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So Car and Driver did a review of 3 row crossovers. The Enclave did not impress.


TL;DR: The interior isn't worth $50k

They loved the Hyundai/Kia twins, hated the Explorer, and have always liked the CX-9.

Has Buick blown it with the Enclave? Best I can find it's selling well. On pace for about 50,000 in 2019.

 

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Some valid points in the article, but it seems like they based their poor assessment mostly on the cheap sunroof covers and their inability to figure out how to order a pizza. I agree that there are areas for improvement in the Enclave interior, and it would be nice to have some of the Palisade's features and lower price in the Enclave, but I think I would still take the better passenger space, more attractive exterior styling (IMO), larger cargo room behind the third row, longer wheelbase, and ride and handling of my Avenir over all the others if I had to do it again.
 

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I tend to ignore C&D when it comes to reviews of SUV's because they want everything to be sporty and what ever vehicle is the sportiest usually wins. That's a great formula if you're looking at sports cars, or if deep down you want a sports car but life necessitates you own an SUV and you want to sadly pretend it's sporty. For the majority of people though they don't care if their three row SUV is sporty. When I want to go fast I take my S5, when I want to haul a bunch of people or tow a trailer I take my wife's Enclave and I'm much more interested in how smooth and quiet it rides vs how fast I can take an exit ramp. We had a CX-9 before the Enclave and yes, hands down it was a sportier ride. It was also harsher and louder and those things matter a lot more to be that being marginally sportier when it comes to my people/stuff hauler. While the CX-9 was quite a bit sportier than the Enclave when you hopped out of the CX-9 and into a real sports car you had to laugh at the CX-9's attempt at being sporty. It was the 45 year old man wearing tight jeans and a Tommy H shirt. Sure, he looks a little younger than 45 but he looks kinda like a tool at the same time. The Enclave on the other hand knows it's 45, isn't trying to be 25 and the result is people aren't laughing at it behind it's back.

All that said, I would never consider a Gen 2 Enclave when it comes time to trade in our Gen 1. For the reasons C&D listed... it's just not very good compared to the competition. He11, after checking one out closely at the dealer it's not even on par with the Gen 1 quality of materials wise. $50k will buy you a lot more SUV picking from the competitors lots.
 

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All that said, I would never consider a Gen 2 Enclave when it comes time to trade in our Gen 1. For the reasons C&D listed... it's just not very good compared to the competition. He11, after checking one out closely at the dealer it's not even on par with the Gen 1 quality of materials wise. $50k will buy you a lot more SUV picking from the competitors lots.
Noted, but for those of us with larger families the little bit of extra space in the Enclave makes a difference, and we therefore have to compromise on the interior quality unfortunately.

Buick could have had a class winner with the 2nd generation Enclave, but stupidly decided to go cheap in some areas so that their idiotic execs could take home a few million more per year.
 

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Having owned a CX-9 previous to the Enclave, there are some trade offs from one to the other. I'm happy with my Enclave, but I did prefer my CX-9 overall. I liked the ride and handling way better, and the power was on par. Interior space is quite different. With 3 kids, the Enclave with 2nd row captain chairs and no console, its much more convenient for one getting to the third row. The mazda had a bench, split fold and slide. Although the Enclave has more room behind the third row, we still have to drop a seat for the hockey bags and sticks. My oldest, at 6'3", said he had more leg room in the 3rd row in the Mazda.(he's 16, doesn't listen when I tell him to sit in the 2nd row!) We took both to Orlando and back... kids liked the Enclave (rear DVD helped alot), but I found fuel economy took a substantial hit in comparison. I like that I have the capability of towing more now with the Enclave, though I have yet to utilize that (CX-9 pulled 3500lbs, factory equipped)
All in all, very comparable vehicles. Biggest beef with the Enclave, that unique bolt pattern... pain for finding winter wheels! (mazda is very common 5x114.3, and a common tire size)
As for the Korean vehicles... first impressions may look good, but will they stand up over time??
 

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I don't trust car magazines for making car buying decisions. Some of what they said was true, however. I did step into a new Enclave at the car show and I prefer the interior of my Gen 1 2009 Enclave. I mean like the other guy said, I wouldn't trade my Enclave for a new one. Add all the reliability issues of my Enclave, if anything I will trade it for a Toyota or Honda.
 
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