2008 Buick Enclave Long Term Road Test - Interior

2008 Buick Enclave Long Term Road Test

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2008 Buick Enclave: Helping Me Move

September 16, 2008


I'm currently in the middle of a move (fun!) so was semi-pleased when my choices for a car for the night were between our 2008 Buick Enclave, the Rondooo and the Smart. I wish we still had our trucks. Why O why did they have to go away at the same time? Anyway, the Enclave didn't let me down.Â

I was only going to fill up the SUV as much as I could since I was doing this by myself and I think the Buick, and I, did pretty well. Look at all those boxes in there. I even folded down the second-row seats and moved them out of the way so that I could put more boxes on the floor.

They were all very easy to unload, too. Not too high up.

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2008 Buick Enclave: 22,000 miles and Ticking

August 12, 2008


Last night I pulled in my driveway after a pleasant drive home and watched the odometer on our long-term 2008 Buick Enclave click exactly 22,000 miles. Brought a tear to my eye. Not really, but I thought I'd give the haters out there something to comment on.

Anyway, the power steering problem, which as been the truck's only reliability hiccup, is fixed and everything on the vehicle seems to feel as new. Brakes, suspension, engine, transmission? It all feels good. Even the SUV's tires still look new.

And we're not finished yet. We've only had the Enclave since November first, which means there's still three full months left on this 12 month test. We'll keep you posted, meanwhile I'll continue my quest to acclimate to the Buick's fuzzy cloth seats. Who the hell ordered this thing without leather anyway?

Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief @ 22,008 miles

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2008 Buick Enclave: Seating Options and an Oil Change

July 08, 2008

Enclave seats.JPG

For some reason, my six year old son insists on riding in the third row of seats even when he's the only passenger. Thanks to seats that quickly and easily fold and slide I can accommodate his odd request. The rest of the car ride is spent with me saying "I can't hear you buddy, you've got to talk louder."

The Enclave was also due for an oil change so I took it to Cerritos Buick, GMC, Hummer in Cerritos, CA. Total cost for the oil and filter change plus an inspection - $65.41. We declined the dealer recommended service items which would have put the bill closer to $200. I don't like the "Dealer Recommended" service sales tactic, it bothers me.

Brian Moody, Road Test Editor @ 20,775 miles.

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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: The Nittiest of Nitpicks

May 19, 2008

When I stopped by the office this weekend in a short-term tester, I couldn't help but notice that the Enclave was sitting in the garage unpicked. I just couldn't help trading up because A) I'd rather drive an Enclave for two hours than a Corolla, B) I wouldn't have to take two cars to dinner and C) the Enclave is really really good.

To that last point, the Enclave is so good, my usual long list of automotive nitpicks has been reduced to a pretty sad-sack collection. Bryn reported there's too many flashy trim bitsand that's fairly noteworthy. But, the other (above) is the placement of the windshield washer at the tip of the turn signal.In 100-degree,clear-skies weather, I sprayed the windshield five times for noparticular reason other than the fact I was turning.But that was kinda funny, not annoying.

Ditto the placement of the Enclave'sdriver backrest adjuster. With the seat placed near its aftmost position, the lever is ridiculously close to the B-pillar and specifically an area that juts out from it. I usually have to remove my watch to adjust the seat. Oooh.

Come on Buick, what are you doing making a car this good? You're making my niggling rants more difficult. Jerks.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 18,423 miles

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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: Quiet Room

May 05, 2008

Buick Enclave - photo by Warren Clarke

We have a "quiet room" here at the office. I've never actually used it, but I've checked it out. It is indeed pretty quiet, and there are a couple of plush-looking couches for those moments when you just want chill out and enjoy some personal time without being disturbed.

The Buick Enclave feels like a quiet room on wheels... Road and wind noise? Not even. Close those bank-vault doors, and the world outside may as well be a universe away. Beefy, welcoming seats are another plus. This weekend, they enveloped me like an overstuffed couch would; gotta love having that much comfort and support. And we've blogged ad nauseam about the Enclave's forgiving ride. Almost every road is a smooth one when you're behind this Buick's wheel.

I occasionally get people asking me for recommendations regarding vehicles that are tranquil and composed. The Lexus brand has long been a safe choice in that respect. Time to add the Enclave to that list.

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 17,716 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: Dual Pane in the Glass

February 14, 2008

Wind noise is well-tamed in our 2008 Buick Enclave. The sleek shape of the body, of course, has a lot to do with it.

