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Discussion Starter #1
I was able to test drive an Enclave CX and an Acadia SLT-2 back to back today. Not entirely comparable, since the Acadia was much more loaded up and shod with the 19s. But good enough to note the differences between the two.

In short, the Buick is significantly quieter inside. Engine noise is much lower, and wind and road noise are also lower. The Acadia is far from loud, but the Buick is extremely quiet.

The Enclave also rides a bit more smoothly, even accounting for the 18s vs. 19s (I've driven an Outlook with the 18s before, and the Saturn and GMC share suspension tuning). The Acadia has just a slight edge in handling after accounting for the tire difference. The 19s have significantly more grip than the 18s.

For most people, I think the Enclave's suspension strikes a better balance. It handles about 90% as well, while having a more premium feel courtesy of the lower noise levels and more polished ride quality.

In terms of exterior styling, I find myself preferring the Acadia. The Buick looks a bit pudgy in production trim, especially with the 18s. The styling requires larger wheels; it will look better with the optional 19s. But either one is among the most attractive large crossovers available right now. Best of all, GM has achieved two totally different looks, something they used to say was not practical or even possible with SUVs.

Inside, I also prefer the Acadia. As I've said before, the materials used in the Buick aren't as good as they need to be to deliver on the interior styling's upscale promise. The impression is much the same as with cheap furniture that strives to appear expensive through ornate detailing. Few are actually fooled, and the result actually looks cheaper than it would have without the extra bling. Bits I'd especially like the see upgraded: the overly shiny vinyl on the doors and the fake wood trim. Is there an alternative to the blonde faux maple?

The Acadia had the HUD. Love it. I've criticized the Grand Prix GTP/GXP for not having a tach in the HUD. Well, there is one in the Acadia, along with a gear readout.

I'm actually a fan of the thumb rocker gear selector. But the transmission is slow to respond. The number changes right away, the transmission itself not nearly as quickly.

I'll be posting full reviews of both over at Epinions.com within the next week. I'll add links when I do.
 

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Looking forward for the full review.

MotorWeek is also going to air First Drive report on the Enclave starting June 15 (Episode # 2641). Check your local PBS lisiting for the timings.
 

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Nice comparison. I agree with most of it.

The only comment that I really take issue with is regarding the interior materials. I find them to be superior, particulary when compared to the Acadia - at least on my CXL. The Enclave is basically the same price as the Acadia when configured as our vehicle is. I am not sure what is meant by "upscale promise". If Buick was charging more for the vehicle I could maybe see that point, but they do not.

Regarding exterior styling - it is obviously subjective. I prefer the Enclaves. The Acadia to me is less elegant, more truckish, which one would expect from GMC. I have the 19" chrome wheels on mine and I think they match the styling quite well. The "pudgy" looks works for me.
 
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Thanks for the teaser comparo mkaresh! I look forward to the full reviews. I'm still waiting to see a production Enclave in person. The only one I've seen was the concept at the DCauto show in January, and you couldn't get within three feet of it, and certainly not inside. I, too, prefer the Acadia exterior, but I'm also extremely happy GM decided to give us two very distinctive body styles on the Lambdas. I think it will help appeal to a much wider audience. There will be some that prefer the truck-like Acadia, other who prefer the slightly more euro sporty Outlook, and still others who like the curvier elegance of the Enclave. rather than the Tahoe/Yukon clones who share everything but a badge, this offers some real alternative ways to enjoy this fantastic crossover!

BTW, from monitoring my ads, stats and click-throughs, the enclave forum is currently getting about 3 TIMES the attention of first time viewers compared to the Acadia site!! Of course, this just came out of the gates and has quite a bit of press coverage these days. Still, very promising for Buick!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
zman said:
Nice comparison. I agree with most of it.

The only comment that I really take issue with is regarding the interior materials. I find them to be superior, particulary when compared to the Acadia - at least on my CXL. The Enclave is basically the same price as the Acadia when configured as our vehicle is. I am not sure what is meant by "upscale promise". If Buick was charging more for the vehicle I could maybe see that point, but they do not.

Regarding exterior styling - it is obviously subjective. I prefer the Enclaves. The Acadia to me is less elegant, more truckish, which one would expect from GMC. I have the 19" chrome wheels on mine and I think they match the styling quite well. The "pudgy" looks works for me.
As I stated, it looks much better with the 19s.

