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I’ve seen both the Enclave & Acadia in person and I test drove an Enclave last weekend.
I had a chance to test drive the Acadia right after but I chose not to as I figured it would be the same except perhaps not as quiet.

We like both vehicles and have gone back and forth as far as which we like better.
At first, my wife really liked the Acadia the best but she is a person that needs to see something in person and at that time all we could see in person was the Acadia.

Then we had a chance to see the Enclave in person and she was very impressed with it.
A few days after that she was leaning towards the Enclave. The following weekend we got to drive it.

My impressions:

Exterior:
My favorite view of the Enclave is the front end. It is what makes it look distinct. It really stands out so if you’re looking for a more conventional look you should check out the Acadia or Outlook since they have a more standard SUV look. The Enclave truly looks like a unique crossover vehicle.

At first I was leaning towards the Acadia because I wondered if the Enclave was a little too “sexy” for my personality. Also, from the side I wondered if it looked a little too mini-van’ish for my taste because it looks long from the side. However, the Acadia also looks long when looking directly from the side. Overall, these vehicles do a nice job of hiding their size but I guess it’s unreasonable to expect the size to not be noticeable from at least some angles.

However now I too am leaning towards the Enclave. I personally think that if I’m going to spend nearly 40K on a car then it better look like 40K. The Acadia looks great with its nice curves and more traditional suv-like shell, but in all honesty, if I just saw the exterior and you told me it cost 25K, I would be just as inclined to believe you than if you told me it was 40K. That means that I would also believe it if you told me it was 40K because it does look good. Just that I wouldn’t be shocked if you told me it was 25K either.
By contrast, based on exterior sight alone, I would question you if you told me that the Enclave was only 25K.

Interior:
The interior of the Acadia fits it well. I’ve seen some complaints about the “plood” inside the Enclave and how it missed the mark of luxury. I agree that the fake wood on the dash is a bit too fake looking. They used some hard, smooth plastics and some soft, textured plastics. There’s some of both but it just makes you wonder then why use any hard, smooth plastics at all as it brings the material quality down a notch. The Acadia has the same amount of hard plastics but it is more tolerable due to the more traditional SUV look it is striving for. However, just because it fits better, you could still just as easily complain about the Acadia’s interior since it costs the same if not a bit more. I cut the Enclave some slack here because of this. I understand that the price is the same or even a bit less than an equally equipped Acadia. However, the claim could be legitimately made that perhaps they should’ve not bothered with the “plood” at all and should’ve come up with something else that looks somewhat luxurious but less fake. The wood steering wheel looks and feels good though.

Overall I think the dash looks much better than the Acadia. The clock in the curved center dash really looks nice. Even the air vents are nicely curved into the dash. Also, I like the blue backlighting better than red as it gives a more elegant and relaxing ambiance to the entire dash. I can live with the overly shiny fake wood and the use of some hard plastics as they don’t detract from the look enough to be a deal breaker.
My wife preferred the interior of the Acadia a bit better just because it seemed to fit the vehicle a little better and the colors blended together nicer. However, she still likes the Enclave more overall.

Performance:
The Enclave is the quietest vehicle I’ve ever driven. I guess that’s not saying too much as most of the cars I’ve driven have just been normal cars like Honda Accords. But Accords are fairly quiet and the Enclave is much quieter than that. My wife was also impressed by the silence in comparison to our current SUV.

I did experience what others refer to as the “transmission lag”. Basically unless you really stomp it, the vehicle takes its own sweet time in shifting gears. You just can’t get that initial “punch” of acceleration no matter what you do. Maybe if you really stomp on it or something, but otherwise it’s going to go through its gear progression at it’s own pace regardless of whether you press a little harder or not. It wasn’t horrible but I think I would be worried about whether or not I could get the punch of power I need to merge into traffic around where I live. Someone on the Acadia forum referred to the Acadia’s acceleration as “gutless”. I don’t know if I would use such harsh terms but I can understand that comment somewhat. I’m not planning on racing these things so a smoother, quieter ride is more important to me in this kind of vehicle. However, they should still do something about the hesitation while accelerating. I hear there is a transmission software update that is supposed to help alleviate this “lag” somewhat so hopefully the one I drove did not have the update applied yet. However, despite this “lag” the ride still felt quite smooth.
Due to the quietness of the vehicle and the smoothness of the ride, its speed is deceptive. You can be up to 60MPH before you know it so I think I would really need to keep an eye on the speedometer until I got more of a feel for the car.

Lastly, the Acadia may look sportier, but I don’t think it would feel any sportier. The Lambda series are true cross-overs. They’re going to feel like a cross between an SUV and a mini-van regardless of what shell you put around them.

