If you’re a fan of the General Motors vehicles, you’ll know that Buick sits at the higher-end of the line-up; better interiors and materials, some would even say better designs, but that’s a matter of taste – there is no right or wrong answer.
First introduced back in 2007, it originally was a concept at the North American International Auto Show, which in itself was partially based on the Buick Centieme concept from as far back as 2003.
It shares the same GM Lambda platform as the GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Traverse. Even a decade later, it remains as one of Buick’s best-selling models, and in 2014, it was the top-ranked affordable midsize SUV in America.
The Buick Enclave is quite a unique style; part SUV, part minivan, or even a station wagon on steroids, whatever you think of the styling, it gives plenty of space and comfort. The 2017 Enclave has a restyled front-end, including an updated grille, which helps to give an overall impression of quality.
Just How Big is 2017 Buick Enclave?
|Contents||The Enclave is big; with up to 3,263 liters of luggage space, it’s feels like you could fit your whole life in there. Even when you have maxed out the seating, there is still 660 liters of space.
Even compared to the giant Ford Explorer, there is an overall sense of space.The rear seats have been laid out slightly differently than the usual offering; the second row has two seats, making access easier to the three seats on the third row.
There is no shortage of comfort on the third row either, there is plenty of space, even when the option for eight seats is employed.
Under the hood is a 3.6 liter V6, producing 288 BHP and 247 lb/ft of torque, power is transmitted to either the front or all four wheels (depending on spec) and is coupled with a 6-speed auto transmission.
Fuel consumption ranges between 17 – 26 MPG, which is pretty much what you’d expect from a vehicle like this. Fuel tank capacity is 22 gallons.
The V6 engine gives a smooth and balanced feel, but that is the inherent beauty of choosing a V6 – sure, picking something with two more cylinders would give you that little extra performance, but it would lose the feel of the ‘six’, and in a vehicle like this, that’s the more important thing. Besides, nearly 300 BHP is plenty enough to allow you to make some progress.
The 2017 Enclave won’t be getting any major upgrades over the current model, it’s basically a restyling exercise, so prices are pretty static from the predecessor – the base model comes in at $39,065 plus taxes.
Along with a huge list of safety and assistance systems, you’ll also find a heated and adjustable steering wheel, heated & cooled seats which are adjustable in eight directions (with a memory position for the driver’s seat), multimedia system with touchscreen and Wi-Fi, electric rear doors, three-zone climate control and park assist with rear view camera.
Leather and chrome are in abundance inside the cabin, even the plastic materials seem solid and well-constructed. The on-board computer is reminiscent of a 1970’s digital watch; the bright green digits are easily seen, even in the strongest sunlight.
Overall, the car is well put together, it has a great blend of style and the ambient lighting gently lights up the cabin throughout without being intrusive.
Drives Like A…
Trying to avoid the clichés like ‘car like handling’ is difficult, mainly because it feels so different. One of the biggest complaints for the 2017 Enclave is the suspension, in particular how it handles the bumps and the excessive nose-diving under braking.
Yes, we get that Buick want to make the Enclave feel as though it’s a soft-riding comfortable SUV, but the suspension does need some tweaking, even more so if you compare it to some of the European competition; the euros always feel that little bit tighter and tauter, being less phased under braking or even when pushing just that little bit harder round the slightly more twisty stuff.
Where the Enclave does score well is passenger space and comfort. We aren’t sure how Buick have done it, but it just feels … somehow roomier than most of the competition. Don’t get us wrong, we aren’t talking Escalade levels of room (which you could almost live in), but it certainly feels bigger than the Infiniti QX60, Acura MDX and the Kia Sorento – all direct competitors.
The 3.6 liter V6 isn’t bad, but does get a little breathless when you’re trying to get a little push on – you really need to drive it hard if you want to get the best of the performance, which is a shame because the Enclave doesn’t inspire you to drive that way. The Enclave is more about luxury, or certainly being more luxurious than the competition – if you were to drop the V6 in to something like the Acura, it would probably work well.
The new (ish) 2017 Buick Enclave is available at your local dealership now, prices aren’t that different to the previous model (at full list price) but if you’re not too bothered about having the very latest model, you’ll find plenty of discounts to be had, and in all honesty, the difference between the 2016 and 2017 Model Year isn’t that great.
Having said all of that, the Buick Enclave is a very popular model, so it can’t all be bad!
What do you think of the Enclave? Is it something you’re looking to purchase?
|2017 Buick Enclave|
|Engine type||DOHC 24V V6, direct fuel injection|
|Power/torque||288 hp; 247 lb-ft|
|Transmission||6-speed shiftable automatic|
|Passenger volume||151.1 cu.ft|
|Cargo volume||23.3-115.2 cu.f|
|Top speed||108 mph|
|PRICE RANGE: $40,000-$51,000 (est)|
|Competitors:Dodge Durango, Mazda CX-9, GMC Acadia, Honda Pilot|