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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We took the Clave (loaded FWD CXL, Cocoa/Cashmere) from VA to RI and back over the Holidays. We haven't owned a domestic in a decade, but cannot stop grinning about how much the Clave does well, at any price. We feel this car must be a "loss-leader" for Buick frankly, as it feels like it should cost $10k more. Clearly the best Buick since the Grand National of the 80's. At any rate, some thoughts:

-- At 75 mph (and sometimes more) this big Buick is eerily quiet and quite stable and composed. It's as quiet as my Lexus GS was, and in fact I found myself tailgating (not dangerously, but of the close enough to say "get out of the way" variety) folks in front of me because I perceived them to be going too slow in the wrong lane. In fact, we were going 80 and I just didn't realize it (i.e., I was being an inadvertent arse). This thing is quiet. Never loses composure either, even at speed. Amazing.

-- Seats and interior are a 13 on a 10 scale. No fatigue, everything is well-thought out. Love the heated seat options, home-theatre like DVD system with center channel (learned to love Jack Sparrow from the driver's seat), and after 9 hours each way we could have driven another 9 (if we could have dropped the kids off).

-- We have a FWD, which I feared we'd regret on our winter trips to NE. But, this thing was a tank in the snow. This must be one of the heaviest FWD vehicles ever produced I would suspect, and the Michelin's were excellent. Not AWD caliber traction of course, but felt no need for it for our purposes at all.

- Now the nits: I find the small buttons in the NAV area to be a nuisance and the NAV to not be the most user-friendly unit we have had. But my real gripe is the tranny. My 07 MDX is always in the right gear and even seems to know what my next move is, truly a masterpiece of a transmission. The Clave's shift patterns/programming/gearing are the opposite. It is always looking for a fight -- it never want's to be in the gear I want it to be in. Shifts too early, too late, not quick enough -- you name it. It's a real shame, as it is more than just a faint background issue that I am neutral about -- it rises to a level of fixation when driving. This needs a sport mode or something. I realize it is done for gas mileage, and I'm as concerned about my carbon footprint as the next guy, but it must be changed for the Clave to self-actualize. I have an 8/07 build date and will verify my updates on my next visit -- but I doubt much will change.

In sum, we love the Clave, have no regrets and are constantly impressed by it -- but the tranny is a slug, especially if you come from the Japanese/German world.
 

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The trans. update does make a bid difference.............
 

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ExRiGuy said:
But my real gripe is the tranny. My 07 MDX is always in the right gear and even seems to know what my next move is, truly a masterpiece of a transmission. The Clave's shift patterns/programming/gearing are the opposite. It is always looking for a fight -- it never want's to be in the gear I want it to be in. Shifts too early, too late, not quick enough -- you name it. It's a real shame, as it is more than just a faint background issue that I am neutral about -- it rises to a level of fixation when driving. This needs a sport mode or something. I realize it is done for gas mileage, and I'm as concerned about my carbon footprint as the next guy, but it must be changed for the Clave to self-actualize. I have an 8/07 build date and will verify my updates on my next visit -- but I doubt much will change.
The Enclave I purchased had the flash for the transmission upgrade and I defiantly don't have the same shifting/hunting issues you seem to experience. Hopefully, you don't have it and that'll solve your problems!

Techno
 

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I don't notice any transmission issues with either of ours.
 

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ExRiGuy,

I hear your comments on the transmission and I've been griping about them to whomever will listen. You have seen better and this isn't it. Far cry short of better. Your build date suggests you already have the flash so you "got what you got". There are a lot of writers on here that don't seem to have the same problems we have, or just don't notice them like we do.

This car is a great cruiser, but athletic it certainly isn't. I believe the next generation with the DI V/6 and 30 additional hp will certainly help the sluggish transmission as it searches for the right gearing.

I appreciate your comments. We need Buick to hear us and the more we complain, the better our chances of a new flash to come along. I can feel it in my bones the fix is easy if GM decides to do it, because this transmission is very high tech.
 

