2016 Buick Enclave Review
2016 Buick Enclave Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Smooth and quiet ride
- luxurious cabin
- generous cargo capacity, even behind the third row
- seating for up to eight
- top safety scores.
- It's a big SUV and drives like one
- infotainment and climate controls are a little behind the times
- interior quality may leave some wanting more.
The 2016 Buick Enclave gets the newest version of OnStar, which includes 4G LTE connectivity and in-car WiFi hot spot capability. The new Tuscan Edition adds a bronze-trimmed grille and 20-inch wheels.
If you're in the market for a large SUV with seating for up to eight, the 2016 Buick Enclave should certainly be on your short list. Along with plenty of room for passengers, you also get numerous standard features and generous cargo space. Best of all, you won't have to pay a premium price to get this luxurious family vehicle. We've got all the information you need ahead.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2016 Buick Enclave Convenience Group 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.11 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$214/mo for Enclave Convenience Group
Enclave Convenience Group
Avg. Midsize SUV
Families in the market for a large crossover SUV have a lot of factors to consider, from versatility and technology to safety and fuel economy. But what about luxury? If you're looking for a little more serenity in your drive -- and if your family is big enough to require an eight-seat vehicle, surely you'll take some serenity anywhere you can get it -- the 2016 Buick Enclave is one of the smoothest, quietest crossovers in its class. Moreover, it doesn't carry the megabucks price tag of a luxury-branded vehicle.
A waterfall grille and smooth, rounded contours set the 2016 Buick Enclave apart from other SUVs.
The Enclave distinguishes itself from the mechanically similar GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Traverse with its dignified styling and library-quiet ride. This Buick pours down the road at speed, silently soaking up bumps like a proper land yacht. Equally impressive is the Enclave's efficient use of space. Unlike with some three-row SUVs, the Enclave's third-row seat isn't an afterthought. It's a full-size seat, though it's best suited for children and small adults. Access is relatively easy, thanks to big rear doors and (optional) second-row captain's chairs that slide out of the way. And even with the third row seat in place, the Enclave still offers a reasonable 23.3 cubic feet of cargo space. With all backseats moved out of the way, the Enclave is one of the most commodious large SUVs on the market.
While the Enclave is a comfortable cruiser on the open road, it's a bit ponderous closer to home. This is a big and heavy vehicle, and its 40-plus-foot turning circle can make it difficult to maneuver in tight spots. In contrast, the Acura MDX feels quite sporty to drive, although its third-row seat and cargo area aren't as roomy. Other solid picks for an upscale large three-row crossover include loaded versions of the Dodge Durango, Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander. Still, if you want to enjoy some serenity while schlepping around your brood, the 2016 Buick Enclave should not be overlooked.
Performance & mpg
All 2016 Buick Enclaves come 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, and all-wheel drive is optional on Leather and Premium models. Properly equipped with the optional towing package, the Enclave can tow up to 4,500 pounds.
In Edmunds performance testing, an all-wheel-drive Enclave went from zero to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds, which is a little slower than average for large crossovers, some of which are equipped with more powerful V8 engines.
The EPA estimates that a front-wheel-drive Enclave will return 18 mpg combined (15 city/22 highway), and all-wheel drive brings that number down slightly to 17 mpg combined (15 /22). These are average fuel economy numbers for a large, V6-powered crossover.
The 2016 Buick Enclave is equipped with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. Also standard is a large airbag that deploys between the front seats; it's designed to protect occupants from colliding with one another 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 rear cross-traffic alert and a blind-spot warning system. The Premium Group also includes forward-collision alert and lane-departure warning systems, both of which are available on the Leather Group as extra-cost options.
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 crash protection, with five stars for total front-impact protection and five stars for total side-impact protection. The Enclave also did well in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, earning the highest rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset impact test as well as the side-impact, roof strength and seatbelts and head restraints (whiplash protection) tests.
The 2016 Buick Enclave isn't exactly light on its feet. The V6 engine provides decent performance but lacks authoritative punch during passing maneuvers. In addition, the automatic transmission can be slow to react when a quick downshift is needed, though the gearchanges are generally smooth. Overall, performance is adequate but falls short of segment leaders.
