First Look: 2013 Buick Enclave

2013-Buick-Enclave

After five years on the market, the Buick Enclave, which was introduced in May 2007 as 2008 model, is getting its first significant makeover. Like its sibling, the Chevrolet Traverse, the 2013-model Enclave is making its debut at the New York Auto Show.

Familiar mechanicals

Mechanicals are little changed, with the 288-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 still the sole engine, sending 270 pound-feet of torque either to the front wheels or all four. The six-speed automatic transmission has been recalibrated, but EPA fuel economy will remain 16/22 mpg with all-wheel drive and 17/24 mpg for front-wheel-drive models. Buick engineers have also revised the suspension, with new dampers front and rear. The emphasis, though, was on updating the Enclave's appearance, and its in-car electronics.

Appearance updates

The styling tweaks are subtle. New headlights are now HID, with a blue accent ring, available swivel action, and LED running lights; at the rear are new, LED taillights. The hood, grille, fascias, and wheels have all been restyled, although you almost need to have the old and new versions side-by-side to see the difference.

Inside, the dashboard center stack has been redesigned and features a standard 7-inch touch-screen, which houses the controls for Buick's Intellilink infotainment interface. Already available in other Buicks and now migrating to the Enclave, Intellilink provides smart-phone integration, including Bluetooth phone and audio, and control of Pandora and Stitcher apps. The screen also projects the image from the standard back-up camera. And blue ambient interior lighting has been added.

More safety equipment

One unusual new interior feature is a third front air bag (it comes to the 2013 GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Traverse as well). Housed in the inboard side of the driver's seat, it deploys between the two front passengers to help keep them in place in a side-impact collision. The new air bag is standard and brings the total air bag count to seven. Newly optional are a blind-spot warning system and a rear cross-path warning alert.

The 2013 Enclave goes on sale this fall.

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