2011 Buick Enclave SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Buick Enclave SUV

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Buick Enclave Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.6 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 288 hp @ 6300 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/22 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2011 Buick Enclave

  • The three-row 2011 Buick Enclave crossover SUV is an excellent choice for families who want minivan functionality along with classy styling and a luxurious interior.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Sleek design inside and out; smooth and quiet ride; all three rows are spacious; ample cargo space; top crash-test scores.

  • Cons

    Compromised outward visibility; size hampers maneuverability.

  • What's New for 2011

    For 2011, the Buick Enclave sees only very minor changes. Its 2-Way Advanced Remote Start feature has been deleted as an option, and a six-month subscription to OnStar's Directions and Connections joins the standard features list.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (7 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

19 months in, tearing my

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Vehicle: 2011 Buick Enclave CXL1 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

I wrote my first review after driving the Enclave for a week; we've had it now for 19 months. We bought it to transport my teenage daughter and her friends around and it's been a great success. They love the luxurious leather seats, the sound system and the great ride. The back seats fold down in a variety of ways and you can transport pretty much whatever you want. The main drawback is the awful fuel consumption on the AWD version, which is less even than the 15 mpg Buick claims it will get. Our lease runs out at the end of 2014 and we'd like to buy the Enclave, even though it will be a bit big for two people, but I think we'll downsize to a BMW X3 or the Audi Q5 just to save money on gas.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

Like an ocean liner (a

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Vehicle: 2011 Buick Enclave CXL1 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

I've had the CXL1 AWD for a week and am still adapting to a vehicle that reminds me of an ocean liner. It's very stately and is not the kind of crossover you'd want to be manoeuvring in a tight parking lot. My wife wanted a leather-seated vehicle, so I test drove the Toyota Highlander, Subaru Outback, Mazda CX9, Acura MDX and Chevrolet Traverse. The Enclave beat the lot. I love the exterior design but some of the interior controls are oddly placed. The gas mileage so far has been disappointing (no shocks there) and I haven't yet worked out a totally comfortable seating arrangement. My 15-year-old daughter though says the Enclave is "sick", which is a great compliment coming from her.

Follow up on earlier review

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Vehicle: 2011 Buick Enclave CXL1 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

Just completed 3500 mile trip with new Enclave, I'm adding to earlier review. Ride is excellant and it's quiet. It's a big car, I didn't get used to the size as I thought I would with driving time. Poor outward visibility, and lack of maneuverability in tight spaces, i.e., parking garages, and busy parking lots is my biggest complaint. Gas mileage is disappointing, hoped for rated mileage at least, but it's 1 or 2 mpg less than rated. Interior conveniences are either lacking or too small to be useful. We've had minivans for years, nothing beats them for travelling convenience so I'm biased on these points. Overall, it's a comfortable, nice, if not exciting or "fun" to drive, car.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

Nice car, so far

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Vehicle: 2011 Buick Enclave CXL1 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

We've had it a week. My wife loves it. It feels big and a little clumsy to me, and I'm used to driving a van. Limited visibility will also take some getting used to. Very comfortable seats. Gas mileage so far is disappointing, less than rated. My opinion on this and most cars now is the electronics are way over done. Too many "features" that aren't necessary. Huge gripe is the lack of hanging hooks inside rear doors, instead they are half way back by the 3rd seat or cargo area. Totally inconvenient for hanging dry cleaning, and the bar I use on vacation to hang clothing. We travel a lot and this silly oversight may have been a decider to go with a Lexus.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Best in it's class

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Vehicle: 2011 Buick Enclave CXL1 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

We wanted to move from our minivan to something more compatible with our long NW winters. After many weeks of in depth research we finally decided on a GMC Acadia. The dealership also featured Buicks. After test driving both my wife and I came to the conclusion that the Buick outshown the Acadia in fit and finish and overall quietness and ride. I found the car responsive and while it will never be the first one away from the starting line, it does have the requisite power on demand to pass safely. The ride is exceptional as is the quietness. Both of these were prime concerns for my wife. The interior is well laid out and materials above average. I would highly recommend this car

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

A cargo hauler with class

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Vehicle: 2011 Buick Enclave CXL1 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

When we started our automobile research we had a number of requirements. The car had to be 4WD because of our location and sometimes elongated winters. It had to be comfortable, quiet, handle well, get reasonable gas mileage, allow my small stature wife to sit comfortably while driving and have enough cargo room to tote our Old English Sheep Dog in spoiled comfort. This last requirement eliminated a number of fine candidates and pricing further shaved the list. We finally came down to a GMC Acadia or Buick Enclave. The Buick wasnÂ’t originally on our list due to pricing but with manufacturer and other discounts it was brought into our budget. We could not be happier. The car is quiet,

Full 2011 Buick Enclave Review

What's New for 2011

For 2011, the Buick Enclave sees only very minor changes. Its 2-Way Advanced Remote Start feature has been deleted as an option, and a six-month subscription to OnStar's Directions and Connections joins the standard features list.


