Catherine Hiles
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Best Buicks for Road Trips

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The 2021 Buick Envision Avenir's incredible moonroof
2021 Buick Envision Avenir
Photo: Buick

There’s plenty to consider when picking the ideal car for your road trips. From interior space and cargo room to fuel efficiency and modern technology, if you hit the road often and for long distances, you’ll want to take the extra time to make sure your car is the perfect fit for your family.

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Luckily, Buick offers several vehicles perfect for road trips. Whether you want something compact and easy to maneuver or something to fit your larger family, Buick has you covered with these offerings.

Buick Enclave

Front side view of 2022 Buick Enclave parked in front of house
Photo: Buick

The Buick Enclave is everything you’d ever want in a mid-size SUV. It has seating for up to seven people across three rows, but you can also fold down the third row if you need cargo space more than people space. That will open up 58 cubic feet of cargo volume; with the third-row seats in place you’ll still have 23.6 cubic feet of space to store your luggage.

If you’re planning an RV road trip, the Buick Enclave can pull up to 5,000 pounds when equipped with the available Trailering Package. That’ll allow you to pull a decent-sized lightweight RV or even a pop-up camper.

  • Rear side view of 2022 Buick Enclave parked in driveway
  • Front side view of 2022 Buick Enclave driving down road
  • Front side view of Buick Enclave Avenir pulling boat trailer near water
  • 2022 Buick Enclave front seats, dashboard, and steering wheel
  • Navigation screen in 2021 Buick Envision

When you’re driving long distances, fuel efficiency is also a concern. The Buick Enclave gets up to 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway in the 2021 model equipped with front-wheel drive.

The Envision offers a choice between four trim levels: Preferred, Essence, Premium, and Avenir. All models come with a 3.6-liter V6 engine paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Standard features on the Preferred trim include a leather-wrapped steering wheel, QuietTuning technology to block out road noise, and Buick Infotainment with a color touch screen. Step up to the Essence model to add leather-appointed first- and second-row seating, Lane Change Alert with Blind Size Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility. The Premium model adds a Bose Premium 10-speaker audio system, ventilated and massaging front seats, power-folding third-row seats, and Automatic Emergency Braking. The top-of-the-line Avenir comes with unique Avenir styling, HD Surround Vision and Rear Camera Mirror, a power moonroof with rear fixed skylight, and wireless smartphone charging.

Buick Envision

Side view of parked 2021 Buick Envision
Photo: Buick

If you don’t need the space provided by the Enclave, the Buick Envision might be your perfect road-trip buddy. It seats up to five and offers a maximum cargo volume of 52.7 cubic feet with the second-row seats folded.

The Envision’s standard 2.0-liter Turbo ECOTEC four-cylinder engine is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission to output 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard in Preferred and Avenir models, while the Essence comes with standard all-wheel drive. FWD models get up to 24 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, while AWD models get 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.

  • Rear side view of 2021 Buick Envision driving down city street
  • Front side view of 2021 Buick Envision driving down city street
  • 2021 Buick Envision front seat
  • 2021 Buick Envision panoramic moonroof
  • 2021 Buick Envision touch screen

Across its three available trim levels, the Buick Envision offers plenty of comfort and entertainment amenities. The entry-level Preferred model has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, QuietTuning technology with Active Noise Cancellation, and the Buick Infotainment System with an 8-inch diagonal color touch screen. Upgrade to the Essence model to get 18-inch wheels, an in-vehicle air ionizer, a hands-free programmable liftgate, heated leather front seats, and a 10.2-inch diagonal Buick Infotainment System. Finally, the range-topping Avenir has 20-inch wheels, ventilated driver and front passenger seats, driver’s seat massage control, heated rear outboard seating, HS Surround Vision, Front Park Assist, wireless phone charging, and a Bose nine-speaker premium audio system.

Buick Encore GX

2021 Buick Encore GX parked by a lake with a kayak on the roof rack
Photo: Buick

The Encore GX is the perfect small SUV for couples or small families to take on a road trip. Like the Envision, the Enxore GX seats five, but it does sacrifice some cargo room due to its smaller size. There’s a total of 23.5 cubic feet behind the rear seats, and 50.2 cubic feet when you fold them down.

Another area the Encore GX excels is fuel efficiency. The standard 1.2-liter Turbo engine is rated at 28 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. You can also opt for a 1.3-liter Turbo engine on Select and Essence models; that engine is rated at 30 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. These numbers reflect FWD powertrains; you can also get the 1.3-liter engine with AWD, but that drops the numbers to 26 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.

  • 2021 Buick Encore GX Essence
  • The 2020 Buick Encore GX
  • 2020 Buick Encore GX
  • Apple CarPlay Buick Encore GX

The three trim levels for the Encore GX are Preferred, Select, and Essence. The entry-level Preferred trim comes with 18-inch wheels, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, Buick QuietTuning, and an 8-inch diagonal Buick Infotainment System. Upgrading to the mid-range Select model gets you Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, a remote vehicle started system, heated driver and front passenger seats, and automatic dual-zone climate control. If you go with the Essence trim, you’ll add leather-appointed seating, LED headlamps and taillamps, a heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, an air ionizer, and a 120-volt outlet behind the center console.

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Any of these three Buick models would make the perfect companion for your next road trip.