Weekend Test Drive: Buick Enclave Premium

September 18, 2012    |    By +
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On a recent weekend I had the opportunity to test drive a GM car for free! My husband and I were thrilled at the idea of finding the perfect family car. We quickly made plans to visit friends in Upstate New York to see if our test vehicle fit our needs. Over the 4 day period, we drove through the city, up gravelly mountain roads and did some serious highway time as well. I feel like we really got to know the Enclave and I have say that we really liked it. Here is my break down of pros, cons and other opinions about the Buick Enclave.


Model: Buick Enclave Premium 4WD

MSRP: $49,500 (currently offering an additional $2000 rebate in NYC)


  • Seats 7
  • Sun Roof in front, Moon Roof in back
  • 19″ wheels
  • Bose audio system with rear seat entertainment
  • Leather interior
  • 6 speed automatic transmission
  • GPS guidance system with rear view camera


Comfort – the seats were comfortable and we loved the preset option for 2 different drivers preferences.

Power Outlet – let us use our traditional phone charger, but I can see a million practical uses for this from DVD players to hair dryers.

4 Wheel Drive – made it easy to get up the mountain roads where we were visiting friends.

“Avoid” Feature on GPS – rescued us more than once from abysmal traffic heading back in to the city.


Too many buttons on the steering wheel. It was more confusing than helpful to have all of that stuff on the wheel.

The car was too wide. It felt like we were filling up the whole lane; which is not good for tight city driving or small mountain roads.

The air conditioning was perpetually freezing no matter what temperature I set it to and the Auto feature made it blow even harder.

Cup holders were a bit small; we had trouble fitting big water bottles in them.

Moon roof in the back doesn’t open. It took me about 20 minutes and a final consultation of the manual to figure that out.

Other thoughts:

I am not a fan of the separate head phones for the back seat. Feels more like a novelty than a necessity, but I also haven’t been on an extended road trip with the kids so I should revisit this statement after I do.

Trunk button – seems a little excessive. I can open and close it faster myself. I suppose it would be useful if you had your hands full, but then how would you hit the button?

This is a great car for a large family that travels together often. The 7 seats and ample storage space make this the ultimate ride for road trips.

The gas mileage wasn’t stellar but for the size, the car did really well at 17 city and 24 highway.


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Kathryn D.W.
Kathryn Drury Wagner is the senior manager of content at Gifts.com. She was formerly the executive editor at Honolulu Magazine, and is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Shopping on Oahu. Her career has included staff positions at Country Living Gardener and Power & Motoryacht. Her latest book is "Hawaii's Strangest, Ickiest, Wildest Book Ever!"

Gwen P.
Gwen is the Editorial Curator at Gifts.com. In addition to writing blogs, she creates gift guides, curates the site, and produces content for our social media channels. As a freelance writer, she created blogs on fashion, art, travel, health and lifestyle. A talented jewelry designer, she's also a yogi and a hospital volunteer with her therapy dog, Lilo, a Pomeranian.