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Discussion Starter #1
Background:

Everyone, I am an Acura 03 MDX owner that is about 70% leaning towards a Mazda CX-9. I recently heard about this forum and I hope everyone will take my post positively - it is in fact filled with some HUGE positives for the Enclave. Please read on. . .

OK, I have heard (via internet mainly) quite a bit about the Enclave - it is getting some fantastic accolades and lots of orders (for Buick) And, I have a soft spot for Buicks - I owned a very fine 1970 Buick Gran Sport 455 Stage I mscle car and a 1986 Buick T-Type (3.8 V6 turbo) that were both incredible, for what they were.

And, my Dad always liked big American iron from th days of the 56 Buick Specials and the Olds Super 88s and the 98s of the 50's and 60's - honestly, those cars above all have some very very nice qualities - IMO, of course.

So, the Enclave:


Outside:

Probably the best looking SUV I have seen, honestly. The piant and fit and finish is incredible - deep and lusterous - I saw a red one and a white one - the paint is deep and incredible - the lines, the chrome - everything is Lexus/BMW/Audi quality and above. And, I would like to remind everyone - I am a BMW nut (have owned 6 and ciurrently drive a 2002 M5), so I have an appreciateion for some nicely built cars.

Interior:

Also, pretty darn nice - up there with the quality of everything I have seen iin the hifghest end SUVs, but you have to like the old American car spirit that embodies some of the great american cars (like I mentioned above) - the interior has a little bit of a retro feel - ie. it has a very nice analog clock prominently displayed in the frt. dash - it is not tacky. And, the size of this thing inside is, well, pretty darn enormous compared to most other SUVs - and I thought the CX-9 was spacious!

The whole effect of the gorgeous exterior and high quality lux interior works together - it is honest about what it is trying to accomplish!

OK, the ride and handling

Well, it was better than I expected (I was expected a big ol lumbering yukon-ish-suburban like wallowing beast), and the ride was honest considering the size and substance of this machine (it is a substantial piece of iron). It took off with a decent amt of zip and the engine and tranny seemed well matched to the weight of the vehicle. It is consistent with a luxury vehicle - a solid and EXTREMELY quiet ride. Did I mention to you how quiet and cushy and solid it is - it is amazing - every bump was handled with SHERMAN tank like dominance with no hint of a rattle, skeak or weakness.

Performance? Well, now let's just skip this little bit shall we? Well, actually, if you are going to consider an Enclave, you do have to kinda skip the performance comparison - that is if if you want to measure it in 0 - 60, 1/4 mile, top speed, or G force on a skid pad type measurements, because it simply doesn't have much here - nothing like my 70 Buick GS or the Regal Turbo I had.

But, if you have been bitten by the Enclave allure created by the gorgeous exterior, interior, combined with a definite conveyance of "quality luxury cruiser",, then I can see why alot of people might be able to overlook handling in the realm of a CX-9, MDX, X5, Cayenne or Q7. It is simply not designed to meet these types of SUVs head on. Don't try to compare here at all - Buick doesn't, and is honest about it.

Could I own an Enclave? You bet I could. Will I choose one over a CX-9 or an MDX? More than likely not, but my wife will decide. Why do I think the Enclave will not ultimately get the nod from my wife? She (and I) like performance and efficiency too much )over drop dead gorgeous luxury). And, even though the Enclave would draw tons of looks and would be a blast to "cruise" around in - it doesn't fit the main driver of our car - my wife - who is all about Zoom Zoom here and Zip Zip there with our kids and she likes to do it pretty aggressively without getting bogged down with excess size or trips to the pump.

But if I could have two SUVs (which of course would be stupid)? Mmm, I am thinking a CX-9 and an Enclave would be certainly cool!!!

Thx! :cheers:

Steve
 

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Thanks Steve -- that is a well balanced and informative review...I had no problem with performance, but I drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee, so maybe it is what you are used to...

I really like hearing both the good and not so good, so thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts!!!

Lisa
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Reliability is tough to sort out:

In 2005 Consumer reports named Mazda the most consistently reliable brand.

This year there was a European based study that also ranked Mazda number one. See http://paultan.org/archives/2007/01/...ue-table-2007/

JD Powers is a joke (IMO). JD Powers ranks Hyundai near the top....lol. In Canada the public perception is that Mazda reliabliity is every bit as good as Honda, Toyota, Acura, etc...the US general perception of Mazda hasn't reached those levels yet.

buickguy said:
Nice write-up. You might want to consider Mazda's low dependability ratings before choosing the CX-9 over the Enclave.

http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/prnewswire/LATH02109082007-1.htm

It's near the bottom, wallowing with the likes of Kia.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
BUICKGUY,

I am curious:

1) Why do you think JD Powers is less biased than Consumer Reports? Please site real data if possible.

