2013 Buick Enclave Review

Pros & Cons

  • Sleek design inside and out
  • smooth and quiet ride
  • top crash test scores
  • all three seating rows are spacious
  • ample cargo space
  • smart electronics interface.
  • Large size hampers maneuverability
  • compromised rear visibility.
List Price Range
$12,999 - $15,825

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2013 Buick Enclave is a wonderful, full-size family crossover for folks who also want a luxurious cabin, yet can't afford a three-row model from a traditional luxury brand.

Vehicle overview

Buick typically positions itself as a brand that builds higher-quality, more luxurious vehicles than its Chevrolet corporate cousin, yet it doesn't go so far upstream as to encroach upon the refined waters of Cadillac. It's a niche to be sure, but one that works out well for models like the 2013 Buick Enclave.

Like the related Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia, the Enclave offers a variety of useful seating configurations, a colossal cabin, a confidence-inspiring driving experience and sufficient V6 power. However, the Enclave boasts classier styling and more upscale interior appointments than its cousins. And for 2013, the Enclave's even classier. The cabin's general layout remains the same, yet the materials have been upgraded, especially the dash. The 2013 Enclave also now features Buick's IntelliLink (it's the same as Chevy's MyLink), which consists of a configurable touchscreen display and smartphone app integration.

Other noteworthy changes include unique front inboard side airbags and a retuned suspension that delivers a smoother, more controlled driving experience. Altogether, the 2013 changes help bolster the Enclave's status. Checking out its Chevy Traverse and GMC Acadia siblings is still a good idea (you might like their styling or price tags better) and the 2013 Ford Flex and 2013 Mazda CX-9 are our other favorites in this segment.

Of these, the 2013 Buick Enclave looks and feels the most like a luxury vehicle. And when you consider the paltry selection of large three-row crossovers from traditional luxury brands (the Infiniti JX35 is smaller; the Mercedes GL-Class far pricier) this Buick's position in the middle ground of pricing becomes that much more appealing.

2013 Buick Enclave models

The 2013 Buick Enclave is a full-size crossover with only one trim level and a choice of three different equipment groups. Every Enclave comes standard with second-row captain's chairs and seven-passenger capacity. A second-row bench seat is optional on the Leather and Premium groups and increases the seat total to eight.

The base Enclave with the Convenience Group comes standard with 18-inch wheels, automatic xenon headlights, rear privacy glass, a power liftgate, heated mirrors, rear parking sensors, remote ignition, cruise control, tri-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat (plus two-way lumbar adjustment), a two-way power passenger seat (fore/aft adjustment), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cloth upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, OnStar emergency communications, a rearview camera and a sound system that includes a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack, an iPod/USB audio interface and satellite radio. Also standard is the IntelliLink electronics interface, which includes a customizable touchscreen, voice recognition, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and smartphone apps.

The Leather Group adds to that 19-inch wheels, a blind-spot warning system, cross traffic alert, leather upholstery, heated front seats and an eight-way power passenger seat.

The Premium Group adds all the Leather and Convenience items, plus adaptive headlights, power-folding and driver auto-dimming mirrors, a power-adjustable steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats and a 10-speaker Bose sound system (optional on Leather Group).

Options on the Leather and Premium groups include 20-inch wheels, a sunroof (plus rear glass roof panels), a rear-seat entertainment system, a Bose surround-sound audio system and a navigation system integrated into IntelliLink.

2013 Highlights

The Buick Enclave gets a significant refresh for 2013. Though the body structure and engine largely remain the same, changes to exterior styling, interior design and quality, suspension tuning and feature content are considerable. Buick's IntelliLink electronics interface is a new technological highlight.

Performance & mpg

Every 2013 Buick Enclave comes standard with a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 288 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard, while all-wheel drive is an option. When properly equipped, the Enclave can tow 4,500 pounds.

In Edmunds performance testing, an all-wheel-drive Enclave went from zero to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds, which is on par with other large crossovers.

EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined with front-wheel drive or 16/22/18 with all-wheel drive.


Every 2013 Enclave includes antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front outboard side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a rearview camera. Also standard is a large airbag that deploys between the front seats in the event of a side impact. The standard OnStar system includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, an emergency button, stolen vehicle locator and active intervention, and remote door unlock. The Leather and Premium groups include a blind-spot warning system and a cross-traffic back-up warning system.

In Edmunds brake testing, an Enclave with the optional 20-inch wheels came to a stop from 60 mph in 126 feet, which is an average distance.

