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Average User Score
4.6 ⁄ 5 stars
Based on 13 reviews
2008 Buick Enclave Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 13 reviews
Aimed at older, more creature-comfort-hungry members of the crossover SUV market, Buick's new Enclave has earned flattering reviews and clearly reflects Buick's renewed focus on quality and up-to-date styling. Built on the same platform as the Saturn Outlook and GMC Acadia, with which it also shares a 3.6-liter, 275-horsepower V6 with variable valve timing, the Enclave is easily the plushest of the three.
Interior materials and finishing struck most reviewers as noticeably higher quality than those on other recent Buicks. The shifter and steering wheel, which tilts and telescopes, are both trimmed with real wood and leather, and wood-grained trim highlights the dashboard, doors, and center console. The Enclave accommodates eight adults with plenty of legroom throughout, or with the second and rear seat rows folded flat, it offers just over 115 cubic feet of cargo space, 30 cubic feet more than the roomiest of its competitors. All that extra space and trim does have a cost, though - the Enclave weighs almost 5,000 pounds.
The Enclave's fluid lines, sound insulation, and triple door seals all help reduce noise inside, and reviewers were consistently surprised by the quietness and smoothness of its ride. Many also enjoyed driving the Enclave, but opinions regarding the front-wheel-drive versus all-wheel-drive versions varied. One reviewer found the AWD version's cornering abilities noticeably better than the front-wheel-drive version's, but another reviewer believed the all-wheel-drive system's additional 205 pounds put too much stress on the engine and found passing at highway speeds uncomfortable. That reviewer was also frustrated by the Enclave's six-speed automatic transmission in city traffic and preferred to shift manually using + and - buttons on the shifter.
Standard safety features include dual front, side, and curtain airbags, ABS, and electronic traction control, contributing to the Enclave's five-star NHTSA safety ratings. A six-speaker stereo with MP3 input is also standard and includes a free introductory subscription to XM satellite radio. Buick also offers lots of options on the Enclave. The second row of seating is available as a 60/40 bench or dual captain's chairs, giving walk-through access to the third row of seats. A rear-seat entertainment system, including wireless headphones, and a navigation system that includes a rear-view camera are also available, and the standard 18-inch alloy wheels are upgradeable to 19 inches.
Enclave pricing starts in the low- to mid-thirties, and the EPA estimates mileage at 16 city/24 highway, or 16 city/22 highway for the AWD version. Offering limousine luxury in a package that can accommodate heaping helpings of passengers and/or cargo, the Enclave deserves a look from anyone contemplating a full-size SUV.