First Look: 2013 Buick Enclave
Most Subtle Lambda Makeover Also the Most Stylish
How do you improve on an already successful and popular formula? Very carefully. The Buick Enclave was the best-looking of the Lambda fullsize crossover triplets when it debuted in 2008. While its siblings, the 2013 GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Traverse, received fairly substantial style changes for the new model year, the Enclave tweaks, while significant, could best be described as more evolutionary.
The front fascia, grille, headlights and hood are all-new, but still instantly recognizable as a Buick. The grille opening is more prominent, and rather than the traditional chrome grille of the 2012, features a new "black chrome" finish, with more prominent vertical grille fluting, and a new headlamp design integrating LED accent lighting, and LED running lights into the lower front fascia. As on the 2012 model, HID headlights are standard, with articulating headlights optional. The taillights also employ LED lighting. Wheel sizes range from 18 to 20-inch wheels. The suspension has been tuned for greater smoothness with new dual-flow dampers
It takes an equally keen eye to spot changes to the interior, especially when viewed by itself. But viewed side-by-side, the changes give a more upscale, refined appearance to the Enclave's interior. Whereas the woodgrain trim was previously applied in a wide swath across the dashboard, and on the door panel, console, and armrests, the trim is used somewhat more sparingly on the 2013 model, yet manages to appear more cohesive and sculpted, with flaring swaths rising up from the door panel, and meeting the curve of the dashboard, which is now dominated by soft-touch Nuance leather with genuine stitching. The most noteworthy change is a blue accent lighting strip that arcs from door to door across the top of the dashboard. The arched center HVAC chrome vent surround now fully encompasses the vents rather than simply stopping at the satin metal finish strip below, as on previous models. Like its Traverse and Acadia brethren, the Enclave also gets a center-front mounted airbag, bringing the total count to seven.
Making its debut on the Enclave is GM's IntelliLink multimedia interface. Unlike other models on which it's offered, Intellilink is available with the navigation option on the Enclave. The headlining features of IntelliLink are Pandora and Stitcher integration, and Bluetooth hands-free calling as well as music streaming. HD Radio is also included as part of the package. Naturally, the system includes app integration allowing remote locking and start via smartphone. The IntelliLink display also serves as the screen for the standard rear backup camera. A 10-speaker Bose audio system is optional.
None of the changes on the 2013 Enclave could be described as revolutionary, but for a vehicle that was arguably at the forefront of Buick's current renaissance, and continues to be a key component of the brand's conquest strategy, can you blame Buick for playing it safe?