2014 Buick Enclave

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When Buick recently decided to name 11 "greatest hits" from its back catalog, it wanted one vehicle to define each decade the company has been making luxury cars. The most current model on the list and the one representing the modern Buick brand? The Enclave.

This full-size crossover seats up to eight people in a giant interior that could also double as a moving van. Its luxury styling elements, quiet cabin and optional AWD have earned the V-6-powered Enclave not only prestige within Buick ’s history, but also a breakout sales success rank that few expected when the model was launched as a 2008 model.

The name is pronounced “On Clave” and loosely means "to surround and protect." The name matches the mission of this family friendly wagon: offer almost all of the normal minivan space and safety benefits in a more fashionable SUV shell - with optional AWD and 4,500-pound towing capability.

The latest 2014 Buick Enclave packs a few updates to its interior amenities, new safety tech and a light exterior refresh that includes LED lights front and rear. How does it fare versus its primary competition in the $45,000 luxury crossover segment: the Infiniti JX35 and the new Acura MDX ? Does it have enough luxury to justify the extra spend over the latest seven-passenger Hyundai Santa Fe ?

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Buick Enclave with mega photo gallery of the revised exterior and interior.

Exterior

Buick Enclave

The exterior of the latest Enclave has lost a bit of the original model’s sharp fender design in favor of a smoother shape that looks significantly more premium and expensive. The nose looks much better with a painted and sculpted bumper that was previously featureless grey plastic. The waterfall grille trades tightly-spaced vertical chrome slats for a wider and more-flowing set of black chrome vertical bars with a 3D design.

The nose is now a festival of LEDs to match the powerful presence of the Audi Q7 on the road. A new headlight design adds a ‘wing’ of LEDs in the corner that recall the design also seen on the Buick Regal GS . This time, the design is larger and has more individual LED pods to provide a crisp light signature even during the daytime.

These are paired with standard HID lamps that can be optioned to have adaptive cornering capability. A second set of LEDs appears for 2014 in the lower bumper flanks and is similar to the latest Impala. The Enclave’s corporate siblings were also blessed by the LED fairy for this year, but only top-line Chevrolet Traverse models get any decoration.

The GMC Acadia arguably looks the freshest and most expensive of the trio on the road via a white LED headlight accent that forms a deep “C” shape around the outside edge of the rectangular lamp. The LEDs on the GMC GMC seem more modern with no blue-tinted reflector structure and a brighter, whiter signature that is the spitting image of high-spec Audi Q7 models.

The Enclave loses some LED points to the latest Acura MDX , which has optional jewel eye LED low and high-beam designs. The Enclave gains with LED mirror blinkers and a fresh LED taillight design with a solid light bar in place of individual dots.

The Enclave looks much more like a traditional wagon since the style refresh, principally because the C-pillar is now gloss black to match the tinted windows. It was previously a solid painted section that helped give the long and very wide Buick shape some structure.

The wheel options take a step back in time for this year as well, with overly detailed chrome wheels in too-small 17-inch standard sizes hurting the overall presence of the car. The optional 19 and 20-inch wheels are a worthwhile upgrade to the Enclave’s style and bring improved road-holding and meatier steering feel. There is little tradeoff in ride comfort but a slight uptick in tire noise.

2014 Buick Enclave – Exterior Dimensions:

Wheelbase (in.) 118.9
Length (in.) 201.9
Width (in.) 79
Height (in.) 71.7
Track - Front (in.) 67.3
Track - Rear (in.) 67.1
Weight (Pounds) 4724 FWD, 4922 AWD
Drag Coefficient 0.36

2014 Buick Enclave – Standard Exterior Features:

  • Black-chrome waterfall grille
  • LED headlight accent lighting
  • Standard HID lighting with optional cornering adaptive design
  • LED taillight design