Conclusion:
So to sum up, I’m still not 100% sold on the Enclave. The nice curves on the Acadia is normally about as much “sexy” as I would want. However, I’m 90% sold on it because I just think the look & feel of the Enclave is a tad bit more upscale and thus more befitting such a price tag. The smooth, ultra-quiet ride adds to that feel as well as standard amenities such as nice looking HID headlights and 19” wheels.
In general the Lambda series vehicles are pretty much the same. The difference is in the details and the outer shell. We like the way both the Enclave and the Acadia look from the outside so if we purchase a Lambda series vehicle, we'll probably go with the one that has the details that fit us.
 

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Great summary :cheers:

Took the words right out of my mouth as the saying goes.
 

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Great review. :thumb: Thanks for detailing your impressions so thoroughly. Keep us posted on your decision. Did your dealer offer any sort of timeframe for taking delivery on either an Acadia or Enclave? :)
 

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I agree with you with the 45K looks of the Enclave compared to Acadia. Sure Acadia looks like just another SUV out there. While Enclave's design is fresh tout's its price.
 

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On interior, the Outlook way outclasses the Acadia. I went from one to the other the same day, and there is no comparison - the Outlook has a much cleaner, european style that seems to fit better and look more like a VW interior. The Acadia looks like it was designed a decade ago, truly awful. My wife a picture of the interior and immediately said 'cheap'. But it costs 40K+, so its hard to justify that.

I am waiting for an Enclave to arrive at my dealer, but in pictures, it looks like a match for Outlook, but I need to see that wood. However, paying MSRP for an Outlook seems silly to me, so I'd rather get a better deal on a more luxurious, quieter Enclave.

Derek
 

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It is nice having options when it comes to vehicles. I love my Enclave interior where as others think it looks cheap given the image Buick is trying to project. I thought the interior of the Acadia was fine. I thought the Outlook was kind of crappy, for a lack of a better word. To each their own.

I guess GM deserves some credit here. One of my main gripes of the past is that GM simply re-badged vehicles across different brands. Given some of the polarizing opinions of the Lambda's, they have clearly differentiated these vehicles from each other.
 

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In all of this wonderful comparison do not forget that the Enclave comes with a 4y 50k mile warranty while the Acadia and Outlook come only with 3y 36k. For an unproven GM vehicle - I will take the longer warranty without blinking!
 

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I think that the Outlooks interior looks really cheap and blan and the wood doesnt look good at all they really fit it in the enclave instead of just putting little pannels of it in like the outlook!
 

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I echo zman's comment about giving GM credit for creating three distinct vehicles from the same platform. I haven't heard of too many people confusing the three. Mostly there is discussion about which one a person prefers. Every time the rebadge discussion comes up, I think back to the Blazer / Jimmy SUV rebadges. We had one of the Blazer/Jimmy vehicles at work a few years ago. We could not figure out which it was supposed to be. It had both Chevy and GMC badging on it. The grill was Chevy and the steering wheel GMC. :confused: The other badging was also mixed, so it wasn't just one that was wrong. It is good to see GM putting some effort into making distinct models. It has to be a tough call on how much parts sharing will occur (for cost control) versus how many unique parts will be used (for model distinction). I think GM has hit a good balance with these vehicles.
 

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jcflorida said:
I echo zman's comment about giving GM credit for creating three distinct vehicles from the same platform. I haven't heard of too many people confusing the three. Mostly there is discussion about which one a person prefers. Every time the rebadge discussion comes up, I think back to the Blazer / Jimmy SUV rebadges. We had one of the Blazer/Jimmy vehicles at work a few years ago. We could not figure out which it was supposed to be. It had both Chevy and GMC badging on it. The grill was Chevy and the steering wheel GMC. :confused: The other badging was also mixed, so it wasn't just one that was wrong. It is good to see GM putting some effort into making distinct models. It has to be a tough call on how much parts sharing will occur (for cost control) versus how many unique parts will be used (for model distinction). I think GM has hit a good balance with these vehicles.
GIVE GM CREDIT PERIOD....THEY HAVE CREATED SOMETHING THAT WE MOMS AND OTHERS WANTED OTHER THAN A MINIVAN....GO ON GIRLS NITE OUT IN A MINI VAN AND IT SCREAMS CHILDREN, HUBBY AND SO FORTH....GO OUT IN LAMBDA, ESPECIALLY THE ENCLAVE, IT SCREAMS WOOOOOOO NICEEEEE. :woot: :woot:I FOR ONE DON'T LIKE SUV'S BECAUSE THEY RIDE, HANDLE AND LOOK LIKE BIG HUGE TRUCKS YOU ALMOST NEED SPECIAL LESSONS TO DRIVE EM. AS A MATTER OF FACT I THINK THEY SHOULD GIVE LESSONS CAUSE SOME FOLKS JUST GET CRAZY IN THOSE BIG OLD THINGS :police:...I LOVE THE WAY THE LAMBDA'S HANDLE LIKE A CAR.
 

