Where Buick keeps up with tech offerings is its standard IntelliLink touch-screen, replacing the 2012's aging navigation and multimedia offerings. The 7-inch touch-screen pairs with a standard backup camera, Bluetooth telephone connectivity and streaming audio, USB input and satellite radio. Navigation is optional. Internet streaming radio applications pair with compatible smartphones. The system is hampered by having touch-sensitive capacitive controls instead of physical buttons for switching sources and navigation. The traditional tuning and volume dials improve usability.
The Enclave's average interior niceness is far from a deal-breaker for those who really need the room. The Acura MDX and Infiniti JX are more opulent, yet neither can comfortably fit an adult in the third row like the Enclave does. The 2013 Enclave dwarfs its competitors with near-minivan spaciousness in all three rows of seats — plus exceptional comfort. Standard seating for seven includes two captain's chairs in the second row, which is ideal for those who plan to make frequent use of the third row, as the aisle between the seats is wide enough for adults to easily scoot past. The captain's chairs also recline and slide forward and back, providing ample room for third-row passengers while maintaining sufficient legroom for occupants in the captain's chairs, even when they're slid completely forward. A second-row bench seat with room for three is a no-cost option to bump seating capacity to eight.
Cargo room is even more impressive, measuring 115.2 cubic feet of maximum volume when the easy-to-fold seats are laid flat. The 2013 MDX rates at 83.5 cubic feet, the JX35 has 76.5 cubic feet and the MKT measures 75.9 cubic feet of maximum cargo space. The Enclave still isn't as voluminous as a minivan, which typically boasts volume in the 140s.
Exterior & Styling
The updated Enclave is less bug-eyed and features a more prominent grille and LED daytime running lamps, as well as a new hood, fenders and rocker moldings. The look is more cohesive and proportional. The Enclave's staple two-tone paint with dark lower accents is gone in favor of a single exterior color, which looks classier.
All Enclaves feature high-intensity-discharge front projector lighting standard while adaptive lighting that turns in the direction of the steering wheel is optional. Changes are less apparent out back, with new LED taillights and tailpipes now integrated into the rear bumper.
On the Road
The 2013's ride is a more luxurious experience than before. It's less minivan and more Mercedes, with a new suspension package adding a sense of composure and solidity in how the car absorbs bumps. The Enclave is still a large SUV, but it feels nimbler than before, with fewer similarities to a minivan.
Driving the Enclave is pleasant except for the times when the thick A-pillars and large side mirrors block forward visibility. Cars and pedestrians can hide in the A-pillar blind spot, which is especially troublesome at stop signs where cross traffic doesn't stop.