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Buick Enclave

A quiet, comfortable three-row crossover.

There was a time when the Buick Estate Wagon was a go-to car for well-heeled families looking for a big, comfortable cruiser to carry the whole crew and their stuff. Those wagons are gone, but the needs they met still exist. Today, our big family cars are often crossovers, and Buick’s Enclave stands ready to serve. Conservatively handsome, like the clothes worn by its owners, the Enclave’s look has been tastefully updated for 2013. Although it’s based on the same platform as the GMC Acadia and the Chevrolet Traverse, the Buick is distinctive inside and out. The sole powertrain offering is GM’s 3.6-liter V-6 with a six-speed automatic transmission. Its 288 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque are stout enough to move the hefty (4724 pounds) Enclave without laboring and can tow up to 4500 pounds. Fuel economy is not bad at 17/24 mpg with front-wheel drive; opting for all-wheel drive lowers it to 16/22 mpg. Unlike some three-row crossovers, the Enclave’s third-row seats can accommodate the occasional adult or lanky teen. Luggage space behind them, however, is fairly limited. As you might expect from a Buick, the Enclave rides quietly and comfortably — new dampers aid the latter. The interior is nicely finished, and plenty of luxury options are available. The Enclave is not at all retro, but its character and capabilities are classic Buick.

COMPETITORS

Acura MDX

Ford Explorer

Ford Flex

Honda Pilot

new for 2013

The Enclave’s styling has been tweaked for 2013 to good effect. Inside, you’ll find a new dash and more upscale finishes. An industry-first front center air bag helps keep front-seat occupants in place in a side-impact collision. Also new on the safety front are Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (both optional). The backup camera is now standard.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Front, front center, side, and side curtain air bags; ABS; stability and traction control; a tire-pressure monitor; and a backup camera are standard. Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert are optional. OnStar includes crash response and emergency assistance as part of the safe and sound package. A six-month subscription is included.

MPG

CITY 16–17

HWY 22–24

PRO

Comfortable ride

Quiet

Roomy

CON

Limited cargo behind third row

Rearward visibility

Difficult third-row access

Base Price Range: $39,270–$46,450

SPECIFICATION

DRIVE: Front-wheel, 4-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: Base, Convenience, Leather, Premium

BODY STYLE: SUV/crossover, 7- or 8-passenger

ENGINE: 3.6L V-6, 288 hp, 270 lb-ft

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic

PASSENGER VOLUME: 129.8 cu ft

CAPACITIES: Towing 4500 lb; cargo (behind third/middle/front seats) 23.2/67.5/115.3 cu ft

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