Buick Enclave Performance
The 2014 Buick Enclave earns mostly positive praise from auto reviewers for its smooth powertrain. Some auto critics note that the Enclave isn’t the sportiest choice in the class, but they appreciate its suspension, which offers a good compromise between ride comfort and neutral handling.
- "On the road, the Enclave offers a quiet, comfortable ride. While its V-6 feels a bit strained at passing speeds, it gets the job done in just about any other situation. The Enclave isn't sporty by any stretch of the imagination, but it offers a lot of bang for the buck." -- Car and Driver
- "The Enclave delivers a driving experience that's a combination of a smooth and well-controlled ride along with handling that's responsive, predictable and certainly far better than it needs to be." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Sure, it'll feel cumbersome in tight spots, while other large crossovers like the Mazda CX-9 feel more nimble, but overall, the Enclave is pleasant to drive and its handling instills confidence. The suspension also earns high marks for its ride that is both comfortable and controlled." -- Edmunds (2013)
Acceleration and Power
The Enclave is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 288 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. A front-wheel drive Enclave achieves an EPA-estimated 17/24 mpg city/highway, while all-wheel drive models achieve 16/22 mpg. These fuel economy estimates are comparable to what other affordable midsize SUVs get.
Auto reviewers report that the Enclave’s engine has adequate power in all situations. Most also say that the transmission pairs well with the engine, making the most of the power and delivering smooth, deliberate shifts. However, one critic notes that the transmission doesn’t always shift as smoothly as he would like.
- "The Enclave's V6 engine provides adequate acceleration. The 6-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly, and downshifts promptly when more muscle is summoned." -- Consumer Guide
- "Powering the 2014 Enclave is a responsive and smooth 3.6-liter V6. It delivers energetic performance and excellent fuel economy with the help of the modern technologies of variable valve timing, direct fuel injection and an electronic throttle. The V6 is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. A wide spread of gear ratios helps get the most out of the engine while maximizing efficiency. We did, however, notice some delayed reactions from the transmission and an occasional rough shift." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "The 3.6-liter V6 provides sufficient acceleration in a wide variety of driving conditions." -- Edmunds (2013)
Handling and Braking
The Enclave comes standard with front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is optional. Reviewers say that the Enclave feels stable on twisty roads, and that its ride is comfortable without being too soft. Critics also like the Enclave’s accurate steering and strong brakes. Multiple auto writers indicate that the Enclave doesn’t exhibit too much body roll through turns. One reviewer notes that the Enclave can be tricky to navigate through tight areas due to its large size.
- "Enclave is a large vehicle, but it is impressively stable and reasonably agile. Steering is nicely weighted and accurate. Body lean is apparent in fast turns, but Enclave never feels ponderous. The long, wide body can make it somewhat tricky to maneuver in tight spaces. The brakes are smooth and powerful." -- Consumer Guide
- "The Enclave delivers a driving experience that's a combination of a smooth and well-controlled ride along with handling that's responsive, predictable and certainly far better than it needs to be. The steering transmits accurate messages of what's happening at the road surface, the shock absorbers provide easy compliance over bumps while maintaining control during motoring's ups and downs." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "It may not be in the same league as the athletic Mazda CX-9, but the Enclave can hustle through the curves when asked." -- Truck Trend (2013)
- "The suspension also earns high marks for its ride that is both comfortable and controlled." -- Edmunds (2013)
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