The brand name ‘Buick’ for me has always implied “Grandpa car”. A big reason for that is the fact that my Grandpa has driven Buick vehicles over the years. And so when I heard I’d be getting a Buick Enclave to test out for a week, I was thinking old man car.
After driving it around and getting friend’s opinions, nobody else thought of it as a Grandpa car so it’s clearly just my history that informs my view of the Buick brand.
The Enclave feels luxurious. From the dashboard to the seats to the steering wheel, you definitely feel like you’re in a luxury vehicle.
Lots of Room in the Trunk
We fit my son’s bike in the back for a little father-son afternoon outing with room to spare.
Touch Screen All the Things
The sales guy at my local GM dealership talked about how the user interface was attempting to be as much like the iPhone/iPad so it would be familiar to users. I’m not sure I see it – and especially now with iOS7 on the horizon. But that’s just me the Apple nerd talking. The average user probably would be delighted with how touch screen focused everything is becoming.
Some of the buttons/dials on the Enclave don’t feel quite right to me. They need some sort of texture or way of differentiating one button from the next without having to look at them.
It’s Getting Hot in Here
The dual temperature controls in the front are nice, as are the rear temperature/media controls. Our kids are still too little to make use of the volume knob/etc. in the back but once they’re older I’m sure they’d love the ability to play their own music/DVD in the back while the front gets something a little less annoying to listen to.
Backup Camera Detects Cute Overload
This is not a GM authorized method of testing out the back up camera – but they were just too cute not to take a picture of.
Plenty of sensors to alert you to vehicles or possible pedestrians/bikers around the vehicle. It takes some getting used to but once you’re aware of the different tones and alerts, it’s really helpful in figuring out if you’re ok to back up out of your garage or pass on the highway.
I’m Still Alive on XM Radio
The XM interface on the Buick Enclave is one of the better ones I’ve tried. And of course I had it tuned to Pearl Jam Radio first thing.
Our 3-year-old was so tired out after putting the Enclave through its paces that he couldn’t even make it inside. Or maybe he was so sad to see it go he was doing a sleep-in protest on the driveway?
The model I tested had the skyscraper two panel sunroof which was great for lighting up the whole vehicle with natural light – particularly for the kids in the back seats. The 3.6L V6 engine had plenty of get ‘up and go.
OnStar by Accident
I accidentally tested the OnStar system when my son asked me what a button did. Upon pressing it, the car dialled OnStar and I was connected with a support agent. I sheepishly had to tell him I was just testing the car out and didn’t actually need any help.
“No problem! Happens all the time. Have a good day!” was the cheerful reply and I felt like a dork.