By the "promise," the Acadia's interior styling suggests that it is a mainstream SUV interior. So mid-level materials are appropriate. The Buick's interior styling, on the other hand, suggests an upscale vehicle. I feel they should have fitted it with suitably higher grade materials--equivalent to those in a Lexus, or at least an Acura--and charged a bit more for the vehicle, as everyone expected they would.

Instead, it has the same grade of interior materials as the GMC, and the same price. As a result, the Enclave pretends to be a premium vehicle rather than truly being a premium vehicle.

Which isn't saying you're not getting a great vehicle for the price. You are. Clearly if the interior was nicer the price would have to be higher.
 

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Your right. I felt the interior was not as comfortable from a material selection as a Lexus or
Acura. I wonder why. It the cost difference that big?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Two reasons:

1. There cost difference is in the thousands. You can do a lot in an interior with a thousand bucks.

2. Old habits die hard. GM is having a hard time believing that if it spends more on interiors, that people will actually pay more for the cars. They're giving it a true shot with Cadillac, compared to the relatively mild upgrade in other GM brands. If this pays off for Cadillac, maybe it'll trickle down to the other brands.
 

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Yes the old what is the customer willing to pay for. Where have I heard that before vs. build it and they will come.
 

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Thanks for clarifying my confusion.

I personally was thrilled that the Enclave was the same price point as the Acadia. I am not sure I would have paid that $X,000 premium for nicer interior materials. In fact, everyone who has seen my Enclave comments on how nice the materials are. Keep in mind that a lot of my friends are not Lexus/BMW owners. We are more Ford, Toyota, Honda, etc owners. I would lump Acura into my category also - I do not see anything particularly special about their interiors. I think someone shopping a Buick is going to be more price concious than say a Lexus buyer. I think the Enclave strikes a nice compromise between a certain level of luxury and practicality/frugality.

Admin - I agree 100% with your comment on differentiating the three vehicles. One of my major gripes with GM's of the past was the simple re-badging of the same vehicle. I think that is one of the reasons that the Enclave stuck out for me. I think the styling was clearly differentiated from the other two vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yep. No way to tell they're related just by looking at them.

I must say it was quite sad to drive the Enclave at a newly consolidated dealership. The old Buick store now has Hondas in it. This is in Metro Detroit.
 

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INTERESTING,

I WENT TO EPINIONS.COM TO CHECK OUT WHAT BEING SAID ABOUT THE ENCLAVE. THEY HAVE THE CAR LISTED AS AN 07 ???. I FIND THAT STRANGE SINCE THE CAR IS NOT OFFICIALLY SCHEDULED TO COME OUT UNTIL LATE MAY/JUNE OF 07 AS AN 08. BEFORE SOMEONE TRIES TO WRITE A REVIEW I THINK THEY SHOULD GET THE FACTS STRAIGHT FIRST. IT'S AN 08 NOT AN 07.

RECHECK THE FACTS JACK :help: :confused:
 
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Nothing really surprises me at epinions.com. They range from top notch reviewers to barely literate buffoons reviewing and rating products there. You can never be sure which one you're gonna get.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
mss42 said:
INTERESTING,

I WENT TO EPINIONS.COM TO CHECK OUT WHAT BEING SAID ABOUT THE ENCLAVE. THEY HAVE THE CAR LISTED AS AN 07 ???. I FIND THAT STRANGE SINCE THE CAR IS NOT OFFICIALLY SCHEDULED TO COME OUT UNTIL LATE MAY/JUNE OF 07 AS AN 08. BEFORE SOMEONE TRIES TO WRITE A REVIEW I THINK THEY SHOULD GET THE FACTS STRAIGHT FIRST. IT'S AN 08 NOT AN 07.

RECHECK THE FACTS JACK :help: :confused:
Epinions unfortunately uses a clueless supplier to provide its product listings. You'll also find a 2007 Toyota Supra in there. I've been beating on them about these errors for three years, and only recently are there signs they might fix them.

I can add new listings, but I can't remove erroneous ones. I'll add the 2008 in the next few days.

As for the quality of the reviews, anyone can post a review, so quality will be much like what you'll find at a forum :)
 
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mkaresh said:
As for the quality of the reviews, anyone can post a review, so quality will be much like what you'll find at a forum :)
That's exactly right, but for some reason, epinions.com generally conveys a different attitude than a "regular" forum. Seems like people expect a forum to run the gamut on opinion and replies, but time and again I hear people claiming something from epinions as "fact", as if every reviewer there has been screened and found to be an expert in their subject.. much like wikipedia, but without its self-correcting "wisdom of the masses".
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Most people judge the expertise of the reviewer based on how much they agree with the review.
 
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