At first glance of the new Buick Enclave some of the elements of the body styling give you the impression that maybe they have something here. Even the just-for-decoration port holes along the groove of the hood gives it just a little something more. But the more you run your fingers around this enormous CUV and once your senses get the mass affect of confusion from its interior you will find the Enclave to be rather hit-and-miss.
Buick has been a fading brand here in America for over a decade now. Whether it is from GM’s bungling of the business or Buicks lack of styling vision the car brand teeters on the cusp of going the way of the Oldsmobile. With the Enclave they show signs of clawing back away from the abyss, but can those attempts really pull away from the subtle flaws?
The lines of the Enclave are soft and subtle and in print do well to disguise its size. When you pull up next to an Enclave in your car or SUV you will find that photos do not do it justice. If by calling it a CUV they are referring to its melding of an SUV with a Yukon then they might be close. There is no way that the Enclave should be considered in the same class as the Mazda CX-7 or future CX-9. And with a mere 275-hp to motivate this 2.5 ton vehicle into action this is not a CUV built for speed. However the luxury ride of the Enclave is designed to make the wait to get there worth the while.
With the optional drop down, dual LCD monitors and built in tray tables the backseat is built to make patience entertaining. It is in their blending of textures and materials that Buick gives the impression of being a car built by a committee where there are no bad ideas. So sorry to tell you but any mix of faux-wood in a modern car is a bad idea. Modern furniture pulls off the wood and brushed aluminum combination much better than the modern Enclave. Saddle that with the multiple colors of brown and tan and you have quite the hodgepodge built inside the cabin.
The layered confusion of the interior is more prevelant along the dash of the Enclave. The upward transition of the tan to brown to metal to wood to brown again is a layered cake short on taste. And where a woodgrained steering wheel is quant and traditional on my 1970 Mustang it is not appealing here.
So while the first impression of the Buick Enclave built me up with hope the real thing leaves me with that oh so Buick feeling. Maybe as some have suggested, if Buick shared some of their designs for the Chinese market here in the USA they might achieve the same sales percentages here as they do there. There will be those who will buy the Buick Enclave and be happy for doing so and I am sure it will fit in just find with their McMansion.