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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10
V-6 engine provides good if not scorching acceleration
Kelley Blue Book
too heavy for the 3.6-liter variable-valve timing V-6
a lot slower than the Japanese and German rivals
feels plenty quick enough
The 2010 Buick Enclave rides smoothly and handles well, but some reviewers want more performance out of the powertrain.
The Buick Enclave features a 3.6-liter V-6 engine, producing 288 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque; it has direct injection and runs on regular gasoline. And impressively, 90 percent of the engine’s peak torque is available from 2,500 rpm to more than 6,000 rpm. The Enclave takes eight seconds to get from standstill to 60 mph, according to The Auto Channel; they consider it "more than adequate in most circumstances." BusinessWeek claims, however, that the factory figure of an 8-second sprint to 60 mph is optimistic: “The Enclave is a lot slower than the Japanese and German rivals, too…I tried a number of times and didn't come close to matching that time.” Cars.com predicts that the Enclave's engine "won't be mistaken for the kind of V-8 engine that has historically powered large SUVs," but will do the job when called upon.
The electronically controlled six-speed automatic transmission in the 2010 Buick Enclave is smooth but not always the most responsive companion to the V-6. Motor Trend complains that the heavy crossover “makes the six-speed labor hard to launch you out of tight turns, up hilly roads, or onto busy freeways." Edmunds reports that the six-speed transmission, while "smooth shifting," is "more active than it needs to be" and has a strong tendency to upshift more than necessary and hesitate on the downshifts.
In fitting with Buick's long-held reputation, the Enclave is a smooth operator at freeway speeds. According to Motor Trend, “The Enclave's ride is isolated, comfortable but with moderate roll.” They also conclude that the Enclave handles well “for a large, comfortable crossover utility,” but the lack of steering feel and “poor feedback, especially on-center,” is a source of disappointment.
Fuel consumption for the 2010 Buick Enclave differs depending on whether measuring front- or all-wheel drive, but the difference in fuel consumption is marginal at best, and on top of this fuel-economy ratings seem to be a bit optimistic, as TheCarConnection.com’s editors also observe. The AWD version gets slightly lower mileage on the highway, according to Cars.com, at 22 mpg, but the city figures for both models—as well as the overall average, according to Edmunds—is around 16 mpg.
The 2010 Buick Enclave is available in either front- or all-wheel drive, and according to Kelley Blue Book, the AWD option is "engineered to enhance traction in the more realistic conditions of wet or snowy roads," but is not appropriate for hard-core off-roading.
The 2009 Buick Enclave handles and rides comfortably, but powertrain response and fuel economy are unremarkable.