- Pros: spacious and upscale interior, smooth and quiet ride, strong safety ratings
- Cons: underwhelming fuel economy, sluggish acceleration and handling
The 2013 Buick Enclave is a sensible option for used car shoppers searching for a three-row SUV that delivers a luxurious, family-friendly experience. Its spacious cabin is one of its biggest assets, with upscale materials and a layout that provides ample room for both passengers and cargo. A smooth, quiet ride adds to the Enclave’s appeal, making it an excellent cruiser for long road trips. Safety is another strong suit, which gives peace of mind to families.
However, if you’re looking for sporty performance or impressive fuel efficiency, this might not be the SUV for you. Its acceleration and handling are rather sedate, and the fuel economy falls below segment expectations. But if a luxurious, roomy, and safe SUV is what you’re after, the 2013 Buick Enclave stands out as a solid choice.
- Part of the model’s first generation (2008-2017)
- Received a significant refresh for 2013
- Trims include Convenience, Leather, and Premium
The 2013 Buick Enclave belongs to the first generation of the model, which debuted in 2008 and was refreshed for the 2013 model year. This refresh introduced several notable changes, including a revised exterior with a new grille and LED daytime running lights (pictured above), along with updated interior materials and tech features.
The seven-seat, three-row Enclave offers three trims: the entry-level Convenience, the mid-range Leather, and the top-of-the-line Premium. These trims primarily differ in terms of interior amenities and available tech features. For instance, the Leather trim adds leather upholstery and heated front seats, while the Premium trim goes further with ventilated front seats, a Bose sound system, and other high-end touches.
Under the hood, the 2013 Enclave comes equipped with a 3.6-liter V6 engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The engine produces 288 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. Buyers can opt for front or all-wheel drive, depending on their needs and local driving conditions.
- Focused more on comfort than driver engagement
- Moderate acceleration
- Towing capacity up to 4,500 pounds
Behind the wheel of the 2013 Buick Enclave, you’ll find a composed family cruiser, which is more geared towards comfort than sporty performance. Its 3.6-liter V6 engine delivers 288 horsepower through a smooth six-speed automatic transmission. The combo hauls the full-size SUV to 60 mph in around 8 seconds, average for the segment.
The 2013 Enclave delivers a well-cushioned ride thanks to its four-wheel independent suspension. Handling is on the softer side, but body roll is controlled, helping the SUV to feel solid and planted. The steering is light and somewhat numb, but it gets the job done for most daily driving scenarios.
While the 2013 Enclave isn’t an off-road machine, its available all-wheel-drive (AWD) system can provide extra traction in slippery conditions. The big Buick can also tow up to 4,500 pounds when properly equipped, which is decent for occasional tasks, such as pulling a small boat or trailer.
- EPA-rated 17 mpg city, 24 mpg highway for front-wheel drive models (slightly less for AWD)
- In line with competitors in the segment
- Real-world reports suggest EPA estimates are reasonably accurate
The 2013 Buick Enclave comes with fuel economy figures that are pretty standard for the three-row SUV segment. The front-wheel-drive models get an EPA-rated 17 miles per gallon in the city and 24 miles per gallon on the highway. If you opt for the all-wheel-drive version, those numbers dip a little, but not dramatically. The Enclave won’t win any fuel efficiency awards, but it won’t drain your wallet at the pump, either.
Owners who have reported their real-world fuel economy experiences largely confirm that the EPA estimates are on target, so expect to get roughly what the ratings suggest, especially if your driving habits align with typical commuting patterns.
Interior and Features
- High-quality materials and design throughout
- Seating for seven across three rows, with comfortable front and middle-row seats
- Standard 6.5-inch touchscreen but no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto
Inside the 2013 Enclave, you’ll find a well-appointed and luxurious cabin, showcasing Buick’s attention to detail and quality materials. Leather, soft plastics, and available wood trim create an upscale atmosphere that rivals models from more expensive brands. The standard seating capacity is for seven people, spread across three rows. The front seats and middle-row captain’s chairs offer impressive comfort and support; however, the third-row bench can be a bit cramped for adults.