2) What Buicks have you enjoyed that you feel represent a "fine" automobile? I listed a few of my favorite Buicks above and I could name more and I could detail their merits and weaknesses.

3) Have you ever ever owned a Japanese vehicle? If so, what were the merits and/or weaknesses of it?

4) How about German?

buickguy said:
I think Consumer Reports is the joke, historically biased towards Japanese automakers.
 

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I have long given up on any, and I mean any, consumer reports and reliability ratings. I could be wrong (like I was once in September 1982 I think), but I doubt it. I work in sales and have seen some of the worst computers, photocopiers etc (that I sold) make #1 in these magazines even when it took 3 evaluation units to get one to work at those JD/Consumer/BS. I know people who have had Fords all their lives and never an issue serious enough to make them leave. I know a couple who are on the 8th year of their Hyundai SUV without a hitch (go figure). My sister will never buy a Toyota again after 4 unsuccessful repair attempts, for the same problem, and plenty of run-around. My "significant other" owns a beautiful Lexus RX330 and it has been problem free...but..they were tottaly screwing her on service until she contacted Lexus Inc and another dealer (replacing filters and things that are not required). They nailed her about $300 extra per service visit twice per year. Buying a new car is hit and miss but you have a 75% chance of having a good experience with the worst manufacturer and over 95% with the more notables. Just decide what looks hot, rides nice, will make the neighbours jelous or whatever...then roll the dice...and enjoy. What do you think? Too easy going?

If you feel must to check a source, just ask a few people in the grocery store parking lot and save yourself the price of the magazine.
 

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Hmmmmmm, this is all very interesting dialogue, and a great new topic.

But it's mostly a sentimental thing for me, so AlanD made me feel much better. :cheers:
 

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Sarends,

We had very similar thoughts on the MDX, CX-9, and Enclave. See my original post -

http://www.enclaveforum.net/index.php?topic=475.0

The CX-9 was our second choice, but it was a close call. It came down to weighing handling and performance in the CX-9 versus more flexibility, interior packaging, and luxury touches. For our situation, a larger more flexible interior fit the bill and the luxury upgrades that can be had in the Enclave over the CX-9 were an added bonus. The Mazda is a fine option, good luck with it -- and the in coming 2008 adds some more power and a few other features to improve on what we looked at.
 

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1. Consumer Reports bias is well documented. Just google it. JD Power surveys owners, CR surveys readers.
2. I have owned German, (three BMWs) and loved them. I recently switched to Buick after the Velite caught my eye and the fact that Buick ranks consisently in the top 5 of JD Power.
3. My parents drove Buicks and I loved their cars: Park Avenue, Electras and a Roadmaster Wagon.
4. I have never bought a Japanese car. They lack pizazz, heritage and look a lot alike to me.


I am currently awaiting an Enclave to trade my BMW x-5 in for. As a Michigan native now a New Yorker I want to help my home state's economy. After going back I actually feel guilty I bought BMWs.

Buying a Mazda CX-9 hurts U-S industry and only helps the economy of Hiroshima, Japan where it is built.
 

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Well said, Buick guy. Anyone who knows a little about automotive history knows what a great heritage Buick has. I would stack my 49 Roadmaster, 54 Skylark convt, 59 Lesabre convt, 65 Riv, and 70 GS Stage 1 against any other cars from those eras. Buick was neglected the past 15 years but hopefully the Enclave and new products coming will turn its image around.
 

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When we (I shouldn't name the company) had a bad review, the consumer report company would call our VP. We would get another shot (if it was being tested), otherwise, there was never a problem a little extra advertising in their magazines couldn't cure. I'm sure there are reputable sources but screw it, if it's hot...count me in. Imagine seeing a hotty in a nightclub and asking around to see if he/she was dork/beeotch before you chatted them up. They may be very nice so just find out for yourself. Give it your best shot since you can always fall back to the less appealing, reliable civic at last call. :drunk:
 

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You guys are all talking about some pretty nice cars. There are so many factors involved in choosing your next car and I won't attempt to mention all, but please don't overlook the service department of your favorite car. To me, the service department who really treats you consistently well, while charging a fair price is worth a lot of consideration of brand type.
 

