Born in the 2008 model year, the Enclave had the initial cachet of being endorsed by championship golfer Tiger Woods, who appeared at several pre-introduction press flogs for momentary photography. Now that Woods is no longer a part of the Buick universe and is not exactly a name people are dropping with anything other than joking double entendres, the Buick Enclave has to stand on its own merits.
Trust me, its got a few. Start with the pretty body and a very roomy cabin. The 2010 Buick Enclave CXL2 in front-wheel-drive guise, almost at the top of the model lineup (all-wheel-drive costs more), has just about everything a family will find essential to their daily lives, including real world seating for seven and technologys wondrous applications. Enclave base price is $35,515 and reaches $43,995 with AWD.
Dressed in white diamond tri-coat with cashmere leather interior struck by cocoa and wood-trim accents, this Enclave is a classy looking car. The good looks include the 19-inch seven-spoke polished alloy rims that ride on Michelin P255/60R tires and the pair of bright exhaust pipes at the rear. The fact that this Enclave has remote start and remote open/close functions for its hatch add to the elegance of the machine.
Buick equips all Enclave models with its direct injection 3.6-liter engine that makes 288 horsepower at 6300 rpm and 270 lb-ft of torque at 3400 rpm. There is no indicated redline on the 8000-rpm tachometer; the speedometer goes to 140 mph. Gauges are black with aqua numbers and white pointers and the gauge cluster includes readouts for fuel, temperature and battery.
Buick mates this delightful engine to a six-speed automatic transmission that unfortunately for any enthusiast, cant be manually shifted easily. There are plus/minus operations on the shift lever but they never seemed to actually work in the test vehicle. There are independent front and rear suspensions that allow the Enclave to retain composure over even the roughest pavements.
Turning circle on the Enclave is a rather small 40.4 feet for a machine that is 201.8 inches long, 79 inches wide, and 72.5 inches tall on a wheelbase of 118.9 inches. Ground clearance is an excellent 8.4 inches and all FWD Enclaves from the CL to the CXL2 weigh in at 4780 pounds, accord to Buick.
Steering is achieved through a variable effort power system that is rather light to the touch, handy for parking in tight situations. All-wheel-disc antilock brakes mate with stability and traction control to add safety to the mix. There are front, side and head curtain airbags, tire pressure monitoring and one-year OnStar crash response, together with turn-by-turn navigation on the safety front. Buick rates five-star crash ratings for its front-and-side crash-worthiness and four stars for rollover protection.
Mileage is one place where Buick needs to do a bit more work rated at 17/24 mpg from the 22-gallon tank, we experienced 17-mpg over a week in mostly around town driving, with a few spurts over the road. These days, thats not terribly acceptable. Regular fuel is okay.
The 2010 Buick Enclave CXL2 FWD has an entry fee of $42,470 including destination. Buick added $795 for the exteriors serene white diamond paint, $455 for a trailering package (itll tow 4500 pounds), $300 for the second row console, $1400 for the one-touch power sunroof with second row skylight and another $3185 for the audio system with touch-screen navigation and DVD rear seat entertainment, bringing the total to $48,605.