2008 Buick Enclave: Roof Rack Rails
January 31, 2008
Just about every new SUV can be had with a roof rack, but very few of these racks actually come with cross rails. This is the case for our 2008 Buick Enclave. And since we were in need of a way to properly secure cargo on the roof, we had to buy cross rails from the dealer.
Wanna guess how much they were? You're the next contestant on The Price is Right.
They were $204.08, with tax.
I asked our testing director, who has worked for a couple of automakers before, why they don't come standard. He speculated that installed cross rails create wind noise, and noise is bad for test drives and customer satisfaction. So automakers leave them off and get the added bonus of offering them as pricey dealer-sourced accessories.
Installing the rails was straightforward, though the bolts have Torx security-style heads -- better hope you don't lose the included wrench.
As for the pictured cooler and suitcase, they were accessories for a fuel economy test we performed earlier this week. The Enclave was one of three vehicles we used to test a variety of situations such as driving style, aerodynamics and tire pressure. (We're working on an improved and expanded version of our original We Test the Tips article.)
We haven't run the final calculations yet but I'll do an Enclave post once the story is published. Oh, and in terms of wind noise, I couldn't detect a difference with the rails on. The Enclave is impressively quiet.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 10,950 miles