2 years ago with 14,000 miles for 57% of the MSRP, although I see comparable 2017 models for sale today for a few thousand more than I paid because of the crazy used car prices now...and with 3 times the mileage. It is the finest car I have owned. The 3.6 V-6 with the 9 speed automatic does 0-60 in 5.6 secs. according to Car and Driver. On a recent trip my best 25 mile MPG average was 43 and using regular gas. It is smooth, quiet and comfortable, has a ton of features and a beautiful interior in my opinion, especially in the neutral color. I have not had one issue with the car in two years. After upgrading the door speakers, and covering the A-Pillar tweeters the base sound system sounds better than my son's JBL system in his Toyota. It has much deeper bass thanks to the dual subwoofers in the rear deck which I kept. I don't get the Buick bashing here. The Enclave and the Lacrosse are/were assembled in Michigan. I am disppointed that the Lacrosse was discontinued. The refreshed Chinese version is beautiful.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Jun 06, 2021

    I have a 2012 Buick Lacrosse eassist that I bought from my neighbors a year and a half ago with 45k miles. It is a beautiful car and it gets 36 mpgs highway. The Enclave is a nice vehicle and would be a good family vehicle but I don't need or want something that big. I like the Envision but not that crazy about it being made in China. As for the Encore my wife looked at one when it came out and she thought it was too small so we bought a loaded CRV instead for no more than what the same equipped Encore was in 2013. I am disappointed as well that the Lacrosse and Impala were both discontinued but this seems to be the direction of the auto industry more suvs, crossovers, and pickup trucks and less cars.

  • Carsofchaos Bike lanes are in use what maybe 10 to 12 hours a day? The other periods of the day they aren't in use whatsoever. A bike can carry one person and a vehicle can carry multiple people. It's very simple math to figure out that a bike lane in no way shape or form will handle more people than cars will.The bigger issue is double parked delivery vehicles. They are often double parked and taking up lanes because there are cars parked on the curb. You combine that with a bike lane and pedestrians Crossing wherever they feel like it and it's a recipe for disaster. I think if we could just go back to two lanes of traffic things would flow much better. I started coming to the city in 2003 before a lot of these bike lanes were implemented and the traffic is definitely much worse now than it was back then. Sadly at this point I don't really think there is a solution but I can guarantee that congestion pricing will not fix this problem.
  • Charles When I lived in Los Angeles I saw a 9-5 a few times and instanly admired the sweeping low slug aerodynamic jet tech influenced lines and all that beautiful glass. The car was very different from what I expected from a Saab even though the 900 Turbo was nice. A casual lady friend had a Saab Sonnet, never drove or rode in it but nonetheless chilled my enthusiasm and I eventually forgot about Saabs. In the following years I have had seven Mercedes's, three or four Jaguars even two Daimlers both the 250 V-8 and the massive and powerful Majestic Major. Daily drivers of a brand new 300ZX 2+2 and Lincolns, plus a few diesel trucks. Having moved to my big farm in central New York, trucks and SUV's are the standard, even though I have a Mercedes S500 in one of my barns. Due to circumstances with my Ford Explorer and needing a second driver I found the 2006 9-5 locally. Very little surface rust, none undercarriage, original owner, garage kept, wife driver and all the original literature and a ton of paid receipts and history. The car just turned 200,000 miles and I love it. Feels new like I'm back in my Nissan 300ZX with a lot more European class and ready power with the awesome turbo. So fun to drive, the smooth power and torque is incredible! Great price paid to justify going through the car and giving her everything she needs, i.e., new tires, battery, all shocks, struts, control arms, timing chain and rust removable to come, plus more. The problem now is I want to restore it and likely put it in my concrete barn and only drive in good weather. As to the writer, Alex Dykes, I take great exception calling the 9-5 Saab "ugly," finding myself looking back at her beauty and uniqueness. Moreover, I get new looks from others not quite recognizing, like the days out west with my more expensive European cars. There are Saabs eclipsing 300K rourinely and one at a million miles and I believe one car with 500K on the original engine. So clearly, this is a keeper, in love already with my SportCombi. I want to be in that elite club.
  • Marky S. I own the same C.C. XSE Hybrid AWD as in this article, but in Barcelona Red with the black roof. I love my car for its size, packaging, and the fact that it offers both AWD and Hybrid technology together. Visibility is impressive, as is its small turning circle. I consider the C.C. more of a "station wagon" by proportion, rather than an “SUV.” It is fun to drive, with zippy response and perky pick-up. It is a pleasant car to drive and ride in. It is not trying to be a “Butch Off-Roader”, or a cosseting “Luxury Cruiser.” Those are not its goals or purpose. The Corolla Cross XSE Hybrid AWD is a wonderful All-Purpose Car (O.K. – “SUV” if you must hear me say it!) with a combination of all the features it has at a reasonable price.
  • Ernesto Perez There's a line in the movie Armageddon where Bruce Willis says " is this the best idea NASA came up with?". Don't quote me. I'm asking is this the best idea NY came up with? What's next? Charging pedestrians to walk in certain parts of the city? Every year the price for everything gets more expensive and most of the services we pay for gets worse. Obviously more money is not the solution. What we need are better ideas, strategies and inventions. You want to charge drivers in the city - then put tolls on the free bridges like the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. There's always a better way or product. It's just the idiots on top think they know best.
  • Carsofchaos The bike lanes aren't even close to carrying "more than the car lanes replaced". You clearly don't drive in Midtown Manhattan on a daily like I do.