$26,784 - $34,556

2017 Buick Enclave Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Buick Enclave was new.


Performance: 6.5

Professional reviewers agree that the 2017 Buick Enclave has enough power to quickly merge onto the highway or handle a midsize trailer. Its single powertrain setup is tuned to emphasize a quiet, composed ride over speed and agility, though some test drivers say it's difficult to maneuver in tight spaces.

  • "Driving the 2017 Buick Enclave luxury-crossover SUV reminds us of what Buick does so well. In the case of the 8-passenger Enclave, it's marrying a smooth and comfortable ride with competent handling, firm steering and excellent brakes." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Overall, performance is adequate but falls short of segment leaders." -- Edmunds (2016)
  • "On the road, the Enclave offers a quiet, comfortable ride. While its V-6 feels a bit strained at passing speeds, it gets the job done in just about any other situation. The Enclave isn't sporty by any stretch of the imagination, but it offers a lot of bang for the buck." -- Car and Driver (2016)

Acceleration and Power

Buick offers one engine and transmission combination for the 2017 Enclave: a 3.6-liter V6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. With standard front-wheel drive, you can expect an average of 15 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway, which are below-average numbers for this class. Upgrading to all-wheel drive drops the combined fuel economy estimate from 18 mpg to 17, though the city/highway estimates remain the same.

The Enclave is a smooth-driving SUV that can seat up to eight people and tow up to 4,500 pounds (which is less than the class average of 5,500 pounds). Load it this full, though, and professional reviewers say the Enclave's powertrain struggles. Even when empty, the Enclave accentuates comfort over sportiness.

  • "The Enclave's 288-horsepower V6 isn't a dynamo of power, but it delivers acceptable levels of acceleration and passing ability on par with the Infiniti QX60 and Acura MDX, although woefully short of the 333-horsepower Audi Q7. During our road test, we found the Enclave's engine quite agreeable when passing and merging, and even climbing steep mountain passes proved no problem for this 4,700-pound cruiser." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 (2016)
  • "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 (2016)

Handling and Braking

If you're looking for a midsize SUV with handling that is more like a car than a truck, you will likely be pleased with the performance of the 2017 Enclave. On the highway, it feels confident and stable. The Enclave shows its size in constrained quarters, though, with a wide-turning radius that calls for extra room to maneuver through parking lots and narrow streets.

  • "Inside, we found the Enclave's cabin well insulated from outside noise, a result of Buick's QuietTuning sound suppression. However, when it comes to rounding winding mountain passes, the Enclave takes a back seat to the Mazda CX-9, Acura MDX and Audi Q7." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Enclave's crossover architecture exhibits more precision and agility than a similarly sized SUV. Its overall dynamics feel secure and confident. That said, the Enclave is still a large and heavy vehicle, and it must be managed like one. Its size can become an issue on small city streets or crowded parking lots. Furthermore, this crossover's poor rear visibility makes these driving venues even more challenging -- but at least the standard backup camera helps." -- Autotrader (2016)
  • "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 (2016)

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