The 2013 model-year Buick Enclave, equipped with a standard front center air bag, has received the highest possible five-star overall vehicle score for safety as part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s New Car Assessment Program.
Previously, the luxury crossover SUV was also named a 2013 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
“The Enclave is designed to provide excellent crash safety, and goes one step further by offering a front center air bag – an industry first in crash protection,” said Gay Kent, GM general director of vehicle safety and crashworthiness.
The front center air bag is an inflatable restraint designed to help protect drivers and front passengers in far-side impact crashes, where the affected occupant is on the opposite, non-struck side of the vehicle. When a severe impact occurs, the air bag deploys in milliseconds from the inboard side of the driver’s seat and inflates between the driver and front passenger, providing added protection for both front occupants.
Other Enclave safety features include:
- Available Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert systems use radar to watch spots the driver may not see – and provide visible and audible warnings to help prevent collisions.
- Standard head curtain side air bags with rollover protection for outboard occupants in all seating rows. In addition to providing protection in moderate-to-severe side crashes, the roof-mounted head curtain air bags will deploy in a rollover to help provide more occupant protection and containment.
- StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover mitigation technology is standard on all models and incorporates full-function traction control.
- Standard rearview camera system is designed to provide the driver with added capability to view what is in the rearward path of the vehicle.
- Standard four-wheel-disc brake system with ABS featuring smooth, quiet operation, longer pad life and more resistance to brake pulsation.
- Safety belt pretensioners reduce forward movement during a collision and are standard on the front safety belts, along with load-limiting retractors that help limit the belts’ impact on the occupants’ chest. The dynamic locking latch plate locks to hold the occupants’ pelvis in place.
- LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat attachment system is included in outboard second-row seating positions.
- Tire pressure monitoring system is standard on all models.
- Strong body structure to absorb crash energy and provide a protective “safety cage” around occupants.
- Standard hill start assist brakes help reduce the tendency of a vehicle to roll forward or backward on a hill after the brake pedal is released by momentarily retaining pressure on the brake discs.
- Standard OnStar uses GPS and cellular phone technology to automatically call for help in the event of a crash. OnStar subscribers also can use the service to be Good Samaritans by sending help to other motorists, and to call for help in other non-crash emergencies.
Starting with 2011 models, NHTSA introduced tougher tests and more rigorous requirements for its five-star safety ratings program. These tests provide more comprehensive information about safety performance and crash-avoidance technologies. Changes include a new side pole test simulating a 20-mph side-impact crash into a 10-inch-diameter pole or tree at a 75-degree angle just behind the A-pillar on the driver’s side.