When we last met the 2022 Buick Enclave, it was back in January when the brand slipped two photos of it to the assembled press during a broader event starring the smaller Buick Envision. The duet of pictures highlighted revamped exterior styling but did little to answer our questions surrounding the new interior. Nevertheless, Buick has lifted the veil of secrecy and has shed new light on what consumers can expect from Buick’s rebooted flagship.
Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder
One of the most significant changes that the Enclave received for 2022 is all-new exterior styling. When we had a chance to sample an older Enclave for ourselves, we were disappointed with how mundane and bland the exterior presentation was. Buick stylists have listened and have given the Enclave more soul. The front fascia features a larger front grille, with the front bumper being tweaked to project more confidence. While it’s ultimately up to the viewer to judge whether the new face does succeed in being attractive, there’s no denying that it draws plenty of attention, especially at night.
The profile might appear unchanged at first glance, but Buick promises several new wheel options for buyers to choose from, including 20-inch wheels. The rear of the 2022 Enclave takes a much subtler approach with new taillights and a slightly tweaked rear bumper, adding uniqueness to the otherwise carryover rear-end. With this iteration of the Enclave being a mid-cycle refresh versus an outright reboot, look for this version of the Enclave to hold the fort for a few more years until Buick gives this popular SUV offering a much-deserved redesign. As usual, range-topping Avenir models get trim exclusive appointments, including more chrome in the front grille and other areas of the SUV.
Carryover Interior Boasts Light Tweaks For 2022
A persistent rumor that stuck around suggested that the 2022 Enclave would get a redesigned interior. The lack of cabin photos in Buick’s original image release did lend some perceived credibility to that report. But spoiler alert, that’s not happening here, with the 2022’s cabin being largely carried over from the outgoing model. The lone key change here is found in the center console, which pitches the odd-looking shifter and replaces it with GM’s push-button gear selector technology.
Buick was quick to point out that some new materials and higher quality appointments will also make their way into the Enclave for 2022, but look for the bulk of these appointments to largely be exclusive to the Avenir trim, which already boasts an impressive amount of standard equipment including heated and cooled seats with massage capability. In addition, unique seat patterns and other minor detail-focused frills will also make their way to this ritzy trim for 2022.
Enhanced Standard Equipment Makes 2022 Enclave Shine
While the Enclave Avenir is slated to be the show-stealer in the Enclave lineup, Buick made sure to not leave the rest of the family out of the spotlight and is enhancing the amount of technology buyers will have at their disposal. That includes key safety technology like automatic emergency braking, automatic high-beams, lane keep assist, blindspot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. In addition, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are also standard on the 2022 Enclave, which should make the big utility popular with large mobile-focused families.
This focus on technology helps direct attention away from Enclave’s performance hardware which carries on with business as usual. That translates to a 3.6 liter 310 hp V6 with a nine-speed automatic being the lone transmission choice. However, the Enclave’s continued resistance towards smaller turbocharged powerplants is a bit intriguing. While it ensures that the Enclave can haul and tow with the segment’s best, it also causes the Enclave to feel out of step, especially in an era where boosted engines are rapidly becoming the new normal.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.