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2009 Buick Enclave Sport Utility Crossover

FWD 4dr CX

Starting at | Starting at 17 MPG City - 24 MPG Highway

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  • $35,070 original MSRP
Printable Version

2009 Buick Enclave Sport Utility Crossover

Benefits of Driving a 2009 Buick Enclave Sport Utility Crossover

One of the Enclave's strengths is that it's sized closer to mid-size SUVs, yet its interior makes great use of the space, to accommodate up to eight, with space that rivals full-size SUVs like the Suburban or Expedition. Factor in a nice, controlled ride and crisp, carlike handling, an extensive list of standard features, and top-notch safety and the Enclave is an often-overlooked alternative for families and deserves a look.

What's new for 2009?

The Enclave crossover SUV enters its second model year with several important changes that make it more appealing overall. A new V-6 is smoother, more powerful, and more fuel-efficient than the engine it replaces, and a Bluetooth hands-free calling interface is now standard. Two new tech features--XM NavTraffic, OnStar Directions and Connections--make more information available to the driver and enhance safety and convenience. Also, a 110-volt AC inverter is now part of the entertainment option packages, and heated and cooled front seats are now available as stand-alone options.

Model Strengths

  • Smooth, responsive powertrain
  • roomy interior
  • smooth ride
  • safety

Model Review

A new 3.6-liter V-6 is new to the Enclave for 2009. It makes 288 horsepower and has the responsiveness of a small V-8, thanks to variable valve timing, and gets fuel economy ratings of up to 17 mpg city, 24 highway on regular gas.

Printable Version

2009 Buick Enclave Sport Utility Crossover

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2009 Buick Enclave

Source: New Car Test Drive

Overview

The 2009 Buick Enclave is a luxury crossover sport utility vehicle that seats seven or eight, offers big cargo space, and gets good fuel economy and performance from a modern V6 engine. As a large midsize crossover, it offers the space of a truck-based SUV yet it is built using car-like unibody construction.

Buick Enclave shares its basic platform with the Saturn Outlook, GMC Acadia, and Chevy Traverse, but it's as different from each of them as chalk is from cheese. Enclave is aimed at the upper end of the crossover segment, with competitors like the Acura MDX, Lexus RX 350 and Mercedes-Benz R 350. Enclave's styling is completely different from its siblings.

But what really sets the Enclave apart is its modern cabin, with stylish illumination, crisp graphics, genuine wood trim and nice leather. The seats are comfortable, and it can be ordered with a second-row bench seat or luxurious captain's chairs, depending on whether seven- or eight-passenger capacity is needed. There's lots of convenient cubby storage and the Enclave offers 115 cubic feet of cargo space with all the seats folded down.

Equipped with GM's high-feature 3.6-liter V6, the Enclave offers good acceleration performance while earning an EPA-estimated 16/22 City/Highway mpg (with all-wheel drive) under the more stringent new test procedures. Enclave is rated to tow up to 4500 pounds. Smooth and practical, we think it may be the best vehicle Buick has ever built, though there are some fine vintage models we certainly wouldn't mind having.

The Enclave was introduced for the 2008 model year. For 2009, Enclave gets a more powerful engine and various equipment upgrades. The 3.6-liter V6 engine adds direct-injection, upping horsepower from 275 to 288 and torque from 251 to 270 pound-feet. New features for 2009 include a standard Bluetooth wireless cell phone link, real-time traffic information for the available navigation system, available heated and cooled front seats, and a 110-volt power outlet that comes with all entertainment packages. A rear-view camera that projects its image on the rearview mirror is also new.

Model Lineup

The 2009 Buick Enclave is offered in CX and CXL models, each with front-wheel drive (2WD) or all-wheel drive (AWD). Both come with the high-feature 3.6-liter 24-valve V6 with variable valve timing. At this stage, no hybrid, diesel, or V8 version is on the horizon.

Enclave CX ($35,070) and CX AWD ($37,070) come standard with cloth upholstery, three-zone automatic climate control with rear controls, tilt/telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control, 6-way power driver's seat with lumbar adjustment, 2-way power front passenger seats, second-row captain's chairs, split-folding third-row seat, OnStar assistance, power windows, power locks, power heated mirrors with turn signals, remote keyless entry, AM/FM/CD stereo with XM satellite radio and an auxiliary input jack, Bluetooth cell phone connectivity, auto-dimming rearview mirror, compass, outside temperature indicator, power liftgate, automatic bi-xenon headlights, fog lights, roof rails, and P255/65R18 tires on alloy wheels.

The CXL ($37,380) and CXL AWD ($39,380) add to the CX leather upholstery, heated front seats, an 8-way power driver's seat, a 4-way power front passenger seat, memory for the driver's seat and mirrors, and P255/60R19 tires.

