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You'll Like The 2011 Buick Enclave If...

If you appreciate the refinement of a luxury car but also need the flexibility of a crossover SUV, we think you’ll like the 2011 Buick Enclave. It offers the image of owning a luxury vehicle, yet at a more affordable price than many of its competitors.

You May Not Like The 2011 Buick Enclave If...

You may not like the 2011 Buick Enclave if you plan to venture far from paved roads. All-wheel-drive is offered for the Enclave but it is engineered to enhance traction in the more realistic conditions of wet or snowy roads and is not intended for serious off-roading.

What's New

Changes for 2011 on the Buick Enclave are limited to new nine-spoke, chrome clad 19-inch wheels on CXL2, and two new paint colors.

Interior Features

The 2011 Buick Enclave’s interior features a curvaceous dash design accented by camphor burl wood appliques and chrome trim. High-quality materials, a simple, logical layout and an impressively low level of interior noise make for an extremely inviting cabin. The Enclave is offered in both seven- and eight-passenger versions with slide-and-fold second-row seats that make getting to the third row extremely easy. Cargo space behind the third row is larger than most in this class and, with the second and third rows folded, the Enclave offers a cavernous, flat load area.

Exterior Features

As one of the few vehicles to make it from concept to production without having its exterior styling diluted, the 2011 Buick Enclave offers a bolder appearance than many crossover SUVs. While large enough to accommodate eight passengers, the Enclave’s artful body lines give it the look of a much smaller vehicle. The face of the Enclave features a "waterfall" grille, modern-looking portholes above the fenders and intricately detailed almond-shaped head lamps. Adding some flash to its svelte body are standard 18-inch wheels, chrome-tipped dual exhaust outlets and chrome roof rails.

Driving Impressions

The 2011 Buick Enclave is made to carry up to eight passengers in relaxed comfort and it does so with ease. At the same time it also manages to deliver engaging, even fun driving dynamics. The steering is light but firms up a bit at speed to give the Enclave a confident feel. The V6 engine provides good if not scorching acceleration and should be up to the task of hauling a full load of cargo or passengers. At cruising speeds Buick’s attention to noise reduction pays off with very little wind, road or engine noise intruding into the cabin.

Pricing Notes

Among the Buick Enclave’s competitors are the Lexus RX 350, Audi Q7, Volvo XC90, and Acura MDX. With a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting around $36,000 and a fully loaded price of nearly $55,000, the Enclave is a relative bargain in the luxury crossover SUV category. While the less-expensive Enclave doesn’t offer a V8 engine like the XC90 or a turbodiesel like the Q7, it does offer seating for eight, more than any of its competitors. To compare the actual transaction prices that consumers are paying, be sure to check the Enclave’s Fair Purchase Price on kbb.com. The price advantage offered by the Buick Enclave is somewhat offset by residual values that are expected to fall well below many of its competitors.

Notable Equipment

There are two trims offered for the 2011 Buick Enclave. The standard equipment list for the base CX trim includes 18-inch wheels, a power liftgate, power front seats and tri-zone automatic climate control. Stepping up to the CXL adds heated power adjustable front seats, leather seating surfaces, stylish 19-inch aluminum wheels and the Driver Confidence package (remote vehicle engine start, a rearview camera and rear parking sensors). Standard safety features on all Enclaves include anti-lock brakes (ABS), stability and traction control, front air bags, front-seat-mounted air bags and three-row side curtain airbags that stay inflated longer in the event of a vehicle rollover.

Notable Options

Many of the optional features available for the 2011 Buick Enclave are grouped into packages. The most comprehensive package is the 2XL option, which includes power folding side mirrors, adaptive headlamps, Bose audio, heated/cooled front seats and a power tilting and telescoping steering wheel. Other options include a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a rear-facing camera, eight-passenger seating, Bose audio, a DVD navigation system and a power sunroof.

