2015 Enclave New Car Test Drive
Buick Enclave dominates the class of large, luxury crossover sport-utilities. Handsome, comfortable and efficient, Enclave delivers luxury, value and three-row flexibility. It's referred to as a crossover because it crosses the line between car and SUV. Though built on a car-like unit-body structure, it offers the cargo capacity of a sport-utility.
Introduced for the 2008 model year, Buick Enclave was substantially revised for 2013 and carried over to 2014 relatively unchanged. Newly available safety features include Forward Collision Alert and a Lane Departure Warning. Buick's IntelliLink infotainment system gains SiriusXM Tune Select and text-to-voice features for 2014, and dual-charge USB ports have been added to the rear of the center console.
Enclave comes with a 288-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 and an excellent 6-speed Hydramatic automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard. All-wheel drive is optional. Though a large vehicle, the 2014 Enclave rates an EPA-estimated 17/24 mpg City/Highway with front-wheel drive, 16/22 mpg City/Highway with all-wheel drive.
Big 19- or 20-inch wheels make a bold style statement, while LED headlights, taillights and running lights enhance Enclave's modern character. The Buick IntelliLink system supports audio streaming of Pandora Internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio as well as available SiriusXM satellite radio. In other words, it has a fancy audio system.
The key to any luxury crossover is packaging, and the Buick Enclave leads its class by providing more cargo space than any of the competition. It delivers more third-row legroom than the rest, and it features a brilliant second-row sliding seat provision that makes third-row entry simple and convenient.
Whenever Enclave passengers are onboard, safety is paramount. Buick earned National Highway Traffic Administration's highest five-star overall vehicle safety score and Enclave was named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety when it was launched. The 2014 Buick Enclave is equipped with all of the mandatory airbag protections but also has a front center airbag that inflates from the inboard side of the driver's seat, protecting the driver and front-seat passenger from impacting each other during a severe side impact.
Simply put, the Buick Enclave is the complete package. It seats seven (or eight, with an optional center bench seat). With volumes of space, a crisp and recently freshened interior, and highway performance and agility that belie its considerable weight and mass, this is a full-size crossover family sport-utility vehicle to be taken seriously. It boasts better cruising range than Acura MDX and Volvo XC90.
The 2014 Buick Enclave is offered in three trim levels: Convenience, Leather, and Premium. Each is available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. All models are powered by a 3.6-liter 24-valve V6 with direct injection and variable valve timing, producing a hearty 288 horsepower, and come with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The Enclave Convenience edition ($38,740) includes fabric upholstery, tri-zone climate control, tilt-telescope steering, leather-wrapped steering wheel, OnStar with automatic crash response and turn-by-turn navigation, steering wheel audio and cruise controls, IntelliLink connectivity to cell phone and Pandora/Stitcher SmartRadio, AM/FM/XM/Sirius, with 6.5-inch touchscreen, USB port and power takeoff, cruise control, complete instrumentation including outside temperature gauge, second-row captain's chairs for 7-passenger seating (8-passenger seating available with second-row bench seat), 8-way power driver seat with lumbar adjustment, two-way power front-passenger seat, driver express up/down and front-passenger express down power windows, keyless entry, remote vehicle starter, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror, active noise cancelation, universal home remote, automatic on/off headlamps, power rear liftgate, heated outside power mirrors with integrated turn signals, rear parking assist, 17-inch or 18-inch wheels and tires, structure-less front wiper blades, dual outlet exhausts.
The Enclave Leather version ($42,755) upgrades with perforated leather upholstery, heated front seats, eight-way power passenger seat, memory seat settings, side blind-zone and rear cross-traffic alert, and 19-inch wheels.
The Enclave Premium model ($46,315) adds 19-inch chrome-clad wheels, articulating headlamps, power folding side mirrors, power tilt/telescope steering column, Bose 10-speaker premium sound system, cooled front seats.
Options include navigation ($2,985); trailering package ($575); Bose audio ($745); rear entertainment ($1,445); and a sunroof ($1,400); A Hit the Road Package ($1,130) includes molded assist steps, roof rack cross rails, and an all-weather cargo mat. New Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning are standard on Premium models. Optional wheels come in 19- and 20-inch sizes.
Safety features standard on all models include StabiliTrak stability enhancement, OnStar crash notification, tire pressure monitor, and the front center side airbag. Radar-based side blind-zone alert and rear cross-traffic alert are standard on Leather and Premium models. Optional all-wheel drive improves handling stability and traction in slippery conditions.