Buick Enclave Bear DE
New Castle, DE
New Castle, DE
2008 Buick Enclave CXL AWD Mid-Size Sport Utility Vehicle
By Derek Price
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The Enclave actually looks dramatically different -- and I think better -- than its GMC and Saturn siblings.
What was tested? 2008 Buick Enclave CXL AWD ($37,040).
Options: DVD entertainment package ($4,320), dual skyscape sunroof ($1,300), luxury package ($975).
Price as tested (including $735 destination charge): $44,370
More than any of the other General Motors brands, it doesn't seem to have its own identity. Chevrolet is affordable; Cadillac is luxurious; Pontiac is sporty; GMC is hard-working; Saturn is friendly; and Hummer is homicidal.
But Buick seems to be the neglected stepchild. A Buick is nicer than a Chevy and not as nice as a Cadillac, but beyond that, does it inspire any emotional response other than "I want to be like Tiger Woods?"
It's a fine near-luxury SUV with lots of space and a comfortable ride.
I didn't think so.
Still, Buick exists and -- probably after having taken a backpacking trip in Europe to "find itself" -- has come up with a clearer answer about what it means to be Buick: affordable luxury.
That answer is embodied in the Enclave, a big, roomy SUV that's built like a car and outfitted almost like a Cadillac. It's the latest vehicle to join the Buick lineup, and it shows a refreshing emphasis on style that the copycat Buicks have lacked for years.
For example, the Enclave is built on the same platform as the GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook. If the Enclave were built in the old days, you could have parked the Buick, GMC and Saturn side by side and seen that they were pretty much identical except for the badges.
Not so today, though. The Enclave actually looks dramatically different -- and I think better -- than its GMC and Saturn siblings. Buick's designers took the time to create something completely different inside and out rather than just slapping on some new stickers and calling it done.
The interior isn't quite as distinctive, but it definitely has a unique style.
Outside, the Enclave has a feline appearance that's daring on such a big vehicle. It's bold. It doesn't reek of bland, design-by-committee styling that I think has ruined some otherwise great Buicks in the past.
The interior isn't quite as distinctive, but it definitely has a unique style....
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Buick Enclave mid-size, near-luxury, crossover sport utility vehicle SUV
Complete Buick Enclave New Car Reviews listed below
The 2008 Buick Enclave mid-size, near-luxury, crossover sport utility vehicle (SUV or CUV) was introduced in May 2007, as a 2008 model. It replaced three vehicles in the Buick model line including the minivan-based Rendezvous, the truck-based Rainer, and the Terraza minivan. Enclave is now the only vehicle Buick offers with seating for six, or more people, in their reduced model lineup. It was first shown as a concept car at the 2006 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, and shares the new General Motors Lambda platform with the GMC Acadia and the Saturn Outlook.
The 2008 Buick Enclave crossover SUV is available in two trim levels, the CX (base MSRP $33,505, base Invoice $31,374) and CXL (base MSRP $33,505, base Invoice $31,374). Both come equipped with a 275-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission, four wheel independent suspension, and front and rear anti-roll bars. Enclave is available in with either a front-wheel (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) system. It competes with the Acura MDX, BMW X5, Ford Taurus X, GMC Acadia, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Veracruz, Lexus RX 350, Mitsubishi Endeavor, Saturn Outlook, Toyota Highlander and the Volvo XC90.
The Buick Enclave has a seven-person seating capacity with power bucket driver and passenger seats with manual driver and passenger seat lumbar support in the FWD versions. Heated seats and four-way driver and passenger seat lumbar support, a memory driver's seat and a leather steering wheel are standard in the AWD version and optional in the FWD.
Other comfort and convenience features in the Buick Enclave include a front-center armrest with storage, dual-zone air conditioning, speed control, speed-sensing power steering, remote keyless entry, power windows, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, variably intermittent wipers (with rear window wiper), rear window defroster, driver's vanity mirror, garage door transmitter, OnStar roadside assistance, power trunk closing assist, and a Global Positioning System (GPS) with voice activation. Instrumentation includes a low tire pressure warning indicator, trip computer, tachometer, and a compass.
The second and third rows have folding bench seats. Bucket seats and benches with split backs and center armrests are optional on both trim levels.
Outside the Enclave has 18" alloy wheels (19" wheels for the all-wheel drive versions), a spoiler, a roof rack (rails only), turn signal indicator mirrors, and heated door mirrors.
Features such as chrome wheels, steering wheel memory, and auto tilt-away steering wheel are optional on the Buick Enclave AWD versions, while features like keyless start and a power moonroof are optional on all trim leve...