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What's New for 2017
The current generation of the Enclave - the only one so far - turns 10 years old this year and remains much the same as when it first came out. That is not a bad thing, however, as the base design has held up very well over the years. There are a few new cosmetic options available, such as the Sport Touring package, but the majority of options and features remain the same for 2017.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2017 Buick Enclave – The Pros
1. Large Comfortable Cabin
The 2017 Buick Enclave has a lot more space inside than many other midsize three-row SUVs. There is enough headroom and legroom for adults in all three rows, making it one of the most cost-efficient and size-conscious ways of transporting up to eight people in comfort. Particularly helpful is the adjustable middle row, which can easily help accommodate people of all sizes.
2. Second-row Captain’s Chairs
Instead of a middle bench, like in most other SUVs, the 2017 Buick Enclave offers captain’s chair seats as standard in the middle row. This adds a degree of comfort that makes it easier to drive around a large group of people. A bench is available as an option for maximum versatility, but most buyers will appreciate the extra space and comfort.
3. Comfortable Ride
The suspension and driving dynamics of the 2017 Buick Enclave are optimized for insulating its passengers from the harshness of the road. The Enclave gently glides over smooth pavement, potholes and country roads with equal composure. If being comfortable while driving is a priority, give the Enclave a try.
4. Luxury-grade Interior
If leather and mahogany are your style, the Enclave delivers. The spacious interior is very luxurious, with high-quality and soft-touch materials everywhere. The quality and beauty of the interior easily match that of cars that are significantly more expensive.
5. Distinctive Special Edition Styling
While the exterior of the 2017 Buick Enclave may be showing its age when competing against the more modern offerings from other manufacturers, Buick has been keeping it fresh with a selection of special edition models that offer unique styling combinations. The Tuscan edition adds an Old World touch to the American car, while the new Sport Touring edition gives the car some performance-inspired styling.
6. Effective and Versatile Engine
Only one engine and transmission is offered on the 2017 Buick Enclave, but it offers enough power and utility that more options won’t be missed. It pushes out 288 horsepower and can tow up to 4,500 pounds, as well as coming in both front-wheel and all-wheel configurations. The Enclave won’t win many races, but it is certainly capable as a family vehicle.
7. Impressive Standard Feature Set
Each trim line of the Enclave comes with a lot of standard features, without the need to pile up options to get popular equipment. Even the base Convenience model of the 2017 Buick Enclave is very well equipped, with the only major features missing being leather upholstery and seat heating. The Enclave makes it easy to get a lot without spending too much.
8. Quiet Cabin
Buick has done an impressive job insulating the cabin of the 2017 Buick Enclave against both engine and road noise. It is very easy to maintain a conversation while accelerating the car and when cruising on the highway, it is easy for the passengers to forget that they are even inside a car.
9. Easy to Drive
The Enclave has a very smooth and responsive feel in terms of both acceleration and steering. Driving it both around town and on the highway feels easily effortless. Combined with the quiet cabin and the smooth ride, it makes for a very relaxing driving experience.
10. Good Safety Pedigree
The 2017 Buick Enclave scores well on safety tests, as one would expect from a family-oriented SUV. The government gives it five stars overall and the same top grades on both front and side collision tests, while insurance association testing gives it top scores on all the tests it has conducted as well. A variety of modern safety features like blind-spot monitoring and forward collision warning are available on middle and top models.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2017 Buick Enclave – The Cons
1. Aging Design
It is clear that the Buick Enclave is reaching the end of its product cycle and the next generation is in the works. Given that the current model is 10 years old at this point, the new model promises to be a significant improvement and buyers may find themselves on the wrong side of a huge upgrade.
2. Missing Safety Features
While the current Enclave does have quite a few of the modern active safety features available, important ones such as automatic pre-collision braking, a surround-view camera or pedestrian detection are missing from the options sheet.
3. Poor Maneuverability
The very comfortable suspension and smooth steering come with some drawbacks for the 2017 Buick Enclave. The turn radius is much larger than one would expect from a car its size and it is not as nimble on windy roads as some other SUVs.
4. Lagging Fuel Economy
As other manufacturers have been upgrading their cars for efficiency, the 2017 Buick Enclave continues to post rather mediocre economy numbers. The 15 miles per gallon city, 22 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined ratings it earns are well below many of its competitors.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition
The Buick Enclave, like the rest of the Buick brand, is slightly more upscale than mass-market cars, but is not quite as expensive as some of the luxury models available. This gives it advantages over competitors on both ends of the price scale. It is more spacious and well-equipped than a similarly-sized mass-market SUV such as the Kia Sorento, which offers less passenger and cargo space, a less upscale interior and does not even come with the third row standard. However, these things do come at a price and the Buick is noticeably pricier than the Kia. The Enclave is comparable in features to the pricer SUVs like the Acura MDX, but at a lower cost. However, the Acura does feel a little sportier in its driving dynamics.
The 2017 Buick Enclave may be showing its age, but it carries it well, continuing to capitalize on its unique market position to deliver excellent value. It delivers great value by offering lots of passenger space and luxury touches at a price well below that of other luxury vehicles. So unless you are looking for the latest technologies or a sporty performance, the Buick Enclave makes for a great and comfortable family vehicle.
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