2013 Buick Enclave AWD Premium

Launched in 2007, the Enclave is a member of GM’s triumvirate of large crossovers which also includes the Chevy Traverse and GMC Acadia.  And for a vehicle this deep into its product cycle, the Enclave feels remarkably fresh and consumers have taken note.  In 2011 it reached its sales record and the Enclave continues to run neck and neck with the LaCrosse as Buick’s most popular vehicle.

This 2013 model receives numerous exterior enhancements which instantly convey its contemporary status.  Its hallmark detail is now these beautifully designed LED daytime running lamps that really set it apart from previous models.  There are also new body color front and rear fascias and rocker moldings, a new hood, fenders, front grille, headlamps, LED taillamps and 19”wheels. 20s are also available.    Dual outlet exhaust tips are now integrated for a cleaner look and this Iridium Metallic paint is also one of 4 new color choices.  Kudos to Buick for efforting this tasteful make-over.

I logged about 1,000 miles in this top-trim Enclave AWD with the Premium Group and came away remarkably impressed with how well it does its job.  My duty as driver this week included transporting family members of various ages over many miles, hauling lots of cargo and traversing a variety of road types in changing weather conditions and the Enclave uncomplicated all of those tasks and did so in the most competent of ways.  From a driver’s standpoint, the overhauled suspension and 6-speed automatic deliver on smoothness and premium-level refinement.  It’s super quiet inside and your right foot is armed with a 288-horsepower direct-injected V6 that induces confidence in passing maneuvers.  The combination of supple ride and capable handling is a huge winner. Gas mileage on regular is rated at 16mpg city/22mpg highway and I averaged 19mpg.

But it’s in here where a crossover really earns its keep and the Enclave is nearly flawless in its execution.  The second row captain’s chairs feature this Smart Slide feature that make accessing the third row easier than any other.  And this is the best 3rd row in the industry in terms of spaciousness, ingress and egress, and overall comfort.  Maximum cargo room of over 115 cubic feet supersedes all of its key rivals.  This Enclave also boasts the industry’s first front-center side airbag, new instrument panel and ultra-cool blue LED ambient lighting that makes for a dazzling display at night.  With the rear seat entertainment system, remote start, heated and cooled seats, dual sunroofs, OnStar with IntelliLink, side blind zone alert, back-up cam with cross traffic alert and adaptive headlamps, the Enclave has everything you need to reduce fatigue, stay safe, and keep entertained.  And everything works intuitively.  The only signs of aging come in the small size of the navi screen, the awkward placement of the USB port in this cubby and the lack of keyless start.

The 2013 Enclave starts at around $40,000 and tops out in full regalia like this one for $52,090; an excellent 7-passenger premium crossover that should not be overlooked.

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