Rolling in Luxury with the Buick Enclave

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I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it here before. We have two vehicles. Both older (2002 and 2004), however, one of them only seats 4 people. It only has 4 seat belts. This can be a problem considering we are a family of FIVE! When our van needs to be serviced, we have to figure out who is going to take it and then everybody else has to stay home.

Needless to say, we are saving for our next vehicle (cash only, so it might be a while).

When we learned we would be going to Disney World, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try out a new car. What better way to test it out, then an 8 hour drive each way with the family.

We were given the chance to try out the Buick Enclave, touted as a Luxury Crossover SUV.

Buick Enclave Review

{image from the Buick site}

When it was dropped off, the girls were so very excited. The first words were “this car is awesome” and “wow, this is fabulous!” (note to self, never take them with us to negotiate car pricing). They were quite happy to check out the new ride and wanted their seats in it to go right away.

Buick Enclave Review

The first thing they noticed was the DVD player built in. We don’t have one and it sure made life easier. We didn’t have to set it up, bend around backwards to advance the disc or anything. Even better? Bluetooth headphones so we didn’t have to listen to Secret of the Wings for the fifth time!

Instead, we rocked out to satellite radio. A little Journey to kick off the trip. It was so nice to be able to listen to music while the girls watched the movie, and neither of us disturbed the other.

Buick Enclave Review

Right under the radio? Those little buttons display in the dashboard all types of goodies, compass, tire air pressure and more. It also had built in navigation which came in super handy (it just didn’t tell us that we were going through a toll booth that was exact change only. Thanks for that Florida. We’re still waiting for our ticket.)

There is a glare on the screen because of the super sweet sunroof and 2nd row skylight. The girls thought it was so cool how they could see out the top of the car.

Buick Enclave Review

Something that was nice was the blind spot alerts. When you turned it on, if there was a car in your blind, spot, a picture lit up on the side mirror to let you know there was a car there and that you shouldn’t change lanes.

Also an interesting tidbit? Turns out the lovebugs really like the car, too. Doesn’t last long, their love, though.

Buick Enclave Review

My favorite feature? The backup camera. Not only did it show everything, but it also showed where the car would go (the red, yellow and green lines) based on how you turned the steering wheel. Our driveway is the weirdest angle and impossible for me to back up without running over the grass. This made it a dream. I hope my next car has this feature.

Buick Enclave Review

Mr. Serious’ favorite feature? The cooled (and heated) seats. I thought it felt a little strange, but since he’s always hot and I’m always cold, it was a nice way to balance us out. In addition, we had our own separate controls for the AC.

The seats were okay comfy. The headrest kept forcing my head forward into an uncomfortable place. I kept fighting with it and I won, but I felt like every time I got back in, it had moved again. I also had a hard time adjusting the steering wheel. I wanted it to go higher and it wouldn’t. It actually blocked the top of the speedometer from my view. And, I’m only 5’5″. The center console was something I wasn’t used to. I typically like being able to reach into the back, and this made it a little harder to get to the girls. We all survived and there weren’t any meltdowns, but I like the option of it being a little more open there.

Buick Enclave Review

I’ve got the DVD screen down here so you can see it. It wasn’t a problem at all for the oldest in the third row to see it just as well as the middle daughter in the middle row. E didn’t get to watch because she’s still rear-facing, but she didn’t complain. Maybe she saw in her mirror?

Buick Enclave Review

The third row seat folds down in a 1/3rd 2/3rd arrangement. We were hoping to maximize space for our suitcases and have just the 1/3rd up. However, it was impossible to buckle the seat belt around the booster seat. I couldn’t do it helping her, we had to flip it. It worked out well because we were able to set snacks on the seat next to her that she could help distribute as needed.

The cargo space is much smaller than what we are used to in our van. If you notice above in the picture of the girls, the suitcases were stacked all the way to the top. We only had three suitcases, a backpack and two bags as well as an umbrella stroller and snacks and it was a tight squeeze. We even ended up leaving a bag at home (unintentionally) because there wasn’t enough room for it.

Buick Enclave Review

The Buick Enclave can potentially seat 7 people. Surprisingly, the seats were very spacious. Even with our larger Britax Boulevard seat in the second row rear-facing, Mr. Serious could comfortably sit in the passenger seat.

When we pushed the accelerator, the car went, which is super nice when you are driving on the freeway and might need to get around something quickly. It was a pretty smooth ride, however, it did have a little more of a truck feel with the suspension (maybe because it’s a little higher off the ground) in comparison to our minivan.

Overall, we decided this could be a good second car for us, but since we have a bigger family, we drive more than fly on longer trips and need a lot of cargo space for all of our “stuff”. The only way to make that work better would be adding a shell on the top (which could always be an option). The Buick Enclave is a very nice SUV and we all enjoyed the added features of a luxury vehicle. It was definitely hard to get back in the van, but we all adjusted.

Thank you to GM for allowing us to borrow the Buick Enclave for a week on our trip to Disney World. All thoughts are 100% my own. No compensation was received.

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16 Comments

  1. We checked out the Enclave when we went to the car show and really liked it. I’m very impressed with the way Buicks are made now. I used to think of them as “grandpa” cars but not anymore!

  2. Wow! We have 4 kids. I wish I could test drive one too. Sounds like a good fit for our family.

  3. This Buick Enclave looks great! I’d love to ride around in this too! How fun. You kiddos are so cute!

  4. Oooh nice! There’s just something about those little “extras” that really make a car special. The back-up camera and the blind spot features are really wonderful for families (and I imagine came in quite handy on the rare instances that your girls were chattering away). I was pretty sold on the Kia Optima Hybrid for my next car, but this looks like a great option, too.

  5. I’ve only driven a crossover once and for my purposes, it was more than roomy enough and so comfortable to drive. I can see how it would be a little cramped with the luggage of a family though.

    I LOVE the blind spot indicator!

  6. I love the back-up camera and navigation features!

  7. This sounds like a great car. I know my kids would be thrilled with it.

  8. That looks like one nice and very functional, and family-friendly vehicle! (I’ve never driven or owned a Buick!) I like the “bells and whistles” in that vehicle!

  9. grandma pat says:

    When Joe was car shopping for a new vehicle for me he went to look at an Enclave. He said it was really nice and I would like it. When the time comes and I do get a new vehicle I am going to start looking at these first.

  10. thanks for the review… we need a bigger vehicle … just dont know what to get ;0

  11. The Enclave is really nice, I had no idea. We will be looking at cars soon and I will put this on the list for a test drive. I likey.

  12. Looks very spacious and nice in the inside! I look all of the buttons.

  13. Kristina S says:

    Nice!i bet it was a lot of fun for the whole family testing that vehicle

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