The Enclave is designed to be a stylish people mover and it definitely achieves that goal…

 

While most auto manufacturers provide option lists as long as your arm, the 2014 Buick Enclave provides many luxuries as standard equipment.

Particularly appreciated by yours truly on an extended test drive were the perforated leather seats that conform to your body and provide comfort and warmth via easily accessible heater/air conditioning buttons. I found the Enclave to be very comfortable and the cabin to be very quiet, in fact there was little if any road noise.

Seating for seven with an option for eight, gives riders plenty of room and all seats are very comfortable. The second seats slide forward easily thanks to ‘Smart Slide’, enabling quick access to the third-row seating area. With the pull of a lever, the cushion flips up while the seatback slides forward. The system can be adjusted to provide more legroom either for those in the second row or third.

I should also note the ice blue LED light strip that envelops the entire inside of the vehicle at night, forming a chest high ring of light. Might be ok if you’re a fan of the movie Tron, but I found it a bit distracting. Moving on . . .

The Enclave features enough technological upgrades to excite any techno savvy person. The Buick IntelliLink system is an interactive audio system that enables you to access music and apps from your smartphone. It also offers a voice to text system to discourage the temptation to glance at your smartphone while driving.  I used the system extensively and proved to be a real winner.

Many safety features are available with this vehicle including rear cross traffic alerts that help you detect vehicles as you are backing up. There is also an available side blind zone alert that uses radar to identify a vehicle traveling in one of your blind spots. In additional to all the usual airbags, Buick has introduced an industry first driver’s seat side mounted front centre airbag. It provides cushioning between the driver and front passenger in side impacts.

Nice weather encouraged me to take a trip to Whistler along the Sea-to-Sky highway. I have always enjoyed that highway with all the twists and curves. The Enclave was a little sluggish on the hills but overall it handled very well.

The tester had a 3.6-litre V6 engine, which generates 288 horsepower, is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and offers direct injection with variable valve timing. The all-wheel drive system detects wheel slippage and delivers power to the wheel to give you it the best grip.

The highway fuel consumption is rated at 8.4 L/100km (12.7 – city), but I was getting about 8.9L/100km on my trip. The actual numbers are 12.7/8.4 L/100 km (city/highway)

I’ve left the looks until last because the major changes came in the last model year so differences are only subtle. It does now have a noticeable splash of LED accent lighting over the headlights.

The Enclave is designed to be a stylish people mover and it definitely achieves that goal. Overall, it was a nice driving experience and with a few changes, it could be a more attractive one too.

Price as tested $51,545.

Contact: ian [dot] harwood [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

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