In government crash tests, the Enclave earned a top five-star rating for overall performance, with five out of five stars being given for total front-impact protection and side-impact protection. The Enclave also aced the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, where it earned the highest rating of "Good" in moderate frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests.


The 2013 Buick Enclave weighs slightly less than the average American house, so it would be hard to describe it as light on its feet. Yet, it's practically McKayla Maroney compared to traditional, truck-based large SUVs like the Chevy Tahoe. Sure, it'll feel cumbersome in tight spots, while other large crossovers like the Mazda CX-9 feel more nimble, but overall, the Enclave is pleasant to drive and its handling instills confidence. The suspension also earns high marks for its ride that is both comfortable and controlled.

The 3.6-liter V6 provides sufficient acceleration in a wide variety of driving conditions. However, luxury-branded models (many with powerful V8 engines) are almost all much quicker. Nevertheless, the Enclave's performance, combined with its hushed cabin, makes it a fine choice for daily driving, long road trips and everything in between.


The Buick Enclave interior exists in a realm somewhere between regular- and luxury-branded crossovers. For 2013, certain materials were upgraded, such as the large swath of padded, leather-look material covering the dash with contrast stitching that looks and feels classy.

The climate controls now are operated by three easy-to-use knobs, while every Enclave features GM's IntelliLink interface. This consists of a large touchscreen with menu icons that can be arranged however you wish -- just like a smartphone. And speaking of which, IntelliLink allows you to connect to services like Pandora or Stitcher radio via the Bluetooth system. The touchscreen interface has a clean layout and intuitive menu structure, but it can be problematic at times due to occasionally missed inputs and delayed reactions.

As for more practical matters, the Enclave is the most spacious crossover available for both people and cargo. Full-size adults can fit in each row, while there is a surprising amount of space (23 cubic feet) even behind the third row. Fold down both rows and you get a whopping 115 feet -- more than any other large luxury crossover. Front seat comfort also scores very high, with a highly adjustable driver seat. If there's one significant downside it's limited rear visibility.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2013 Buick Enclave.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

As Advertised, Except for the NAV
My wife and I purchased this vehicle for our expanding family. We went from a 2009 Rav4 to the 2013 Buick Enclave. Lots of space, comfy ride (we've made a few trips up and down the coast with no complaints), and runs smoothly. It is a bit hard to see out the back, but the camera more than makes up for it. Definitely our favorite feature. Two issues with the Enclave: the first is the head rest. For whatever reason, my neck is never comfortable regardless on how I position it. Also, it does not lock into place so whenever someone climbs in the back and grabs it, the headrest gets knocked out of position. The second is the NAV system. Definitely a complete waste of money.
Great...but very frustrating navigation system.
This car was primarily for my wife. She had been driving a Chevy Suburban. It was doing a fine job hauling our family around (three children and two large dogs) on vacation or around town. However, when it came time to replace the Suburban after 150+K miles, we switched to the Enclave. It's one of the finest SUV for the money. I highly recommend the Enclave, but the buyer should evaluate the touch screen and especially the Navigation system before they decide which vehicle to buy. My wife has no confidence in the Navigation system and often resorts to using her smart phone Maps App to find her way around.
Made us Buy American
This is truly a wonderful car and our first American car in many years. We have three children under 10 and this is by far the most roomy and classy ride that money can buy. It is a quient and very nicely appointed interior. Having the captains chairs was a must for us and this is the nicest car with that option. One complaint is the hazard button is way too sensitive. i hit that all the time when using the radio. Otherwise, love this car!
Nice Ride
We have been pleased with this car. My friend has an older one, and I am happy to have gotten the redesigned version shortly after it was introduced. The transmission has been re-tuned to shift at higher RPM's, producing brisk and smoother acceleration. I was only disappointed that the navigation system's font size is too small and cannot be adjusted. This could be a safety hazard, since the small font makes it hard to read.

Features & Specs

17 city / 24 hwy
Seats 7
6-speed shiftable automatic
288 hp @ 6300 rpm
16 city / 22 hwy
Seats 7
6-speed shiftable automatic
288 hp @ 6300 rpm
17 city / 24 hwy
Seats 7
6-speed shiftable automatic
288 hp @ 6300 rpm
16 city / 22 hwy
Seats 7
6-speed shiftable automatic
288 hp @ 6300 rpm
See all Used 2013 Buick Enclave features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 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%

More about the 2013 Buick Enclave
More About This Model

This is one of the most diabolically effective makeovers since Anne Hathaway's eyebrows were shaved down to size in The Princess Diaries. Yeah, that's right, we watch the Disney Channel. Often. So keep your eye out for some upcoming Selena Gomez references.

