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New York show: Buick goes big with Enclave

Spaced out: GM engineers stretched the company’s C1XX crossover platform wheelbase to more than three metres for the second-generation Enclave SUV.

Buick unveils 5.1-metre-long Enclave SUV for families who love their space


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13 Apr 2017

DON’T get excited – Buick’s big new second-generation Enclave revealed at the New York motor show overnight is not coming to Australia under Holden badges.

The Australian branch of General Motors has already locked in a slightly smaller large SUV, the GMC Acadia, for right-hand-drive duties in this market alongside its three other SUVs sourced from Chevrolet, the small Trax, heavy-duty Trailblazer and upcoming mid-sized Equinox that is expected in the second half of this year.

The Tennessee-built Acadia – launched at the Detroit motor show in January – is scheduled to debut in Australia in 2018 when it will take up cudgels against vehicles such as the Toyota Kluger, Nissan Pathfinder, Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento.

The new Enclave and Acadia are both mounted on the same GM C1XX crossover platform derived from the E2XX front/all-wheel-drive architecture that will underpin the next-generation Holden Commodore and its source car, the Opel Insignia.

However, the Enclave has been stretched further than the Acadia in almost all directions, with a wheelbase 213mm longer (3070mm), an overall length 264mm longer (5181mm) and a width 86mm wider (2001mm).

No doubt Holden had a look at this vehicle in the design stage, but decided the more manageable Acadia was a better fit for Holden owners.

The new Enclave is a member of Buick’s new Avenir luxury sub-brand, named after the Australian-designed Avenir concept car that has influenced the styling of these Buicks.

Like the Acadia, the Enclave has seating for seven over three rows, but unlike the Acadia with its choice of four-cylinder and V6 petrol engines, the Enclave will come with only one standard powertrain, GM’s ubiquitous 3.6-litre V6 bolted on to GM’s new nine-speed automatic transmission.

Power is 225kW which Buick says is enough to tow a 6.4-metre boat.

Buick says the new Enclave builds on the first generation’s reputation for quietness, with further emphasis placed on reducing noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) inside the cabin by careful use of materials, extra sound deadening and active noise cancellation.

Enclave chief engineer Dean Perelli said that for Enclave customers, who often drove with family and friends, the ability to easily carry a conversation with passengers in all three rows was essential.

Cabin comfort is further enhanced with a new air ioniser that produces negatively charged particles to attract air-born contaminants and break down their structure, cleaning the cabin air.

Luggage space and load flexibility are other strong points of the Enclave, with luggage room increased 10 per cent over the previous model.

With the third row of seats up, 668 litres of cargo can be stowed in the boot which also has under-floor storage. The back two rows can be folded “almost flat” to accommodate long loads.

Safety equipment includes forward collision warning but not autonomous emergency braking.

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