2014 Buick Enclave – Optional Exterior Features:

  • Trailer pack 4500-pounds ($575)
  • Hit-the-Road Accessory Package (Dealer-installed $1,130): side steps, roof rails, cargo liner
  • Power sunroof with rear fixed skylight ($1,400)
  • Black roof rack cross rails (Dealer-installed $210)
  • Hitch-Mounted Bicycle Carrier ($199)
  • Hitch-Mounted Bicycle Carrier ($225)
  • Hitch-Mounted Ski Carrier ($225)
  • Hitch-Mounted Stowage Compartment ($575)
  • Roof Rack Cross Rail Package ($195)
  • Roof-Mounted Bicycle Carrier - Wheel Mount ($129)
  • Roof-Mounted Kayak Carrier ($179)
  • Roof-Mounted Luggage Basket ($379)
  • Roof-Mounted Luggage Carrier ($389)
  • Large Roof-Mounted Luggage Carrier ($459)
  • 19-inch Wheels ($1,885)
  • 20-inch Wheels ($2,137)

Interior

Buick Enclave

The Enclave’s revised interior is barely easier to spot than the exterior. A new door panel design that adds a large swath of vertical wood trim that then flows around the top section of the dashboard. This closely resembles the latest Audi A7 in design (if not materials).

There are numerous other changes to the interior, highlighted by a new LED mood lighting feature that brings soft blue lighting throughout the interior for nighttime passenger comfort that does not disturb the driver. There’s less mood lighting excitement in the back but overall the cockpit takes a big step forward.

There is a new central infotainment unit and a new design for the climate controls that brings more buttons and ditches the HVAC-only display. Four different leather and wood combinations are available but none are at the level of quality to worry European luxury makers. The leathers are a similar story but the seats are now available with cooling as well as heating. One advantage of the highly processes trims inside the Enclave is that everything is easily wiped down for quick cleaning.

Disappointments include the small size of the new touchscreen system and the carryover steering wheel that is a relic of old GM buttons and plastic quality.

The real action is in back. 2014 brings two extra USB charge ports in the rear of the center console. Intellilink with a touchscreen and backup camera is standard on all Enclaves, but the addition of navigation and additional rear-seat controls can add about $2,200 extra to the price. The Enclave also offers a rear-seat entertainment system with twin DVD players and monitors.

Here is a list on IntelliLink’s standard features:

  • 6.5-inch diagonal high-resolution color display with touch-screen control
  • Bluetooth with hands-free (for phone calls) and A2DP audio-streaming protocol support
  • Address book download and hands-free calling
  • New SiriusXM Tune Select, which locates favorite artists or songs
  • USB port
  • Auxiliary audio input port
  • Steering wheel controls
  • Enhanced voice recognition powered by Nuance
  • AM/FM/HD Audio CD/MP3 CD
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio and data services, including available NavTraffic
  • Selected smartphone apps can be controlled through the IntelliLink interface via the touch-screen, steering wheel controls or voice commands. The first apps to be supported are Pandora and Stitcher
  • Supports playback of MP3 files stored on flash memory drives

The Enclave can seat eight people with the standard three-seat second and third rows. Most parents and back-seat passengers will much prefer the seven-seat setup’s rear captain’s chairs with individual adjustments, armrests and extra middle console. These captain’s chairs also dramatically simplify ingress/egress to the third row seat with a one-hand SmartSlide system to clear a path to the back seat. Once back there, it is surprisingly large.

Worth highlighting are the overall huge dimensions of this vehicle’s interior and cargo areas. The Enclave’s cabin has enormous shoulder, leg and hip room stats for all three rows. Versus the also-large Volvo XC70 ’s front seats, for example, the Enclave has an extra 4 inches of shoulder room and more than 3 inches extra hip room. These are noticeably huge interior dimensions.

2014 Buick Enclave –Interior Dimensions:

Front Seating Capacity 2
Middle Seating Capacity 3, 2 with buckets
Rear Seating Capacity 3
Headroom - Front (in.) 40.4
Headroom - Middle (in.) 39.4
Headroom - Rear (in.) 37.8
Legroom - Front (in.) 41.3
Legroom - Middle (in.) 36.8
Legroom - Rear (in.) 33.2
Shoulder Room - Front (in.) 61.6
Shoulder Room - Middle (in.) 61.3
Shoulder Room - Rear (in.) 57.4
Hip Room - Front (in.) 57.2
Hip Room - Middle (in.) 57
Hip Room - Rear (in.) 48.3
EPA Cargo Volume - All Seats Up (cubic-feet) 23.3
EPA Cargo Volume - Rear Seat Folded (cubic-feet) 68.9
EPA Cargo Volume - All Rear Seats Folded (cubic-feet) 115.2

