Buick, a company incorporated 100 years ago, has produced the Enclave full-size SUV for seven years, with the first offering introduced as a 2008 model. General Motors employs what is called the “Lambda” platform for its Buick Enclave line, a vehicle architecture featuring easy-access three row seating, 3.6 liter V-6 power, and choice of front- or all-wheel drive traction.
Last week I conducted a test of the 2014 Buick Enclave Premium Group SUV, courtesy of Weld County Garage in Greeley. The vehicle was painted White Diamond Tricoat metallic and the interior was Cocoa leather with seating for seven. A facelift was incorporated into the 2013 Enclave, and carried over to my loaner, that included a new chrome waterfall grill, LED lighting front and rear, updated dashboard with IntelliLink display, and an industry-first front center airbag.
During my days with the Enclave, I had a great time driving the car. Ruth (my wife) and I both noticed that there is a commanding feel with the firm ride, quiet interior experience, and visibility. Acceleration, reportedly 8 seconds from zero to 60 mph, is provided by the 3.6 liter, 24-valve V-6 with 288 horsepower and 270 lb. ft. of torque. It’s coupled with a 6-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission with console shifter. EPA fuel economy ratings are 16 mpg-city and 22 mpg-highway, with a 22-gallon tank to provide a measure of cruising range. The all-wheel drive system can, in slick conditions, send up to 50% of its torque to either front wheel or up to 85% to either rear wheel.
Inside, the Enclave is pretty cavernous, with 115.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the front seats, 68.9 cubic feet behind the second row, 23.3 cubic feet behind the third row, and ample seating for seven adults when all seats are upright. Substantial equipment was on hand, including a dual power moon roof, blue mood lighting, a rear-seat entertainment system with drop-down 8”screen and 5.1 surround sound, navigation/backup camera, and Bose stereo. The front buckets were powered, heated, and cooled, and the steering column had power tilt/telescope articulation.
Styling for the Enclave, updated for 2013, has a softer, more elegant look with the new grill taking on more of a Buick family appearance. The C-pillars have been blacked out to tie in with the deep tint windows, Buick tri-shield emblems have been added there, and the wheels are ultra-bright, 9-spoke, 20” alloys with P255/55R20 all-season radials.
M.S.R.P. of my Buick tester was $54,850.00, and that included $2,240.00 for the rear entertainment, $1,400.00 for the moon roof, $995.00 for the paint, $575.00 for trailering equipment, $400.00 for the alloy wheels, and freight. Buick sells over 50,000 Enclaves every year, including during the first eleven months of 2013, and after driving the vehicle, it is evident to this reviewer why the car is so popular.