By Cars.com EditorsApril 29, 2013
About the video
If you covet both the family friendliness of a minivan and the luxury of an SUV, Cars.com reviewer Joe Bruzek says the closest you'll come in a crossover may be the 2013 Buick Enclave.
(upbeat music) Hi, this is Joe Bruzek from cars.com. Buick's three row Enclave SUV started the brand's revitalization when it was introduced in 2007. For 2013 it's redesigned for its first time since it was introduced.
Now, the 2013 shows off revised front styling, interior styling, and as well improvements to the ride quality. The Enclave's overall shape is unchanged, it still has the same profile, the same side styling, but upfront is where you really notice the difference. It's much less bug-eyed than before. There's a new hood, new fenders and a very large grill. Now, standard equipment on front includes HID headlights and ours is equipped with swiveling headlights that turn the headlights in the direction of the steering wheel. Of GM's large three row crossover SUV's, which include the Chevy Traverse and GMC Acadia, The Buick Enclave is the most luxury oriented, and there's improvements made for 2013 to amp that up a little bit. There's softer touch materials as well as a new dashboard design. And in addition there's this cocoa colored interior plus other new interior options that aim to add more of a luxury touch. The cocoa interior doesn't look that great, the color is nice but the materials have kind of a sheen to them that doesn't scream luxury or high quality. It doesn't look like too much of an improvement over the Traverse and Acadia, as far as quality, there's still some panel fitment issues but the style is much more luxurious and you get a stitched up or dash pads, as well as ambient blue lighting that you do see in a lot of luxury cars. Standard equipment in all Enclaves is Buick's IntelliLink touchscreen. Now, the touchscreen is laid out very nicely, but it uses the capacitive touch type controls that we're not a fan of and it takes some getting used to. Navigation is optional, but this includes standard features such as smartphone integration with Pandora and Stitcher apps, that work seamlessly with the smartphone. Other notable standard equipment includes a power tailgate and remote start for the high $30,000 starting price. Now, ours is loaded with optional equipment north of $50,000, and that includes the rear seat entertainment system, navigation, upgraded sound system, as well as heated and cooled seats and second sunroof for rear passengers. Now, the engine transmission, the specifications haven't changed but there's new tuning to the transmission that makes the Enclave accelerate seamlessly. Whereas, before it was kind of a clunky operation. And the new suspension makes the Enclave ride less like a minivan and more like a Mercedes, it's a much more refined ride quality and it feels more substantial going over bumps than before. While the ride quality has improved, the brakes have not. The brake pedal has a very hard feel and it takes a lot of effort to come to a quick stop. What hasn't changed is the Enclave's gas mileage, it's the same as 2012. Also unchanged is the inside, and that is what makes the Enclave such a great people carrier, there's plenty of room in the second row and the third row for adults. I'm six feet tall, and I am very comfortable in both rows. And now part of that is because of the sliding second row. Now, these are the captain's chairs and the Enclave can also come with seating for eight. There's seating for seven with these chairs. Now, they slide and they also recline. And even when it's slid all the way forward to give a third row passenger the most room, I am still very comfortable in this seating position. If you want something larger than the Enclave on the inside, then you're looking at minivans and they're just not as nice. And if you want something more luxurious, well, then you're looking at smaller SUVs. The 2013 Enclave continues to offer a unique blend of premium feel on the inside and family friendliness. (car engine rumbling) (tires screeching) (car engine rumbling)