2008 Buick Enclave Long Term Road Test

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2008 Buick Enclave: Reunion Stand-in

September 08, 2008

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You may recall my earlier post in which I ruminated over which long-term vehicle I would take to my high school reunion. Nissan GT-R? Audi R8? Cadillac CTS? Pontiac G8? Benz C300?

Would you believe, the 2008 Buick Enclave CX? I know, I know. I can hardly believe it myself. Ever since I graduated I've dreamed of rolling up to the valet at my high school reunion in a fine Buick SUV. Haven't we all? And now my wife and I have lived that dream.

Actually, it went like this: The 2009 Nissan GT-R was (and is) broken and waiting for fuel system parts, so the Audi R8 was my backup plan. But a last minute testing schedule change Friday afternoon left me 120 miles north of the office (and the Audi) in a Ford Flex. Another editor who lives near me needed the Flex for the weekend for a story he was working on. I was the logical choice to trade vehicles with him, and he happened to be rockin' the Enclave.

So my wife and I stepped-out, in fine style, from a minivan-esque SUV. That's about where we are in life anyway, so perhaps karma had something to say about the whole thing.

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2008 Buick Enclave: Labor Day Trip

September 02, 2008

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I put about 600 highway miles on our Enclave over the Labor Day weekend. There were
no surprises -- the Buick was enjoyable for the entire trip. Given that the Enclave has almost 23,000 miles on it, I kept an ear out for squeaks and rattles. I heard only one intermittent rattle coming from the lower part of the center stack.

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2008 Buick Enclave: Family Truckster

May 28, 2008



Something terrible happened to me this Memorial Day weekend: a surprise family visit. My moms words "I'm sure I told you" were still ringing in my ears as I hung up the phone and frantically started to clean my messy bachelor pad.

Praise be to the Enclave. It's seating for seven fit all those kinfolk interlopers in one space...

If I hadn't signed up for our Buick, trying to get my family together and do the dime store tour of LA via caravan would have been a nightmare.

While the Buick is no Wagonqueen, it's comfortble seating made touring LA a joy. Signing up for the Buick was possibly the best decision I unwittingly made in the last year or so.

Scott Jacobs, Senior Photographer

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2008 Buick Enclave CX: Much Better Than the Outlook

May 07, 2008



A friend of mine is finally giving up on his thirsty Jeep Grand Cherokee in favor of something a little more fuel efficient, not to mention reliable (it’s a mid-90s JGC). So after discussing the needs of his growing family and fragile ego (he really wants a Tahoe), my recommendation was a Saturn Outlook since he didn't like the styling of the Acadia.

We just so happened to have an Outlook here in the office, so I took it for a drive to reassure myself it was the right choice. It drives fine, but then I took our long term Buick Enclave home for the night. Now I think he should buy the Buick instead.
As competent as the Outlook is for family transportation, the Buick feels like a more finished product. It’s quieter inside, feels better on the road and has a far more pleasing interior design. And this is an Enclave with over 17K miles on it. Granted, the Enclave requires an extra $2K to start, but I think it would be money well spent.

Ed Hellwig, Senior Editor @ 17,845 miles

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2008 Buick Enclave CX: My Eyes! My Eyes!

April 21, 2008

Our long-term Buick Enclave took my family of three on a 200-mile round trip jaunt to the Antelope Valley to catch the peak of the California poppy/wildflower season this bright and sunny weekend. However, the ride was comfortable, the navigation system got us there without a hitch and the toddler-loading was quick and easy. However, we suffered frequent temporary blindness because of the very pretty but impossibly shiny chrome trim that's all over the instrument and gear panels. It was like actual solar flares combined with George Hamilton 's teeth (and/or forehead) times 1 million, and I'm not exaggerating.

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2008 Buick Enclave CX: Smooth Operator

March 10, 2008

This weekend I put a substantial number of miles, both freeway and city street, on our 2008 Buick Enclave, and I am so impressed with its ride. It's remarkably smooth, and a perfect exemplar of why crossover platforms make so much sense. It's huge, no doubt about it, but it rides well, it slides around corners, and it feels confident and composed at high speeds.

In the past, I have taken issue with some modern sedans, like the Camry, because they're so smooth anddisconnected from the roadthat you can go 100 and feel like you're going 40...

Due to its size, the Enclave never feels that way. It's remarkably soft and comfortable, but always transmits enough feel that it won't catch you off guard.