Favorite Features

Second-Row SeatsGetting to the rear-most seats in many vehicles can be a hassle. Not so in the Enclave, where the cleverly designed second-row seats, with flip-up cushions and the capability to slide far forward, provide a wide flat space to enter the third-row seating area. QuietTuningBuick’s QuietTuning method of in-vehicle noise reduction may seem like marketing hype, but it has to be experienced to be appreciated. At higher speeds the interior remains delightfully calm and free of the sounds that fatigue occupants on long drives.

Under the Hood

Powering the 2011 Buick Enclave is a strong 3.6-liter V6. It delivers energetic performance and excellent fuel economy with the help of modern technologies like variable valve timing and an electronic throttle. The V6 is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. A wide spread of gear ratios helps get the most out of the engine while maximizing efficiency. We did, however, notice some delayed reactions from the transmission and the occasional rough shift. An optional all-wheel-drive system is also available which requires no driver intervention and automatically distributes torque between the front and rear wheels. 3.6-liter V6288 horsepower at 6300 rpm270 lb.-ft. of torque at 3400 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 FWD, 16/22 AWD

Editors' Notes

Over the years Buick has worked hard to change its image that it’s a builder of cars that are long on comfort, but short on excitement. It is a little surprising, then, to encounter the 2011 Buick Enclave, a family-friendly eight-passenger crossover SUV that proves Buick can build an exciting vehicle. The well-established Enclave is Buick’s entry into the growing luxury SUV category and competes with such premium brands as Lexus, Acura, Audi and Volvo. With eye-catching exterior styling, a highly usable interior and a remarkably quiet cabin the Buick Enclave has what it takes to be a viable competitor in this hot segment.

Road Test Video Reviews

2011 Buick Enclave Owner Reviews

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The perfect car for on the go families.

2011 Buick Enclave CXL-1

This is a perfect car for families! Trips, vacations, and my family’s life on the daily was made easier with this car. It is spacious which is perfect for all the extra things we carry around constantly. The mats easily come out for cleaning and can be put back in just as easily. It is safe for my family and has all the levels of comfort we need. The movie players in the back make for better road trips for the kids and even adults while traveling. The sound system is amazing and I love that I am able to switch where the sound can be heard (front, back, left, right). We also travel a lot and though gas can be pricey, the mileage is good for such a large car. I have had a few problems considering we bought it used but nothing major that has cost an unreasonable amount of money to fix. Overall it is a great car for families, especially if you travel a lot with sports, school, etc. It is comfortable for everyone and has a large hatchback for extra supplies.

- Kelli L

One of my favorite cars to own!

2011 Buick Enclave CXL-1

Have had few issues with this car. Really love the option of the 3rd row seats for extra passengers or an extended hatch to haul all sorts of gear for our sons' sporting events. Our sons have also appreciated the DVD player and the rear climate control, not to mention the available locations to charge their devices. My husband and I have found the front seats quite comfortable and enjoy the heated and cooled seat features. As I spend more time riding in the backseat as my teenage son practices driving, I find myself thinking the 2nd row seats are less comfortable. I cannot adjust the seat back to make the angle more comfortable, and both my sons and I would greatly appreciate those seats being heated as well since we have incredibly long, cold winters where we live. This car handles nicely in all driving conditions (and we've experienced about everything possible) and is incredibly quiet inside the cabin.

- Julie C

The Buick that keeps up with your life

2011 Buick Enclave CXL-1

This is a very reliable vehicle, I have never had any performance problems with it. I love the look of the vehicle, but the extra features are what I really love. There are multiple power jacks, so plenty of charging for devices. Three rows of seats and the back row lays flat. The center rows fold flat as well, allowing plenty of carry space. The front two seats have heating and cooling seats. There are air vents in the back center, with controls for back seat passengers. The dashboard controls are easy to access and use. There is a navigation system, but I no longer use it. Satellite radio and onstar came installed, and I do keep these available.

- Kathy L

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