The Buick Enclave CXL 4WD represents the top-of-the-line all-wheel-drive trim. Built on the same platform as the Saturn Outlook and GMC Acadia, with which it also shares a 3.6-liter, 275-horsepower V6 with variable valve timing, the Enclave is easily the plushest of the three. A six-speed automatic with a manual shift feature is the only transmission. 0-60 happens in 8.2 seconds.
Interior materials and finishing strike most reviewers as noticeably higher quality than those on other recent Buicks. The shifter and steering wheel, which tilts and telescopes, are both trimmed with real wood and leather, and wood-grained trim highlights the dashboard, doors, and center console. The CLX model features leather upholstery and 19-inch wheels. The eight-way adjustable front driver seat has "memory presets" for two drivers, while the front passenger seat offers four-way adjustment; both seats are heated. The Enclave accommodates eight adults with plenty of legroom throughout and offers 18.9 cubic feet of cargo room behind the third row. Fold down the second and rear seat rows and 115.1 cubic feet of cargo space beckon. A power tailgate and a sunroof (over the front seats) and skylight (over the second row) add to the convenience and luxury of the Enclave.
The Enclave's fluid lines, sound insulation, and triple door seals all help reduce noise inside, and reviewers were consistently surprised by the quietness and smoothness of its ride. Some, however, felt its 5,000-pound weight as it traveled down winding mountain roads. Reviewers prefer the all-wheel-drive versions' handling to the front-wheel-drive trims. The full-time all-wheel-drive system automatically adjusts to road speed, relative speed of each wheel, and throttle position, turning the Enclave into an all-weather transport.
Standard safety features include dual front, side, and curtain airbags, ABS, and electronic traction control with rollover sensing, all of which contribute to the Enclave's five-star NHTSA safety ratings.
A six-speaker stereo with MP3 input is standard and includes a free introductory subscription to XM satellite radio. Buick also offers lots of options on the Enclave. The second row of seating is available as a 60/40 bench or dual captain's chairs, giving walk-through access to the third row of seats. A rear-seat entertainment system, including wireless headphones, and a navigation system that includes a rear-view camera are also available.
Enclave pricing starts in the low to mid-thirties, and the EPA estimates mileage at 16 city/22 highway, with one reviewer observing 16 mpg. Offering limousine luxury in a package that can accommodate heaping helpings of passengers and/or cargo, the Enclave deserves a look from anyone contemplating a full-size, all-weather SUV.