The 2013 Buick Enclave is the classic luxury crossover, an upscale marriage between a conventional family vehicle and a capable SUV, offering all-weather convenience, 7- or 8-passenger versatility and an abundance of comfort, style and practicality. For 2013, the Enclave has received a long overdue refresh, including sleeker headlights, a larger grille and redesigned LED taillights.

Premium Cabin

It's all about premium comfort and content within the Enclave. This crossover's spacious cabin is defined by quality materials and a high-level of fit and finish. Standard tech features include USB, Bluetooth, a color touch display and SiriusXM radio. But ultimately, how much technology you get depends on the option package you choose. Our recommendation is the Premium Group that includes a 10-speaker Bose audio system and rear-seat entertainment.

Overall, we like the three rows of seats. They're comfortable and easy to climb in and out of. But the third-row seat is tight and better suited for kids. We also found that backing up is a chore since rear visibility is less than generous.

Strong and Sure-Footed

The 2013 Enclave uses the same powertrain setup that we saw last year, a 3.6-liter, 288-horsepower V6 with a 6-speed automatic. It's enough to get the Enclave from 0 to 60 miles per hour in around eight seconds and provide more than adequate passing power. Front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models are both available, but the Enclave is not for serious off-roading. It is, however, more than capable of handling wet or snowy roads.

Onboard safety features such as ABS, traction and stability control and the optional all-wheel drive make for a sure-footed and secure crossover in anyone's book.

Fuel economy ratings are 17 miles per gallon city/24 mpg hwy in front-wheel drive and 16 mpg city/22 mpg hwy in all-wheel drive.

A Fair Value

The base Enclave stickers at just over $38,000, and we think that's fair money for all that the Enclave offers. An uplevel Enclave with all-wheel drive starts at a little under $48,000. It makes sense to cross-shop the Enclave against the Acura MDX, the Volvo XC90 and the Ford Flex, all formidable competitors.

The Last Word

The 2013 Buick Enclave is blessed with most of what a luxury crossover shopper needs, as long as your driveway is your favorite off-road destination. This well-built crossover seems to ring all the right bells. It's plush, stylish and roomy enough for a good-sized family. It offers a solid driving experience, too.

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Jessica Shea Choksey is an automotive journalist and former writer/reporter for the PBS/Discovery Channel television series "MotorWeek." She began her career in journalism as an editor for numerous magazines and publications mainly outside of the automotive field. Jessica currently resides with her family, in Southern California.

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