As we know it, Buick's full-size seven-passenger Enclave has been around for five years now, long enough that it should be moving aside for the all-new second generation of the very popular crossover. But GM's troops have been busy doing other things. Things like the Chevy Volt, the Cadillac ATS and that little old bankruptcy. So an all-new Enclave is still years down the road.

It turns out this is not a problem for America's moms and dads, because the 2013 Buick Enclave has been newly reinvigorated with a new look, some good ol' Buick heritage, a bit of high-tech futzing, and a serious retuning of its ride and handling.

Fantasyland's Finest Chariot
GM hasn't screwed with the Enclave's essential engineering and at a fundamental level it's the same big luxury crossover it's always been. It casts the same large shadow it has for the last six years and it's still sharing GM's Lambda unibody architecture with the Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia. It's also still big enough to be a real truck.

At 201.9 inches the 2013 Enclave is only a tenth of an inch shorter than the full-frame, truck-based Chevy Tahoe and the Buick's wheelbase is actually 3.9 inches longer than the Chevy's. On the road, Honda Pilots seem to cower in the presence of the Buick's burly bulk.

It's the tweaked decorations and evolved details that make up the substance of the 2013 Buick Enclave. On the outside there are new headlight buckets ringed with jewellike LEDs acting as daytime running lights. The front and rear fascias have been revised so there are bigger exhaust outlets and the taillights get their own LED elements.

On the C-pillar, there's the Buick tri-shield emblem filling a space that had been a black void before. The available 20-inch wheels are still inside 255/55R20 all-season tires, but the new wheel design is tougher, meaner and more dramatic. Yeah, it's kind of flashy. Duct-tape a bouquet to the hood and this thing could be entered as a float in the Rose Parade.

But the most noticeable change is the Enclave's grille. A big, toothy mouth smiling an Eisenhower-era grin, the grille announces the Enclave's arrival better than a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader honor guard. It's not quite the great maw that was the 1950 Buick Roadmaster's — a grille so outrageous that its nine chrome-plated steel teeth overran the front bumper — but the Enclave's plastic grille is unmistakably of the same design species. It's the Great White Shark of grilles.

Just above that grille is a newly reshaped hood. The resculpting is subtle, but the decoration is different: The traditional Buick "ventiports" (first used during the 1949 model year) have migrated from their spot along the sides of the hood to its top.

Overall, the 2013 Buick Enclave's exterior updates are effective. It's an amplification of Buick design themes that sets them up for a long run deep into the 21st century.

Ambience Schmambience
The Enclave's big outside pays off with a big inside. The interior of this crossover is huge — like Cow Palace exhibition hall enormous. Our Siberian husky jumped in through the raised power liftgate and was exhausted by the time he made it up and over the third- and second-row seats. He looked like a sled dog that had just run the Iditarod. And most every square inch inside has also been duly updated.

The third-row couch can still take three passengers and it's still split 60/40 and it still folds down flat. But even with that seat completely upright there are still 23.2 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind it. That's 9.3 cubic feet more than what you can cram into the trunk of Buick's Verano small sedan. Fold over that third row and it feels like you can shove in a rural Wal-Mart's inventory.

Second-row space and comfort are also exceptional. The two captain's chairs are wonderfully sized and shaped and make pass through to the third row very easy. If you need seating for eight, the Enclave does offer a second-row bench, but third-row access is certainly compromised.

At the center of the cabin redesign is, amazingly, the center stack. It's new and atop it is a large, 7-inch LCD touchscreen for controlling all the various communication and entertainment technologies. The screen is standard on all Enclaves, though the navigation system remains an option.

All the screen's menus are both easy to learn and straightforward to use. Hooking up our phone to the Bluetooth was quick and easy and no functions were overly complex.

Wizards of Waverly Place
The Enclave's dash is now covered with what looks like leather and contrasting stitching, the seats get matching cocoa leather upholstery and there's a whole forest of fake wood trim. Buick has embraced the design elements expected of a big American family car and inflated them to meet the Enclave's 11/10ths scale. Then it has offset those cues with the ice blue cool of LED ambient lighting. Turn the ambient lighting control up to maximum and the whole inside glows like the penguin house at Sea World.

The centerpiece is still a traditional analog clock. Just as it should be. Nice touch.