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gshields has long brought this to our attention, and that encouraged me to get the re-flash. I did and specifically, it made the tranny Downshift more intuitively (like being in the right gear, more often, might feel.) and did nothing to prevent early Upshifts , if I let off the gas, more than a little. I don't mind it now however as it seems to be so much more willing to make the 1 gear lower downshift,at mt least desire.

Perfect it ain't! But smooth and quiet it is, as remarked by all our friends who ride in it. And I do "flog" it around town at times w/the manual shift button, for some fun! ;D I also use the manual shift when I merge onto freeways, with rapidly approaching traffic. Works fairly well.

But considering it's mass and mediocre power/weight ratio, all I ask is for the DFI, 304 HP motor in future to put the icing on the cake :thumb: I know it ain't a Vett, but still think that would address many complaints.

I STRONGLY encourage you to DOUBLE check with Dealer that you DO have the newest "flash" as your build date is on the borderline, if I remember correctly .
 

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WEll said Smokin. My wife drives in "D" and I drive in "L".
 

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Put me down with gshields (as he already knows). I think it depends on where you live and drive. If you are anywhere with hills this tranny will drive you crazy. I don't understand how anyone can drive this vehicle and claim they don't have frequent downshifts and too frequent upshifts. I have the most recent flash. If the hill is moderate in grade, it will downshift to 5th, rev to over 3000 grand, now remember you are likely cruising at 70 and about 1800 rpms, so it is a big jump, very noticable when you go from 1800 to over 3000. It will stay there for only a couple of seconds and then drop again to 2300-2400 again for a few seconds and then drop into 6th again. If the hill is long, this can happen 3-4 times every 5-7 seconds. How can anyone enjoy this and say the ride is so perfect, face it, it is not. Now if the grade is steeper it tends to cycle once going through its 3000 grand to 2300 and staying in 5th at 23-2400 rpm. This is more acceptable. It has to stay there to keep the speed up so on a steeper hill it actually is nicer.

Now I always qualify what I say by adding that this in my ONLY complaint. I would buy it again despite this, but it is very annoying here in upstate NY where there are a lot of hills. I too drive in L a lot because of this, but at times, I want to put my $43000 luxury crossover in cruise and forget about it, but I can't. I should be able to.
 

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I agree with you that the gearbox is less than impressive. I live in South Eastern Ontario - rolling hills and I have many rants while driving in the hills. It is not adaptive , I has no memory of your driving style - I am a smooth driver - little excesses in the throttle department -but find this feature a real pain.
I have had the latest flash done - I am not happy with this feature.

I have issue with other items - the sat nav is a joke - not as good as TomTom and only 9 time more expensive.

Vibration thought the accelerator pedal , less than smooth running poor, fuel economy - at least 4 litres per 100kms over the window sticker 13.9 on the highway instead of 9, wind noise from the drivers door, whooshing noise from the fan on second highest setting - like a variable fan up and down, seating is not overly comfortable - against a SAAB, heater is not fast to heat up- well it took almost 20 miles to get reasonable at -26c, no hold down clips in the rear load space with either seats up or down, limited storage space in lockers in the trunk area - winter gear bouncing all over the back, plastic box sliding about because of no tie downs.

Good thing- carries lots of stuff - is it is nicer looking than a GMC van.

The dealer has a lot of work to do for me.
 

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I find that in cruise control the transmission is more interested in "closely" holding the speed exactly at set-point, over fuel mileage concerns. It is too quick to downshift sometimes as far as I am concerned. I almost wish the tranny would allow the speed to drop 2-3 mph before downshifting which would eliminate downshifting on "small hills". I have a feeling this is what it did BEFORE the re-flash, but due to the complaining by many....this was changed. It just goes to prove that "you can't please all the people all the time". As far as others having issues with multiple upshifts/downshifts on a long uphill grade....I don't see this. The transmission downshifts and even if cruise speed is achieved/held, it "holds" in the lower gear until cresting the hill......quite intuitive based on previous transmissions I have had. I still think the biggest reason for the downshifting is less the fault of the transmission and more the result of a 5000 lb vehicle with a V6 engine that probably needs at least 300+ hp.
 