Standard equipment includes 18-inch wheels, xenon headlights, a power liftgate, heated mirrors, rear parking sensors, remote start, three-zone automatic climate control, and power-adjustable front seats. Cloth upholstery is standard on the Convenience trim, but higher trims get leather. Other notable options include heated and ventilated front seats and a premium Bose sound system.
The Enclave also offers generous storage. The center console is large enough to hold a small purse or a tablet, and when you fold down the second and third rows, you can access up to 115.2 cubic feet of cargo space—ideal for larger hauling tasks.
On the tech front, a 6.5-inch touchscreen comes standard, along with features like Bluetooth connectivity and a USB port. However, if you’re looking for more modern smartphone integration like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, you’ll be out of luck, as the 2013 model predates these features.
- Standard rearview camera and rear parking sensors
- Available blind-spot monitoring
- Top Safety Pick by IIHS, five-star rating from NHTSA
When it comes to safety, the 2013 Buick Enclave offers a solid set of features designed to keep you and your passengers secure. The standard equipment list includes a rearview camera and rear parking sensors, which are particularly helpful for maneuvering the large SUV in tight spots. Additionally, anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, and full-length side curtain airbags come standard on all trims. Some advanced driver-assistance systems, including blind-spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert, are also available but confined to the Leather and higher trims.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named the Enclave a Top Safety Pick for 2013, giving it its highest rating of Good across all crashworthiness tests. The 2013 Enclave also received a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), acing all but the Rollover test, which received four out of five stars.
- Generally reliable with a good track record for racking up miles
- Occasional power steering and air conditioning issues
- Goes through tires and brakes faster than some vehicles due to size and weight
Regarding overall reliability and longevity, the 2013 Buick Enclave generally fares well, particularly in comparison to other options in the three-row SUV segment. It earns a 3.7-star overall rating from owners on Edmunds consumer reviews, which is good but not great. Still, many report driving their Enclaves 200,000 miles or more without encountering significant mechanical issues, which speaks to its durability.
That said, buyers should be aware of power steering issues, including fluid leaks and worn-out pumps. They pose not only a potential repair cost but also a safety concern. Another commonly noted problem is with air conditioning, which may require service or repairs for optimal performance. We suggest evaluating both systems carefully on your test drive.
Additionally, note that the Enclave, like many larger SUVs, is subject to higher-than-average tire and brake wear, mainly due to its size and weight. Expect to replace these components more frequently compared to smaller, lighter vehicles.
Finally, getting a pre-purchase inspection by a trusted mechanic before you buy is always a good idea, especially if you’re considering a higher-mileage example. Keep an eye on the vehicle’s maintenance history, and factor these potential issues into your budgeting for ownership costs.
Which One to Buy
If you’re in the market for a used 2013 Buick Enclave, we recommend the following configurations.
Best Overall: Leather Trim with FWD
If you want the best balance between features, performance, and affordability, aim for a 2013 Buick Enclave in the Leather trim with front-wheel drive. This configuration includes upgrades like leather upholstery, heated front seats, and advanced safety features like blind-spot monitoring. Front-wheel drive should suffice for those who don’t regularly encounter severe weather conditions. It also offers slightly better fuel efficiency, and used FWD examples generally cost less than their all-wheel-drive compatriots.
Splurge a Little: Premium Trim with AWD
For families who prioritize luxury and versatility, the Premium trim with all-wheel drive is your go-to. The added features, such as ventilated front seats and a premium Bose sound system, make long journeys more enjoyable for everyone aboard. All-wheel drive adds an extra layer of security for those who live in regions with occasionally challenging weather conditions.
Budget Pick: Convenience Trim with FWD
For the budget-conscious buyer who still wants a taste of luxury, the Convenience trim with front-wheel drive covers the basics without breaking the bank. You still get standard features like a rearview camera and three-zone automatic climate control while avoiding the higher costs associated with upper trims.
Photos courtesy of Buick