Upscale 2023 Buick Enclave delivers smooth ride, leading-edge tech Featured

Posted On Sunday, 26 February 2023 20:18 Written by
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The 2023 Buick Enclave is a classy, upscale three-row SUV offering The 2023 Buick Enclave is a classy, upscale three-row SUV offering Photo courtesy of Buick

As the number of SUVs continues to expand in a seemingly exponential manner, it’s sometimes difficult to classify where certain vehicles compete.

One vehicle battling in a unique area that fends off competitors on multiple sides is the 2023 Buick Enclave, one of the most intriguing three-row midsize SUV offerings from the U.S. Big Three automakers.

An upscale offering from GM, the Enclave is high-brow enough to battle with names such as Volvo and Acura, but it’s simultaneously fending off competitors from brands like Hyundai, Kia, Mazda and Ford, which are traditionally not viewed as luxury offerings.

It’s an introduction to the world of the more upscale SUV, without fully diving into the luxury lifestyle to keep pricing more realistic.

The 2023 Enclave sees little changes from the 2022 model, which underwent some major design and tech transformations that are carried over.

Buick’s goal with the Enclave is to deliver a strong overall vehicle — impressing through its design, tech, safety features and drive quality — that will pull potential buyers from either the lower-end or higher-end options into the seat of the Enclave.

With extensive cargo room, a smooth driving experience, and truly impressive technology offerings, it does that to a great extent.

Read on for a full breakdown on how the 2023 Enclave compares to its many competitors in this very popular vehicle segment.


The 2023 Enclave I tested featured an attractive Ebony Twilight Metallic paint scheme, and the distinctive Buick grille and elongated headlights are design highlights.

The Enclave’s exterior design isn’t quite as sharp as some of its rival three-row SUVs, but it’s still an attractive vehicle that holds its own in the segment.

It features LED lighting, a power liftgate and 20-inch gloss black wheels.

The interior design is well thought-out and is a healthy midpoint between nonluxury SUVs and the highest levels of luxury. It’s a strong entry-level luxury setup that places the Enclave in a strong position vs. its rivals in terms of overall quality of materials used and comfort.

The Enclave features an attractive overall dashboard design, and the leather-appointed seating is of very high quality. It offers seating for seven passengers, and rear seating is adjustable/foldable to allow more cargo. It looks and feels high-end, but not at the level of top-tier luxury rides. Call it a good middle ground.

You get lots of legroom and headroom for all passengers — even the third row is decently sized. The Enclave offers more overall cargo space than key rivals including the Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride. And its third row has more comfort to offer than the Mazda CX-9.

Accessing the third row and adjusting seats to hold cargo is a breeze due to the Enclave’s versatility. There’s plenty of small storage options throughout the vehicle, including a hidden extra storage spot up front below the center console. Of note is that the Enclave’s digital rear view mirror is wide and crystal clear, among the best you will see. Front seats are heated, as is the steering wheel, and ventilated front seats are offered.

For ultimate comfort while driving, a basic massage function is offered in the Enclave.

Storage numbers on the Enclave are impressive, coming in at 97.4 cubic feet with all seats down, and a strong 23.6 cubic feet with all seats up. These numbers make the Enclave one of the best in the segment if your focus is having maximum amount of cargo space.a


All versions of the 2023 Buick Enclave are powered by the lone engine offering: A 3.6-liter, V6 engine paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission. Output is 310 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard, and you can upgrade to all-wheel drive.

The zero-to-60 speed is roughly 7 seconds, which is not too shabby for a vehicle this large. Power is more than adequate, curves are handled well by the Enclave, and it brakes instantly. While this is not a hot rod or souped-up SUV, it's definitely a quality family ride that is no slouch or slow-poke when it comes to overall driving experience, and will provide power when you need it, such as in merging situations.

The Enclave’s ride quality is quiet, smooth and responsive, and the AWD Enclave also handled well for me on slippery roads after a snowstorm. An optional adaptive suspension can help improve the ride quality even further.

A unique push-button shifting setup is different than what drivers are accustomed to using, but it saves space in the center console and you quickly adapt.

In terms of towing, the Enclave can pull up to 5,000 pounds.a


As per usual, GM delivers a strong package with the technology in this Buick Enclave, which was heavily upgraded starting with the 2022 models.

It features a well-designed Buick Intellilink infotainment system that has a sharp look, and is easy to control with touch commands, and also responsive to voice commands for audio, navigation and phone calls. The system is centered around an 8-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth connectivity for calls and music, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and in-vehicle apps such as Spotify, Weather and Wall Street Journal.

Also of note is the high-quality Bose premium audio system, which rivals the top systems in today’s SUVs in terms of overall sound and performance.

The navigation system worked very well, and always got me where I needed to go in a smooth way, including real-world updates on traffic and weather. OnStar services are offered, along with an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot. Wireless charging for smartphones is available, and there are a plethora of USB ports throughout the vehicle’s three rows.

Moving on to safety, Buick comes through on this front quite admirably, offering as much or more than its rivals in terms of safety features.

They include:

— Forward collision mitigation, including automatic braking when needed
— Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning
— Lane Change Alert with blind-spot monitoring
— Rear cross-traffic alert
— Safety alert seat, which vibrates the driver's seat when safety aids are triggered
— Adaptive cruise control 

The multiview rear backup camera is an excellent touch for solving tough parking dilemmas. 

About the only safety feature not currently offered on the Enclave is GM’s awesome Super Cruise self-driving feature, but I anticipate that option being available on the Buick lineup in future years.


The official fuel mileage numbers on the 2023 Buick Enclave with AWD are 17 city/25 highway/20 combined. The FWD versions get 18 city/26 highway.

These numbers are lower than some key rivals in the upscale midsize SUV class, and slightly better than others, putting it solidly in the middle.

In my testing of the Enclave, I averaged just 15 mpg, but it was during demanding winter conditions so no surprise that it was lower.

Fuel mileage is one area where there’s a lot of parity in the field, so it likely won’t be the deciding factor for buyers.


The pricing of the 2023 Buick Enclave reflects its unique place in the market — more upscale than standard SUVs, but not quite as luxurious as the big luxury brands.

My test vehicle was just over $51K with options. The Enclave price starts about $45K for Essence (base model), $53K for Premium trim, and $58K for the top Avenir trim.

If you’re comparing these prices to the biggest European luxury brands, they are going to be quite enticing, as they are much lower. But slotting in just below the Enclave on pricing are some strong nonluxury SUV offerings from brands like Kia (Telluride) and Hyundai (Palisade) and GM’s own Chevy Traverse, which may prove to be good enough for some buyers to skip the Enclave and choose those alternatives instead, saving even more.


The 2023 Buick Enclave is a roomy and versatile three-row SUV with a classy interior design. Between its powerful sound system, impressive tech and safety features, you get an impressive entry-level luxury ride without the high cost of more ostentatious luxury SUVs.

The cherry on top is an impressive driving experience that will shine when families embark on long road trips.

While there is lots of tough SUV competition from European and Asian upstarts, the Enclave has the goods to wage a strong battle, and may get the leg up, especially for buyers who prefer a U.S. brand.

=== can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page. Follow AutoTechReviews on Instagram at @Autotechreviews. Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2023 Buick Enclave
  • Price as tested: $51,430 (starts around $45K)
  • Best feature: Roomy and classy interior, top-notch GM technology
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars   
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Buyers seeking a stout three-row SUV from a U.S. automaker
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

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