Review of the 2013 Buick Enclave

Buick is the new 30.

Remember when the word Buick evoked visions of our grandparents; complete with white hair and practical shoes, moving slowly towards their large vanilla looking car? Well that has all changed; Buick is cool, young and comes in many flavors.

The 2013 Buick Enclave has been ranked the #1 affordable midsize SUV by both consumers and automotive journalists. After test-driving the Enclave myself, I wished it were an option when I was car-pooling my kids to baseball, soccer, violin lessons and work. In my thirties, the suburban or a station wagon was the most practical option, or unattractive alternative.

The 2013 Buick Enclave makes total sense for the young, affluent buyers with growing families or empty-nesters with grandparent ties and road trip vacations. The other group of potential owners for the Enclave would be shoppers of the Acura MDX, Audi Q7 or Volvo SC90.

The Buick Enclave delivers the goods for the money in terms of amenities, space, styling and efficiency. They kept the price reasonable to the point where it’s thousands less than others in its class and offers that luxury experience any generation wants and demands.

It also delivers room for seven adults, not five grownups and two kindergarteners. Buick did it right with the slide and fold captain’s chairs for the second row of seating, which is easily operated with one hand, clearing a wide path to the third row of seats. Bench seats are also available.

Behind that, the cargo space is enough to accommodate luggage, camping equipment or strollers.

There have been some nice cosmetic improvements. There is a new good-looking instrument panel with a stylish face and easy to access intellilink touchscreen display. It has remote keyless entry, rear child security door lock, rear vision camera system, side blind zone alert with rear cross traffic alert, tri-zone air conditioning and a leather wrap steering wheel with audio controls and XM radio.

It might as well pull itself in and out of the garage and have my coffee placed in one of the ten cup holders each morning.The standard Enclave has all the comforts and conveniences any gender desires including its award-winning safety features.

The 2013 version of the Enclave has laminated glass and ample sound deadening material to create a passenger space that is whisper quiet at highway speeds. I tested this on the local freeway, but I could still hear three-year-old Sofia singing, “Old McDonald Had A Farm†very clearly and very off tune.

The basic shape of the Enclave remains, but a new front fascia and hood, LED enhanced headlamps and new signature “waterfall†grille gives the 2013 a fresh rejuvenated look, much like a day at the spa.

The standard Enclave has all the comforts and conveniences any gender desires including its award-winning safety features. There are 3rd row side curtain bags that stay inflated longer in the event of a rollover, and a new INDUSTRY FIRST center side airbag in the center console that protects driver and front seat passenger from opposite side impacts. The Enclave starts at $39, 270. The one I tested was $51,000.

If you want to know what’s under the hood to move this incredible machine, you will find a 3.6 liter V6, 288 horsepower engine with EPA statistics of 17 City and 24 highway.

All in all, the 2013 Buick Enclave lives up to its #1 ranking in the midsize SUV category and evokes new visions of Buick owners, and one of them could be you!

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