The Buick Enclave made quite a splash at Motor Trend magazine when the luxury crossover first debuted in the 2008 model year. The eight-passenger crossover covers most of its bases, but there hasn't been a significant update since it initially arrived in showrooms. When the Enclave first arrived, we said the car rejustified the brand's existence. Then again, we also said the big crossover needed work.
So the discerning public has responded . . . by sending sales through the roof? Thanks in part to a lack of competitors in the seven- to eight-passenger large luxury crossover class -- priced in the low $40,000 range - the Enclave has excelled in the market. The SUV was Buick's top-selling vehicle in 2009 and the second-best seller in 2008 and 2010. Sales are expected to be even higher this year.
No wonder changes to the 2011 Buick Enclave were limited to new 19-inch chrome wheels and three new colors. Those waiting for more changes in the 2012 model year can stop holding their breath. Hill Hold Assist, a center console power outlet, and electronic pedal override are now standard, and there's a new shade of red paint.
While there are some areas that could use some attention, the exterior is still plenty appealing. The 2011 Enclave remains one of the most attractive full-size crossovers available today. With its waterfall grille and teardrop blue-ringed headlights, the Enclave has a refined design, one that's good enough to function as a status symbol for those tired of paying $70,000 for a Cadillac Escalade. Take a look at the tastefully sculpted sheetmetal on the side or the taillights with chrome edges and it's clear this is one of GM's best-ever badge-engineered exterior styling jobs.