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So what you're saying is that "what happens in a Lambda stays in a Lambda"?? :beer:
 

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zman said:
So what you're saying is that "what happens in a Lambda stays in a Lambda"?? :beer:
:dancing: MOVE OVER LAS VEGAS HERE COME THE LAMBDA GIRLS :dancing: :woot: :woot:
 

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and guys!
 

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Netmag, have you read or heard of the Enclave having a "drive by wire" feature ? I ran across it somewhere. Now I'm wondering if that has anything to do with the lag in acceleration I read a lot about the transmission but I haven't seen much about "drive by wire". I don't know if this is new for GM, or if other GM vehicles have it. :blob:
 

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rocketman...Outlook, Acadia and Enclave all have "drive by wire". It doesn't contribute to the "lag" but it is one of the tuning elements. All of the vehicles have a 'learning' period where they will adapt shifts to your driving style. This will not change the shift times(delays), but will change the shift feel. We continue to work on ways to improve the shift patterns, feel and "delays". As we find new "breakpoints" we'll make them available much as we did the updates back in February. They are as easy as a 20 minute plug in to a computer, so no heavy repair is necessary. The Enclaves have the latest updates (same as the February update for Outlook and Acadia). At the end of the day, we are striving to get the best of both worlds...fuel economy and driveability. We chose to maximize fuel economy...we are continuing to improve driveability.
 

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Thanks for that info. I can't wait. I don't think I've been this excited about a car in a long time. :blob:
 

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rocketman said:
Thanks for that info. I can't wait. I don't think I've been this excited about a car in a long time. :blob:
good info enclave8 ty
 

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enclave8j100001 said:
rocketman...Outlook, Acadia and Enclave all have "drive by wire". It doesn't contribute to the "lag" but it is one of the tuning elements. All of the vehicles have a 'learning' period where they will adapt shifts to your driving style. This will not change the shift times(delays), but will change the shift feel. We continue to work on ways to improve the shift patterns, feel and "delays". As we find new "breakpoints" we'll make them available much as we did the updates back in February. They are as easy as a 20 minute plug in to a computer, so no heavy repair is necessary. The Enclaves have the latest updates (same as the February update for Outlook and Acadia). At the end of the day, we are striving to get the best of both worlds...fuel economy and driveability. We chose to maximize fuel economy...we are continuing to improve driveability.
How does it work if you share the vehicle with another driver? My wife will be the primary driver but I will be driving it to work at least once a week 8) My driving style is spirited while she drives like... let put it this way an average Buick driver ;D

How will the drive by wire system learn who is on the driver seat?
 
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coopermine, I think you're reading a bit more into the drive-by-wire system than is there. A good portion of cars these days are moving to drive-by-wire systems. The concept is pretty simple. Normally, there's a physical cable that connects the accelerator pedal directly to the throttle on the engine, so the act of stepping on the gas pedal mechanically operates the throttle - the harder you push, the tighter the cable is pulled and the wider the throttle is opened. In Drive-by-wire systems, that link is no longer mechanical. Pressing the accelerator actuates an electronic sensor that tells an on-board computer how much throttle input you've given and electronically opens the throttle that amount.

This computer intervention can be used to much more accurately fine-tune throttle input than a mechanical link ever could. For example, on a G35, if you floor it from idle, the drive-by-wire system actually only opens the throttle 80% until you reach a certain RPM threshold, at which point it opens the full 100%. The reason for this has something to do with the air fuel mixture and keeping combustion optimal at various rpms. 100% throttle would actually perform worse at 1500 rpms than 80%. A very good driver could simulate this in an older mechanical system by only pressing the gas pedal 80% of the way, assuming they knew about the engine limitation ahead of time, or took the time to learn it through much trial and error, but you can see where technology has improve this for all drivers.

This electronic middle-man does allow for the ECU to more quickly and accurately "learn" driving styles, as well as helping with other aspects of a modern vehicle (antilock brakes, traction control systems, etc), but the bottom line is, it's simply the next evolution in converting your action (stomping your foot) into go power ;)
 
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I realize I didn't actually address your question. The ECU (Engine Control Unit) in most modern cars (and I assume in our Lambdas) really care about an average driving style over an extended period of time that helps it tailor certain aspects to the individual. If your wife drives like a granny 90% of the time, and you drive it like Mario Andretti 10% of the time, the ECU will tend to tune it for granny driving.

Edited to fix my typos.
 
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