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I was very excited to get a call today that the Enclaves had arrived at the dealer today, so I went for a test drive in a loaded CXL AWD. Here are my impressions:

1) Exterior: Really, really nice. Everything about it is beautiful - the chrome surrounds around the taillights, the blue rings on the Xenons, the substantial nose, the side sculpting. They did a great job.
2) Interior: Again, really nice. I didn't find the wood to be bad, as some have suggested. I saw both the tan and the black. The tan is nice, the black is a little too black. I guess the two tone schemes worked better in my opinion. The 2nd row pass through is great, since I have two baby seats and the slide system becomes useless. Easy access to a fairly large 3rd row.

Now, the 4 bad points - IN MY OPINION

1) Immediately leaving the lot, I noticed the steering was way over-assisted. A totally disconnected feeling. Also, the steering ratio is really high - you need a significant amount of angle to make a turn compared to my Murano. And the steering wheel is too thin. All this combines to make a bad experience in the steering department.
2) The engine has no torque. You press the pedal, and it gets noisier, but not much happens. This is a big heavy vehicle, so while the engine specs look good, it doesn't quite translate. Also, while the Enclave is indeed quiet while cruising, the engine in loud when accelerating (or trying too).
3) Ride is quite soft and mushy. It reminded me that it was a Buick. I was hoping that they were getting away from that image, but its there. Comfy though, but there should be a little sportiness involved.
4) The deal killer - my wife is 5'0". She could not find a comfortable driving position. The seat does not go high enough to see adequately over that large hump over the gauges. She was straining her neck trying to see. The Enclave does not offer adjustable pedals, so she was forced to move the seat so far forward that her arms were cramped up to the steering wheel. Yes, the telescoping wheel was all the way in. The dealer tried his best, than said it was a problem. The Saturn guy said no adjustable pedals was stupid as well, especially since the Aura had them.

So while seeing it in person, and the specs, pictures, and brochures all look good - I am not sold on driving dynamics and my wife can't even drive it.

Its a shame - it is so beautiful, and I like GM and want to support Bob Lutz, who I admire greatly. The interior is great - I went back to Outlook which I previously said had a nice interior, and now it looks cheap.

Anyway - flame away.


Derek
 

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Some of this is because you're used to the Murano.

Similar torque but with about a half-ton less mass to accelerate, the Murano's engine is going to feel stronger.

Steering--I used to go for relatively heavy steering. But the effort in my small Mazda is low, and I've now gotten acclimated to light steering. The Enclave's isn't nearly as communicative as my Mazda's, but it's not bad. Just want to say that with more miles you might find the steering a non-issue.

The Outlook and Acadia do feel a little tauter, though the Murano's suspension is considerably firmer than any of them, if memory serves. Sounds like you much prefer the look of the Enclave inside and out, though.

The insurmountable issue would be the seating position for your wife. Nothing to be done there.
 

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Ohlarikd, I'm really sorry that you was disapointed. I think the Enclave is a beauty, and it just might take a little while. :blob:
Let me tell youse about my day. I've been waiting to drive an Enclave on the road, so this morning my Dealer called and said he had one and he wanted me to come down and drive it. When I arrived, The Enclave was just turning into the Dealer's parking lot. Someone else had taken it out for a test drive. I went out and sat down in it and adjusted the seat and was ready to drive. Would you believe They bought that (expletive deleted) Enclave before I could test drive it. It was Cocoa with Cashmere interior. I really wasn't interested in buying it, because it wasn't fully appointed, but I at least would like to have driven it. :banghead: Now I'll have to wait until the next one comes in but since they received their first one, maybe they will start rolling in. :banghead: I did take a few pictures and maybe I can get them posted with the help of Admin.
 
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Derek - put your flame suit away! ;) You are totally entitled to give whatever opinion you had during your test drive, good or bad. In fact, you brought up some very good issues that will surely help others decide whether the Enclave is right for them or not. I also think you've hit upon a shortcoming that a few others on the Acadia forum have pointed out - the lack of adjustable pedals really can be a deal breaker for extremely short drivers. Being forced to sit TOO close to the steering wheel can actually be dangerous with airbags (albeit slightly less so with modern 2 stage ones, but still).

Maybe some of our GM insiders will read this and take that info back to HQ. It's never too early to start planning for MY 2009 updates :)
 

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Many thanks to you Admin. Taking the pictures, and having you post them for me was probably the few bright spots in my day. I was told again today it might be as late as July or August before the Enclaves arrive with the rear Console.:blob:
 

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rocketman said:
Ohlarikd, I'm really sorry that you was disapointed. I think the Enclave is a beauty, and it just might take a little while. :blob:
Let me tell youse about my day. I've been waiting to drive an Enclave on the road, so this morning my Dealer called and said he had one and he wanted me to come down and drive it. When I arrived, The Enclave was just turning into the Dealer's parking lot. Someone else had taken it out for a test drive. I went out and sat down in it and adjusted the seat and was ready to drive. Would you believe They bought that (expletive deleted) Enclave before I could test drive it. It was Cocoa with Cashmere interior. I really wasn't interested in buying it, because it wasn't fully appointed, but I at least would like to have driven it. :banghead: Now I'll have to wait until the next one comes in but since they received their first one, maybe they will start rolling in. :banghead: I did take a few pictures and maybe I can get them posted with the help of Admin.

gheez rocketman,

you are just having the worst time trying to get to drive this car..... :help: :sosad:
 

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Yeah but, good things comes to those that wait ! Isn't that the old sayin ??? :blob:
 

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I actually thought quite the opposite on your complaints, but we were coming from an 03 Expedition. As we have been saying - that's why we have choices. :cheers:
 

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I think these are all valid observations. The steering is very much assisted. I noticed that right away. My wife liked it and I was OK with it. It seemed to respond OK enough. I went around some corners pretty quick and it recovered nicely. However, I didn’t get a chance to dodge any obstacles or anything like that.

