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2008 Buick Enclave Photo
7.0
/ 10
On Performance
BASE INVOICE
$30,658
BASE MSRP
$32,790
On Performance
The 2008 Buick Enclave's strengths are a quiet, composed ride and body control; power and fuel economy are only average.
7.0 out of 10
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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

good power for city driving, acceptable power for high-speed passing
Cars.com

adequate go in all situations
ConsumerGuide

feels plenty quick enough
Edmunds

V-6 engine provides good if not scorching acceleration
Kelley Blue Book

too heavy for the 3.6-liter variable-valve timing V-6
Truck Trend

The 2008 Buick Enclave's performance is adequate, not exciting—but as you might expect from a big Buick, the ride is well-damped.

The 2008 Buick Enclave comes with a single powertrain, a healthy 275-hp V-6 and standard six-speed automatic transmission. The 3.6-liter V-6 engine may not be quite enough for the Buick Enclave's nearly two and a half tons, Truck Trend suggests. The Enclave uses up 8 seconds to get from 0-60 mph, according to The Auto Channel, which they consider "more than adequate in most circumstances." BusinessWeek disagrees: “The Enclave is a lot slower than the Japanese and German rivals, too…I tried a number of times and didn't come close to matching that time.” Cars.com says that the Buick Enclave's engine "won't be mistaken for the kind of V-8 engine that has historically powered large SUVs," but will do the job when called upon.

Cars.com, ConsumerGuide, and Edmunds all report that the six-speed transmission, while being "smooth shifting," is "more active than it needs to be" and has a strong tendency to upshift more than is necessary. Motor Trend complained that the heavy crossover “makes the six-speed labor hard to launch you out of tight turns, up hilly roads, or onto busy freeways.”

Consumers have a choice between front- and all-wheel-drive 2008 Buick Enclave models, and interestingly, the difference in fuel consumption is marginal. The AWD version gets slightly lower mileage on the highway, according to Cars.com, at 22 mpg, but the city figures for both models--as well as the overall average, according to Edmunds--is around 16 mpg.

On the road, the Buick Enclave rides well. According to Motor Trend, “The Enclave's ride is isolated, comfortable but with moderate roll.” The Enclave handles well “for a large, comfortable crossover utility.” However, they disliked the lack of steering feel, and “poor feedback, especially on-center.”

Conclusion

The 2008 Buick Enclave's strengths are a quiet, composed ride and body control; power and fuel economy are only average.

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