2011 Buick Enclave Review

Pros & Cons

  • Sleek design inside and out
  • smooth and quiet ride
  • all three rows are spacious
  • ample cargo space
  • top crash-test scores.
  • Compromised outward visibility
  • size hampers maneuverability.
List Price Range
$9,500 - $11,998

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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.

Vehicle overview

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.

2011 Buick Enclave models

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.

2011 Highlights

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.

Performance & mpg

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.

Safety

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.

Driving

"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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2011 Buick Enclave.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

I never thought I would buy a Buick
2left,11/15/2010
Pros: comfort, ride, quietness, styling, space, utility Cons: gas mileage, needs tighter steering, better visibility out the back. Summary: I had test drove Pilot, MDX, RX350, Sorento, VeraCruz, SantaFe, Highlander, Acadia, Traverse and Edge. For the size, comfort, range, performance, convenience and price, the Enclave stood out among its competiton IMO) - this selection was not only a surprise to me but those who know me as well - particularly since I have been a Honda/Acura person for many years. The Enclave is a very nice car and if I had to do it over again, I would purchase it again.
Good MPG for it's size
kb5868,05/13/2014
I bought a 2011 Enclave with only 20k miles after my lease was up on my 2012 Infiniti EX35. My Enclave gets a consistent 17 mpg in town compared to 15 mpg for the EX. It is easily twice the size of the Infiniti, the primary reason for not getting another EX lease - no one could fit in the back seat! So, for a vehicle that is nearly as large as my Yukon Denali, I'm fairly impressed with the gas mileage. everyone has their opinions, but I was puzzled by all the comments about how 2-3 mpg was bankrupting people that bought $45k cars and were considering $60k cars with better MPG to make up the difference. Different econ class than I had in high school I guess...LOL!
scary
staugustine1,08/13/2013
I have had my Buick for about two and a half years now and love just about everything about it. It is comfortable, responsive, hold lots of people and things. My only concern is about six months ago my "service air bag" light came on. So I promptly took it to the dealer where they had it for several days and repaired the faulty piece. While I was there I asked the service tech if the airbags would still work if the light was on and he told me NONE of the airbags would have worked in a crash. The light came back on again today so I am bringing it back to the dealership to have it fixed for a second time. This is not some thing that I find acceptable in a 2 1/2 year old car.
exceptional
pkirk618,06/13/2011
Purchased a fully loaded Enclave. Towing, chrome, 20" wheels, DVD rear....and those directional head lights, that's just so damn neat. I've never owned a luxury SUV and well, it's a pleasure to drive. I don't care about mileage as I feel it can't be avoided in something this big. It could be better I suppose, but I expected 20mpg average and that's what I get. Their paint and chrome, especially in the tri-coat diamond enclave is beautiful. The front end, especially with the blue ring in the headlights and waterfall grill compliment each other well. It's what sold my wife on this vehicle. ...and remote start standard? Heck yeah!

Features & Specs

MPG
17 city / 24 hwy
Seats 7
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
288 hp @ 6300 rpm
MPG
17 city / 24 hwy
Seats 7
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
288 hp @ 6300 rpm
MPG
16 city / 22 hwy
Seats 7
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
288 hp @ 6300 rpm
MPG
16 city / 22 hwy
Seats 7
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
288 hp @ 6300 rpm
See all Used 2011 Buick Enclave features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover16.9%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2011 Buick Enclave

Used 2011 Buick Enclave Overview

The Used 2011 Buick Enclave is offered in the following submodels: Enclave SUV. Available styles include CXL1 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A), CXL2 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A), CXL2 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A), CXL1 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A), CX 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A), and CX 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2011 Buick Enclave?

Price comparisons for Used 2011 Buick Enclave trim styles:

  • The Used 2011 Buick Enclave CXL1 is priced between $10,000 and$10,991 with odometer readings between 96973 and122311 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Buick Enclave CX is priced between $9,500 and$9,996 with odometer readings between 77204 and104719 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Buick Enclave CXL2 is priced between $9,799 and$11,998 with odometer readings between 81987 and122272 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2011 Buick Enclaves are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2011 Buick Enclave for sale near. There are currently 8 used and CPO 2011 Enclaves listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $9,500 and mileage as low as 77204 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2011 Buick Enclave.

Can't find a used 2011 Buick Enclaves you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Buick Enclave for sale - 3 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $17,561.

Find a used Buick for sale - 2 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $23,023.

Find a used certified pre-owned Buick Enclave for sale - 8 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $13,191.

Find a used certified pre-owned Buick for sale - 4 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $12,526.

Should I lease or buy a 2011 Buick Enclave?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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