HEELS ON WHEELS: 2008 BUICK ENCLAVE REVIEW
By Katrina Ramser
INTRO TO THE ENCLAVE
General Motors has gone and created a large crossover utility vehicle that just about steals the thunder from any other competitor in its class (and in many others), which is an impossible feat to do with the current CUV competition. Let me count the ways.
The 4-door Enclave is attractive and classy, and although large it reflects the slimming down trend in the rear exterior you’re finding on 2009 crossover models. The interior is the epitome of luxury with its wood accents on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, dashboard, and side door panels. Power everything, from seats to side mirrors. Dual air control, audio controls on steering wheel, remote start and liftgate, ultrasonic rear parking assist, top-notch Bose speakers, OnStar – all easy to understand and apply. It has three row of seating, with the second row featuring a smart slide system for easy accessibility.
It’s like a minivan all dressed up. The best part is that for what you get, it's an incredible deal. For a 2008 Buick Enclave CX with a 275-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine, full-wheel drive, and all the bells and whistles mentioned above and below, final price tag reaches $36,045.
HEELS ON WHEELS REVIEW CRITERIA
Stylish But Comfortable Results: The Enclave has an extremely stylish look. Headlights are reminiscent of Lexus models and feature a high-intensity discharge. The interior is very roomy. Seats couldn’t have been more secure, with power seating letting you personalize your comfort even more. I was surprised to find out the CX isn’t even the best trim available (the CXL is apparently even more luxurious).
Reliability & Safety Factor: If you don't know this already, GM is one of the few manufacturers who provide the OnStar system, which is hands-free calling with 24-hour roadside assistance. Although it is a new car, it has the same engine as the Consumer Reports recommend Saturn Outlook (and although not recommended, in a recent study of third-row crossovers Consumer Reports found the Enclave tied with the Outlook, the Hyundai Veracruz, and Ford Taurus X Limited). GM offers a 5-year or 100,000 mile powertrain limited warranty and a 4-year or 50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty.
Cost Issues: Take away the Entertainment Package (6-disc CD player, rear seat audio, Bose speakers), a white diamond tri-coat (?), remote start and the heated windshield wiper fluid on the model I drove, and you'd pay the standard vehicle price of $32,7900 (without destination charges – negotiate those out). I'll be very surprised if this vehicle doesn't do well with the older, Baby Boomer market.
Activity & Performance Ability: The Enclave houses the 3.6-liter V6 engine also found in the Saturn Outlook and GMC Acadia. I thought I'd feel small and overpowered by it, but by the end of my weeklong test drive it felt like a zippy, smaller crossover. This vehicle has to be one of the quietest cars I have ever driven. I fell in love with the breaks – nothing edgy about them, completely smooth and responsive. The shorter hood gives great visibility. Turning radius not bad at all, but I tended to look for larger parking spaces.
The Green Concern: The Enclave (or Buick) is toting Best-in-class fuel economy ratings. It claims 16-mpg city and 24-mpg highway. I received an average of 18-mpg, which is slightly better than most. However, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid (third-row competitor) does gets better at 24-mpg.
FINAL PARTING WORDS: The Buick Enclave is what you get (meaning, you go purchase it) when you're ready to upgrade from your minivan either because the kids have grown up or because you realize this vehicle has what you need: Family functionality, class, and affordability.
Katrina's Car Tips For Women Drivers
- Katrina's 2009 Crossover Watch List
- Katrina's 2009 3-Row SUVs and SUVs
- Katrina's 2008 Top 10 Vehicles For Female Drivers
- Katrina's Basic Car Insurance Coverage For Women
- Katrina's Money Saving Car Tips For Women
Katrina's 2010 and 2009 Model Reviews For Women Drivers
- 2009 Acura RDX Review
- 2009 Acura TL Review
- 2009 Acura TSX Tech Review
- 2009 BMW X3 xDRIVE 30i Review
- 2009 Chevrolet Traverse Review
- 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid Review
- 2009 Dodge Journey Review
- 2009 Ford Flex Review
- 2009 Honda Pilot EX-L Review
- 2009 Infiniti G37 Coupe Review
- 2009 Kia Borrego Review
- 2010 Lexus HS250h Review
- 2009 Mazda5 Grand Touring Review
- 2009 Mazda6 Grand Touring Review
- 2009 Mazda CX-9 Review
- 2009 Mercedes-Benz ML320 BLUETEC Review
- 2009 Mitsubishi Outlander Review
- 2009 Nissan Murano Review
- 2009 Suzuki Equator Review
- 2009 Subaru Forester Review
- 2010 Toyota Prius Hybrid Review
- 2009 Toyota Yaris Review
- 2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid Review
- 2009 Toyota RAV4 Review
- 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4Motion Review
- 2009 Volkswagen CC Sport Review
- 2009 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI Review
Katrina's 2008 Model Reviews For Women Drivers
- 2008 Buick Enclave Review
- 2008 Ford Escape
- 2008 Ford Escape Limited 4x4 Review
- 2008 Honda CR-V Review
- 2008 Honda Reidgeline Review
- 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Review
- 2008 Kia Sportage 4x4 Review
- 2008 Lexus RX400h Hybrid Review
- 2008 Lexus GX470 Review
- 2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrid FWD Review
- 2008 Nissan Pathfinder Review
- 2008 Nissan Armada Review
- 2008 Suzuki SX4 Review
- 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX Review
- 2008 Toyota Prius Hybrid Review
- 2008 Toyota Land Cruiser Review
- 2008 Volkswagen Touareg Review
- 2008 Volkswagen Touareg Review
- 2008 Volvo C30 Review
©2008 Katrina Ramser