Monday, December 15, 2014


Since it’s (currently) the most expensive in the Buick lineup, one could say that the Enclave crossover is the flagship of the Tri Shield brand. And for 2015, the three-row full-sizer is getting a bevy of changes and updates following the refresh that took place for the 2014 model year.

The 288-hp six-cylinder is smooth and power is adequate. Handling is about as one expects -- it understeers. Again does it matter? It’s not pretending to be even the least bit sporty. You should know exactly what you’re getting: a relaxing people hauler.

And there is indeed plenty of room to haul people and stuff, and the interior materials are nice. One could argue a minivan is even more efficient and even better at family hauling, but this is dang close, a lot quieter and more refined. It’s also better looking. If you want an ultra quiet and smooth crossover, try an Enclave As Wes mentions, the most significant feature the Enclave offers is silence; compared to the last Buick Enclave I drove -- maybe two years ago -- this one is notably more luxurious feeling, at least partly due to the additional sound-deadening features. It’s pretty impressive, too -- potholes and road imperfections create a dull thud somewhere in the distance rather than a jarring crash at a definable corner of the car.

One wonders how many pounds of insulation it took (note that this is a 2.5-ton beast) to quiet down what’s fundamentally an 8-year-old chassis and body structure, but it worked. Less successful is the integration of safety and infotainment features that hadn't even been invented when the Enclave began production. The Buick has everything, the 2015 Enclave gets the very-useful heated steering wheel, illuminated door sill plates (as an LPO option), and a new interior color combination called Ebony (perforated leather-appointed seating) with Dark Plum (interior accents). In addition, the USB port has been moved down to the center console from the upper instrument panel — a change that should appease those who use their USB port on a regular basis. Notably, OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot capability is absent form the new features list.

There are several changes to individual RPOs as outlined in the “Changes” section below, but two changes are most prominent: the 6.5-inch IntelliLink system is now standard on the 1SN Premium equipment groups, while the Bose Sound System with Bose performance-enhanced premium 10-speaker system is no longer available on 1SD Convenience equipment group.

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