A grey 2024 Buick Enclave Avenir for sale is shown parked outside a building.

Has the Enclave Avenir Restored Buick’s Position as a Premium Brand?

General Motors is a big company with several brands under its belt. Each of these brands caters to a specific demographic and has a distinct style and feel. Chevrolet’s vehicles are mostly affordable and focus on reliability first and foremost; Cadillac, on the other hand, has a lineup of swanky vehicles that come with all kinds of comfort features and unique aesthetic touches. Buick lies somewhere in the middle—not quite as expensive as Cadillac but a significant step up from Chevy. This middle-child position can be difficult to balance since getting too luxurious can price out your customers, while cutting corners to save on costs can damage your reputation as a premium brand.

If you’ve been to a dealership in the past decade or so, you’ve probably seen the Buick Enclave for sale. This midsize SUV has plenty of competition in its segment, including models from other established brands like Volvo, BMW, and Porsche. The Enclave’s lower trim levels definitely err more on the side of practicality and reasonable affordability, courting families who are looking for something a little nicer than a minivan that still fits into their budget, but what happens when you climb up the trim ladder? Does the top-tier Enclave Avenir help Buick restore its claim to being a premium brand? Let’s dig in and see if the Avenir is working for or against Buick’s reputation…

Pro: Exterior Styling

Looks may not be everything, but they count for a lot when you’re trying to shape your image. The Avenir has a unique front face that separates it from the rest of the Enclave lineup, with sleek, slit-shaped headlights that are all the rage these days and a grille that’s going for a classy look instead of the bold image that you’d find on more mainstream SUVs. There are also exclusive wheels, which have a shiny finish and a timeless geometric design. The Enclave’s silhouette overall is smooth and sleek, which adds to the effect.

Con: Interior Could Be More Lush

The Enclave definitely comes standard with plenty of the interior touches you’d expect to find on a premium vehicle: heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, leather-appointed seats, tri-zone climate control with separate controls for rear seat passengers, and two USB ports in each of the three rows. The Avenir has a longer list of standard fares, including the obligatory available Bose sound system, a head-up display that projects drive data onto the windshield, heated second-row seats, and front seats that have heating, ventilation, and a massage function. But while the comfort and convenience features are all present and accounted for, the styling of the cabin leaves something to be desired.

The only exclusive feature that comes standard is a set of sill plates with the Avenir script. There are two exclusive interior colorways available—ebony and beige—and both feature accents throughout and perforated leather on the seats; however, when you look at other models in this segment, you typically find more unique touches that make the top-tier trim stand out. And while the layout of the interior is nice and easy to live in, the materials could stand to be a little higher-quality.

The black and white interior and dash of a 2024 Buick Enclave Avenir is shown.

Pro: Driving Dynamics

All of the comfort features in the world won’t save you from a harsh ride. Drivers who are paying extra for a premium three-row SUV are expecting to get an upgraded experience behind the wheel, and the Enclave delivers. While the Avenir doesn’t have an exclusive engine, the entire Enclave lineup has a 3.6L V6 as of the 2024 model year, while many SUVs come standard with a four-cylinder engine and offer a V6 as an optional upgrade. That means the Enclave is very quick for a vehicle of its size, managing to go from zero to sixty in just 7.0 seconds, according to testing done by MotorTrend.

While the engine is powerful, it’s not overeager or too loud, so the interior stays nice and quiet, even at highway speeds. The suspension is tuned to prioritize comfort, providing a smooth ride that should satisfy everybody in the cabin. Those who are looking to go even further can get the Avenir Technology package (exclusive to the trim, as its name suggests), which adds hydraulic dampers and steering calibration to the suspension system with an automatic damping system that adjusts every two milliseconds so it can respond to road conditions in real-time.

Con: Limited Powertrain Options

On the one hand, all trims of the Enclave come standard with a V6 engine, but on the other hand, that’s the only powertrain available. The lack of any kind of electrified option is glaring in this day and age. While many SUVs have EV equivalents available, the Enclave doesn’t even offer a hybrid. While luxury buyers may not care about saving money at the gas pump, hybrids do have a cache of status in certain circles—and extending the range isn’t just cost-effective, but it’s also more convenient. After all, stopping at the gas station constantly isn’t exactly luxurious.

Pro: Plenty of Space

While there’s nothing inherently luxurious about having a lot of interior space (e.g. cargo vans), a spacious cabin is an important element of a premium SUV. It gives passengers room to stretch out and get comfortable, and it allows the cargo area to assist in bougie activities like glamping or antiquing. As of the 2024 model year, the Enclave is outcompeting luxury rivals like the Lincoln Aviator or Audi Q7 when it comes to overall cargo volume and that all-important third-row legroom. This goes a long way toward providing a lush experience for everyone inside.

Con: Waiting on a New Gen

While the Enclave did get a significant refresh for the 2022 model year—which gave it that more modern-looking exterior and an upgraded center console—this year also saw the Avenir get its exclusive exterior styling and features like the massage function built into the front seats. These upgrades definitely improved the Enclave overall and the Avenir in particular, but they could have gone further to really make this SUV stand out in a competitive field. A new generation is set to debut for the 2025 model year, so that will hopefully see the Enclave take a bold step forward.

A blue 2024 Buick Enclave Avenir is shown from a side angle.

Some Final Thoughts

The current iteration of the Buick Enclave Avenir may not be perfect, but it’s definitely an asset to the brand overall. Its sharp styling gives it a strong first impression, and it backs that up with a solid arsenal of features that shoppers are looking for in a premium SUV. While it could use a few more (and more efficient) powertrain options, the one it does have is capable and delivers a nice, smooth ride that’s sure to keep backseat passengers happy, even on longer road trips.

We’ll be interested to see what the 2025 model brings to the table to kick off the third generation. If it addresses some of the cons of the current Enclave, then it could make an even more convincing case for the idea that Buick still has what it takes to compete as a premium brand. Since peoples’ idea of what’s “standard fare” and what’s a “luxurious extra” is always changing, Buick will have to keep evolving in order to keep up with shifting tastes. As long as it doesn’t drop the ball, however, the Enclave Avenir can continue to help Buick show off its more luxurious side.