As a luxury crossover SUV that is available with seven or eight seats, the Buick Enclave makes a great family vehicle. Under the hood, this Buick has a robust powertrain that includes a V6 engine and optional all-wheel drive. The signature StabiliTrak technology provides an extra boost in challenging situations.
In the technology department, the Enclave boasts the IntelliLink infotainment system with Wi-Fi, SiriusXM reception and GPS navigation. A sound system by Bose and 8-inch flip-down monitor provide plenty of entertainment options during trips. The Enclave’s modern cabin is available with lavish amenities like climate-controlled front seats that are covered in genuine leather. Developed exclusively by Buick, the QuietTuning technology also highlights the vehicle’s sophisticated interior design.
Priced at just above $39,000, the Buick Enclave Convenience is a base trim that has advanced technology, such as the IntelliLink system with 4G Wi-Fi. Offering an optional navigation system and rear entertainment system, the Leather edition costs approximately $44,000.
You’ll have to spend more than $47,000 to enjoy the luxurious amenities in the Premium trim. This high-end vehicle comes with standard eight-way front seats with heating and ventilation. The Leather and Premium models are also available with eight seats instead of the standard configuration that is designed for seven occupants.
The Buick Enclave is equipped with a 3.6 L V6 engine that’s capable of generating up to 288 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. Direct injection is the mechanism that delivers fuel into this six-cylinder engine block. Variable Valve Timing (VVT) controls the lifting and closing of the 24 valves.
If you plan to drive in cold weather frequently, then consider installing the optional engine block heater that can be conveniently plugged into any standard AC outlet. A six-speed automatic transmission system is paired with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Using an electronic system to monitor driving conditions in real time, the standard Traction Control lowers the potential for skidding or slipping.
The independent suspension system keeps the Buick Enclave balanced on rough roads. By adjusting several parameters, the StabiliTrak Stability Control System significantly improves the vehicle’s cornering abilities. This signature technology can sense a discrepancy between your intended path and the actual direction of the wheels. The Rollover Mitigation prevents your Buick from flipping over while making sharp turns or navigating very steep terrains. Four-wheel disc brakes also play a key role in bringing this vehicle to a smooth stop in hazardous situations.
When equipped with the Trailering Package, the Enclave can tow up to 4,500 pounds. This package includes a trailer hitch and a heavy-duty engine cooling system. The car’s standard towing capacity is 2,000 pounds without such upgrades.
According to EPA estimates, the Buick Enclave offers a fuel economy of 22 MPG on the highway and 15 MPG in the city. These ratings apply to the front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. Despite having mediocre efficiency for its vehicle class, the Enclave comes with a 22.0-gallon fuel tank that offers a driving range of approximately 485 miles.
Covered in stainless steel, the dual exhaust tailpipes are surely designed with maximum power in mind rather than class-leading efficiency. However, the dual-flow suspension dampeners help this vehicle overcome rough surfaces that would otherwise slow down sedans and compact cars.
Safety and Entertainment Features
The Enclave’s IntelliLink infotainment system includes a 6.5-inch color touch screen. With the swipe of a finger, you can access the GPS navigation system that comes with live feeds via SiriusXM NavTraffic. The IntelliLink portal is loaded with many other applications such as SiriusXM Satellite Radio and Pandora Internet Radio. The Bose audio system with 10 speakers emits high-quality acoustics for your favorite songs.
Thanks to the patented QuietTuning technology, external noise won’t interfere with music that’s played through the premium sound system. In fact, the car’s windshields are covered in laminated coatings that are designed to block and absorb outdoor sounds.
To keep the rear passengers happy during long trips, just flip down the 8-inch LCD display that’s connected to a DVD player. Two wireless headphones are also part of this premium rear entertainment system. Additionally, a 120-v outlet with three prongs can be used to plug in portable electronics that aren’t compatible with USB ports or 12-v ports.
With a subscription to OnStar, you and your passengers can connect to a 4G LTE Wi-Fi network on the go. This wireless internet connection supports up to seven devices at the same time without a loss in signal strength. The passengers in the second row will surely appreciate the two universal tablet holders that are installed on the back of the headrests of the front seats.
The Buick Enclave’s Side Blind Zone Alert uses radar technology to determine if another car enters your blind spot. When another vehicle is detected, you will see blinking warnings in the corresponding side mirror. Similarly, the Rear Cross Traffic Alert can detect other cars that are up to 65 feet behind you. If you attempt to switch a lane without turning on the appropriate turn signal, then the Lane Departure Warning will issue audible and visible alerts.
The Forward Collision Alert will get your attention if you approach another car too quickly. Connected to several ultrasonic sensors, the Rear Parking Assist helps you confidently back up this vehicle into a parking space. You may also rely on the rear vision camera to pull off parking while in reverse.
In addition to having advanced active safety technology, the Enclave offers excellent protection during crashes. This crossover SUV has a front center air bag that creates a barrier between the driver and front passenger during a side collision. All three rows are also equipped with curtain air bags. The Automatic Occupant Sensing System controls the deployment of all the air bags inside this spacious family vehicle. The inflation of the air bags will also trigger the Automatic Crash Response that’s part of the OnStar Guidance Plan. A subscription to this plan gives you access to other services, such as the Advanced Diagnostics, Stolen Vehicle Assistance and Roadside Assistance.
How it Stacks up against the Competition
As a crossover SUV that’s available with three rows of seats, the Chevrolet Traverse takes a good stance against the Buick Enclave. This family-friendly Chevy has plenty of high-tech features like the MyLink infotainment system with navigation and 4G Wi-Fi. Since it’s not considered a luxury vehicle, the Traverse is naturally priced significantly lower than the Enclave.
Classified as a luxury crossover SUV, the Cadillac XT5 poses some serious threats to the Enclave. This high-end Cadillac is available with the signature CUE infotainment system, head-up display and Pedestrian Collision Mitigation. The Active Fuel Management and Automatic Start-Stop also make the XT5 a class leader in efficiency. However, the XT5 Premium Luxury is more expensive than the Enclave Premium.
- Spacious interior with seven or eight seats.
- IntelliLink system with GPS navigation, Wi-Fi and SiriusXM services.
- Rear entertainment system and universal tablet holders.
- Accident-mitigation technology including the Forward Collision Alert.
- Poor fuel economy in urban settings.
- Premium entertainment amenities are not available in the base trim.
- Curb weight of more than 4,700 pounds creates some handling difficulties.
- Power lift gate lacks a hands-free function.