Despite remaining mostly unchanged in its four years on the market, Buick's full-size three-row crossover continues to be a very appealing choice in a very competitive segment. The 2011 Buick Enclave is essentially the same vehicle we saw last year -- and we're fine with that. Although it shares its platform (dubbed "Lambda") with a pair of GM cousins known as the Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia, the Buick Enclave sports its own identity. That is, it offers a luxurious, stylish and upscale take on the family-friendly crossover.

Among the Buick Enclave's many strengths are its powerful V6, comfortable and quiet ride, massive cargo capacity and excellent crash-test scores. Buyers can choose between a seven- or eight-passenger setup within the handsome, well-appointed cabin. The former features a pair of captain's chairs in the second row while the latter features a three-passenger bench. These amenities are beautifully housed within the Enclave's attractive, curvaceous sheet metal.

Despite its ample measure of functionality, it's true that the 2011 Buick Enclave still can't match a minivan when it comes to practicality; the Enclave offers less cargo space, and its lack of sliding doors makes it more difficult to load rear passengers. In its favor, though, is its sheet metal: This Buick is a lot more stylish than any minivan.

Indeed, lined up against premium-branded rivals like the 2011 Acura MDX and 2011 Lexus RX 350, the Buick Enclave still looks good in terms of performance, luxury features and style. Some of the buyers who patronize other premium brands might sniff at the Buick's hard-to-shake old-man image and sometimes inconsistent cabin materials. More mainstream shoppers might consider the 2011 Ford Flex, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz and 2011 Mazda CX-9, all of which have their own strengths. Overall, though, the Buick Enclave stands as a solid choice for families looking for space, style and luxury at a price that won't break the bank.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Buick Enclave is a large crossover SUV that comes in CX, CXL1 and CXL2 trim levels. All have a standard seven-passenger seating configuration via second-row captain's chairs and a third-row bench seat. An optional second-row bench seat, available at no extra charge, increases capacity to eight.

Even the base CX is nicely equipped out of the box with 19-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlights, foglamps, a power liftgate, heated outside mirrors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and cloth upholstery. Other standard features include partial power front seats, a tilt-and-telescoping leather/wood steering wheel, tri-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, OnStar and a six-speaker CD/MP3 audio system with an auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio.

The Enclave CXL1 adds leather upholstery, heated power front seats (eight-way driver, four-way passenger), driver-seat memory functions, rear parking sensors and a back-up camera with a small rearview-mirror display. The CXL2 tacks on active headlights, power-folding heated outside mirrors (with driver-side auto-dimming and integrated turn signals), a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, ventilated front seats, a 115-volt power outlet and a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound system with a USB audio jack.

On the CX, you can add the Bose stereo, back-up camera and rear parking sensors as options. For the CXL trims, you can additionally add a rear-seat entertainment system and a navigation system (with back-up camera display). Other Enclave options include a dual-pane "SkyScape" sunroof (not available on CX), a second-row storage console with a 12-volt power outlet (also not available on CX) and towing preparation.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2011 Buick Enclave offers a choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Either way, the power plant is a 3.6-liter V6 that pumps out 288 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard.

EPA fuel economy estimates stand at 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined for front-wheel-drive models, while all-wheel-drive versions rate 16/22/18. With the optional trailering package, the Enclave can tow up to 4,500 pounds.


Stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags are standard on every 2011 Buick Enclave. In brake testing, the Enclave came to a stop from 60 mph in 139 feet. This is a somewhat long stopping distance for this segment, and both the Ford Flex and Mazda CX-9 perform better.

In the government's new, more strenuous crash testing for 2011, the Enclave earned a top five-star rating for overall performance, with four out of five stars given for front-impact protection and five stars for side-impact protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Enclave earned the best score of "Good" in frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Enclave's cabin has an upscale vibe thanks to its stylish dash and wood-grain inlays. There's chrome trim everywhere, though, which means blinding reflections when the sun is at certain angles. Two other downsides include small and indistinct buttons for the audio and climate controls, and outward visibility that's more compromised than that of competing vehicles.

On the bright side, the Enclave is one of the roomiest crossover SUVs on the market. There are 19 cubic feet of usable space behind the third-row seat, 68 cubic feet with the third row's 60/40 sections folded into the floor and an enormous (though not quite minivan-grade) 116 cubic feet with the second row folded. Third-row access is facilitated by a tilt-and-slide function for the second-row seats; however, some agility is still required to get back there, and the Enclave's third row is more claustrophobic than the Ford Flex's.

Driving Impressions

"Carlike" is a term often applied to crossover SUVs. It doesn't quite apply to the gargantuan 2011 Buick Enclave, which tips the scales at close to 5,000 pounds with all-wheel drive; indeed, we've noted that the Enclave feels bigger and more ponderous on the road than some rival crossovers.

Nonetheless, the Enclave's 3.6-liter V6 is plenty powerful in most situations, and while the handling is neither lively nor inspiring, it's stable and secure. The 2011 Buick Enclave also shines on road trips thanks to its quiet ride and compliant suspension.

Talk About The 2011 Enclave

Gas Mileage


  • 16
  • cty
  • 22
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs