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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have 3 kids under 6 to tote around and the lambda platform is a Godsend...the nonminivan/CUV look with 95% of the utility of same; and all in a much more stable and able package!

So, the Saturn Outlook has been the target as we are just about to pull the trigger. But as I tallied my wife's wishes for equipment and features (this will be her new car after all), the total comes in around $35k...and that seems mighty close (within $2k) of an Enclave with same equipment.

So here's what I see as the better alternatives offered in the Buick: Better warranty length and support (more dealers and ability to use more GM locations vs Saturn exclusivity), higher luxury line (even on the CX trim), quieter rider (haven't driven one yet), and...? Anyone see any other glaring differences?

To be honest, I like the lines on the Saturn a little better but when it comes to the interior...Buick made the space very inviting. And since we will use this both for family truckster duty and my wife's business travel...that nice inside environment would pay off in spades.

I grew up learning to drive in my Mom's 77 Electra Limited and then family trips in the 85 Park Avenue...that '85 was a great car...the 77 was, well, it was not GM's shining era other than a nice RWD platform. And then there was Grandpa's 69 Buick Special...V8 in a midsize that would really cruise...but I digress. The point, I'm plenty familiar with the Buick brand and would look forward to the new approach GM is taking...if they can pull off the elusive execution of details.

Input sought...
 

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I really like the Outlook. I have the leather interior, bench seats, advanced audio, you name it except the NAV unit and camera. While the Buick does look very nice I am not as keen on the grill and rear end (same with the Acadia). While you do get more options with the Buick service departments you will probably settle on just one to use. With Saturn, I have had no problems with their service department. They know me by name because they are more exclusive, and make sure that my needs are met. With the Buick you will be (more than likely) just another face as these departments will be working on the other GM cars/trucks. Grant it that I am in a small town and have gotten 2 vehicles from them, but when we lived in Salt Lake City (1.3 million more people) and we bought only one vehicle from them, they still knew who I was and treated us with great respect. I have never gotten that from another GM dealership with the other vehicles I have owned.

The difference between the vehicles is marginal in my opinion with the outside being the biggest difference. For me it would be the follow up service.
 

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We took a a look at the Outlook and I was leaning in that direction but my wife absolutely fell in love with the Enclave. The best advice is to take a back to back test drive of both......you'll either think they are similar enough that it would make more financial sense to go with the Outlook or you'll think they're night and day and end up getting the Enclave. Oh and you can probably get a kick a** deal on an Outlook.

Either way, you can't go wrong.

GL
 

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Bowser, Good Luck what ever you decide. I would definitely drive the E that's what did it for me, and my wife. Say hello to the Shanana guy's. 2MC, a word of caution on those massage chairs got in one at the home show in Feb. had immediate back pain afterwards, and went to a Massage Therapist that week much better now, but I'll never get in one of those again. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Great input from all...thanks very much.

Healthy competition is always one of the best routes I know to pursue. So, armed with the features desired I will see who wants to make this happen the most. Black on black cloth, DVD system, 7 passenger arrangement, and the sunroof/skylight...whether badged a Buick or Saturn, I don't think I can lose on either version of the vehicle.

The extra focus on service operations is definitely a high priority in this. As mentioned by others already here, it is by far the longer and lasting of the experiences you will have with a dealer. I'm still grappling with additional ways to measure unknown service dept experiences upfront in addition to the visits/look-see's and maybe a call or two to measure response and pricing. Overly researching? Maybe...but like I said, I have 3 little ones and a wife I want to spend time with...not a service advisor, endless return trips, and waiting rooms.
 

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Bowzer said:
I'm still grappling with additional ways to measure unknown service dept experiences upfront in addition to the visits/look-see's and maybe a call or two to measure response and pricing. Overly researching? Maybe...but like I said, I have 3 little ones and a wife I want to spend time with...not a service advisor, endless return trips, and waiting rooms.
3 ways you can measure the service: 1) Ask for references from the service department - good and bad - I see it no different than hiring a painter and looking for a reputal person. 2)Call the BBB and ask about their rating and any complaints. 3) Call Buick corporate and ask about the dealer and service department. If there is more than one in town they could also tell you which one has a better rep. You should do all of the above for Saturn as well - even though you may be limited to just one, it would be better know some back ground. There is nothing wrong with research before dumping $30K plus. I did not need to check on my local Saturn. I had them do work on my SW1 when I first moved here and they were honest and upfront about issues and treated me like I bought the car from them - that won me over.

Good luck on your choice, like others have said, you can't really go wrong either way!
 

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My wife and I recently purchased an Enclave CX. This came after her test driving an Acadia at a dealer and my renting an Outlook for a trip from Nashville to Pittsburgh. While I could be happy with any of the 3, I would have to say that the Buick has the more luxurious interior feel and ride. You will find the Enclave significantly quieter inside than its siblings.

Once all the test driving was done, I would rank them as follows:

1. Enclave
2. Outlook
2b. Acadia (the difference in the Saturn and the GMC is not as dramatic as the difference between the Buick and the other two.) Your actual mileage may vary.
 

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We took a a look at the Outlook and I was leaning in that direction but my wife absolutely fell in love with the Enclave.
:ditto:

That was exactly my scenario, and I finally came around. After getting over the "Old Man Buick" image, I am glad we made the switch to the Enclave. I would say you can't go wrong. What swayed me to the Enclave is that I have a PASSION for automobiles and love to turn heads. If your purchase is more emotional than practical, go Enclave. The one negative I could think of is rear visibility with the E over the O, and that's why we got the NAV with rearview camera in the E. Neither of us felt as safe backing up in the E without it. Good luck with your decision and you can always hang out here with us Enclavians either way you go (We are more "fun" than the Saturn crowd) ;D
 

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I checked out the Outlook before I bought the Enclave. What I did was look where the Saturn dealers were, closest to me is 40 miles, and where I might be when I needed service. So many more places to take a Enclave than an Outlook. The Car is much quieter and smoother also.
 

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One other difference that may, or may not, be important to you is the width of the rear liftgate opening. The Enclave opening is narrower than the other Lamdas.
 

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Bowzer said:
I'm still grappling with additional ways to measure unknown service dept experiences upfront in addition to the visits/look-see's and maybe a call or two to measure response and pricing. Overly researching? Maybe...but like I said, I have 3 little ones and a wife I want to spend time with...not a service advisor, endless return trips, and waiting rooms.
Here's a great way to check out the service dept., especially at a Buick store: go in there about 7:30-8:00 in the morning (depending on service hours) and just sit there and strike up a conversation with the folks waiting for their cars. You'll also run into folks dropping off and getting rides to work, etc. Not only will you learn how people like/dislike their vehicles, but you'll find out in 15 minutes if that's the place you want working on your new baby. Works every time.................. ;)
 

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Here is my list..

Buick Enclave Exclusives
• QuietTuning – extra sound insulation (really helps when talking to the kids)
• Extra 12 months/12,000 miles of warranty (4 yrs/48,000)
o Note: This should equate to lower cost extended coverage
• Available Michelin 19 inch Latitude tires (engineered for quiet) last much longer
• Available 20 inch rims (dealer installed - yee haw)
• Available “HID lights that turn with the front wheel

Saturn Outlook notes..
• Fact: Warranty Service can only be performed at a Saturn dealer. Are you close to one? Take long trips? I would hate to see you in rural Texas and break down 300 miles from a Saturn dealer (when there were 3 GMC/Buick dealers around). The dealer would get a tow truck and carry your car 300 miles. When I looked into this I chose Illinois.. I found 11 Saturn dealers in the state - most in Chicago. There were 39 Buick/GMC dealers.
• The Bose stereo sounds so much better than the Outlook stereo. Big difference for me.
 

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Bowser,

"that seems mighty close (within $2k)" If the $2k is not an issue, I'd say go for the Enclave. I went the other way and spent my $2k on a lot of other toys. :cheers:
 

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With three kids I would seriously consider the bench seating if I were you. I'm not sure if they are in car seats now, which might be a pain with the bench. But when they are bigger, you will always have to have at least one seat up in the third row. I LOVE how much room there is behind my second row bench. I almost always have the third seat down, unless I am transporting more than five people.
 

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lewisr said:
Bowser,

"that seems mighty close (within $2k)" If the $2k is not an issue, I'd say go for the Enclave. I went the other way and spent my $2k on a lot of other toys. :cheers:
If you are willing to wait 8-12 weeks, you can probably order an Enclave for less than the Outlook.
What I did was test drive the Outlook, then ask if they would budge on their price. They wouldn't.
I then went down the street and ordered an Enclave at Invoice + Ad Fee. I came out at a little less than the Outlook price. It's all smoke and mirrors.. Try to get the "internet sales rep" off the Buick web site of your ocal dealer. They probably are not on commission and will be happy to order one for you at or near invoice..
 

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For us, the Saturn dealer was an hour away, the Buick dealer less than 10 minutes (less than 2 miles) with a spectacular reputation.

Otherwise, the Buick has the better warranty (a biggie for me), super quiet 19" specially made for it Michelin tires available, standard Xenon lighting, and a better ride.

I could live with either look, but my wife liked the Buick's styling a lot more.

TM
 

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Park them nose to nose, walk 100 feet away, turn around and open your eyes ... ;D
 

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newtobuick said:
Park them nose to nose, walk 100 feet away, turn around and open your eyes ... ;D
GOOD one, ntb! I kept telling my wife that the Enclave was MUCH sexier than the Outlook and I was beginning to fall in love (she just rolled her eyes) :eek:hno:
 

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Go with the Enclave. Once you load up either the outlook or the Acadia, you are near the same price... We bought the enclave and one of the main reasons, other than the looks, was because of service location (My wife's car also) Did not like having to service the Saturn only at Saturn locations. We absolutely love the enclave. 1,500 miles so far.
 
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