Crossover & Midsize

The 2021 Buick Enclave Is Actually Losing Some Handy Features

2021 is the first year that Buick is only offering crossover vehicles, including the all-new Envision SUV. The Buick Enclave was just redesigned in the 2018 model year, so it really doesn’t need any major updates. In fact, Buick actually took some features away from the Enclave for the next model year, according to MotorTrend.

The Buick Enclave won’t have an air ionizer or dual-clutch all-wheel drive anymore. Will the loss of these features be a detriment to buyers? 

Features going away for the 2021 Buick Enclave

The dual-clutch AWD system was standard on the Buick Enclave’s two top trims. It’s a more advanced system than traditional AWD, allowing the vehicle to control torque on each wheel. It adjusts automatically depending on the conditions of the road to supply adequate traction. This also lets the car make safer turns over snowy or wet roads.

The air ionizer was also reserved for higher trims, which retained the Enclave’s pleasant new-car smell. It produces particles that act as magnets for odors and other harmful germs that can make you sick. Having good air quality in your car is especially important for people who have respiratory conditions.

What standard features remain on the 2021 Buick Enclave?

All Buick Enclave models are powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 310 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive on the standard trim. The engine provides plenty of power and Edmunds staff reported that it was one of the fastest crossovers they’d tested.

It’s also known for being one of the most comfortable midsize SUVs with a great suspension and a serene cabin. Up to seven people can fit inside the Buick Enclave, and the third row is roomy enough for adults. The base trim’s seats are made from cloth upholstery and both front seats have power adjustability and heating.

The infotainment system is easy to use and comes programmed with all the basics. Smartphone integration, satellite radio, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and Bluetooth are all included, plus you get six USB ports. However, the only standard safety features it has are a backup camera and rear parking sensors.

A hands-free liftgate, which is usually optional on other rivals, is standard equipment for the Buick Enclave. Drivers get almost 97 cubic feet of total storage space and there’s also a hidden compartment under the load floor.

Features available in higher trims

RELATED: Is the Buick Enclave Better Than the Chevrolet Traverse or Honda Pilot?

While dual-clutch AWD is no longer an option, you can still get regular AWD on each Enclave besides the base model. The next trim up, the Buick Enclave Essence, has leather seats and a few extra pieces of safety equipment. There’s also an optional package for this trim that includes navigation and a bigger stereo system.

The Premium trim adds on several more interior comfort features. The front seats have ventilation, massaging, and driver memory settings. The second-row seats have heating settings and a power-folding third row is also included.

The Buick Enclave Premium can also be optioned with a great safety technology package. It includes automatic high beams, lane-keeping assistance, front parking sensors, and forward-collision warning. When a safety alert is triggered, the driver’s seat will vibrate to make them aware of the situation.

The Buick Enclave Avenir has a standard navigation system, a surround-view camera setup, and a wireless charging pad. The interior also features a few upscale touches like wood trim surrounding the gear shifter and steering wheel. This trim also has an exclusive package that includes an adaptive suspension and automatic braking.

The lack of safety features on lower trims definitely calls the Buick Enclave’s value into question. However, for what it is, the Buick Enclave is still one of the most capable and roomy crossovers.