Crossover & Midsize

The 2021 Buick Enclave Avenir Suffers From a Common 3-Row SUV Problem

GMC has seen some success with using the Denali trim in many of their vehicles, including the Yukon. It’s been around long enough that many seem to know what to expect already when they hear the Denali name. Buick decided it wanted the same popularity, so they tried to get in on the same deal, so they could reap the benefits as well. It introduced its Avenir trim for the Buick Enclave model. 

MotorTrend reviewed this model and shared their thoughts on how well it compares with the Denali trim. Let’s see what they figured out as they tested the Buick Enclave Avenir trim model. 

How well does the Avenir hold up to the GMC Denali trim?

The Avenir trim, at least at this time, is only available on the 2021 Buick Envision and the Enclave. While it’s meant to be Buick’s answer to the Denali trim from GMC vehicles, it still falls short. What areas did the automaker get right and where do they need to improve?

While most of the dash looked like it was made from premium materials for the first two rows, the third had cheaper-looking plastics surrounding it. Also, there’s faux-wood trim and satin chrome laid out along the dish around the infotainment system. 

You’d think the wood would offer a luxuriousness to the interior, but it just looks incredibly cheap. The problem is, however, its cousin, the Acadia Denali trim, has a genuine wood veneer, and this SUV costs $9,700 less than the Buick Enclave Avenir. 

What did they like about the Buick Enclave Avenir?

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The interior fit and finish were definitely aesthetically pleasing. The Buick Enclave Avenir that MotorTrend reviewed had chestnut-brown leather material. We also see the same brown color with soft-touch plastics located along the dash and the door inserts. There are also black accents throughout. 

There’s plenty of technology at your fingertips. Its premium instrument cluster has an 8-inch screen, which enables you to choose between Touring and Sport modes as your display. You’ll find a digital speedometer for the Touring mode or a large, round central one for the Sport mode. 

This model comes with OnStar Telematics, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto connectivity. You can also get a 10-speaker Bose audio system as well as a wireless charging pad and a 110-volt outlet. Surrounding the infotainment screen are large buttons controlling traction, all-wheel drive, parking distance warning, and lane-departure warning systems. 

What improvements could Buick make?

The Buick Enclave Avenir does have a nice, roomy interior. The third row has some roominess to it, but it’ll be more comfortable for young kids than full-sized adults. The seats aren’t likely to offer much support in the thighs for larger adults, plus they won’t get much headroom either. Best to leave the very back to the smaller kids. 

Accessing the third row isn’t bad, but you can only get back there on the passenger’s side, not the driver’s. The second-row captain’s chairs slide easily, but it can be jarring when sliding it back since the seat doesn’t remember its last setting. This problem is typical for three-row SUVs. While it does have that extra spacing, it’s not enough for adult passengers.

The biggest complaint MotorTrend reviewers had was concerning the price of the vehicle. If you purchase the Enclave with Avenir trim, expect to pay a high price for it. With that high of a price tag, you’d expect more luxuriousness for the money, but you just don’t get that.

The Buick Enclave Avenir may strive to be like the Denali trim, but unfortunately, it has a way to go before it actually gets there. However, with a few tweaks and improvements, it could be more of a competitor down the road.