2008 Buick Enclave Review

2008-buick-enclave The 2008 Enclave is one of the best vehicles to come out of a GM factory in recent years – both in terms of looks and attention to detail. Just from the looks of it – the Enclave is a damn fine looking CUV. It’s big, no doubt about it, but doesn’t seem to carry nearly the same heft that a Yukon or Tahoe does. In other words, it’s huge, but doesn’t look the part.

One of the recurring themes that you’ll read when you get to the reviews below, is the quietness of this vehicle. Buick’s top priority when designing the Enclave was to make it as quiet as humanly possible. They succeeded – and even beat vehicles such as the class leader Lexus RX 350. Beating Lexus at anything is a huge accomplishment for Buick.

The 2008 Enclave isn’t without it’s flaws though, no matter how good it is. For starters, it gets atrocious gas mileage. 16 mpg city / 24 mpg highway is very good for a vehicle of it’s size, but horrible in the grand scheme of things. If an Enclave is in your future, make sure to include a big gas bill in your budget. The other (potential) problem with the Enclave is the fact that it’s a Buick. That means potentially spotty quality, reliability, and probably awful resale value. Granted, this is a new vehicle riding on a new platform – which could mean that quality and reliability will be on par with the competition. It’s just that Buick doesn’t have history on it’s side. Let’s hope the Enclave can turn that around.

2008 Buick Enclave Specs
  • 275 HP 3.6 liter DOHC V6 engine
  • 6 speed automatic transmission
  • FWD or available AWD system
  • Side and curtain airbags standard
  • 4500 max towing capacity
  • Curb weight : 4780 lbs
  • EPA Says: 16 mpg city / 24 mpg highway
2008 Buick Enclave Reviews

Edmunds reviews the 2008 Buick Enclave and writes – ‘The Enclave’s V6 offers adequate power in all situations along with a mildly sporty exhaust note. The six-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly, but it’s programmed to maximize fuel economy, sometimes resulting in delayed downshifts. There is a manual shift button on the shift lever, but we’d like to see Buick offer the convenience of buttons or paddles on the steering wheel. As you’d expect, the Enclave is quiet and smooth-riding on the highway, though some buyers may find the CXL model a bit too firm due to its 19-inch wheels. Handling on the 2008 Buick Enclave is competent and predictable but not especially sporty.’

Popular Mechanics reviews the 2008 Buick Enclave and writes – ‘An extended morning drive on two-lane pavement through the Missouri Ozarks delivered the proof we needed that Buick does indeed deliver a quite interior. Engineers say the Buick is three or more decibels quieter than those sister vehicles from Saturn and GMC. That proved easy to believe: Transmission shifts in fairly steep and busy hills were smooth, with little engine roar and no hesitation in double downshifts.’

Autoweek reviews the 2008 Buick Enclave and writes – ‘It does not take long behind the wheel to realize the (last generation) Lexus RX was the Buick engineers’ target for interior noise levels. When cars blow past at highway speeds and only a whisper transmits to the cabin, you know they’ve done their job well. With the radio on, exterior noise virtually disappears. Check the Bose 5.1-channel audio upgrade box and prepare to experience music. Laminated window glass, triple seals around the doors and plenty of sound-deadening materials are some of the so-called QuietTuning features that isolate noise and vibration at speed.’

The Auto Channel reviews the 2008 Buick Enclave and writes – ‘Power comes from a 3.6-liter V6 that’s rated at a healthy 275 horsepower. This was more than enough for the Enclave. Power reaches the wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission with a manual mode. However, The technique for manual shifting involved pushing a button on the center console-mounted shifter. If you’re going to shift manually, it’s best to keep both hands on the wheel as long as possible, and first finding the button and then hitting “+” or “–“ correctly involves too much precision for a one-week test. Owner-drivers might find shifting this way convenient.’

Cnet reviews the 2008 Buick Enclave and writes – ‘The Enclave isn’t a champ when it comes to fuel economy, although it beats your typical SUV. The EPA rates it at 16mpg city and 24mpg highway. In our city and freeway driving, we never saw it get above 20mpg, and we came in with an average of 18mpg. We would like to see the Enclave, and cars in general, get better than 20mpg. Emissions ratings weren’t published at the time of this review.’

Left Lane News reviews the 2008 Buick Enclave and writes – ‘GM says the Enclave is quieter than the Acura MDX, Volvo XC90, Lexus RX350 and Mercedes-Benz R-Class and we fully support that claim. Even under rough road conditions, the Enclave is one of the quietest cars we have ever driven. In fact, GM went to great lengths to add sound deadening material to the Enclave — including quieter engine mounts and specially designed Michelin tires — not found on other Lambdas. While the interior of the Enclave is about as silent as a car can get, it does come with a downside. The added sound deadening materials inflate the Enclave’s curb weight to nearly 5,000 pounds and makes it the slowest Lambda of the bunch.’

Published on October 12, 2007 in Buick

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