Not content to sit on its laurels, Buick has updated the best-selling three-row luxury crossover that is its Enclave for the latest model year. The crossover can be had as a seven- or eight-seater with no difference in price and now sports slightly updated exterior styling, additional standard equipment and safety technology. Buick's IntelliLink infotainment system is also standard fare.
Available with front-wheel or all-wheel drive, the Enclave is powered by a carried over 3.6-liter V6 with variable valve timing that produces 288 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. Mated exclusively to a six-speed automatic transmission, the Enclave achieves an EPA-estimated 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway for front-wheel drive models and 16/22 mpg for all-wheel-drive models.
The body tweaks include body-color rocker panels, fresh front and rear fascias, and a new hood, fenders, grille, lights, and wheels. The daytime running lights are LEDs, with LED accents on the taillights as well.
Hidden from view are dual-flow shocks up front that make for a smoother ride and improved handling.
Inside, the interior retains many of the design elements of the original concept model, with a slightly more practical implementation. The new model gets Ice Blue ambient lighting and a revised instrument panel. More safety comes from a center airbag that deploys between the two front-row occupants.
GM insists the craftsmanship that made Enclave concept popular is carried over to the production model. The first row includes two bucket seats, while the second-row comes standard with two captain's chairs. A second-row 60/40-split bench (three passengers) seat is available.
Enclave's second-row seats feature GM's Smart Slide system, a popular feature that allows easy entry to the third row with the pull of one handle. With Smart Slide, the second-row seat cushion flips up while the seatback slides forward, compressing the space occupied by the seat. The seats also have fore/aft adjustment. When adjusted rearward, the second-row seat provides more legroom for taller passengers; when adjusted forward, it provides more storage space or additional legroom for third-row passengers.
The third row features a standard 60/40-split bench seat that can accommodate three adult passengers.
Standard and Optional Features
Three different equipment trims remain, though all get a standard seven-inch Color Touch radio with IntelliLink for a wireless connection to portable devices, HIDs, Rear Parking Assist, a Rear Vision Camera, remote start, and a power liftgate.
The entry-level Enclave comes equipped with cloth seats, a power-adjustable driver's seat. A/C, power windows and locks, tri-zone automatic climate control, a power liftgate and an AM/FM/CD stereo with SiriusXM radio.
The Leather Group adds leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, an eight-way power passenger seat, memory seat settings and Side Blind Zone Alert with Cross Traffic Alert. The system uses radar sensors and alerts drivers when another vehicle is in the blind spots while reversing.
A Premium Group includes all of the Leather Group gear and adds 19-inch wheels in chrome, articulating headlamps, a Bose sound system, cooled front seats, power-folding mirrors and a power tilting/telescoping steering column.
Standalone options include the all-wheel-drive system, a navigation system, and a $525 towing package.
Safety-enhancing features include four-wheel anti-lock brakes, StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with rollover mitigation technology and GM's tire pressure monitoring system are standard. Traction control also is standard on all models.
Enclave is equipped with seven standard air bags: two dual-stage frontal air bags, two seat-mounted side-impact air bags in the first row and two roof rail air bags that cover all three seating rows as well as the new airbag built into the right side of the driver's seat. Complementing the air bags is GM's rollover sensing system, which activates the roof rail air bags if sensors determine an impending rollover.
Because rollover crashes typically last longer than non-rollover crashes, the roof rail air bags stay inflated longer to provide increased occupant protection and containment.
The Enclave occupies a niche between more modestly priced mainstream crossovers like the Mazda CX-9 and Honda Pilot and true luxury soft-roaders such as the Audi Q7 and Mercedes-Benz GL-Class.