Buick offers only one drivetrain for the Enclave, and while it's not a rocket, we don't think you'll be disappointed in its smooth acceleration, even loaded down with family members.
Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available for cold-weather shoppers looking to make it through long winters. The Enclave is rated to tow up to 4,500 pounds, which is adequate for the occasional toy hauls to and from the lake.
The Enclave handles well for a crossover of its size, and in some ways out points luxury cars in those respects. Last year, Buick replaced front dampers and revised those in the rear for a more compliant ride. By opting for the bigger 20-inch wheels the ride becomes predictably harsher, although it still manages to be softer and more refined than other three-row crossovers.
Steering is relatively direct in the Enclave, and it manages its tall center of gravity and sizable weight well. We won't say that the Enclave inspires enough confidence behind the wheel to forget that it's a big, heavy, tall vehicle; it still pitches and rolls in making quick directional changes and under braking the Enclave has more nosedive than most other vehicles we've driven—minivans included. The firm brake pedal feel is somewhat reassuring, we'll add.
The corporate 3.6-liter V-6 is the only available engine in the Enclave, and it's shared with the GMC Acadia and Chevy Traverse. The V-6 makes 288 horsepower and is teamed with a 6-speed automatic that was developed with Ford, where it's used in the three-row Flex crossover. We've had our issues with the transmission, but last year Buick reprogrammed the unit to help resolve some of our gear-hunting complaints from earlier editions. Together, the Enclave feels more at ease with its sizable weight.