2014 Buick Enclave – Standard Interior Features:
-*7-passenger seating (no-cost)

  • 8-passenger seating (no-cost)
  • Buick IntelliLinkTM infotainment system with AM/FM/SiriusXM/HD Radio, high-resolution color touch-screen, CD player, MP3 playback and auxiliary port
  • Ice-blue LED ambient lighting around the dash highlights Enclave’s flowing lines, emphasizing the cabin’s spaciousness
  • Eight-way power front driver and passenger seats with four-way adjustable head restraints
  • Soft-touch materials and real stitching throughout the cabin, as well as true chrome accents
  • Rearview camera system
  • Power liftgate
  • Four interior color combinations with complementing wood tones

2014 Buick Enclave – Optional Interior Features:

  • Buick IntelliLinkTM infotainment system with AM/FM/SiriusXM/HD Radio, high-resolution color touch-screen, Navigation System, CD player, MP3 playback and auxiliary port ($795)
  • Bose advanced 10-speaker system
  • RSE - Head Restraint DVD System ($1,995)
  • RSE – Headphones ($55)
  • Rear Set Entertainment: Buick IntelliLinkTM infotainment system with AM/FM/SiriusXM/HD Radio, high-resolution color touch-screen, CD player, MP3 playback and auxiliary port with Rear Seat Entertainment ($1,445)
  • Navigation: Buick IntelliLinkTM infotainment system with AM/FM/SiriusXM/HD Radio, high-resolution color touch-screen, Navigation System, CD player, MP3 playback and auxiliary port with Rear Seat Entertainment ($2,240)

Drivetrain, Suspension and Brakes

Buick Enclave

The powertrains of the Enclave are easily understood and come with one powerful V-6 engine paired with either front or all-wheel drive. The 3.6-liter V-6 makes a respectable 288 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque for an 8-second 0-to-60 mph time. The engine runs direct injection that can be noisy but adds some extra engine covers and deadening that ;ast year’s model lacked. All Enclave’s use a smooth and easy six-speed automatic transmission.

The AWD option increases the Enclave’s curb weight to just below 5,000 pounds, so this is no agile sports car in the corners. Even so, the Buick’s comfort and quiet tuning help create a soothing environment only rarely disturbed by bumps and crashes over potholes.

There is little on-paper change in the Enclave’s city economy with AWD selected but the Buick does loses two mpg on the highway for a 22 mpg total with AWD.

2014 Buick Enclave - Mechanical Details:

Engine Size and Type 3.6-liter 24-valve V-6 With VVT and DI
Peak power (Horsepower) 288 @ 6300
Peak torque (Pound-feet) 270 @ 3400
Transmission 6-Speed Auto
0-to-60 mph 8.0 seconds
Top Speed 117 mph, est
Fuel Economy Estimates (City/Combined/Highway) 16/NA/24 FWD, 16/NA/22 AWD

Safety

Safety-wise, the Enclave is an all-star performer with top ratings from the NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick credit from IIHS. The 2014 model year’s enhancements bring an optional driver assistance option that includes front collision and lane departure warnings for the first time.

This complements the existing rear parking sensors, backup camera, blind-spot and cross-traffic alerts.

The Enclave’s new central airbag will also appear on the future Mercedes-Benz S-Class. This bag inflates from the center armrest upwards in a side impact to prevent the front passengers’ heads from contacting each other.

2014 Buick Enclave – Standard Safety Features:

  • 4-wheel antilock disc brakes
  • Air bag system with seven total bags
  • Air bags, front passenger air bag suppression
  • Automatic Occupant Sensing System, sensor indicator inflatable restraint, front passenger/child presence detector
  • Daytime Running Lamps
  • Door locks, rear child security
  • LATCH child seat restraint system
  • Rearview camera system
  • Side Blind Zone Alert with Cross Traffic Alert
  • StabiliTrak; Traction control
  • Tire Pressure Monitor System
  • Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist

Pricing

Buick Enclave

The Buick Enclave is priced pretty reasonably with few high-dollar options needed to enhance the package. The Leather pack is mid-range and will be a good compromise for most buyers. AWD adds a cool $2,000 to the prices at all levels but does not hurt load space or cargo flexibility of the folding seats.

