While some competitors offer more up-to-date technology, the 2016 Buick Enclave impresses with a comfortable ride, a large cargo hold and seating for up to eight. A low base price and numerous standard features further the Enclave’s appeal.
The 2016 Buick Enclave is a full-size crossover SUV that comes with standard front-wheel drive or available all-wheel drive. A V6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission are standard. The Enclave seats seven, or eight when the second-row captain’s chairs are replaced with a bench seat. Three trims or “groups” are offered: Convenience, Leather and Premium.
For 2016, the Buick Enclave gains the latest version of General Motors’ OnStar telematics system, which includes a 4G LTE data connection and a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot.
The Enclave gets a few exterior updates for 2016, including standard 19-inch wheels and a few new color choices. Our test model also came with a new Tuscan Edition package that adds 20-inch chrome wheels and bronze accents to the “waterfall” grille that’s a common design element across the Buick line.
The Enclave is a large crossover, but smart styling makes it look smaller than it actually is, particularly from the sides. A relatively short hood and a high beltline create a sense of forward motion, while large wheel wells with short front and rear overhangs help mask its overall size.
At the rear, a standard power liftgate provides easy access to the cargo hold, and it’s accentuated by large combination lights and chrome trim around the bumper and exhaust ports.
With the exception of the related Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia, the Enclave offers more cargo space than just about every crossover SUV on the market. There’s 23.3 cubic feet of space behind the third row, which expands to 68.9 and 115.2 cubic feet, respectively, by folding the third and second rows.
That space came in particularly handy as I received our test Enclave right before a big move. The third row folds completely flat and the second-row captain’s chairs slide forward, making it easy to access the cargo area via the liftgate or either of the rear doors.
Power-adjustable front seats and tri-zone automatic climate control come standard on the base Enclave. Higher grades bring in features like heated and cooled front seats and a heated steering wheel.
Our test Enclave Premium includes plush, leather-trimmed front seats and an attractive two-tone color scheme throughout the cabin. High-quality materials line all the major touch points and the top of the dash, with more durable materials on the lower areas of the dash and door panels.
The second and third rows offer impressive head- and legroom, though the seats are mounted low enough that some adult passengers might not find them comfortable. I’m 6-foot-1, and while I fit in the second row without issue, the captain’s chairs would have been a lot more comfortable if they were a little higher up. Still, that lower seating position might be a desirable feature for families with young children.
The 2016 Enclave is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 288 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard and all-wheel drive is optional. The EPA reports that the front-wheel drive Enclave gets 17/24 mpg city/highway. All-wheel drive models get slightly lower estimates at 16/22 mpg.
The Enclave’s V6 provides smooth power that’s acceptable in most situations. It’s not particularly quick off the line, but there’s enough power on tap to pass slower moving traffic without worry. The six-speed automatic finds the right gear easily, with smooth shifts contributing to a comfortable driving experience.
Handling is fairly composed, with some float over uneven pavement. The ride is comfortable, but the Enclave is a large SUV that can feel a little cumbersome in tight parking lots or crowded city streets. Our test Enclave’s brakes also felt a little numb, requiring firm pressure to bring the 4,900-pound SUV to a stop.
None of these things are really a deal-breaker, but three-row crossovers like the Infiniti QX60 and Acura MDX (and the related Honda Pilot) seem a little more fun to drive.
All Enclave models include remote start, Bluetooth, satellite radio and Buick’s IntelliLink infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touch screen. Navigation, a Bose audio system and a rear-seat entertainment system are available.
Buick deserves praise for including an impressive list of standard convenience and driver-assistance features on every trim. The current model has been steadily updated since it was introduced for 2008, but there are some areas where the Enclave is starting to show its age.
The IntelliLink infotainment system features straightforward icons, but it can be slow to respond to commands, particularly if you’re punching a destination into the navigation system. The display is also starting to look a little small when compared with what you’ll find in some competitors. The latest Volvo XC90 comes with a 9-inch touch screen, and the Acura MDX includes a pair of larger displays to access vehicle settings. There’s also the omission of increasingly common features like keyless access and push-button start. Still, the Enclave’s standard remote start is a plus on cold winter mornings or hot summer days.
The Buick Enclave earned a top overall score of five stars for its performance in crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
A rearview camera and rear parking sensors come standard on all models, while available driver-assistance features include blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, forward-collision warning and lane-departure warning.
The standard OnStar telematics system provides roadside assistance, automatic crash notification and stolen vehicle assistance.
The 2016 Buick Enclave starts at $39,065 for the base Convenience group with front-wheel drive. Leather and Premium trims start at $43,660 and $47,515, respectively. All-wheel drive is only available on the top two trims and adds $2,000 to the bottom line.
Our test Enclave Premium with all-wheel drive included options like a dual moonroof ($1,400), White Frost paint ($995) and the Tuscan Edition package ($795). Our as-tested price after a $925 destination charge was just shy of $54,000.
The Enclave’s generous level of standard equipment would generally lead us to say that the base model is likely the best value in the lineup, but all-wheel drive, which is a desirable feature in the segment, is only available on the two higher trims. If you need the extra grip, an all-wheel drive Enclave will carry an MSRP of at least $45,660 plus destination.
Buick lists the Acura MDX, Audi Q7, Lexus RX 350 and Volvo XC90 as a few of the Enclave’s chief competitors, and if you’re comparing base models the Enclave is less expensive than all of them. Still, these rivals have received more significant updates as of late, bringing in higher levels of technology and efficiency.
The Enclave isn’t without merit, however. Its wealth of standard equipment and the expansive, high-quality cabin work to offset its age, helping to make it an ideal choice for shoppers who need more utility than what many premium SUVs offer.
By Jim Sharifi (Last Updated 12/6/2017)
Jim Sharifi leads CARFAX’s editorial efforts, with a focus on vehicle reviews and the CARFAX Blog. Formerly a Senior Editor on the U.S. News Autos team, Jim strives to provide car buyers with helpful, consumer-oriented advice.
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2016 Buick Enclave Pricing
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is the "sticker price" for this vehicle, including optional equipment, when it was new.
The price range for the 2016 Buick Enclave is $19,587 - $27,990.
The average selling price is $23,977.
The data below is updated daily, based on used car inventory for sale on CARFAX.
Price range and average selling price are based on the median selling price while CARFAX Value is a VIN-specific value based on the vehicle's history.
$39,065 - $49,515
This is the price range for the 2016 Buick Enclave based on used car inventory for sale on CARFAX.
$19,587 - $27,990
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