The Enclave is exactly the crossover you would expect Buick to build. It's spacious, whisper-quiet, and luxurious to a point. Add to that its high content for the money, and you can see why Enclave sales continue to climb.
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2016 Buick Enclave Overview
What's New for 2016
A built-in WiFi hotspot joins the equipment list.
Choosing Your Buick Enclave
The Enclave has always impressed us with its sheer interior volume. Up to eight adults fit comfortably in the upscale cabin, and cargo space tops out at 115 cubic feet, more than any other premium-branded crossover.
As in previous years, the Enclave carries a 3.6-liter V6 that delivers 288 horsepower to the front wheels and a six-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is available on all but the base model for $2,000 extra. It's worth noting that the Enclave can tow up to 4,500 pounds, enough for most pleasure crafts and pop-up campers.
The Enclave is available in three trim levels:
In addition to all-wheel drive, the Leather and Premium are eligible for options such as a panoramic sunroof, a rear entertainment system, navigation, and an upgraded Bose surround-sound system.
Although every Enclave is well equipped, buyers tend to shy away from the Convenience model and very few are actually kept in stock. The Leather and Premium offer the appointments and features most folks expect when shopping in this league.
2016 Buick Enclave Review
Providing luxurious accommodations for up to eight passengers, Buick's midsize SUV offers a comfortable ride for a competitive price.
Pricing and Equipment
All 2016 Buick Enclaves are powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission. The Enclave is available in three levels:
- The well-equipped Convenience Group is essentially the base model. Pricing starts at $39,065 and includes some nice standard features like 18-inch aluminum wheels, a power liftgate, high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, and a rearview camera. Convenience group models are only available with front-wheel drive and seating for seven.
- Enclave's Leather Group adds the choice of three leather seating and trim options; color scheme names like choccachino, ebony, and light titanium hint at Buick's upscale aspirations. Nineteen-inch aluminum wheels dress up the exterior and the front seats are heated. Blind spot monitors with rear cross traffic alert add safety to the package and optional seating for eight should entice large families. Prices start at $43,450 with front-wheel drive and $45,450 with all-wheel drive.
- Buick's top-of-the-line Platinum Group dresses up the Enclave with 20-inch chrome-clad wheels, articulating headlights that move with the steering wheel, and heated and cooled seats. A delightful 10-speaker Bose audio system fills the plush cabin with sound while the navigation system makes sure you get there without getting lost. Front-wheel drive models start at $47,305 -- add $2000 for all-wheel-drive.
The 288-horsepower V6 keeps the Enclave from getting in the way of itself during everyday driving. The number sounds quite impressive and for the most part it is -- but we found that spirited performance is not the primary goal of this SUV, which emphasizes ride comfort, quiet, and luxury over acceleration. In other words, the Enclave performs quite well for a comfy seven- or eight-passenger people mover.
- Towing, when equipped with Buick's optional trailering package, tops many minivans but is a little shy of some of the Enclave's direct competitors at a maximum of 4,500 pounds.
- Fuel economy is decent for the sheer utility that the Enclave offers. Front-wheel drive Enclaves earn 17 mpg city and 24 mpg highway. All-wheel-drive models lose an mpg at 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway.
- Driving enthusiasts will find the Enclave a little soft. The Buick behaves quite well, which is great, except when you want your SUV to misbehave in the name of fun.
- Gas mileage is good when you are hauling around seven or eight passengers, but if you are primarily scooting around town by yourself there are many sport utility vehicles and crossovers that offer excellent cargo space and towing capacity that will also save you money at the pump.
- The Enclave's spacious interior is quiet, warm and inviting. While all Enclave interiors offer three rows of seats, the upscale materials of the Leather and Platinum groups, including the rich leather, warm wood tones and brushed chrome accents, create a truly luxurious interior that rivals more expensive competitors.
- Cargo space is ample -- the Enclave excels at cross-country family road trips.
We think many families may consider replacing a minivan with a crossover. This isn't a bad idea -- but keep in mind that the extra space in the low floor behind a minivan's third row is missing in the Enclave.
Most Pleasant Surprise
We really like the Enclave's wraparound interior design. There is a line that runs from the driver's door panel through the top of the dash all the way to the passenger's door panel that reveals the thoughtful and balanced nature of Enclave's interior design.
Least Pleasant Surprise
We don't understand why Buick refuses to put push-button start in a vehicle with the Enclave's luxurious sensibilities. Once you've discovered the joy of leaving your key in your pocket or bag it becomes annoying to have to fish for it to start your car.
For families looking for a nice driving, well-equipped vehicle with an emphasis on comfort and luxury for a surprisingly affordable price, the 2016 Buick Enclave deserves a spot on the shopping list. While not a performance-oriented SUV, the midsize Enclave excels at being a first-class people mover.
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