2009 Buick Enclave Performance

7.0
Performance

The smooth-riding, nice-handling 2009 Buick Enclave leaves reviewers wanting more from its engine. The 2009 Buick Enclave features a new 3.6-liter V-6 engine producing 288 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. The direct-injection engine runs on regular unleaded gasoline, and 90 percent of the engine's peak torque is available from 2,500 rpm to more than 6,000 rpm.

The Enclave takes only 8 seconds to sprint up to 60 mph and The Auto Channel called that good enough to be more than "adequate" for most drivers in daily circumstances. BusinessWeek disagreed with that assessment, noting that after several attempts it was hard to make the same run in the same time and saying that the Enclave didn't compete with Japanese and German rivals. Cars.com said the V-6 wouldn't likely be mistaken for a V-8, but could do the job when called upon. The V-6 is paired to a 6-speed automatic with automatic grade braking.

While power and fuel economy are unremarkable, the 2009 Buick Enclave handles pretty well.

Edmunds, ConsumerGuide, and Cars.com all reported that the 6-speed was a smooth customer, but apparently busier than it needed to be, and had a tendency to be a little overeager on upshifts. Motor Trend complained that the heavy crossover made the 6-speed labor hard to launch out of tight turns, onto busy freeways, or up hilly roads. The Enclave is standard with front-wheel drive, but available in all-wheel drive, without much penalty on fuel economy ratings.

About those ratings: TheCarConnection.com thinks they're a little optimistic. The all-wheel-drive version gets slightly lower mileage on the highway, about 22 mpg, according to Cars.com. Edmunds noted that the overall average is around 16 mpg. Like most Buicks, the Enclave is a smooth operator when in motion at freeway speeds.

According to Motor Trend, "The Enclave's ride is isolated, comfortable but with moderate roll." The Enclave handles well "for a large, comfortable crossover utility." However, they dislike the lack of steering feel, and "poor feedback, especially on-center." Conclusion While power and fuel economy are unremarkable, the 2009 Buick Enclave handles pretty well.

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