$20,339 - $26,737

2016 Buick Enclave Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Buick Enclave was new.


Performance: 7.6

Test drivers agree that the 2016 Buick Enclave has decent punch, but can't match the passing power of some rivals. They add the Buick offers a serene, composed ride, but that maneuverability in tight spaces is a struggle.

  • Overall, performance is adequate but falls short of segment leaders." -- Edmunds
  • "The 2015 Buick Enclave, like its GM large-crossover brethren, delivers a relaxed, car-like ride. Above everything else, it's comfortable, and thanks to Buick's efforts, this ride is free of most wind, road and tire noise." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "The 2015 Buick Enclave lives up to its premium SUV image with a quiet and comfortable ride." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Enclave comes with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 288 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. According to the EPA, the Enclave earns 17/24 mpg city/highway, which is below-average for a V6-powered three-row SUV.

Auto journalists remark that the Enclave has sufficient power to get up to speed, but not enough to provide strong acceleration when passing other vehicles. They add that the Enclave feels sluggish when loaded up with passengers and cargo, and that rivals offer significantly more power. A few critics say the transmission usually operates well, but can be slow to downshift at times.

  • "The 2016 Buick Enclave isn't exactly light on its feet. The V6 engine provides decent performance but lacks authoritative punch during passing maneuvers. In addition, the automatic transmission can be slow to react when a quick downshift is needed, though the gearchanges are generally smooth." -- Edmunds
  • The six produces 288 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque - that's enough output to get the big crossover moving with respectable alacrity, although it pales at the potent V8s offered by more upmarket rivals." -- Left Lane News (2015)
  • "The 3.6-liter V6 and its 288 horsepower offer good - but not startling - acceleration and passing power. And despite the Buick's size and 4,700-pound weight, the engine eagerly propels the big vehicle even up steep mountain passes that make lesser cars wheeze." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • The Enclave has good off-the-line acceleration but could occasionally use some extra hp. When it's loaded down with passengers and cargo or pulling a trailer, the V6 can seem labored." -- AutoTrader (2015)

Handling and Braking

Critics say the Buick Enclave has a composed, quiet ride on the highway, but isn't the most nimble SUV in the class. They note that maneuverability is not a strength of the Enclave, due to its large turning radius and overall size and weight. The Enclave comes standard with front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive is available.

  • The Enclave is an excellent highway cruiser thanks to its impressively smooth ride and low levels of wind and road noise. But with its turning circle of over 40 feet, U-turns are difficult and maneuvering in tight parking lots will have you calling for the harbor pilot. The Enclave certainly isn't as unwieldy as full-size body-on-frame SUVs like the Lincoln Navigator, but smaller vehicles like the Acura MDX feel sportier and more maneuverable." -- Edmunds
  • The Enclave is most adept as a comfortable cruiser, with a soft ride and an insulated cabin that benefits from Buick's 'QuietTuning' sound suppression. Conversely, this big Buick isn't one to embrace twisty canyon roads with much enthusiasm. In our time on such switchbacks, it was best to go easy on the throttle." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • The Enclave's crossover architecture exhibits more precision and agility than a similarly sized SUV. Its overall dynamics feel secure and confident. The Enclave is still a large and heavy vehicle, however, and it must be managed like one. Its size can become an issue on small city streets or in crowded parking lots." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "It may not be in the same league as the athletic Mazda CX-9, but the Enclave can hustle through the curves when asked." -- Truck Trend (2013)

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