The Enclave is an excellent highway cruiser thanks to its impressively smooth ride and low levels of wind and road noise. But with its turning circle of over 40 feet, U-turns are difficult and maneuvering in tight parking lots will have you calling for the harbor pilot. The Enclave certainly isn't as unwieldy as full-size body-on-frame SUVs like the Lincoln Navigator, but smaller vehicles like the Acura MDX feel sportier and more maneuverable.
The interior of a Buick Enclave isn't quite as rich as those found in some premium competitors, but most surfaces are still attractive and of good quality. We particularly like the padded vinyl trim on the dashboard -- thanks to contrast stitching, it looks like real leather and contributes to the Buick's classy character.
The climate controls are operated by three easy-to-use knobs, though the buttons interspersed with them are very small. Every Enclave features Buick's IntelliLink 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which provides smartphone integration for Internet radio and other apps. It features a clean layout and an intuitive menu structure, though learning one's way around the system can take a while. The screen itself is mounted low in the driver's sight line and requires a longer glance away from the road than we'd like. In addition, the system is sometimes slow to respond to touch inputs (and occasionally misses them entirely), making the interface a bit frustrating.
The Enclave is unusual in that it offers seating for eight with usable luggage space.
In terms of versatility, the Enclave is one of the most spacious crossovers available for both people and cargo. Front-row passengers will enjoy abundant head- and legroom, as will most second-row occupants. But those middle-row seat cushions are mounted a bit low, which impacts comfort for adults. Sliding the second-row seats all the way back helps alleviate this issue, but doing so effectively kills third-row legroom.
The third row is actually roomy enough for adults to fit in comfortably (as long as second-row occupants are kind enough not to slide their seats all the way back), though it's best for those of smaller stature or children. This is especially true if you want to fit three across. Rearward visibility is almost nonexistent when you have a full crew aboard.
When it comes to cargo space, the Enclave is definitely a leader in its class. Even with the third-row seats in place, it can carry more luggage than most rivals. Space is abundant when lowering either the second or third row, as the Enclave offers more cargo space than any crossover apart from its Chevrolet and GMC siblings.
2016 Buick Enclave models
The 2016 Buick Enclave is a large three-row crossover available in three trim levels that Buick refers to as "groups": Convenience, Leather and Premium.
Every Enclave comes standard with second-row captain's chairs and seven-passenger capacity. A second-row bench seat, which increases passenger capacity to eight, is optional on the Leather and Premium groups.
Standard equipment for the Enclave with the Convenience Group includes 19-inch wheels, automatic xenon headlights, rear privacy glass, a power liftgate, heated mirrors, rear parking sensors, remote start, cruise control, tri-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat (plus two-way lumbar adjustment), a two-way power passenger seat, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
Electronics for the Convenience Group includes OnStar telematics with 4G LTE, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a rearview camera, a 6.5-inch touchscreen display, Buick's IntelliLink electronics interface (which includes voice control and smartphone radio app integration), dual USB charge ports (on the rear of the center console) and a six-speaker sound system that includes a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack, a USB audio interface and satellite radio.
Subtle colors along with metallic and wood trim give the 2016 Buick Enclave a premium ambience.
Stepping up to the Leather Group adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, eight-way power adjustment for the front passenger seat, a heated steering wheel, driver memory settings and a blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert.
The top-of-the-line Premium Group includes all of the above plus adaptive headlights, chrome-clad wheels, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, a power-adjustable steering column, heated and ventilated front seats, a navigation system and a 10-speaker Bose sound system.
Options on the Leather and Premium groups include 20-inch wheels, a dual-panel sunroof, a rear-seat entertainment system, a Bose surround-sound audio system and a towing package.
2024 Buick Enclave
Essence, Premium and Avenir
See All Trims
The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Dealer sets final price. Click here to see all Buick vehicles’ destination freight charges.
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
3 out of 5 stars
My wife loves it but it has issues
Tony M, 09/15/2015
2015 Buick Enclave Convenience Group 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
This is our second Enclave. As with the first, a strut needed to be replaced before 20k miles (both needed front right strut?), and as with the first one continuous transmission slippage between 2nd and 3rd gears. My second one also has motor-mounts that need to be replaced (31k miles on it)! It is currently in the shop where they are replacing the motor-mounts and have replicated and … are trouble shooting the transmission slippage. They are most likely design/quality issues. I work with an exceptional dealership (Carl Black in Atl), and they have been the difference between me walking away from Buick vs. "Sticking it out" as they work out the kinks.
