2017 Buick Enclave Driving Impressions

The Buick Enclave is more about comfort than swiftness. Peak engine power occurs relatively high in the rev range, while peak torque emerges at a much lower engine speed. That means the Enclave isn’t as emphatic when attempting to pass on the highway, as it is at pulling away promptly from a stoplight.

Handling is relatively accomplished for an SUV of this size and heft, and the Enclave doesn’t lean excessively in curves. More important, the ride is smooth.

Hit the brakes hard, and you get a quick reminder of this vehicle’s mass, in the form of considerable nosedive. On narrow roads, too, the Enclave inevitably feels and handles like a large vehicle.

Choose optional 20-inch wheels, and the ride tends to turn a bit more harsh. They are not our preference. Expect a blissfully quiet experience in any case, brought about by Buick’s Quiet Tuning approach. An Enclave can be equipped to tow up to 4,500 pounds.

Fuel economy trails some competitors, but estimates are respectable for a three-row model that weighs almost 5,000 pounds. With front-wheel drive, the Enclave is EPA-rated at 15/22 mpg City/Highway, or 18 mpg Combined, which is close to other large crossovers. All-wheel drive drops the EPA Combined estimate to 17 mpg, with the City/Highway figures unchanged.

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