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  7. 2020 Buick Enclave Avenir

Derek Shiekhi | Aug 07, 2020

Back in 2015, Buick gave attendees of the North American International Auto Show a special treat before the event even started by unveiling the Avenir concept.

The 2020 Buick Enclave Avenir's windswept lines honored Buicks of yesteryear, including the Riviera and another concept, the 1954 Wildcat II. But the Avenir wasn't just an eye-catching piece of nostalgia. It was a sign of things to come. Literally. "Avenir" is the French word for "future." Buick incorporated the Avenir concept's major elements, sculptural exterior styling, flowing interior layout and advanced technology, into a luxurious sub-brand. The 2018 Enclave was the first model to get the upscale Avenir treatment. The LaCrosse Avenir soon followed. Eventually, the Regal got its own high-end Avenir variant.

For 2020, Buick has updated the most luxurious Enclave (starting price: $53,800) by color-matching the rocker panels to the rest of the body. Three new colors join the Enclave color palette. One of those, the Rich Garnet Metallic that covered my $57,090 test vehicle, is available exclusively on Avenir models.

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2020 Buick Enclave Avenir Exterior

See the exterior of the 2020 Buick Enclave Avenir

Despite the fact that the Enclave Avenir is a three-row SUV, it's easy to see the Avenir concept car's visual influence on it. That showpiece's DNA is in the bars that spread out from the tri-shield front emblem across the special 3D mesh grille like metal wings, the chrome highlight above the vents in the front fenders and the defined, muscular haunches.

All Enclave Avenirs roll on a set of 20-inch aluminum wheels shod with 255/50 all-season rubber. A standard hands-free power liftgate makes loading cargo a little easier. It even projects a Buick logo onto the ground to show you where to make a kicking motion to activate it - something I appreciated even more after using the Enclave Avenir to transport a few home décor purchases (more on that in the next section).

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2020 Buick Enclave Avenir Interior

See the interior of the 2020 Buick Enclave Avenir

Once I got behind the wheel of the Enclave Avenir, I saw the biggest contribution its one-of-one ancestor made to its Chestnut and Ebony cabin. Just like the bars on the grille, the dashboard spread out like a pair of wings. A broad swath of Chestnut accented with glossy wood-tone trim and a strip of brightwork made it even more distinctive. More of the handsome earth tone covered the leather-wrapped first and second rows and the 60/40-split third row bench seat.

As the flagship model of the Enclave range, the Avenir comes equipped with a generous amount of standard equipment. The eight-way driver and six-way front passenger power-adjustable seats offer heating, ventilation and - new for 2020 - massage. My fiancé Eli and I could dial in our preferred temperatures thanks to the tri-zone climate control system, which also gave our friends in the back seats their own setting. It had been a while since we had been to our favorite café, so I had forgotten how to get there. I used the built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot to look up the address on my iPhone. With a few taps on the new eight-inch touchscreen, I keyed the destination into the Enclave Avenir's navigation system and got us there. Eli and I left the 10-speaker Bose audio system off for most of the drive and just enjoyed the near-silence from the Enclave Avenir's Active Noise Cancellation technology and Buick's signature QuietTuning. The moonlight that shined through the panels of the standard dual moonroofs made the trips to and from the café even more pleasant.

Legroom in the second row was more than enough for me (I'm 5'10") to sit comfortably. If I wanted to get to the third row, I could either squeeze through the gap between the heated captains chairs or manually tilt and slide them forward. I was surprised to discover I still had enough legroom in the third row. The only catch was that it was hard for me to sit upright because the headliner dipped down in a way that brushed the top of my head. Anyone under 5'10" who has to ride in the very back shouldn't have any problem sitting naturally. With a little compromise, seven adults can easily travel in the Enclave Avenir without scuffing their knees or messing up their hair.

My fiancé is always on the lookout for attractive home décor. Several days before the Enclave Avenir arrived at our place, she placed an order for a few area rugs. Halfway through my time with it, those came into town. I had no issues loading them into the Enclave Avenir. I folded the second row of seats down, opened the rear hatch without using my hands and power-folded the third row to finish forming a flat surface for our new purchases. The 97.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the two front seats was enough to hold two of the rugs, but I had to slide the longest one right down the middle until one end of it was jutting forward between me and Eli.

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2020 Buick Enclave Avenir Performance

See the engine block of the 2020 Buick Enclave Avenir

As large as those rugs were, they didn't weigh much. They were no match for the naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V6, which channeled its 310 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque through a nine-speed automatic and standard front-wheel drive.

In fact, the Enclave Avenir is capable of towing up to 5,000 pounds (when equipped with an available trailering package). Unloaded, it can return an EPA-estimated 18 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg combined. I put 289.6 miles on my test vehicle and averaged just over 19.

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2020 Buick Enclave Avenir Safety

See the safety features of the 2020 Buick Enclave Avenir

The Enclave Avenir comes packed with a long list of standard safety features. Its LED headlights and automatic IntelliBeam high beams light the road ahead while its forward collision alert, front pedestrian braking, lane change alert, lane keep assist and rear cross traffic alert systems kept their electronic eyes open for danger. The HD Surround Vision package's comprehensive array of camera views allowed me to keep my eyes on my surroundings.

In addition to continuously variable real-time damping, the optional Avenir Technology Package added the peace of mind (and convenience) of adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking.

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2020 Buick Enclave Avenir Overall

View the exterior of the 2020 Buick Enclave Avenir

One of Buick's most striking modern concept cars lives on in SUV form as the 2020 Enclave Avenir. The best part is you don't have to step behind a velvet rope to get close to it. You can drive it home from an AutoNation Buick dealership today.

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2020 Buick Enclave Avenir Specs


4-door SUV, AWD


310 hp


19/22 mpg (city/hwy)

NHTSA Safety Rating

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

AutoNation Drive Test Drive Review: ★ ★ ★ ★

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*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

**Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending on specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.