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If you've got the towing package, try putting it in tow mode when in busy city traffic or in hilly country. It feels like sports mode in other vehicles, scoots right along & shifts much less. Don't forget to take it out of tow mode for normal & highway driving or you may be very unhappy with your gas milage.
 

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bsox said:
Put me down with gshields (as he already knows). I think it depends on where you live and drive. If you are anywhere with hills this tranny will drive you crazy. I don't understand how anyone can drive this vehicle and claim they don't have frequent downshifts and too frequent upshifts. I have the most recent flash. If the hill is moderate in grade, it will downshift to 5th, rev to over 3000 grand, now remember you are likely cruising at 70 and about 1800 rpms, so it is a big jump, very noticable when you go from 1800 to over 3000. It will stay there for only a couple of seconds and then drop again to 2300-2400 again for a few seconds and then drop into 6th again. If the hill is long, this can happen 3-4 times every 5-7 seconds. How can anyone enjoy this and say the ride is so perfect, face it, it is not. Now if the grade is steeper it tends to cycle once going through its 3000 grand to 2300 and staying in 5th at 23-2400 rpm. This is more acceptable. It has to stay there to keep the speed up so on a steeper hill it actually is nicer.

Now I always qualify what I say by adding that this in my ONLY complaint. I would buy it again despite this, but it is very annoying here in upstate NY where there are a lot of hills. I too drive in L a lot because of this, but at times, I want to put my $43000 luxury crossover in cruise and forget about it, but I can't. I should be able to.
I guess you'll have to put me down as one of those that "claim" they don't have frequent up and down shifts on moderate grades (or anywhere else) in the Enclave. Just before Xmas we took a trip that included about 650 miles of interstate; about 2/3rd's of that was rolling (moderate) hills. After reading all the complaints on this forum I paid close attention to the performance of the transmission. It preformed exactly as I would expect and did not up shift, down shift or "wander". No complaints about the transmission here.
My Enclave was built around the first of October and came with the software upgrade from the factory.
 

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asgard said:
I agree with you that the gearbox is less than impressive. I live in South Eastern Ontario - rolling hills and I have many rants while driving in the hills. It is not adaptive , I has no memory of your driving style - I am a smooth driver - little excesses in the throttle department -but find this feature a real pain.
I have had the latest flash done - I am not happy with this feature.

I have issue with other items - the sat nav is a joke - not as good as TomTom and only 9 time more expensive.

Vibration thought the accelerator pedal , less than smooth running poor, fuel economy - at least 4 litres per 100kms over the window sticker 13.9 on the highway instead of 9, wind noise from the drivers door, whooshing noise from the fan on second highest setting - like a variable fan up and down, seating is not overly comfortable - against a SAAB, heater is not fast to heat up- well it took almost 20 miles to get reasonable at -26c, no hold down clips in the rear load space with either seats up or down, limited storage space in lockers in the trunk area - winter gear bouncing all over the back, plastic box sliding about because of no tie downs.

Good thing- carries lots of stuff - is it is nicer looking than a GMC van.

The dealer has a lot of work to do for me.
I think I would sell if I were you. You have a right to be happy and I don't see this car doing it for you.
 

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I agree with you Smokin. Doesn't sound like an Enclave is ever going to make Asgard happy.

All I know is that we love both of ours!
 

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I would make me happy if it performed as advertised. I cannot see any point in not commenting on the cars short coming just because you bought it. If the load area is not kitted out with anchor points that is a small but legitimate design oversight, not hard to fix for the next year model.

Sat nav is easily sorted - supply an updated map that is as comprehensive as those in portable units. I cannot see why my nav does not start mapping from my rural route onto the county or highway when TomTom does.

If they build a car with a 6 speed gearbox select a reasonable set of ratios- don't put too high a gear in 6th to try to improve fuel economy and cause shifting issues.

If it is a big car to heat just make the heater over sized, it is after all only a radiator and a fan.

