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FWD 4-Door ConvenienceGas V6, 3.6L
Front Wheel Drive
|$ 37,097||$ 39,050|
FWD 4-Door LeatherGas V6, 3.6L
Front Wheel Drive
|$ 41,277||$ 43,450|
FWD 4-Door PremiumGas V6, 3.6L
Front Wheel Drive
|$ 44,939||$ 47,305|
AWD 4-Door LeatherGas V6, 3.6L
All Wheel Drive
|$ 43,177||$ 45,450|
The 2015 Buick Enclave looks nothing like a minivan, but it fills some of the same family functions as the old and seemingly outmoded box on wheels. The Enclave, though, offers the same flexibility as a minivan--and the practicality of a wagon, too--wrapped in a tall but surprisingly stylish crossover utility body that's reset a lot of buyers' stereotypes over its eight years. And it's still selling well after all that time.
There was never any question that the Enclave was a handsome design. Of the three large GM crossovers, it's by far the most appealing to us, from its chrome waterfall grille to the slight Coke-bottle shoulder line in the side panels over the rear wheels. By comparison, its siblings the Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia are more slab-sided and blockier.
The Buick Enclave is little changed for 2015. The only changes are the addition of a heated steering wheel in certain of the top trim levels, and a handful of new colors inside and out. And nothing's changed under the sheetmetal either.
The big Buick crossover is still powered by the same 288-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6, delivering power to the front wheels or all four corners through a six-speed automatic. That transmission lost some of its indecisiveness last year--there's less hunting through the upper gears--and the powertrain never really struggles to tap cruising speed despite the Enclave's hefty curb weight. Gas mileage of 24 mpg highway max is on par with other big crossovers.
With retuned shocks and new dampers fitted last year, the Enclave rides better than ever. It's smooth and reasonably responsive for a vehicle so long and tall. It's still a crossover that "drives big," but it's never been one that's felt anything but predictable.
The Enclave's crossover credentials make it a player, too. It seats up to eight passengers and lots of standard features to go with its acceptable gas mileage and predictable handling. The seating configuration and flexibility inside the Enclave remains the same, and that's just fine. It's a strength of this big minivan replacement. The front seats add ventilation as an option, and with seating up to eight, the Enclave's an excellent family wagon, though the third-row seat isn't a place we'd choose to sit for hours on end. There's over 23 cubic feet of space behind the third row, and if you fold the second and third rows there's over 115 cubic feet of cargo space. It all folds down neatly and flat and is just begging for outings to big-box stores.
There's also a safety industry-first in the Enclave. Recently, it added a new front-center airbag, which helps protect front occupants in a side impact. Blind-spot monitors and a rear cross traffic alert system are available, as are lane-departure and forward-collision warning systems.
As for features, IntelliLink is the big news for some shoppers, as it brings the Enclave's interior up to the leading edge in connectivity, with a relatively easy interface, well-integrated Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming functionality, and apps for Pandora and Stitcher audio. A rearview camera system, a USB port, HD Radio, satellite radio, and voice recognition are also part of the standard equipment this year, while navigation is optional, as is a ten-speaker Bose sound upgrade.
- Third-row seat more roomy than some
- Second-row seats are adult-tested
- Vast, lovely interior
- Smooth looks
- Smartphones? Bring 'em
Next: Interior / Exterior »
- Big, and handles that way
- Pricey for a "premium" ute
- Fuel economy