2014 Buick Enclave – Pricing:

2014 Buick Enclave FWDAWD
Enclave Convenience $38,470$40,740
Enclave Leather $42,755$44,755
Enclave Premium $46,315$48,315

Competition

2013 Infiniti JX35

Infiniti JX

The JX35 is smaller than the Buick in some dimensions, which helps the Infiniti feel more at home in tight city environments. It lacks much of the Enclave’s space in the third row and cargo areas, but makes up for it with higher-quality leathers and plastics inside. The JX35 also offers the AroundView monitor to give drivers a bird’s-eye view of the car from above - something not available in the Buick.

2014 Acura MDX

Acura MDX

The MDX offers similar levels of van-replacing cargo and safety amenities, including optional AWD. The MDX is a much smaller vehicle with a wheelbase nearly 8 inches shorter than the Buick’s and a rear seat that is big enough for small kids only. While the MDX is arguably nicer up front, it also comes in with higher prices than the Buick: up to $56,000 for the top Acura family crossover.

Conclusion

Buick Enclave

The Enclave was a surprise hit mainly because it embodies most classic Buick traits that have long been shunned by luxury shoppers. It just so happens that with a family crossover, Buick ’s old traits became desirable assets once again: large cabin space, luxury ride quality and premium safety features.

The Enclave is missing some of the GS -style speed and power Buick’s were once known for, but the omission is understandable in this segment. This is no hot rod but the Enclave does offer crisp and fresh styling that is current across the globe – something no 1990s Roadmaster could ever boast.

The Enclave earns its price premium due to its massive seating room in all three rows, plus real space with all the seats in place. This is one area where smaller seven-seaters cannot keep up: to fit a third row, all but tiny sliver of trunk is not available for cargo.

In terms of balancing performance, economy, space and quietness: the Enclave is a solid competitor whose success is enhanced by the latest LED styles and interior tech. The Enclave is so good that this second-gen might show up again in the next round of Buick’s greatest hits.

Category RatingDetails
Driving B-Big Dimensions But Good Ride Comfort
Performance BNot Very Quick - Especially With AWD And Filled Cabin
Look B-New LED Lights Help Enclave Style
Value B+Affordable Entry-Level Trims Best Value
Overall B+A 21st Century Roadmaster With Big Space And Comfort
LOVE IT
  • Still handsome with monochrome exterior paints in classy metallic shades; finally some painted nose and rocker panels
  • New LED designs are not as sharp as those from the GMC Acadia corporate sibling
  • Interior still enormous, quiet and and highly versatile
LEAVE IT
  • Interior redesign left old-fashioned infotainment screen and even-older steering wheel design
  • Looks softer and more like a wagon with black C-pillar
  • Small standard wheels look like they are from an old Buick Skylark

Press Release

Buick Enclave

2014 BUICK ENCLAVE ADDS SAFETY, INFOTAINMENT FEATURES

Buick’s award-winning Enclave is the industry’s best-selling three-row luxury crossover and a cornerstone of the brand’s renaissance, which has reintroduced Buick to a new generation of luxury customers.

The 2014 Buick Enclave builds on design, safety and infotainment technology changes introduced on the ’13 model. New features include camera-based Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning, along with SiriusXM Tune Select and text-to-voice features added to Buick’s IntelliLink infotainment system’s capabilities. Also, a pair of USB ports has been added to the rear of the center console to charge phones and other electronic devices.

Enclave is designed to comfortably accommodate three rows of adults and provides more third-row-seat leg room than the Infiniti JX, Acura MDX, Lincoln MKT, Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90. It is offered in both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations, with trim levels including Convenience (1SD), Leather (1SL) and Premium (1SN). All models are powered by an efficient, direct-injected 3.6L V-6 that delivers an EPA-estimated 24 mpg on the highway (FWD models) and a six-speed automatic transmission that contributes to efficiency and the Enclave’s smooth driving experience.

