All-New 2018 Buick Enclave

The 2018 Enclave, Buick’s all-new seven passenger midsize luxury SUV, features a longer wheelbase than the previous generation with a body structure built for safety, strength and mass efficiency. The standard 3.6L V6 engine with Stop/Start technology is paired with an efficient 9-speed automatic transmission. Plus, there are 17 radar, camera and ultrasonic sensors, when fully equipped, that provide a wealth of data for the numerous safety and collision avoidance features.


New Model, New Technology


The 2018 Enclave is now available in a new Avenir model, which is Buick’s new luxury sub-brand that offers unique styling cues and an extensive list of premium features. (Fig. 1)


Fig. 1


The new styling of the Enclave showcases a lower roofline and sharper windshield angle than the model it replaces. It includes Buick’s traditional QuietTuning sound-blocking features, yet with a new active noise cancellation system.


Also offering additional comfort for passengers is the new available air ionizer that eliminates odors and provides enhanced air quality. The air ionizer works by producing negatively charged particles that attract air-born contaminants and break down their structure, cleaning the cabin air. The ionizer doesn’t require any maintenance, but the traditional cabin filter should be serviced regularly. To turn the ionizer on or off, go to Settings > Vehicle > Climate and Air Quality.


High Feature V6


The High Feature 3.6L V6 engine (RPO LFY) uses variable valve timing (VVT) and direct injection (DI) to produce 310 horsepower and 266 lb.-ft. of torque. (Fig. 2) It uses dexos1 SAE 5W-30 viscosity grade engine oil.


Fig. 2


The fuel efficient Stop/Start technology on the engine is similar to the Stop/Start system found on other GM vehicles. An advanced algorithm determines when driving conditions are optimal to turn off the engine. The system monitors vehicle speed, climate control system operation and other conditions. The advanced system recognizes certain driving maneuvers, such as backing into a garage or parking lot situations, to better determine whether or not the vehicle needs to operate the stop/start function. Unique Stop/Start system components include a tandem-solenoid starter, DC-DC module that maintains voltage during a stop/start event, an electronically-controlled accumulator that retains transmission fluid pressure, and an engine mount system that dampens vibrations.


9-Speed Transmission


The 9T65 (RPO M3W) 9-speed, transverse-mounted, electronically-controlled automatic transmission consists primarily of a 4-element torque converter, a compound planetary gear set, friction and mechanical clutch assemblies, and a hydraulic pressurization and control system. (Fig. 3) The Transmission Control Module (TCM) is a standalone unit mounted on a bracket near the transmission. Use DEXRON®-VI Transmission Fluid in the 9T65.


Fig. 3


Selecting a gear is done with the shift-by-wire Electronic Precision Shift (EPS) gear selector, which eliminates the mechanical connection to the transmission. (Fig. 4) The automatic transmission shift pattern — Park, Reverse, Neutral, and Drive, and Manual positions — is displayed on top of the shift lever. The shift lever position is determined by two internal sensors that each transmit an X and Y coordinate signal. All four signal circuits are inputs to the Chassis Control Module. The selected gear position illuminates in red on the shift lever.


Fig. 4


The shift lever includes a Shift Interlock Button on the side of the lever that must be pressed to shift out of Park or into Reverse as well as a Park Button on top of the lever that must be pressed to shift the transmission into Park.


Switchable All-Wheel Drive


Available intelligent All-Wheel Drive (AWD) with an active twin-clutch rear differential — independently controlling torque to each rear wheel — and Buick’s first switchable AWD system improve control and efficiency. Switchable AWD allows the driver to switch between front-wheel drive and AWD when road conditions change. (Fig. 5) In front-wheel drive, the system disconnects virtually all of the AWD components from the drivetrain to save fuel and reduce emissions.


Fig. 5


In addition, the Enclave comes standard with the driver-controllable Traction Select system, which offers choices for different driving conditions, and changes the throttle response and other calibrations for the selected driving mode.


The Driver Mode Control also provides additional driver control with Sport and Tow/Haul modes. The system simultaneously changes the software calibration of various sub-systems, including the suspension, steering, and powertrain settings. On vehicles with Sport and Tow/Haul modes, there is only one selectable button (Tow/Haul), which engages both the Sport features as well as the Tow/Haul features when enabled.


Infotainment System


The infotainment system on the Enclave includes an 8-inch (203 mm) diagonal color touchscreen. (Fig. 6) The standard system (RPO IO5) features gesture control (use simple gestures such as tap, drag and swipe to navigate through menus and screens), in-vehicle apps via Shop, Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ compatibility, and natural language voice recognition. The available system (RPO IO6) with embedded navigation offers easy-to-understand turn-by-turn directions. Navigation features can be accessed using the touchscreen, voice command or within the instrument cluster using the steering wheel-mounted buttons.


Fig. 6


SmartSlide Seating


The SmartSlide 2nd-row seat on the passenger side of the vehicle can be slid and angled forward using the handle on the side of the seatback, allowing passengers easy access to the 3rd-row seats on the curb side of the vehicle. The seat slides and tilts forward even when a forward-facing child restraint is installed using the LATCH system. Remove a rear-facing child restraint before moving the seat for 3rd-row entry or exit.


Safety Features


The Driver Assistance Systems — an expanded range of radar- and camera-based active safety technologies — are designed to enhance driver awareness and aid in reducing potential collision situations.


Some of the available Driver Assistance features include:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Forward Automatic Braking
  • Forward Collision Alert with Following Distance Indicator
  • Front Pedestrian Braking
  • Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning
  • Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Rear Parking Assist
  • IntelliBeam high-beam headlamp control
  • Safety Alert Seat
  • Surround Vision camera system


Power Liftgate


The available hands-free power programmable liftgate can be opened and closed by simply using a kicking motion under the driver’s side of the rear bumper, just left of center. It also features a Buick Tri-Shield logo that is projected onto the ground by an LED lamp under the rear bumper to indicate the hands-free sensor location. (Fig. 7) The key fob must be within 10 feet (3 m) of the back of the vehicle to activate the projected logo. The projected logo may not be visible in all conditions, such as on snow-covered ground or on a bright, sunny day.


Fig. 7


Spare Tire Access


To access the spare tire, the cargo management system below the rear cargo floor must be removed. (Fig. 8) Remove the four wing nuts and lift up on the handles on both sides to remove the cargo management system. The storage bin can be placed on the lowered third row seats while accessing the spare tire.


Fig. 8


Special Tools


The following special service tools have been released for the 2018 Enclave:


DT-48022 Bushing Installer
DT-51834 Seal Installer, RH Input & Pinion Cassette
DT-51835 Seal Installer, LH Input & IDS Cassette
EN-51332 Fuel Line Release Tool


For additional information on the new 2018 Enclave, refer to Bulletin #17-NA-285.


– Thanks to Sherman Dixon and Steve Bruder


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