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2013 Buick Enclave Debut

Buick's large crossover sands down its not-very-rough edges.

2013 Buick Enclave Research Click to hide

What's New

When General Motors created its "Lambda"-platform large crossovers, the automaker had planned a quick turnaround for refreshing them. Unfortunately, that plan was put on hold two years because of GM's run-in with bankruptcy reorganization in 2009. So the large, luxurious, and rather well-appointed crossover received little attention for a while. Finally, the 2013 Buick Enclave, like its Chevrolet and GMC corporate cousins, gets the attention it deserves to bring it up to date. Although it shares its basic mechanical pieces with the outgoing model, the interior and exterior styling get some serious refinements. The exterior revisions are subtle, with a revised grille, headlights, hood and taillights being the most obvious. However, the interior gets a serious upgrade thanks to a new dash, better materials, a more modern control layout and other touches.

Who It's For

The 2013 Buick Enclave is positioned as a large premium crossover, vying for the dollars of upwardly mobile families in need of all-weather capabilities. It has been a hot seller for the brand as well, with sales easily topping 50,000 units each year it has been available. With seating for up to eight passengers, it ostensibly replaces the need for a minivan, yet its appearance is much more elegant and flowing with its new, larger signature waterfall grille and sleeker lights. It competes most directly against the Acura MDX and the upcoming Infiniti JX35, but with a price that can top $40,000 and numerous luxury amenities, it's also a good three-row alternative to the Lexus RX.

Key Features

In addition to the 288-horsepower, 3.6-liter engine, the 2013 Buick Enclave includes:
  • A new IntelliLink infotainment system that combines Bluetooth, audio controls, satellite radio, and navigation into one unit.
  • A revised six-speed automatic transmission that improves shift feel and refinement.
  • Aqua-colored ambient lighting throughout the interior that enhances the Enclave's elegant ambiance.

What We Think

GM has done an admirable job differentiating its big crossovers from one another, and the updates to the 2013 Buick Enclave further reinforce those differences. The Buick Enclave has always been the prettiest of them, and the 2013 Enclave to further distinguishes itself from its Chevy and GMC siblings with sleeker styling, a much-improved interior, and all the luxury amenities one could think of. It's not all-new, but then again, it didn't need to be. While we'd have loved to see Buick try something daring with the engine options like a small, turbocharged four-cylinder -- akin to Ford's EcoBoost -- or even a hybrid setup, word has it the chassis wasn't designed for it. The next one should be in another few years. For now, we have a feeling that the refreshed 2013 Buick Enclave will serve the brand well until an all-new model is ready in a few years.

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