(Jim O'Brien) It’s tough to write about new vehicles and not look at them through the filter of your own life. Married with two sons, and always going somewhere/moving stuff/running errands. That’s one of the reasons I was so interested in driving the Buick Enclave.
Introduced in 2008, and a monster seller for Buick, the Enclave was due for a makeover. New LED daytime running lights, larger grille and more streamlined look to the car makes a nice impression that definitely separates the 2013 Enclave from previous versions.
Inside you’ll find a larger digital touch screen with Buick’s Intellilink System - bluetooth, navigation and radio all easy to manage. To be honest, this feels like a system that’s still evolving, but moving in the right direction. Nice DVD player system with wireless headsets (couldn’t find a place to keep the headphones - Cadillac Escalade has a wonderful storage area...just saying)
How do I describe the interior? like buttah. Comfortable leather interior and a ton of room (three honest rows of seating) - some folks aren’t fans of the wood accents, but I like them. It creates the warm feel in the Buick (along with those ice blue LED lights that run from the door panel across the dash, hard to explain - but it’s nice). With the third row down, you get over 67 cubic feet of storage space. And the second row captain chairs were big enough for my 6’5” frame to not feel like I’m jammed in with a pry bar.
Now before I continue with my love fest for the Enclave - couple of things:
- Must have hands-free keyless entry (really surprised by this)
- HD radio - sounds great, and isn’t that purpose of a high end sound system (to sound great?)
- The fit of the actual sound system (black plastic) looks like someone jammed it in. Feels out of place.
Okay, back to the love fest. Under the hood you’ll find a 288-hp, 3.6 liter V-6 that features software updates for improved shift smoothness (again, like buttah). New dual-flow dampers and rebound springs with MacPherson struts give the Enclave a quieter and smoother ride.
The best recommendation I can give about any vehicle is this - if you’re looking at crossovers, make it a point to drive the Buick Enclave. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.