Enclave also features the industry’s first front center side air bag system that helps protect drivers and front passengers in far-side impact crashes. Available on every 2014 MY Buick, the new Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning features contribute to safety by alerting the driver to potential crash situations, which can give him or her additional time to react and possibly avoid them.

Sculpted exterior design

Buick Enclave

The Enclave is instantly recognizable as a modern Buick, with sculpted styling and signature elements – including a black-chrome waterfall grille – complemented by technologically advanced features, including signature wing-shape LED lighting. Monochromatic paint schemes accented with chrome contribute to the luxury crossover’s premium appearance, along with large 18-, 19- and 20-inch wheel designs.

At the front, LED daytime running lamps and accent lamps give the Enclave a strong presence on the road. Blue translucent rings around the standard Xenon HID headlamps are Buick design cues found on other models, adding distinction across the brand’s lineup. Articulating headlamps are available.

A chrome finish within the rear fascia frames the exhaust outlets, for an integrated appearance that exemplifies Buick’s attention to detail. LED taillamps provide a safety benefit by illuminating more quickly than conventional bulbs when the brakes are applied.

Exterior color choices include: Quicksilver Metallic, White Opal, Cyber Gray Metallic, Carbon Black Metallic, Crystal Red Tintcoat, White Diamond Tricoat, Mocha Bronze Metallic, Champagne Silver Metallic, Atlantis Blue Metallic and Iridium Metallic.

Harmonious interior environment

Buick Enclave

The Enclave’s interior is defined by luxurious amenities and high-quality materials, along with the intuitive technology of Buick IntelliLink. Rich, saturated tones and contemporary color combinations reflect Buick customers’ lifestyles and enhance Enclave’s sense of fashion. An exclusive cocoa interior color, for example, offers a higher degree of visual warmth. It is complemented by the soft feel of Nuance sandstone leather, which has characteristics similar to leathers used in premium home furnishings.

Interior highlights also include:

  • Ice-blue LED ambient lighting around the dash highlights Enclave’s flowing lines, emphasizing the cabin’s spaciousness
  • Eight-way power front driver and passenger seats with four-way adjustable head restraints
  • Available memory presets on eight-way power driver’s seat include easy-exit driver’s seat, power outside mirrors and power tilt and telescopic steering column (if equipped)
  • Available heated and cooled front seats
  • Soft-touch materials and real stitching throughout the cabin, as well as true chrome accents
  • Available power, tilt-sliding sunroof
  • Standard storage system under the floor in the rear cargo area
  • Standard power windows with driver and passenger express up/down feature
  • Rearview camera system
  • Power liftgate
  • Four interior color combinations with complementing wood tones.

Enclave offers three rows of seating, available in seven- or eight-passenger configurations. The second-row seats feature the popular SmartSlide system. With the pull of a single handle, SmartSlide allows easier entry to the third row.

There is 23.3 cubic feet (660 liters) of cargo space behind the third row and a maximum of 115.2 cubic feet (3,263 liters) of cargo space available behind the front row of seats. That’s more than the Mercedes-Benz R Class, Infiniti JX, Lincoln MKT, Audi Q7 and the Volvo XC90.

Buick’s signature QuietTuning engineering process, which uses laminated glass and extensive sound blocking and absorbing materials, makes Enclave’s cabin quieter than a Lexus RX350.

IntelliLink and infotainment details

Buick Enclave

Buick’s IntelliLink color touch radio is standard on all models and enhances the driving experience with a higher level of wireless connectivity and customized options – all while building on the safety and security of OnStar.

IntelliLink is intuitive and easy to use, and includes the capability of setting up a “home page” for favorites. It integrates online services such as Pandora ® internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio ™ using hands-free voice and touch-screen controls via Bluetooth-enabled smartphones. This builds on the voice-activated Bluetooth hands-free calling capability offered in other Buick models. Additional features:

IntelliLink is standard on all Enclaves, including those with the available navigation system and DVD capability. The IntelliLink screen also serves as the display for the standard rearview camera system. A premium 10-speaker Bose audio system is available and is optimized for the Enclave’s refined interior acoustics.

For passenger entertainment, a rear-seat entertainment system is available. It includes a remote control, overhead display, two sets of two-channel wireless headphones, auxiliary audio/video input jacks and a 110-volt power outlet.


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