Thursday, November 5, 2015

Enclave competes well in luxury crossover niche

Mark Glover’s AutoGlo car reviews also can be seen on the Business page of The Sacramento Bee’s website

Sacramento, California ­– I have friends who have purchased a Buick Enclave sport-utility vehicle.  They love it.  And that’s no surprise to me.

An Enclave, various versions of which can be had for between $40,000 to $50,000, just feels more substantial than the standard offering…Sort of the way a Cadillac sedan feels compared with a Chevy.

The nicely styled Enclave is downright limo-like and luxurious throughout, in my view.

Who wouldn’t love that after plunking down the asking price?

My recent week in the 2016 model was an experience of driver-spoiling superlatives.

Smooth, quiet ride. Check.

Long list of comfort/convenience features. Check.

Three rows of comfortable seating. Check.

Outstanding safety features. Check.  Bonus: In 2015, the Enclave received a top-tier, five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Changes for the 2016 model year are few, but particularly eye-catching are the gleaming 19-inch wheels ­– aluminum is standard, chrome-clad rollers are optional.

The Enclave feels big when you haul your body up into the driver’s seat, but the vehicle feels smaller on the fly.  My tester was pleasingly responsive on freeway commutes, not something I always feel in a three-row sport-ute.
Four-wheel disc brakes stop the Enclave in a hurry.  All-around vision from the cockpit is superb, another rarity in a three-row SUV.

With the 3.6-liter V-6 engine rated at 288 horsepower, the Enclave was peppy enough in most situations, although it did whine just a bit on a particularly long, steep hill climb out of the Sacramento Valley.

The smooth ride and plentiful standard entertainment features make this Enclave an ideal family road trip vehicle.  Taking along a lot of stuff?  The cargo room behind the third-row seat alone is 23.3 cubic feet, but the SUV can be configured to tote a monstrous 115.2 cubic feet of belongings.

Considering that the Enclave is a relatively recent arrival with its 2007 launch, it has done rather well, with around 500,000 units sold since then.

Again, I am not surprised.

The Enclave competes in a tough class that includes Lexus, Acura, BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz makes, but this American-made luxury crossover has the goods to hold its own in that crowd.

No comments:

Post a Comment