Butour Enclave has something a lot of others cars don't: Dual-pane laminated front side glass. This is more expensive than the usual single pane stuff -- expensive, but effective at quelling noise... GM must have found a more-affordable supplier, because they're beginning to use it liberally in products residing at a lower price point than is typical for this material.

And it works. The Enclave's interior is quite a quiet place. Little wind and road noise comes to the driver's ear via the side windows and doors -- this despite largish tires with aggressive-looking, no-I'm-not-a-minivan tread.

Yes, some wind noise can still be heard from the region near the top of the windshield, and all bets are off when luggage is strapped to the roof rack. But all-in-all, the use of this side glass is awelcome decisionthat will directly benefit consumers.

Another bonus isthe greenish tint indicates that this is solar-controlglass as well, another more-expensive material not always found in front-door glass that will benefitoccupants by reducing directsolar radiation and making the A/C more efficient.The Enclave hasn't been with us through a summer yet, but I'm surethat cross-desert summer trips to Vegas will no problem, comfort-wise.

It's good to see that some of the detailed design choices in the Enclave, more-costly though they may be, have been made with customer satisfaction in mind. It would have been so much easier, and typical,for the bean-counters to say "No. Too expensive." I'm glad the engineers won out.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 11,983 miles

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2008 Buick Enclave: Rear Seat Review

February 08, 2008

Our 2008 Buick Enclave is one of five, three-row vehicles we have in the fleet right now. In general, we've been very impressed with the comfort and roominess of the Enclave. But having not sat in the back myself, I was curious to find out how well it all worked.

Here's what I learned.

Design: Our Enclave has the typical seven-passenger setup, which includes two second-row captain's chairs and a third-row 60/40-split third-row seat. The captain's chairs slide fore and aft and have reclining seatbacks. One can also fold the second- and third-row seatbacks down to create a flat load floor.

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2008 Buick Enclave CX: This is the Best Vehicle GM Makes

January 16, 2008

We've had our Buick Enclave for months now, but I've only recently had the chance to get some seat time. Between my limited need for seven-passenger seating and the fact that it's a Buick, I had pretty much avoided the big crossover.

Turns out, I had no reason to fear the big brute. In fact, I was missing out... The Enclave is not only the best Buick in the lineup, it's probably the best overall vehicle GM makes. And it's not because of all the new features or the monstrous interior. This Buick is impressive because it gets all the small things right.

The V6 is not only strong and quiet, it's refined at full throttle. The steering isn't overboosted and the suspension is well tuned. The windows are one touch on the way up and down, and even the cloth seats are nicely shaped and comfortable. Nothing in the interior screams cheap and the doors shut with a solid thud. It all sounds so basic, so obvious, but this is the kind of stuff GM has been getting wrong for years.

And with that, I will no longer avoid the Buick. See GM, it's just that easy.

Ed Hellwig, Senior Editor, Inside Line @ 9,510

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2008 Buick Enclave: Oregon Holiday Trip, Day 7

December 30, 2007

After 7 days and some 1,500 miles in the saddle of our 2008 Buick Enclave, I've developed a few gripes.

1) I'm not a fan of fake wood in any car interior. The Buick annoys me in two ways: the "wood" on the dash is particularly shiny and plastic-looking; the "wood" on the steering wheel rim looks more authentic, but is too hard and slick. And they aren't even the same species of simu-wood! On the steering, we've got Fauxhogany, while the dash is trimmed with Bird's Eye Fakle. Don't get me started about the eyeball clock with its tiny face and its humungous blingy surround.

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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 CX: Cool Buick SUV

November 19, 2007

The title of this post contains words I never thought I'd utter. At least not together. I love sport sedans, and don't care for SUVs, particularly huge 3-row SUVs like the Enclave. Also, a Buick is the car you get with your AARP membership card, or the butt of jokes, as in Annie Hall when Woody emerges from the bathroom ashen-faced and says "That spider's the size of a Buick."

I am happy to say those perceptions have been wiped away single-handedly by the 2008 Buick Enclave... It is a tremendous car. Physically, of course, but it doesn't feel that way, at all. It's got great sight lines, a very handy back-up camera, and nice style. It looks good, too, particularly those big meaty tires and tasteful wood accents on the dash.

Booming Bose stereo, very intuitive nav system, I even dig the cool blue on the lights. Nothing specific right now, except I'd love to drive it again. Trust me, I'm still reeling.

Doug Lloyd, Senior Copy Editor @ 4,896 miles

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