2025 Buick Enclave Up Close: Nicer Than You Remember

buick enclave 2025 exterior 01 jpg 2025 Buick Enclave | Cars.com photo by Stephen Pham

It was telling to me when I drove a new Lexus TX 550h+ plug-in hybrid three-row SUV to get some personal up-close viewing time with the new 2025 Buick Enclave. The Lexus is, well, okay inside. It doesn’t feel particularly upscale or luxurious, and it’s full of elements that don’t feel any better than the Toyota Grand Highlander from which it is created. The new Enclave, on the other hand, was stunning.

Related: 2025 Buick Enclave Completes Brand’s Showroom Refresh

No Longer Bland

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The 2025 Enclave’s interior feels posh, stylish and beautifully considered, and its materials are exceptional, from the colors to the shapes to the way they were applied. It has interesting designs, excellent usability and outstanding comfort, and its new Google-based multimedia system with the 30-inch screen feels well sorted and nicely presented. It’s everything the $78,000 Lexus should have been, but wasn’t.

Such is the new Buick, which has a showroom full of surprise and delight that wasn’t present in the brand in even the previous generation of vehicles, including this Enclave. The last version was bland, unremarkable and quite dated. The 2025 model is fresh, stylish and demonstrably premium in a way that a lot of current “premium” brands like Lexus, Infiniti and Acura aren’t anymore.

The Enclave’s styling, which evokes Buick’s Wildcat EV concept car, also looks good, but that gaping trapezoidal grille is coming dangerously close to aping the Toyota fish-mouth look. Time to tone it back a bit on la bouche, Buick. The overall resemblance to the Grand Highlander is actually rather striking when you stand back and look at how the face and lines have changed. Thankfully, the Toyota looks good, and so does the Enclave.

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A New Engine Under the Hood

The Enclave’s new engine should be interesting, too. Making 328 horsepower and 326 pounds-feet of torque, it’s a powerhouse that I’m looking forward to trying. Those are V-8 numbers from a turbo-four, and when I’ve sampled GM’s high-power four-bangers in its full-size pickups, I’ve come away impressed, so I’m hoping I will be here, too.

I am, however, disappointed in the GM trend of not differentiating powertrains between brands in the slightest; this is the same setup with the same output you get in the new Chevrolet Traverse that will cost thousands of dollars less. It couldn’t find a little extra power in the engine’s programming to make the Buick a little more special? It smacks of cheaping out on the product development budgets and not paying for the extra certification for a different output. GM will likely tell me customers don’t care, and maybe they really don’t.

Overall, the new 2025 Buick Enclave is an impressive update, elevating the luxury quotient of the top Buick to much more competitive levels. If Buick can keep hold of the price and not let it spiral too badly — keeping it competitive with vehicles like the Lexus TX, Infiniti QX60 and Acura MDX — the updated Enclave should have a real shot at further boosting Buick’s sales momentum in the U.S.

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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

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