Too bad the designers stopped working on the interior at about the passengers' hip point. The lower door panels are cheesy, roughly grained, haphazardly molded plastic that feels as cheap as the leather upholstery feels expensive. Plastic 2-liter Coke bottles feel better. It's a significant distraction from an otherwise superior redesign.

The 2013 Buick Enclave's interior isn't for everyone, but for those of us who grew up in Electra 225s, it's a comforting return to traditional Buick design. But if you've been buying German the last few decades, it could seem fussy and overdone. Still that appearance is combined with good ergonomics, modern conveniences and current technology and that's a nice mix.

The Mechanical Parts
In contrast to the decoration, the mechanical core of the Enclave has been untouched for 2013. So GM's 3.6-liter, DOHC, 24-valve, variable valve timed, direct-injection V6 is back and once again it's hooked up to a six-speed automatic transaxle. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive a separate $2,000 option.

The Enclave's V6 is rated at 288 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of peak torque at 3,400 rpm. It's an easygoing engine here just as it is in every other GM product in which it appears. But it has to work harder hauling around the Enclave than it does moving, say, a Camaro. The all-wheel-drive Enclave Premium we tested flattened the scales at 5,050 pounds — that's 17.4 pounds for each of the 288 horses to pull.

Around town the 2013 Buick Enclave has plenty of power, but it doesn't exactly light up the stopwatch at the test track. The Enclave takes 8.6 seconds to run from zero to 60 mph (8.3 with 1 foot of rollout as on a drag strip) and it steams through the quarter-mile in 16.6 seconds at 82.3 mph.

However, the suspension has been retuned for 2013 and that's resulted in a crossover with a much improved ride quality. It's controlled without being stiff, and compliant without being squishy. Even when loaded up with two too-large adults, one preteen girl, a Pee-Wee league football-playing boy and the previously mentioned husky, the suspension's motions never felt compromised. There aren't many crossovers out there with a better ride and handling balance. In fact, right now we can't think of one.

The Buick's rack-and-pinion steering isn't quick, but it returns good feedback thanks to its old-school hydraulic assist. Up against this much mass, the large four-wheel disc brakes have a tough task before them. And yet the Enclave's stops were undramatic if not particularly short (the 60-0 stopping distance was measured at 126 feet).

Considering its size and weight, the Enclave's performance in our handling tests is unsurprising. It stuck to the skid pad at 0.76g and traipsed like an elephant through the slalom at 59.3 mph. Athletic it is not, but the Buick's handling is predictable and it offers the stability and driving ease its buyers desire.

The Bottom Line Parts
Going bold has once again paid off for Buick and the Enclave. It's already Buick's best-seller with more than 58,000 sold in 2011, and this refresh should keep those sales and leases humming for at least another couple of years.

Prices start at $38,235 for a base model Enclave with two-wheel drive. The glitz-rated Premium starts at $46,450 in line with the competition and the loaded test vehicle just barely crossed the $50K barrier at $50,895 (including an $825 destination charge) after adding in the $2,000 all-wheel-drive option, $795 navigation system, a $1,400 oversize sunroof and $250 for the 20-inch wheels.

Presence is something every truck and car should have, and the revised 2013 Buick Enclave has it more than before. If there are going to be better Buicks, boldness is the crucial part of the package — otherwise it would be as dead as Oldsmobile.

The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.

Used 2013 Buick Enclave Overview

The Used 2013 Buick Enclave is offered in the following submodels: Enclave SUV. Available styles include Leather Group 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A), Leather Group 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A), Premium Group 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A), Premium Group 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A), Convenience Group 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A), and Convenience Group 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2013 Buick Enclave?

Price comparisons for Used 2013 Buick Enclave trim styles:

  • The Used 2013 Buick Enclave Premium Group is priced between $13,750 and$15,825 with odometer readings between 98715 and105789 miles.
  • The Used 2013 Buick Enclave Leather Group is priced between $13,183 and$15,290 with odometer readings between 82945 and154891 miles.
  • The Used 2013 Buick Enclave Convenience Group is priced between $12,999 and$12,999 with odometer readings between 103301 and103301 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 2013 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) 2013 Buick Enclave for sale near. There are currently 6 used and CPO 2013 Enclaves listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $12,999 and mileage as low as 82945 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 2013 Buick Enclave.

Can't find a used 2013 Buick Enclaves you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Buick Enclave for sale - 7 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $23,760.

Find a used Buick for sale - 6 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $14,319.

Find a used certified pre-owned Buick Enclave for sale - 9 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $21,443.

Find a used certified pre-owned Buick for sale - 8 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $19,143.

Should I lease or buy a 2013 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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