The three-row Enclave tester was loaded with luxury, comfort/convenience perks and state-of-the-art safety systems. It felt big and drove big.
And if you want a sizable SUV in this market, you need to bring your most cash-laden wallet. The starting price on the tested Enclave was a hefty $50,315. Extras boosted the bottom line to $56,555.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that. I just think today’s frugal SUV shopper has a lot to ponder.
The simple truth in my week in the Enclave is that it felt like something produced by Mercedes-Benz. Yes, that level of luxury and quality.
The 3.6-liter V-6 with 310-horsepower glided down the freeway with silky-smooth precision and very little noise. Seven folks in the interior cabin could gab away endlessly without straining their voices to be heard. The nine-speed transmission functioned flawlessly.
Fuel mileage was a tepid 17 miles per gallon in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, which was not a surprise to me. An SUV buyer willing to pay $50,000 and up for a ride is likely more concerned about performance, not fuel prices.
The Enclave rides on the same frame as the recently reviewed Chevrolet Traverse. Like its Chevy sister, the Enclave held the line with a comforting firmness. And the Enclave’s exterior look is pleasingly sleek. The sharpened angle on the windshield adds to that look.
The tester's safety technology kept me between the lines and was ever on the lookout for cross traffic and reckless lane changers.
Interior space was generous for passengers and cargo.
So many standard goodies inside, including a heated steering wheel (with power tilt/telescoping to boot), a kickin’ Bose audio system and tri-zone climate control. A power, hands-free liftgate on the back end also included the Buick logo projected onto the ground. Cool.
GM is taking SUV art to the max, and for my money, if you’re going to purchase a top-end sport-ute that you plan to keep for at least 10 years, this Enclave is an excellent choice. For me, the week in this luxury liner went by far too quickly.