$6,836 - $8,483

2009 Buick Enclave Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2009 Buick Enclave was new.


Performance: 8.3

The Buick Enclave provides smooth, sedan-like performance and a comfortable, composed ride. And with a 13-horsepower boost for this year, complaints about the Enclave's underpowered V6 have been somewhat mitigated. It's still not blisteringly fast, though.

  • "The Enclave glides around town as quiet and smooth as Buick would have you believe it is." -- Edmunds
  • "The ride is surprisingly dynamic, with little body roll even on some winding, shoulderless rural asphalt." -- Car and Driver
  • "Taut handling doesn't come at the expense of ride quality; the ride is smooth, and this crossover responds well to steering input through the turns." -- AutoWeek

Acceleration and Power

The Enclave comes with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes 288 horsepower -- a 13-horsepower increase over last year's model. It's paired with a six-speed automatic transmission that some test drivers say is slow to downshift. According to the EPA, front-wheel drive models achieve 17/24 mpg city/highway, while all-wheel drive models achieve 16/22 mpg.

  • "The Enclave has adequate go in all situations. Front-drive versions are marginally quicker from a stop. The transmission shifts smoothly but is often caught in too high a gear, limiting available power. Downshifts for passing punch are sometimes tardy." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The V6 engine provides good if not scorching acceleration and should be up to the task of hauling a full load of cargo or passengers." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Enclave was downright powerful despite its ample size and could quickly pick up speed from a dead stop. Its braking was equally impressive, especially considering the snowy roads. We never skidded into a stop." -- Mother Proof

Handling and Braking

The Enclave shines with its car-like handling and extremely smooth ride. It may be a bit more difficult to maneuver in tight spaces, since it's a bit larger than some of its two-row competitors, but that's fairly common for crossovers of the Enclave's size.

  • "Enclave holds the road with impressive stability and agility for a vehicle of this size, with direct, well-balanced steering. Its long, wide body makes it difficult to maneuver in tight spaces. Enclave's brakes are smooth and powerful." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The steering is light but firms up a bit at speed to give the Enclave a confident feel." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Although it can tow up to 4,500 pounds, the 5,000-pound weight of this crossover adds to its difficult maneuverability. Smooth handling and an ultra-quiet ride characterize the 2009 Enclave, thanks to plenty of sound insulation and extra-thick door and window seals." -- Car Gurus
  • "We think the all-wheel drive is well worth the extra money. The all-wheel-drive system operates automatically, full-time all the time, adjusting to road speed, throttle position and the relative speeds of each of the four tires, wet or dry." -- New Car Test Drive

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