There was a time when the Buick Estate Wagon was a go-to car for well-heeled families looking for a big, comfortable cruiser capable of carrying the whole crew and all their stuff. Those wagons are long gone, but the needs they met still exist. Today, we like our big family cars in crossover form, and Buick's Enclave stands ready to serve. Conservatively handsome, not unlike the clothes worn by its owners, the Enclave's styling is now five years old but doesn't look dated. Although the Enclave is based on the same platform as the GMC Acadia and the Chevrolet Traverse, the Buick is distinctive inside and out. As in its corporate counterparts, the lone engine offering is GM's 3.6-liter V-6, which comes with a six-speed automatic transmission. Its 288 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque are stout enough to move the hefty (4780-pound) Enclave without laboring and can tow up to 4500 pounds. Fuel economy is not bad at 17/24 mpg (city/highway) with front-wheel drive; opting for all-wheel drive lowers it to 16/22 mpg. Unlike some three-row crossovers, the Enclave's third-row seats can accommodate the occasional adult or lanky teen. Luggage space behind them, however, is fairly limited. As you might expect from a Buick, the Enclave rides comfortably and quietly. The interior is nicely finished, and plenty of luxury options are available. One we'd particularly recommend is the backup camera, as visibility out the back is not great in most larger crossovers. The Enclave is not at all retro, but its character and capabilities are classic Buick.
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