Skip to main content

Buy This, Not That: 5 Alternatives to Buick’s 2020 Enclave Avenir

buick enclave avenir 2020 01 angle  black  exterior  front jpg 2020 Buick Enclave Avenir | Cars.com photo by Aaron Bragman

We have to admit that we’re disappointed by the Buick Avenir sub-brand. It’s supposed to be Buick’s companion to the popular Denali sub-brand over at sibling brand GMC: nicer digs inside, fancier embellishments outside and a few special features, all for a bit more money than the rest of the lineup. Sadly, cuts to GM’s passenger-car lineup have seen the Avenir brand applied to just two models for 2020: the soon-to-be-discontinued Regal Avenir hatchback and top-of-the-line Enclave Avenir SUV.

Related: 2018 Buick Enclave Avenir Review: First Impressions

Shop the 2020 Buick Enclave near you

Used
2020 Buick Enclave Essence
46,052 mi.
$24,998 $1,000 price drop
Used
2020 Buick Enclave AWD Premium
37,269 mi.
$30,500

The Enclave is the one we’ll discuss today, which you can have for $5,400 over the Enclave’s next-highest trim level, called Premium (with the same driveline, whether front- or all-wheel drive). For that sum, you get almost all safety equipment as standard (but not all of it), plus a bit more chrome, standard 20-inch wheels, a different leather interior with embroidered seats, a standard camera-based rearview mirror and distinctive LED headlights. AWD, a premium suspension with continuously variable dampers, adaptive cruise control down to a stop and enhanced automatic emergency braking are all still optional. Base price for a FWD Enclave Avenir is $54,995 including destination fee; the total price for everything on my AWD test vehicle was $59,930, an extraordinary sum for a Buick crossover.

buick enclave avenir 2020 06 black  exterior  rear angle jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 08 black  exterior  rear jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 10 black  exterior  rear  taillights jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 09 badge  black  exterior  rear jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 05 badge  black  exterior  profile jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 04 black  detail  exterior  profile jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 03 black  exterior  headlights jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 07 black  exterior  wheel jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 02 badge  black  exterior  grille jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 14 front row  interior jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 20 interior  second row jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 19 climate control  doors  interior jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 16 gearshift  interior jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 23 interior  third row jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 15 instrument panel  interior jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 17 center stack display  interior jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 13 front row  interior jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 18 center stack display  interior jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 20 interior  second row jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 19 climate control  doors  interior jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 16 gearshift  interior jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 06 black  exterior  rear angle jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 08 black  exterior  rear jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 10 black  exterior  rear  taillights jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 09 badge  black  exterior  rear jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 05 badge  black  exterior  profile jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 04 black  detail  exterior  profile jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 03 black  exterior  headlights jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 07 black  exterior  wheel jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 02 badge  black  exterior  grille jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 14 front row  interior jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 20 interior  second row jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 19 climate control  doors  interior jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 16 gearshift  interior jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 23 interior  third row jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 15 instrument panel  interior jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 17 center stack display  interior jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 13 front row  interior jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 18 center stack display  interior jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 20 interior  second row jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 19 climate control  doors  interior jpg buick enclave avenir 2020 16 gearshift  interior jpg

That’s a sum we think is sadly not at all indicative of the Enclave Avenir’s execution. Simply put, it’s not nice enough to command that kind of coin. The leather doesn’t look or feel any more special than leather in other GM models, and there are elements of the interior that are just plain cheap — the manual moonroof shades use thin, flimsy fabric that flaps about when the windows are down, there are no height-adjustable seat belts, only the driver’s window has automatic down and up, and walk-in entry to the third row is only possible on the passenger side of the vehicle. Yes, the Enclave is relatively quiet and comfortable, and it looks pretty stylish and has an up-to-date multimedia system. But for 60 kilodollars, we expect a lot more than it delivers.

If you’re in the market for a big, premium seven-passenger crossover, here are five models we’d recommend instead of the Enclave Avenir:

1. 2020 Hyundai Palisade Limited

The winner of our most recent 2020 3-Row SUV Challenge, the Palisade Limited would be our first choice instead of an Enclave Avenir. For significantly less money than a loaded Enclave Avenir, you get a seven-seat SUV that hits above its weight class — meaning it’s significantly nicer and better equipped than its price would suggest. It has a fully digital dash, Nappa leather that actually feels premium, a roomy cabin, a smooth powertrain, a vastly superior multimedia system, and far more standard safety and driver-assist equipment. And here’s the kicker: A loaded Palisade, with its laundry list of advanced equipment and upscale interior, won’t set you back more than $48,000 with all factory equipment.

2. 2020 Kia Telluride SX

Almost everything that’s been said about the Palisade goes for the Telluride as well. Kia is a sister brand to Hyundai, so the two SUVs feature near-identical mechanics, similar interiors and amenities, with the biggest differences coming in styling, inside and out. They’re priced similarly, as well, so you can get a loaded Telluride with an interior that’s nicer than the Enclave Avenir’s for roughly the same price as the Palisade. The downside to both the Telluride and the Palisade, however: They’re scarce due to high demand.

3. 2020 Chevrolet Traverse High Country

If you’re set on a GM seven-passenger SUV, your better bet is actually a Chevrolet Traverse High Country. It features the same powertrain, interior space, multimedia system and safety features as the Enclave Avenir, but offers up items like enhanced forward automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control as standard; they’re still options on the Avenir trim. The High Country’s interior is about as nice as the Avenir with scant differences in materials quality, and the seating arrangement is identical. You don’t get the partially digital gauge cluster in the Traverse, but a loaded AWD Traverse High Country is about $5,000 less than a loaded Enclave Avenir.

More From Cars.com:

4. 2020 Volvo XC90 T6 Momentum

Seven seats in a stylish Swedish SUV is the idea here, with an interior that shames the Buick for design and quality. But the XC90 gives up some room: The Volvo is smaller than the Buick and tighter inside for passengers, but for roughly as much as the Enclave Avenir, you get a beautifully finished European luxury SUV that feels more expensive than it is. The T5 is less expensive than the T6, but that model’s 250-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine isn’t as desirable as the T6’s better-performing 316-hp motor. The least-expensive XC90 can be had for just less than $50,000, but the one best comparable in equipment to the Enclave Avenir I tested is an AWD T6 Momentum trim, which starts at $57,295 with destination.

5. 2020 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD

In its push for consideration as a more premium brand, Mazda has upgraded the interiors on its highest trim levels. Top-quality leather, beautiful cabin designs, even some more interesting color combinations are now available. The CX-9’s multimedia system still has room for improvement, and it’s smaller than many of its competitors (especially in the third row), but the driving dynamics are exceptional, and the cabin feels definitely premium. A trim comparable to the Enclave Avenir is the Signature AWD, with Nappa leather and a torquey turbocharged four-cylinder engine, all for about $48,000 loaded up.

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Photo of Aaron Bragman
Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman has had over 25 years of experience in the auto industry as a journalist, analyst, purchasing agent and program manager. Bragman grew up around his father’s classic Triumph sports cars (which were all sold and gone when he turned 16, much to his frustration) and comes from a Detroit family where cars put food on tables as much as smiles on faces. Today, he’s a member of the Automotive Press Association and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. His pronouns are he/him, but his adjectives are fat/sassy. Email Aaron Bragman

Featured stories

202305 suv highest towing capacity scaled jpg
cadillac lyriq 2024 02 exterior front angle scaled jpg
202407 what to do if manufacturer is defunct jpg