It’s been three years since the Buick Enclave’s release and the full-size crossover has successfully carved out its parking space in General Motors’ vast garage. In the face of sliding Lucerne sales, the CUV has bore the Buick badge well and proved its importance as part of Buick’s renovation and efforts to shed imagery of being stereotypically sexagenarian by nature. It hasn’t changed significantly for 2010, but if sales numbers are indications of success (43,150 units in 2009, down just 3.5 percent compared to 2008), then the Enclave is doing just fine.
Built on the same Lambda platform as the Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, and now-defunct Saturn Outlook, the Enclave is differentiated with softer lines and an overall rounder design for a subtler, more graceful exterior. The distinctive sheetmetal is complemented with premium cabin appointments and “QuietTuning,” Buick’s marketing phrase for extra interior noise and vibration reduction. The “QuietTuning” engineers create a quieter, more relaxed ride with special laminated glass, underbody damping material, and triple door seals, none of which are available with the mass-market Acadia and Traverse.
Normally, 19-inch wheels come standard, but for 2010, a new 20-inch, nine-spoke, chrome-clad aluminum wheel design is available on the topline CXL trim. Unique, articulating xenon headlights are also included on the CXL model.
Inside, the Enclave contains seating for seven or eight passengers, depending on the second row. Those in need of an eighth seat will have to opt for the second-row bench seat instead of the standard captain’s chairs. Cargo volume is ample within the full-size CUV: 115.3 cubic feet with the second- and third-row seats folded, 67.5 cubic feet with the third-row seats down, and 23.2 cubic feet with all seats up.