2013 Buick Enclave

Starting MSRP: $38,445

Estimated MPG: 17 city / 24 hwy

2013 Buick Enclave Review

The 2013 Enclave gets an interior upgrade and delivers a luxury model crossover SUV that is spacious, safe, and sleek. Buick is going directly after younger, upscale families with the Enclave and has found a winning formula that delivers style and function in one comfortable ride.

By Tim Esterdahl
Last Updated 05/03/2016

The 2013 Buick Enclave comes in six trim sizes which are grouped in three classes—Convenience, Leather, and Premium. Each is sold as either a Front-wheel Drive Sport Utility or an All-wheel Drive Sport Utility. The features for each class are the same for both the front-wheel and all-wheel drive. All models are equipped with a 3.6 Liter V-6 engine.

Exterior

Exterior
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The Enclave has a stylish, aerodynamic look that gives it a road-hugging presence. The car flows from the rounded headlights and classic waterfall grille back toward the rear hatch in one easy stroke. The easy look reflects Buick’s effort to build a luxury car that appeals to a younger demographic.

Adding to the Enclaves style in 2013 are the tail lights. Prior to 2013, they had a more traditional look with red hot spots that stood in stark contrast to the cars overall sleek design.

These tail lights glow red uniformly across the back of the car, adding a polished feel to the car’s sporty, rounded feel.

Aimed at the luxury car market with an eye toward families that require a sport utility vehicle, the Enclave exterior design hits both with style. Not much to quibble with here. 

Interior

Interior
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Whether one sits in the driver’s seat or rides along, the Enclave’s interior is easy on the eyes and convenient. Re-designed for 2013, the architects made many smart decisions.

For the driver, the leather and wood steering wheel provides a clear sight-line for instrumentation. The bold and colorful speedometer and tachometer sit atop water temperature, fuel level, and ammeter gauges in a stacked style that is inviting. And at your fingertips are steering wheel controls for cruise control and stereo equipment

For the front-seat passenger, the center stack is cleanly arranged and intuitive. Temperature and entertainment options are easily identifiable and easily manipulated. And for those in the back of the car, separate temperature controls ensure everyone is comfortable. A second jack-driven audio channel allows those in the rear to tap into their own entertainment options.

Anchoring the interior is a center console that includes a wood-handled gear shift, leather accents, and two cup holders for the front.

Some note that the 2013 still requires the use of a key to start the ignition—this is a personal preference that doesn’t detract from the overall experience.

Performance

Performance
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Every Buick Enclave is equipped with a 3.6L V-6 engine that delivers 288 HP and 270 pound-feet or torque. In a car that comes in at nearly 5,000 pounds, the power is not misplaced, delivering acceleration when needed and the strength to tow up to 4,500 pounds. With a car of this weight and engine style, some have expressed concerned that MPG of 17 city and 24 highway are a bit low.

What surprises is the car actually drives smaller than its size would suggest. The antilock brakes and stability control render the brake pedal responsive to the touch and keep the car smooth in sharp turns.

And if the need to avoid an accident emerges, the car will handle it while keeping the driver firmly in place.

Those not accustomed to a larger car will find initially that the size and power take some getting used to. For those who have experience with luxury cars, the Enclave will deliver a smooth and delightful ride.

Technology

Technology
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While the 2013 Enclave does not offer a high-end interactive experience, there is more than adequate technology for the average individual.

IntelliLink will be most attractive to many buyers. It enables Bluetooth, hands-free calling and also allows for audio streaming. The system’s interface is fairly intuitive and can be learned with a fair level of ease. Voice recognition, HD radio, and satellite radio deliver quality sound for all. Add in apps for Pandora and Stitcher audio and passengers will find a range of entertainment sure to please.

For the driver, the center stack holds a large LCD screen that also serves as a backup camera and cross-traffic alert system.

Safety

Safety
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The Buick Enclave rates very high in safety. It carries many features that one would expect of a car in this class: front, side, and overhead airbags; side blind-zone alert system; rear cross-traffic alert system; anti-lock brakes; and stability control.

In government crash testing, the Enclave received a perfect five stars for overall, frontal and side crash protection. And it received four stars for rollover. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Enclave its top "Good" rating and was name at Top Safety Pick for 2013.

Cost-Effectiveness

Cost-Effectiveness
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As a new car, the Enclave sold for between $38,400 and $47,600 depending upon model. While some felt that the price was too high for an American-made car, it seems to be holding its value well.

Considering the good range of standard options on the Enclave, this car delivers considerable value. The only mitigating factor may be gas mileage, which runs on the low side relative to comparable models.

Overall

Overall

The 2013 Enclave is an improved car from earlier versions, especially in the interior which was significantly improved. A crossover SUV that delivers a clean, sleek look and handles seven adult passengers with ease, this car is one that luxury-minded consumers will enjoy. The fuel economy is a bit disappointing, but add in the car’s high safety ratings, powerful engine, and smooth handling, and you have a Buick that does not disappoint.