A arch calculation of models currently accessible on our bazaar brings a asperous calculation of 275 or so. With that abounding around, some are apprenticed to fly beneath the radar, as the adage goes. Clearly, the Enclave belongs in that class – as apparent by addition abutting to me who, aloft acquirements that I had it for a analysis drive recently, said: “Oh yeah? They (GM) still accomplish it?”
And yes, the Enclave is still in the Buick catalogue. Since 2008, in fact. In the accomplished thirteen years there accept been improvements actuality and there, including a new bearing in 2017, but the blueprint is still abundantly the same. Back a artefact charcoal about banausic for 10 years (and counting), it comes beyond as a bit of a anachronistic in its category.
A nice dinosaur, we should add. But let’s bethink what fate had in abundance for dinosaurs.
The added actual catechism is this, however: Who is a Buick Enclave for? Young families? The brand’s fans? Older people?
All of the above? None of the above? Let’s try to get to the basal of this.
Not aloof for golden-agersThree years ago, Buick gave the Enclave a abundant refresh, and as it happens I was on duke for the presentation of the new version. On that occasion, I took the befalling to ask a Buick adumbrative how acknowledged their declared ambition of transitioning to a adolescent demographic was proving. Keep in apperception that in 2008, back the Enclave aboriginal appeared on the market, the boilerplate age of the Buick client was 72.
The adumbrative told me that the aggregation had managed to abate the boilerplate by 20 years, which isn’t bad at all. (You won’t bolt me adage 52 is old – that’s how old I’m axis this year!)
Space to spareThe Enclave is for everyone, again – or almost. But not for me, youngster that I am.
Why not? Well, for one thing, I don’t charge all the amplitude this agent provides. Although if a golf cruise to Florida were to appear up and three of my accompany were to chargeless themselves up for the occasion, my needs would aback be actual different. Yours may abatement aural the ambit of what this SUV offers.
The Enclave can lath up to seven people, but in truth, there are four actual adequate seats, with captain’s chairs in the additional row. There’s affluence of allowance at shoulder, arch and legroom. As for the third bench, it’s there to advice out in a pinch. As far as I’m concerned, I can see it bankrupt bottomward and covered by golf bags. With both rows of seats bankrupt down, the aggregate climbs to 2,764 litres. Bethink that it’s all a amount of charge and the Enclave can accommodated the needs of many.
Peace of mindThe added abundant affection of the Enclave is the akin of tranquillity that reigns on board. Comfort is king, soundproofing is accomplished and the bland ride makes you… apathetic on board. For some, it’s the absolute vehicle, and in that respect, the Buick monster array points.
If you like to drive a little bit, however, you’ll acquisition time on the alley goes by a little slowly. Alike admitting Buick has fabricated advance in this regard, we’re not at the akin of BMW, Audi or alike Volvo, added companies that accomplish articles accouterment to the aforementioned age group.
In fact, active the Enclave is as absolute as it is emotionless. It’s up to you to adjudge whether that’s a advantageous trade-off.
An old warriorUnder the awning of the Enclave sits GM’s advantageous engine, the 3.6L V6 that admiral abounding of the automotive giant’s vehicles. It’s a adventurous but bulky unit. Its power, appear at 310 hp (along with 266 lb-ft of torque) is added than abundant for the ambitions you’re ambience for yourself abaft the caster of the Enclave.
Towing accommodation peaks at 5,000 lb with the towing package. For accepting had the befalling to do a analysis drive with a amount attached, and I can say it does the job, but no more. Ideal for those who alone accept to move their abundant toy a few times a year.
Where this apparatus has progressed over the aftermost 10-15 years is in agreement of consumption. Back in 2008, I totaled article amid 12.5L and 13.5L/100 km. This time, admitting a few episodes trapped in cartage jams, my anniversary concluded with an boilerplate of 10.2L/100 km. That’s absolutely adequate because the weight of this brute.
Luxury?There’s a affluence cast at GM, and it’s Cadillac. While Buick isn’t in the aforementioned league, its cartage still action an absorbing akin of refinement. That’s axiomatic in the affection of the abstracts and the colours offered on board; the all-embracing presentation is rich. It’s aloof a abashment that the designers served up such anachronous and “simple” dials on the apparatus block. You’ll acquisition bigger in the Chevrolet Spark! There’s actuality conservative, and again there’s… this.
As for the multimedia system, while we’re not ambidextrous with the best in the business here, we’re not ambidextrous with the affliction either. The airheaded are accessible to admission and the adapted configurations are accessible to set up.
Taken on its own merits, we like the tech able-bodied enough, as we do activity in accepted on board. However, the botheration comes back you analyze the Enclave to its competition.
BehindThe Enclave can be had in three ways: Essence, Premium and Avenir. In all three cases, comparing the adaptation with a commensurable adversary is an exercise that won’t be to the advantage of the Buick SUV.
A acceptable archetype is the latest archetypal to accompany the affair in the segment, the Kia Telluride. For beneath money, it offers added equipment, added assurance appearance and added technology. To wit, wireless smartphone recharging is offered with the basal adaptation for about $45,000. In the Enclave? You accept to go for the Avenir at abutting to $65,000. Aforementioned goes for the aeronautics system, which comes accepted in the Kia, but not in the Buick. The abject Enclave archetypal starts at over $53,000, by the way.
Look about the calendar and you see that examples of that affectionate of lag in the artefact alms abound. The Enclave offers everything, but to booty advantage of it, you accept to pay more.
And that is a abstraction I’ve consistently had agitation with.
ConclusionThe Enclave, taken on its own, is far from actuality a bad product. Alike in agreement of affluence and the active experience, it compares favourably to abounding rivals. The botheration is that its architecture is accepting actively anachronous and that actuality is communicable up to it. If the appraisement of the Enclave had been adapted bottomward to reflect this reality, it ability accept anesthetized muster. But that is artlessly not what Buick has done.
As a result, it’s best to attending elsewhere. At atomic until Buick gives its Enclave the above amend that it badly needs. Which the automaker should do, because the archetypal has accomplished fundamentals.
Comfort levelConfidence-inspiring driveLots of space
We like less
The appraisement structureThe bulky engineStrong depreciation
Mazda CX-9Ford ExplorerDodge DurangoHonda PilotHyundai PalisadeKia TellurideKia SorentoNissan Pathfinder