Different passengers this weekend all commented on how lush and well-appointed it looks inside, its ample front legroom, and its smoothness. One friend even lavished it with his highest praise: "Pimpin'." Whoever thought a Buick crossover with three rows of seats could be *pimpin'*?

Doug Lloyd, Senior Copy Editor @ 13,177 miles

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2008 Buick Enclave: Oregon Holiday Trip, Day 6

December 30, 2007

Not much new going on today. Mom and I braved the near-constant rain and drove the 2008 Buick Enclave into town for provisions. The road between their driveway and US 101 is a tight two lane with 30 mph corners that's even more buckled and contorted by land movement than any other stretch of pavement we've seenon this trip.

Over this sort of road, two of my earlier impressions of the Buick Enclave are confirmed. At a moderate pace, the Enclave rides smoothly and stays composed through the tight and narrow asphalt bends, but itdoesn't like being hustled through these sorts of turns. It doesn't fall to its knees or wallow, but the driver gets themessage that this suspension isn't sport tuned. And while the steering isfairly precise, there isn't enougheffort buildup in corners toengage the driver.

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2008 Buick Enclave: Sit Back and Relax

December 17, 2007

Photo by Caroline Pardilla

I loved having our 2008 Buick Enclave for the weekend. It was a weekend of holiday parties and long training runs and then general laziness and the Buick accommodated with its roominess and plushness, not requiring me to work hard for much of anything. I didn't have to worry about struggling with parking it since it has a back-up camera. I had no problems with getting in and around traffic as it was easy to handle...

When I went running, I had that nifty hidden storage area in the cargo to hide my purse. And I LOVE that the trunk lid opens and closes with a press of the key fob button. Made loading food and presents for the parties soo much easier to deal with.

I was sad we didn't get the heated seats option and that its heater seemed to take awhile to warm up but nothing really to cry about.

With regard to its size, outside the SUV looks like any regular SUV but inside, it's huuuge. When I picked up my friend, she immediately looked toward the rear of the car and we both marveled at just how far away the third-row seat seemed to be. The picture above doesn't do it justice.

I already signed up to take the Mini up to Sacramento for the holidays (because I lovvve Minis and figured my folks would get a kick out of it) but now I'm wondering if I should opt for something that'll make my holidays less stressful instead. That is, of course, if someone else hasn't already signed up for the Enclave.

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 6,706 miles

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2008 Buick Enclave: Oregon Trip Contender

December 04, 2007

Outside Jean, Nevada

The holidays are sneaking up fast. I don't have my shopping done yet, but I am starting to think about which long-term test car I'll use to haul the Edmunds clan up to Oregon. So far, our 2008 Buick Enclave CX is the current front runner.

I'm very curious to see how this one does. On the same run, we've tried a Jeep Commander (sproingy ride, small cargo, stranded by broken starter), a Chevy Tahoe (third-row had to be left at home, flat battery, not nimble) and a Cadillac SRX (very good handling, pleasant interior, but too small for Christmas duty.) Our Enclave has the potential to be the best all-around performer for this task. If I can successfully call dibs for the holidays, we'll find out.

After a weekend preview, Tracy and the kids give the Enclave a thumbs up. The ride seems suitable for the trip, and everyone seems to think the seats have a chance at staying comfortable over the long haul. My wife, however, has already noticed the lack of seat heaters. The lack of all-wheel drive shouldn't be a problem - shouldn't.

There are only four of us, but we'll be hauling presents for 12 relations about 1,000 miles north. If we haven't earned coal this year, we'll be hauling an equal amount back too.I'm hoping the fold-flat third rowgives us the space we need. It had better, because the Enclave has the most cargo space of any of our current crop of vehicles - except the Toyota Tundra and Chevy Silverado, of course. But they're out because we need a dry and lockable present-carrying space.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 5,849 miles

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2008 Buick Enclave CX: This One's Just Right

November 05, 2007

As soon as I got into the Enclave I knew I would like it. The size, ride and comfort are perfect for me. I think it looks great too. I'd rather drive this than our Q7 - seriously...

I recently drove the Enclave on a 3 hour trip and once I arrived, I wanted to keep going.

My only quibble - it can be hard to back out of a tight parking space. Get the rear parking sensors, they're worth it.

Brian Moody, Road Test Editor

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