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To me, the service department who really treats you consistently well, while charging a fair price is worth a lot of consideration of brand type.
:clap: Very well said, gshields, very well said... :clap2:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
buickguy and buick59,

We are probably much more alike than different. I loved my two Buick Gran Sport's with a passion (wish I had both of them yet and would buy another in a heartbeat) - they were simply astounding vehicles - I wish I still had them.

And I agree that you need to take all sources of reliability ratings with several grains of salt - some very good points and stories told above!

DFC101a, I read your analysis - very good job with the write up - findings 90% similar to mine, so I particularly like your reasoning!!

Lastly, I would love to own an American made vehicle again. Maybe I will give the Enclave a little more time to adjust my mind around. Besides, the main driver (my wife) hasn't even been down to see or drive yet.

DFC101a, I agree with your points on the lack of BT in the Enclave - I didn't realize that until I read your review. I have not had integrated BT in any of my vehicles yet but I have several friends that have had BT earpieces and the integrated BT can be the cat's meow! Also, you point on the lack of a place for dry cleaning - is that true? That cd be a deal killer for my wife too as she id not a big fan of ironing (can't blame her). Personally, when I go pick up the dry cleaning in the MDX or the BMW I just lay it in the rear or the trunk - it seems to do fine until I get home.

Thanks everyone for the healthy spirited dialogue! :cheers:

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #16
dfc101a, I have another question for you since we share a common vehicle - MDX - how has your MPG been in the Enclave? How was it in your MDX?

Our MDX gets 17.x almost no matter how we drive it. On long trips we get low 18s - I think one time with a tail wind we got 18.9 - and all on premium I might add!

I have heard (on the CX-9 forum) that the CX-9, even with AWD, gets at least 18 in town and on trips gets up in the low to mid 20's, so that would be nice. I wouldn't expect the Enclave to better the CX-9 in fuel economy considering its size, but I would hope it might better our MDX - any hope of that?

Thx, Steve
 

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sarends,

There are dry cleaning hooks in the third row/cargo area, but good luck trying to use them. They are positioned in the middle of the cargo area and are very difficult to reach from either the second row or the tailgate. Not much use for us. The second row does not have any hooks in the headliner for dry cleaning or anything else and that is where my wife wants it. Our Odyssey has a nice, sturdy grab handle in the second row headliner that handles dry cleaning very well. In the Enclave, we also need to lay the dry cleaning flat in the cargo area as you do in the MDX.

On fuel economy, we had a very similar experience to you in the MDX. Might touch 20-21 on a long trip, but rarely. The Enclave is definitely better than the MDX. We get 18.x in mixed driving sometimes slightly over 19. In highway driving, the Enclave is consisitently hitting 21-22 -- it's a great highway cruiser. We drive our vehicles hard and not for fuel economy, so others may likely see better results.
 

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buickguy said:
I think Consumer Reports is the joke, historically biased towards Japanese automakers.
Their reliability data is probabllity the most un-biased available to the general public. It is based on survey data, so you always need to keep that in mind and not treat it as absolute.

Their reviews start to introduce a subjective judgement. This is where the bias label may be more accurate. They value certain attributes more than others (as do all reviews). What they value most is what Toyota and Honda are best at. This leads to CR giving favorable reviews to these vehicles. To some, this seems biased. It is acutally an expression of a differing value system on what are the most important features in a vehicle.

I find their reliability data and their test data to be quite useful. I tend to discount their review opinions because I put a higher value on styling and performance than they do.
 

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sarends said:
Reliability is tough to sort out:

In 2005 Consumer reports named Mazda the most consistently reliable brand.

This year there was a European based study that also ranked Mazda number one. See http://paultan.org/archives/2007/01/...ue-table-2007/

JD Powers is a joke (IMO). JD Powers ranks Hyundai near the top....lol. In Canada the public perception is that Mazda reliabliity is every bit as good as Honda, Toyota, Acura, etc...the US general perception of Mazda hasn't reached those levels yet.
If you ask me which one to believe "Paultan.org" or JD Power I would pick JD Power, since I don't even know who the heck is Paul Tan?

The population of Canada is less than California's, so that doesn't bear alot of weight in it.
 

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California=36.45 Million

Canada = 33.39 Million

New York State= 19.3 Million

So I guess any comments that come from New York state matters even less than Canada or from that standpoint any state other than California. :thumb:

Thanks for the vote of confidence.
 
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