The Buick Enclave is classified as a full-size luxury crossover SUV that was launched in May of 2007 as the 2008 model from the Buick division of General Motors. This vehicle, along with the Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia, all use the same GM Lambda platform. The Enclave was first introduced to the public at the North American International Auto Show in 2006 as a concept car, marking the first time that a vehicle using this platform was displayed. Many aspects of the Enclave are based on the Buick Centieme, a concept car that was shown at the Detroit Auto Show in 2003.
The Enclave effectively replaced both of Buick’s SUVs at the time, including the Rendezvous and the Rainier, along with the Terraza minivan. By February 2014, the 2014 version of the Enclave was ranked as the best and most affordable mid-size SUV in the United States. This full-size luxury crossover can seat up to seven passengers with an optional second row seat as opposed to the standard two captain chairs, increasing the total seating capacity to eight. This vehicle also comes standard with front-wheel drive as well as an optional all-wheel drive system.
The powertrains that are used in the various Enclave models have also been used in a number of other Lambda vehicles over the years. The very first Enclave used a 275 horsepower 3.6 liter High Feature V6 engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The 2009 version of this vehicle used a 3.6 liter V6 Direct Injection Spark Ignition VVT, which was capable of 286 horsepower as well as 255 pound-feet of torque. This engine offers a broader torque curve and also improved fuel efficiency to 17 mpg or 14 L/100 km for four-wheel drive models, and 16 mpg or 15 L/100 km for all-wheel drive versions.
The 2012 version of the Enclave still uses the same 3.5 V6 engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission, though there was a power increase to 288 horsepower with 270 pound-feet of torque. The Enclave has received a great deal of praise for its large cargo space while using a dynamic unibody construction as opposed to the more traditional body-on-frame design. This vehicle is also known for being one of the quietest vehicles available in the U.S market, along with the overall quality of its interior.
The first year that the Enclave was produced, it was criticized for using a 6-speed transmission, because of the fact that it sometimes had difficulty with downshifting. The powertrain in the 2009 version, however, was highly praised as being vastly superior in a number of ways. This vehicle has been criticized as being too heavy, however, weighing a total of around 5,000 pounds with its all-wheel drive system. Buick’s VentiPorts were used with the introduction of this vehicle, a styling feature which was previous unique to the Buick for a very long time. When the Enclave was first introduced, sales were strong and demand exceeded that of production capacity.
The 2013 version of the Buick Enclave received a facelift and was displayed at the New York Auto Show in April of 2012. There were many different things about this vehicle that were changed with the facelift, including a revised exterior styling that included a brand new chrome waterfall grille, LED taillights, and xenon headlights with LED running lights. Some of the changes and updates to the interior of this vehicle included wood and chrome accents, softer materials, blue ambient lighting, and touchscreen IntelliLink infotainment display. This new Enclave was a vast improvement from its predecessor with a number of new and exciting features for consumers.