5 out of 5 stars
Very quiet. Smooth riding.
Brian L, 12/02/2015
2016 Buick Enclave Leather Group 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
This is the quietest vehicle that we have ever owned and it is a SUV. (We have owned many, many vehicles over the years and all bought new.) Quality SUV & materials for far less in cost than other luxury SUVs. Front wheel drive is rated at 17/24 mpg. So far best that we have gotten pure highway is 23.1. Hopefully will improve somewhat. 2500 miles on it so far. Acceleration is … acceptable to pass and go up hills. Overall we are very happy with it. One option that we got was lane departure & front end collision warning. Leather edition comes with blind spot warning and rear side collision alert. Thus loaded with safety features. Also, a middle air bag. One issue that we are not happy with is the "hanger" hooks are in the 3rd row. Can't use exit handles in second row since they are on the back of the front seats and not on the roof. We like to hang clothes on clothes bar when we travel but this is a problem other than just 10-12inches of such if using third row. With cars we put clothes about 50% across and still had good vision out of the back window. Third row and second row both fold down flat for storage. Overall very happy with this "car."
5 out of 5 stars
This is a GREAT car!
C. Ferguson, 09/08/2015
2015 Buick Enclave Premium Group 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
I was shopping around, currently was driving a 2011 Chevrolet Traverse. I liked what I was seeing on the highway in the Enclave so decided to give it a trial. Boy was I pleased! I was offered $7500 off and got exactly what I wanted. This SUV drives like a dream, great acceleration and it is very sporty on the highway. I don't have to let off the gas much going into curves. And what … a nice surprise on gas mileage. Averaging 23 mpg on the highway and 21 in town. Electronics work well. A few bugs but not enough to get into a twit about. Great sound. I got a towing package and plan on getting a small travel trailer to do some weekend trips. I am completely satisfied with this car. The only thing I could say negative is the rear seats could be more comfortable for what I paid for the car. Love it!
4 out of 5 stars
Paul Horvick, 11/24/2015
2015 Buick Enclave Leather Group 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
This is my third posting. We recently completed a 4987.5 mile trip with the Enclave, from Arizona, to South Carolina, to Florida and back to Arizona. I now have more extended time in the car, and can fine tune my thoughts. The good news is that, on the road travelling, the car is superbly easy to drive, very nice ride, and a feeling of safety and substance. Gas mileage on the highway … was also very good, with an overall 26.5MPG for the trip. All worked well, comfort was very nice. The sound system is excellent. The BOSE system and radio was superb. When you also have a very quiet interior even at highway speeds, this was an easy car to be in and drive. The lane deviation system is a very nice feature, particularly useful on the highway. The blind spot warning is also a great feature, particularly when side and rear vision is less than ideal. The forward collision warning system was not in play, but seems like it would be a good feature. The ride, on the highway, is controlled, serene and quiet. (Unlike city driving, where the ride was harsh...feeling every road imperfection.) The navigation system is not particularly intuitive (although when set correctly it was helpful). One very annoying thing is that when our iPhone 6+ was connected via USB, the radio automatically defaults to the music on the iPhone and you must manually go thru the menu to get back to what was on the radio. Front seats are comfy, supportive and good for a long ride. The automatic return to a seat setting was very nice, as were the heated seats and heated steering wheel. Cruise control worked fine, but more than once I inadvertently turned on the heat to the steering wheel rather than engage cruise control. As noted in an earlier post, the middle row of seats is a joke. Compared to our Sienna van, the seats were uncomfortable even for people that are well under 6' tall. I really want to like the car. It is good looking, cruises well, and gets good MPG on the highway, But....the ride is harsh in town, about 15MPG in town, and the lines of sight in the rear and sides are awkward, more so in town driving. The rear seat comfort also is very poor for a car in this price category. We bought at the end of the 2015 model cycle; it had an MSRP of $47K, and we paid just over $37K. Buick also has a fairly decent reliability rating, and the 48mo warranty is a plus. Lots of good things about the car....a few that are poor. But, if the rear seat is not a concern, and perhaps without the towing package the city ride would improve, it is a safe and good looking car.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2016 Buick Enclave, so we've included reviews for other years of the Enclave since its last redesign.
2016 Enclave Highlights
|Combined MPG||18 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$214/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||front wheel drive|
|Warranty||4 years / 50,000 miles|
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover16.9%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestNot Tested
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood