2008 Buick Enclave Long Term Road Test - Miscellaneous

2008 Buick Enclave Long Term Road Test

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2008 Buick Enclave: Reunion Stand-in

September 08, 2008

555 Chrome shoes ii.jpg

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: Oh Yeah, Much Better Engine Cover Location

July 16, 2008

The Enclave's engine cover conveniently located in the trunk

Remember last week, when Magrath discovered the Enclave's oil cap is all that's keeping on the engine cover? Remember when he said, "If it were my Enclave the first piece to go in the trash would be that silly cover."

Well,he didn't put it in the trash. No no, he put it in theEnclave's trunk.Yeah buddy, much better.When I took my first turn in the big Buick last Friday, a great big plastic thwack eminated from behind the erected third row. "What the hell was that?" I pondered, not used to items being left in our fleet vehicles.

When I popped the hatch Icame upon the sight above. Does this have any real effect on Buick Enclave ownership? Not really. I just felt like airing inter-office grievances on the World Wide Interweb. Tomorrow I'll be complaining that Josh Sadlier leaves the cap off the non-dairy creamer.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 21,030 miles

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2008 Buick Enclave: Why No Comparison Love?

July 08, 2008

2008 Buick Enclave

For those of you who read the Full-Size Crossover Comparison, you no doubt wondered why we didn't include a GM Lambda. Well, a Saturn Outlook was slated to be in the test, but a week prior to testing, GM phoned and said it was in an accident. No other Outlook, Acadia or Enclave could be furnished in time that equaled the other assembled crossovers in terms of feature content and all-wheel-drive configuration. That criteria also left our long-term Buick Enclave out of the equation, not to mention it has more than 20,000 miles on it.

Although we couldn't give the Enclave a fair shake in a full, official comparison with the usual litany of scoring sheets and calculations, the Edmunds.com editors decided to take it and the long-term Hyundai Veracruz on a comparison drive with the official test's three crossovers. We then ranked what vehicles we would personally buy and which we thought would best suit the average consumer.

As a side-bar of sorts to the Inside Line test, check out the Edmunds.com Strategies Blog throughout the week at noon (3 p.m. EST)as we countdown the comparison test contenders.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor

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2008 Buick Enclave: Easily GM's Best

April 09, 2008

Our 2008 Buick Enclave has just busted through the 15,000 mile mark. That's 15,000 miles in just six months, which means we like this truck.

But here's the best part, the Enclave has been as reliable and problem free as a car can get. It's only been to the dealer once and that was for a scheculed maintanence visit for the usual oil change and tire rotation...

Solid as a stone, reliable as the sunrise, comfortable as a couch, quiet as a mime, the Enclave is the best SUV GM has ever built. Unless you're planning to tow really, really big stuff, you'd have to be nuts to pass on the Enclave and buy a Tahoe or a Yukon. Now if GM can only build a Buick sedan this good...

Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief @ 15,055 miles

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2008 Buick Enclave: Hello, Enclave? Your DVD is Overdue

April 01, 2008

As I pulled into a Target parking spot, I thought I heard my cell phone ring. Just as I realized that it wasn't my ringtone, the ringing stopped and an automated message from a Blockbuster video store started to admonish me for not returning a DVD on time, warning me that if the movie wasn't returned by Monday, I would be charged full price.

Curious, I thought, because I don't rent movies from Blockbuster. Even curiouser because the message was not, in fact, coming through my own cell phone, but instead it was playing through the Buick Enclave's audio speakers...

A bit thrown, I calledRoad TestEditor Brian Moody.

"The Enclave is accepting its own phone calls," I complained.

"Yes," explained Brian. "That's the peril of having a phone number assigned to a vehicle through the OnStar system instead of using Bluetooth through your own cell phone.Someone who was desperate to keep a "Blades of Glory"DVD forever may have given your Enclave's number to Blockbuster, uh, accidentally."

Huh. The Enclave better pay its own late fees.

Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 14,706 miles

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2008 Buick Enclave: Lasting Impressions

March 19, 2008

What do American IdolcontestantKristy Lee Cook and our long-term Buick Enclave have in common? They've both been labeled "absolutely forgettable."

Although it's AI judge Simon Cowell who delivers the bad news to Kristy on a weekly basis, it's my friend Lydia who's continuously unimpressed with the Enclave. Not that she doesn't like the Enclave, it's just that as many times as she's been in it, she can't seem to remember what it is.

"What is this?" she asked yesterday when she climbed into the passenger's seat for the umpteenth time... "Oh, it has a third-row seat," she said nodding her head in approval.

"Yeah," Ithought to myself. "Same as it did last week."

Once we were on the road, she again commented about the pleasant interior, comfortable seats, good-looking controls.

As much as she likes the Enclave in the moment, it just doesn't seem to leave a lasting impression.

Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 14,150 miles

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2008 Buick Enclave: Car of Steel?

February 22, 2008

Photo by Caroline Pardilla

Last night I got into a little fender bender, or so I thought, with a Nissan Altima. I was clearly signaling and turning left down a side street and he was coming out of that side street and turning left onto the busy street I was leaving. I was almost completing the turn when he decided to go on ahead. I felt his car hit the rear driver side of mine. It jolted the Enclave a little.

Immediately I pulled over and got out. Fortunately, he did the same. I looked at the area of the Enclave where I thought he hit but since it was night and raining hard I couldn't get a good look. "Looks like there's no damage," he said quickly. "Not that we can see. It's dark. Can I get your information?" I said calmly. "Look, you're making me late for a dinner. There's no damage," he reiterated. "I didn't see you signal left," he added. "Oh, I signaled left." It was funny how he tried to make it my fault when he was the one who was clearly in a hurry somewhere. But after much insisting on my part and many complaints about how I was making him late, I was finally able to get his driver license number, name, address and phone number.

This morning I checked the car again to see if there was damage and ran my hand over the sheet metal. Nothing. "Wow! This car is nigh invulnerable!" I thought. I had felt an impact and yet there was nothing to show for it. Later when I told Vehicle Testing Coordinator Mike Schmidt about the "accident" he theorized that maybe the Altima ended up hitting the Enclave's wheel instead. And when he went to inspect the car he did notice a gouge on the wheel cover. Thank goodness that was all. But we're holding onto the guy's information "just in case."

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor

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2008 Buick Enclave: Hot Date

February 04, 2008

2008 Buick Enclave -- Brent Romans

Three years ago, Buick's lineup– the Century, LaCrosse, LeSabre, Park Avenue, Rainier, Rendezvous and Terraza– was a collection of all-star rejects. If you were in high school, having to use any of these as a loan from mom or dad to pick up a date would be a source of major teenage embarrassment.

But now there's the Enclave. Near as I can tell, everybody on our staff likes it... And in the past week, two women have told me– unprompted– that our Buick is "pretty." One, who looked to be in her twenties, also said that it was upscale and "classy."

Suddenly, borrowing your parents' Buick for a hot date doesn't seem like such a bad idea anymore.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 11,010 miles

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2008 Buick Enclave: Roof Rack Rails

January 31, 2008

2008 Buick Enclave -- Brent Romans

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.

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2008 Buick Enclave: Chameleon Paint

January 08, 2008


Getting out of our 2008 Buick Enclave in the parking garage this morning, I saw a distinct pearlescent shimmer in the paint that got me thinking that maybe, just maybe,the color differences depicted in the various photos I've taken of the Enclave weren't entirely the result of my shoddy amateur blogtography.

Generally, shots taken under clear skies show the Buick to be a lightish metallic blue color. In the low-angled sunlight just before sundown in the desert near Vegas, however, itunmistakeably took on the golden tone ofthe surroundings. And in Oregon, under low cloud cover thick with mist, the Enclave looked for all the world like it's painted a rich steely gray.

I just pulled the file on our Enclave andam now lookingat the window sticker. The paint color name is... Blue-Gold Crystal Metallic. Yep. That makes sense.

OK, this isn't a full-blown color-changing paint like you might see at a car show or a racetrack -the kind that changes color as it wraps itself around the contours ofa car. The effect is much more subtle here. Still, you get at least three hues for the price of one - depending on the weather and time of day, of course.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 9,348 miles

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2008 Buick Enclave: Christmas Tree Duty

December 10, 2007

Yesterday I learned all about Snow Flocking.

But before I get into that I want to tell you how perfectly our 2008 Buick Enclave served my family on our annual hunt for the perfect Christmas tree. This year we chose a seven foot tall Noble Fur, green in color and handsomely bagged in white plastic for its short time atop the Buick. Last thing I wanted to do was scratch the roof of the Enclave, so I paid the extra $2.95 to have the tree bagged...

I didn't, however, have it Snow Flocked. I didn't even know what it was. Turns out to be white stuff that's sprayed all over your tree to make it look snowed upon. But it doesn't. Instead it looks like it was shot by a fire extinguisher.

Anyway, the Enclave handled the task so effortlessly this blog is basically empty. Next year I'm using our Mini.

Happy Holidays.

Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief @ 6,650 miles

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2008 Buick Enclave: Racking Up The Miles Fast

December 07, 2007

Today our 2007 Buick Enclave zipped past the 6500 mile mark on its odometer. No big deal right? Wrong. We've only had the SUV for a couple of months... At this rate, the Buick will rack up 39,000 miles during its 12 months with us. Most vehicles in our fleet struggle toreach 20,000 miles in that same time frame.

What does this mean? It means we like the Enclave. A lot.

So far.

Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief @ 6,522 miles

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2008 Buick Enclave: Blue Light Special

December 05, 2007

HID Xenon headlamps are standard on the base Enclave CX

I flipped on the lights of our 2008 Buick Enclave CX just before I began an evening trip back to Los Angeles from Pahrump, Nevada.

"The Enclave has HID headlamps?" shouted a colleague who was standing just in front.

Yep. Even the entry-level CX comes standard with HID Xenon headlamps... And they've got these blue plastic rings around the projector beam bulbs that throw offtoothpaste-blue halos.

They got a real workout on the 100-odd miles from Pahrump, Nevadato Shoshone to Baker, California, a narrow desert two-lane with no paved shoulderon which I saw less than a dozen other cars. It was dark. I was driving... fast enough. I had no problem seeing a long ways off and to the sides.

An added bonus was the fuel economy I achieved. At a pace that was far from economical, the Enclave went 400.1 miles on 19. 2 gallons of unleaded. That's 21 mpg andthat tankincluded a bit of notorious Las Vegas city traffic. At a more relaxed cruising pace, the 24 mpg highway rating for our FWD Enclave seems attainable. And the resultant 450 mile range will be more than a match for the bladders of my Oregon co-conspirators.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 6,328 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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Past Long-Term Road Tests