- MSRP: $38,890
- MPG City: 17
- MPG Hwy: 24
- Seating Capacity: 7
- Rating: 8.6
It’s not hard to be attracted to the 2014 Buick Enclave. The latest member of the Enclave family shows that the company took to heart consumer comments, dealer reviews and the mood of a nation longing for the nostalgia of a wagon with the safety and conveniences of a thoroughly modern crossover ride. This reliable, high-performance, Buick SUV wins over people who aren’t even shopping crossovers. The 2014 Enclave is more than just a pretty grill, winning safety ratings so across-the-board high that even Buick skeptics are won over.
Pros and Cons
- Attractive interior
- Good cargo capacity
- Improved suspension
- Difficult to handle in small areas
- Trim: Convenience FWD
- Passenger Capacity: 7
- Passenger Doors: 4
- Transmission: Automatic
- Drivetrain: Front Wheel Drive
- Engine: Gas V6 3.6L/217
- Horsepower: 288 @ 6300
- Torque: 270 @ 3400 3.6L/217
Body Styles, Trim Levels and Options
The 2014 Buick Enclave is available in three levels: Convenience, Leather and Premium. Beginning at around $40,000, the it keeps good company as a top-10 KBB luxury car pick in its price range and it also ranked #1 of 23 in the Affordable Midsize SUV ratings by US News. Also showcased as #1 in Affordable SUVs with three rows and #1 in Affordable Crossover SUVs by USN, it’s hard not to notice that the word “affordable” consistently pops up despite the technological love lavished upon the car. While we’re on the subject of technology, check out these standard features:
- Buick’s IntelliLink infotainment system
- tri-zone climate control
- USB port
- satellite radio
- back up camera
- rear parking sensors
- and you can add a whole ton of other upgrades as long as your budget doesn’t object.
“It’s more like a perfectly logical extension of the high-end yet sensible station wagons of the past, but with all the modern advances in style, technology, road manners, efficiency and safety required by the times. It feels just about ideal for its intended mission.” – Kelley Blue Book
“With the 2nd-row seats moved forward, 6-footers will fit in the 3rd row, but they’ll ride knees-up. The bench seats are wide enough for adults to sit 3-across seating, but the center seating position doesn’t have as much cushioning.” – Consumer Guide
“Fold down both rows and you get a whopping 115 feet — more than any other large luxury crossover.” – Edmunds
Performance and Powertrain
Reviewers and consumers don’t always agree on all points when talking car, but you’d be hard-pressed to find even picky evaluators complaining about the power improvements that have taken place under the hood of this crossover during the time span between the Enclave’s 2008 debut and its spiffier contemporary cousin. Freeway-worthy top speeds aren’t always compatible with heavy vehicles, but engineers pulled off this balancing act with panache. The automobile’s 6-speed, shiftable automatic transmission is peppy and helps drive fuel economy into the 17/24 mpg range; a respectable number for an SUV with a 3.6 liter, V6 engine under the hood. The front wheel drive train keeps perfect company with the 288 horsepower engine whether managed by front-wheel or all-wheel drive.
The 2014 Enclave continues the first-time-ever front center airbag legacy initiated by last year’s model. Top car rating agencies and publications were quick to reward this novel addition with praise. This includes prestigious names from Kelly Blue Book (KBB) to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to US News and World Report (USN) and Edmunds. Reviewers hailed this feature as the wave of the future, but the Enclave didn’t garner all of this attention for the center airbag alone: a forward-collision warning system, blind spot monitor, lane-departure warning system, rear cross traffic alert system and responsive brakes US News raved about, form a package of enhancements hard to ignore. It’s easy to see why the 2014 Buick Enclave is a formidable defense against potential road dangers.
Interior Design and Features
The 2014 Buick Enclave is loaded with family-friendly interior appointments. Heated seats? Check. Comfort? You bet. The Enclave grabs 9 of 10 comfort points from The Car Connection–no easy feat with three rows of passengers. There are 23 cubic feet of space behind that third row. Fold down the seats and you’ll find yourself with 115 cubic feet of cargo space. The ride is smooth and tranquil and while tight space maneuvering isn’t this vehicle’s most talked-about feature, it performs nicely in this area. KBB praises the Enclave for elegant styling, modern technology and a well-appointed interior and while a few consumers mention funky interior colors and plastic wood trim, most agree with US News, whose reviewers applaud the infotainment system and give the upscale interior an 8.4 on a scale of 10.
The terms minivan and wagon aren’t necessarily the language of today’s car buyer—particularly those who put exterior styling atop lists of must-have features—but nostalgia remains a big factor when shoppers consider large, family centric vehicles. That’s why the 2014 Buick Enclave has so much attraction: it’s the family station wagon re-imagined, repackaged and engineered to deliver yesterday’s ride with tomorrow’s safety and convenience features. Versatile? You bet. Consumer Guide chimed in by calling it one of the best of its class because it drives like a car but behaves like a van. That said, if you’re towing horses or boats, this 4,500 pound crossover probably won’t work for you, even though the car’s refined suspension is capable of keeping loads even-keeled. In sum: If your Porsche days are happy memories and there’s valuable cargo to be transported 24/7, the 2014 Buick Enclave couldn’t be a better buying choice.