As for I will never be happy - that is maybe true - I bought a V6 for reasonable fuel efficiency - as indicated on the window sticker - I don't think I am the only one unhappy with this - I would have preferred a diesel but that was not an option - maybe I will change the car - or maybe I will insist on it being better - that is how progress is achieved..
 

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asgard said:
I would make me happy if it performed as advertised. I cannot see any point in not commenting on the cars short coming just because you bought it. If the load area is not kitted out with anchor points that is a small but legitimate design oversight, not hard to fix for the next year model.

Sat nav is easily sorted - supply an updated map that is as comprehensive as those in portable units. I cannot see why my nav does not start mapping from my rural route onto the county or highway when TomTom does.

If they build a car with a 6 speed gearbox select a reasonable set of ratios- don't put too high a gear in 6th to try to improve fuel economy and cause shifting issues.

If it is a big car to heat just make the heater over sized, it is after all only a radiator and a fan.

As for I will never be happy - that is maybe true - I bought a V6 for reasonable fuel efficiency - as indicated on the window sticker - I don't think I am the only one unhappy with this - I would have preferred a diesel but that was not an option - maybe I will change the car - or maybe I will insist on it being better - that is how progress is achieved..
You are perfectly right to complain about issues you don't find up to your expectations. It is one way to get things changed. I have very similar complaints as you, but just to a lesser degree. There is no point putting our head in the sand regarding problems. The engine and tranny (not enough low end torque and questionable shift points) are a real problem with this vehicle and I don't believe anyone that says they have not noticed this. I have not had a problem with the heater and it was 10 below zero (F) here the other day. I don't personally care about the clothes hangers others have mentioned or the lack of tie down areas as I had those in my Pilot and never used them.

There are just things that are more important to one person than to another. I want a different match between motor and tranny for better mpg and performance, otherwise I am very very very happy with mine. Keep talking Asgard as it may lead to improvements in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If this is the way the tranny is "supposed to be" then I think a sport mode would be a great feature -- for those of us who value driving dynamics over an extra mpg or two. I love the car overall, to be sure, but it is my wife's and if I were driving it ever day I think the tranny would get between me and my enjoyment of the vehicle.
 

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My friend has an 07 Yukon Denali with a 6.2 liter and a 6 speed automatic. If you drive over a penny it will shift. I almost think it does more shifting than the Enclave. My Enclave shifts about as much as my 07 Honda CRV did. The only difference was when the Honda shifted you could hear the motor.
 

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I just got my new CXL (Cocoa & Cashmere) and must surely have the latest flash update your all talking about. I picked it up 12/28 and have only 285 miles on it. But the constant searching for a gear is also my biggest COMPLAINT! I also think the lack of adequate power for a 5000 lb. vehicle is the major contributing factor. I agree that the DI caddy engine with 300hp would help solve the problem and the Enclave needs to go on a 10% diet. It would be too bad if GM doesn't fix this problem! The rest of my car is a 10 so far.
 

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I am glad to see this conversation. And it is OK and requested that our complaints be voiced just as much as all the compliments. After all, what are forums for? So get on with it.

As for the shifting, I am no engineer, but am in hopes that more hp means shifting reductions. Our Enclave is AWD and a bit heavier and that probably contributes as well. My Silverado SS was AWD and had 345 hp and it never noticed a hill. That vehicle was a pure pleasure to drive, but it had its short comings too.

Just getting rid of something you think it not as good as advertised is not that easy. The depreciation on the new car is enormous, to name just one reason not to move on. Like I said before, this is Donna's car and she drives (and complains) in "D" and I drive in "L" everywhere. Those hills get locked in the lower gear so I don't have to put up with all of that nonsense. The problem is I never get past the nuisance of having to really drive this car. So come on more hp. I won't be trading up to it as probably can not afford to, but I'd love to see others profit from that change.

I know that with my advanced age (62) I must be in the minority and should be just cruising around, but I'm not. I still like to feel a little performance with any machine I have. And I think I know Bob Lutz well enough to know he wants better performance than this provides. Would you agree?
 
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