Quick Look: 2010 Buick Enclave
Biggest Buick Bolsters Brand Betterment
It’s been three years since the Buick Enclave’s release and the full-size crossover has successfully carved out its parking space in General Motors’ vast garage. In the face of sliding Lucerne sales, the CUV has bore the Buick badge well and proved its importance as part of Buick’s renovation and efforts to shed imagery of being stereotypically sexagenarian by nature. It hasn’t changed significantly for 2010, but if sales numbers are indications of success (43,150 units in 2009, down just 3.5 percent compared to 2008), then the Enclave is doing just fine.
Built on the same Lambda platform as the Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, and now-defunct Saturn Outlook, the Enclave is differentiated with softer lines and an overall rounder design for a subtler, more graceful exterior. The distinctive sheetmetal is complemented with premium cabin appointments and “QuietTuning,” Buick’s marketing phrase for extra interior noise and vibration reduction. The “QuietTuning” engineers create a quieter, more relaxed ride with special laminated glass, underbody damping material, and triple door seals, none of which are available with the mass-market Acadia and Traverse.
Normally, 19-inch wheels come standard, but for 2010, a new 20-inch, nine-spoke, chrome-clad aluminum wheel design is available on the topline CXL trim. Unique, articulating xenon headlights are also included on the CXL model.
Inside, the Enclave contains seating for seven or eight passengers, depending on the second row. Those in need of an eighth seat will have to opt for the second-row bench seat instead of the standard captain’s chairs. Cargo volume is ample within the full-size CUV: 115.3 cubic feet with the second- and third-row seats folded, 67.5 cubic feet with the third-row seats down, and 23.2 cubic feet with all seats up.
Additional interior refinements are limited to a standard USB port with premium radios and an improved OnStar system with enhanced emergency, vehicle diagnostics, and navigation capabilities. OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics now monitors the operation of the standard StabiliTrak stability control system.
An old Buick styling tradition is the presence of vents/portholes above the front fenders. Each vent symbolizes one engine cylinder, and with three openings on both sides, the Enclave is known as a “Three-Holer.” The six-cylinder engine sitting behind the trademark front grille is an all-aluminum, direct-injected 3.6-liter LLT V-6 with variable valve timing. The LLT is mated to a Hydra-Matic 6-speed automatic transmission and provides 288 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. Matched with a curb weight close to 5000 pounds, fuel economy is rated a respectable, EPA-estimated 17 city/24 highway mpg with front-wheel drive and 16 city/22 highway mpg with all-wheel drive. Maximum towing capacity, when properly equipped, is 4500 pounds.
In its first model year, 29,286 Enclaves were sold, which was around 9000 units more than the outgoing Rainier and Rendezvous models combined. Buick wants the upcoming Regal to be a hit, but it will need the Enclave’s continued success to forge ahead.
|2010 Buick Enclave|
|Vehicle Layout||Front-engine, FWD, AWD, 5-door full-size crossover SUV|
|Engine||3.6L/288-hp/270 lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6|
|Transmission||6-Speed Automatic Transmission|
|Curb Weight||4780 lb (FWD), 4985 lb (AWD) (mfr)|
|Length x Width x Height||201.5 x 79.0 x 72.5 in|
|EPA City/Hwy Fuel Econ||16-17/22-24 mpg|