Bottom line: The Buick Enclave is one of the best people-stuff haulers available anywhere at any price. It is the top end of a retail triumvirate formed by the Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia, which also deserve a close look from crossover shoppers.
Ride, acceleration and handling: The Enclave Premium all-wheel-drive gets very good marks in all three.
Head-turning quotient: Excellent inside and out.
Body style/layout: The Enclave is a front-engine, full-size “entry-level luxury” crossover-utility vehicle with four side doors and a rear hatch. It is available in three iterations — convenience group, leather group and premium group.
E ngine/transmission: The 2013 Enclave comes with a double-overhead-cam, 24-valve 3.6-liter gasoline V-6 engine with variable valve timing. It is linked to a six-speed automatic transmission that can also be shifted manually.
Capacities: Seating can be arranged for seven or eight adults. With all seats in place, cargo capacity is 23.3 cubic feet. Cargo capacity increases substantially with the second and third rows folded. The Enclave can be equipped to tow a trailer weighing 4,500 pounds. The fuel tank holds 22 gallons; regular-grade gasoline is recommended.
Mileage: The front-wheel-drive version gets 17 miles per gallon in the city and 24 on the highway. The all-wheel-drive model gets about two miles per gallon less in each case.
Safety: Standard equipment includes front and rear ventilated disc brakes; a four-wheel anti-lock braking system; emergency braking assistance; electronic brake-force distribution; electronic stability and traction control; three front air bags, including a center bag (for 2013); side and head air bags; and an OnStar emergency communications system with introductory subscription.
Recommended safety equipment: Consider lane-departure warning, lane monitoring and parking proximity warning devices.
Price: The Escalade Premium with all-wheel drive starts at $47,625, with a dealer’s invoice price of $45,244. Price as tested is $52,090 with $3,640 in options (dual glass roof, onboard navigation with backup camera, premium sound system) and an $825 destination charge. Dealer’s price as tested is $49,272. Look for rebates.