I recall that the steering wheel did feel a little thinner than normal. Not too much different than the Accord but a little different. I thought maybe it was just because of the wood. That kind of stuff really isn’t a big deal though. I went from a Mitsubishi Eclipse to a Honda Accord about 6 years ago and the first thing that struck me about the Accord was how small the steering wheel was in comparison to the Eclipse. It actually really bothered me at first, but I got used to it after about a week. Once I got used to it, it seemed perfectly normal. I remember it popping into my mind much later and wondering if perhaps the Eclipse’s steering wheel in retrospect was maybe overly bulky because the Accord’s now seemed completely fine to me. Maybe it was or maybe it wasn’t, but that just shows how easily I had adjusted to the difference with no problems.

I would say though that if you want a sporty feel to your CUV then the Enclave is not the one. I personally don’t think I want to “feel” the road in a vehicle designed to haul 7-8 adults/kids around. My wife would be using it mostly during the week and she likes the easy going ride. Also, I want quiet and comfort for day trips, etc. My only concern is whether or not I’ll be able to get that punch of acceleration when I need it. Hopefully it’s something they can tweak in the software and not an issue with the engine not having enough juice to do it.

I’ll try to go for the sportier feel when we replace the other car. I like the thought of having the change of pace. My wife got to drive it too and she is about 5’ 2” or so. She liked the seating position saying it pretty much felt like she was driving a car even though the vehicle is big. It could be that maybe she was at the limit of comfortable height adjustment though.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the respectful responses guys - I'm on some other forums full of kids and every post turns into a war. This is a welcome change.

So yeah, part of the issue is that I am not use to it. I wonder if I ever would - but it could happen. But I am not sure I want to get use to it. I want something that I feel I have some control over, which i didn't get with the Enclave. Maybe I am use to the tighter and smaller Murano (which I thought was loose and slow until I drove the Enclave). After getting back into that after the test drive, I noticed the improvement right away.

The real problem for me is, the Lambda's have the exact configuration I need, the 2nd row pass through with a fold down third row and space behind that 3rd row - that is not a monstrous Expedition EL, Yukon, or Armada. There really aren't any other choices, except the 08 Highlander, which looks smaller to me than the Lambdas.

I really wanted this car to work out. The good news I guess is that these issues can all be addresses easily - I hope they do.

Derek
 

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Don't give up yet. Give the Enclave a second chance. My wife is only around 5"2" and she loves it. Even though we have one on order from our preferred dealer, we've gone two other dealers and have driven it since our guy didn't have one. The second time we came away more impressed than the first time and we ordered one after the first time. It's a whole new design and is suppose to drive like nothing else. My suggestion is to go drive it again and if you can, drive both awd and fwd like I have. We ordered fwd. I also have driven the Outlook and Acadia and for us the Enclave stood out above the others. The 4yr-50000 mile warranty is just a added bonus vs Outlook & Acadia's 3yr-36000. I think that the more you look at it, you'll come to the same decision that we did. Good Luck!!
 
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You didn't mention whether you test drove another Lambda or not, but if you haven't, you might try an Acadia or Outlook, especially if you can find one with 19s. They will have better grip and according to most reports from those that have driven both, they have a little more taught/less "cushy" ride than the Enclave (by design, I'd guess). It won't solve your adjustable pedals issue, but it might significantly ease your steering and handling concerns. Then maybe buy your wife some 4 inch clogs and you're set! :woot:
 

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I just picked mine up, and have now driven 100 miles and I don't find it cushy. And my CAR is a RX8, about the best handling car today. Remember this thing is way better than a minivan.

My wite is also 5 ft and is on the border of feeling confortable. So Buick if your listening... add adjustable pedals soon.

I was very impressed with the smoothness and quietness. The surround sound on the DVD is awsome. And yes the touque feels light but I bet its more the trany shift points. I hope they continue to work on them. The headlights are awsome and its interesting to watch them move when you turn.
 

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could you post pics of the headlight aim when you are turning?
 

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I'll try. Maybe hard to tell.

Hey Admin, anyway to add Video?
 

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ItsaBuick? said:
I was very impressed with the smoothness and quietness. The surround sound on the DVD is awsome. And yes the touque feels light but I bet its more the trany shift points. I hope they continue to work on them.
The shift points are being worked on. It's not so much that it's light on torque, but that the trans takes a bit too much time getting to the appropriate gear to deliver the torque that is there. I just got back from a nice little road trip with some trans improvements in the Enclave I was driving. Still not quite there, but getting very close.
 

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good to hear. This is one really, really great vehicle. It kept me from buying a Lexus or Honda. So you know it's good.
 

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Gmoney.

The headlight that is on the side that you are turning seems to move 15 degrees in the direction you are turning. The other side seems to be about 5 degrees. I definately saw 3 deer last night much earlier than I would in older headlight systems. VERY nice headlights! Even in comparison to HID's on my RX8.
 
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