By KBB.com Editors
Over the years Buick has worked hard to change its image of a builder of cars that are long on comfort but short on excitement. It is a little surprising, then, to encounter the 2009 Buick Enclave, a family-friendly eight-passenger crossover SUV that proves Buick can build an exciting vehicle. The Enclave is Buick's entry into the growing luxury SUV category and competes with well-established offerings from Lexus, Acura, BMW and Volvo. With eye-catching exterior styling, a highly usable interior and a remarkably quiet cabin, the Buick Enclave has what it takes to be a viable entrant in this competitive segment.You'll Like This Car If...
If you appreciate the refinement of a luxury car but also need the flexibility of a crossover SUV, we think you'll like the 2009 Buick Enclave. It offers the image of owning a luxury vehicle, yet at a more affordable price than many of its competitors.You May Not Like This Car If...
You may not like the 2009 Buick Enclave if you plan to venture far from paved roads. All-wheel-drive is offered for the Enclave but it is engineered to enhance traction in the more realistic conditions of wet or snowy roads and is not intended for serious off-roading.What's New for 2009
The Enclave receives a more powerful 3.6-liter V6 engine with output now rated at 288 horsepower. Heated and cooled front seats become a stand-alone option, while Bluetooth is made standard on all trims.Driving It Driving Impressions
The 2009 Buick Enclave is made to carry up to eight passengers in relaxed comfort and it does so with ease. At the same time it also manages to deliver engaging, even fun driving dynamics. The steering is light but firms up a bit at speed to give the Enclave a confident feel. The V6 engine provides good if not scorching acceleration and should be up to the task of hauling a full load of cargo or passengers. At cruising speeds Buick's attention to noise reduction pays off with very little wind, road or engine noise intruding into the cabin.Favorite Features
Getting to the rear-most seats in many vehicles can be a hassle. Not so in the Enclave, where the cleverly designed second-row seats, with flip-up cushions and the capability to slide far forward, provide a wide flat space to enter the third-row seating area.
Buick's QuietTuning method of in-vehicle noise reduction may seem like marketing hype, but it has to be experienced to be appreciated. At higher speeds the interior remains delightfully calm and free of the sounds that fatigue occupants on long drives.