Buick has been on the upswing the past few years, introducing new models that are much more desirable than its mediocre past products. The Buick Enclave was one of the first vehicles to point Buick in the right direction. The Enclave shares a platform with GM's latest group of large crossovers and features an upscale interior, a powerful 3.6-liter V6 and plenty of room for both passengers and cargo. For a new or used large luxury crossover SUV, the Enclave is one of the better choices available.
Current Buick Enclave
A full-size crossover SUV, the Buick Enclave sports a number of family-friendly features, such as a roomy cabin with easily accessed and adult-friendly third-row seats. There are three trim levels: Convenience, Leather and Premium, all with standard seven-passenger seating. An available second-row bench seat increases capacity to eight. For power, the Enclave has a 3.6-liter V6 rated at 288 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic and front-wheel drive are standard. All-wheel drive is optional.
The Enclave with Convenience Group comes with 18-inch wheels, xenon headlights, a power liftgate, tri-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, Bluetooth connectivity, smartphone app integration and OnStar. The Leather Group adds 19-inch wheels, a blind-spot warning system, rear cross-traffic alert, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power passenger seat and driver memory settings. The Premium trim level features chrome-clad wheels, active headlights, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, ventilated front seats and a 10-speaker Bose audio system. Option highlights include 20-inch wheels, a navigation system, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and a dual-panel sunroof.
The Buick Enclave's interior is quite nice, with a gently curving dash, rich-looking wood-grain inlays and soft, double-stitched leather. Adding interest are a Tiffany-style analog clock and aqua blue instrumentation. Access to the third row is excellent, with second-row seats that tilt and slide out of the way, and there are a useful 23 cubic feet of space behind the upright third-row seat. Folding down both rows yields a very impressive 115 cubic feet of cargo space.
In our reviews, we've found the Buick Enclave's V6 provides quick acceleration, along with a mildly sporty exhaust note. The six-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly. On the highway, the Enclave is quiet and smooth-riding, though some buyers may find that the optional 20-inch wheels degrade the ride noticeably. Overall handling is competent and predictable, though not necessarily the equal of its more driver-oriented (or smaller) rivals.
Used Buick Enclave Models
The Buick Enclave debuted for the 2008 model year. For that year, the V6 had a lower output of 275 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque. The following year welcomed the direct-injection 3.6-liter V6 (power increased to 288 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque) as well as other upgrades that included Bluetooth connectivity and a traffic feature for the navigation system. Until 2010, there were just two trim levels ? base CX and luxury CXL. Also, for the first two model years the transmission could be lazy to downshift due to its fuel-economy-biased programming. For 2010, the transmission was reprogrammed for quicker response. Two years later, the Enclave's trim levels were revised, resulting in more descriptive base, Convenience, Leather and Premium trims. Additionally, Enclaves from 2008-'12 have slightly different exterior styling than the current model as well as some lower-quality switchgear. Overall, though, any used Enclave will be a solid choice for an upscale crossover SUV.
Read the most recent 2014 Buick Enclave review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Buick Enclave page.