Options are many, including a range of four entertainment packages that build upon one another: Package 1 ($860) includes 10 Bose speakers, rear audio controls and a 110-volt power outlet; Package 2 ($2155) adds a rear DVD entertainment system; Package 3 ($2750) adds a touch-screen navigation system with voice recognition and real-time traffic information, as well as a rear backup camera; and Package 4 ($4045) gets a Bose surround sound system. The Luxury package ($750) includes power folding exterior mirrors, an auto-dimming driver's side mirror, steering-linked headlamps, and a power tilt/telescoping steering column; the Driver Confidence package ($920) includes remote engine starting, ultrasonic rear parking assist, and heated washer fluid. Other options include chromed aluminum 19-inch wheels ($1495), a second-row center console ($300), heated and cooled front seats ($650), a power sunroof with a second-row skylight ($1400), the Panasonic DVD rear-entertainment system with dual screens ($2010), a trailer towing package ($500 CX, $425 CXL), and a rear cargo cover ($130). A second-row, three-passenger bench seat is a $495 credit.

Safety features that come standard include dual front airbags, front side airbags, curtain side airbags with rollover deployment, OnStar emergency communications (with turn-by-turn navigation), tire-pressure monitor, anti-lock brakes, traction control, and StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover mitigation. Enclave is rated as a five-star front-crash, five-star side-crash and four-star rollover safety vehicle by the federal government.

Walkaround

The exterior design of the Buick Enclave is more elegant and refined than that of the GMC Acadia, which is deliberately truck-like, and the Saturn Outlook, which carries the new Saturn front end and grille design and is well downmarket from the Enclave.

The Enclave carries the latest Buick design language. The protruding vertical bar grille and vestigial portholes on the hood make sure you know it's a Buick. The evolving design of that grille and the sculpted sides are reflected in the upcoming 2010 Buick LaCrosse.

The long body shell is anything but boxy, with curvy, swoopy, and sexy shapes from every angle. All of the front lighting elements use clear lenses, with lots of different elements to please the eye and light the road. Everything under the bumper is kept simple and clean to draw the eye to that massive grille. The standard tires are big, fat 18-inchers on seven-spoke alloy wheels, with 19-inchers optional and 20-inchers available from your dealer, and they certainly add to the visual punch of the Enclave. The roof and the side windows are done in a gracefully decreasing sweep from front to rear, accented by bright-metal roof bars that follow the roof's curvature perfectly front to back.

Out back, the top-hinged tailgate with standard power opening and closing is a work of art, with the rear glass extending beyond the sheetmetal into the rear opening. The rear glass is quite large, and is convex-shaped, coming to a point just above the Buick tri-shield logo and above the wide-screen taillamps. Under the rear bumper is a diffuser panel and dual exhausts with bright tips, making for one of the tastiest rear-end treatments in the crossover segment.

Interior Features

The cabin is what sets the Buick Enclave from other seven- and eight-passenger crossovers. Starting with the double-wave dashboard and instrument panel and going all the way back to the rear cargo floor, it's as modern as tomorrow and as functional as a Swiss Army knife.

The chrome-ringed white-on-black instruments and analog clock are highly styled, with a soft blue-green illumination (which is repeated around the perimeter of the headlamp), and halo lighting at night. The graphics are large and clear, and the wood is real. On the CXL version, the steering wheel is leather and mahogany, with 10 switches and controls mounted on it for easy use. The layout is familiar GM, with a large, bright navigation screen low enough to be shaded, high enough to be seen without distraction. The dead pedal on the far left of the floor is the first one we know of to be specially designed for use by women wearing high-heeled shoes.

New for 2009 is a rearview camera that projects on the rearview mirror when buyers opt for the camera without a navigation system. In a messy Chicago winter, the camera lens became speckled with dirt and salt, making the image hard to see in the rearview mirror. A larger image on the navigation screen would have been easier to see and more helpful. Our recommendation is to spring for the navigation system with the full-size display.

Seven- and eight-passenger seating is available: The standard seven-passenger, 2-2-3 seating scheme uses second-row captain's chairs with a feature called Smart Slide that allows easy entry into the third row by flopping the seats forward and sliding them fore and aft; this can also be ordered with a second floor console for storage and 12-volt power. Or, there's a second-row bench seat that makes for a 2-3-3 seating scheme for a total of eight passengers.

Either way, the driver and front-seat passenger get power bucket seats. The third row is usable for more than just kids. The third row has enough head-room for adults, and leg room is good for kids and fair for adults. Three kids will fit across, but three adults will find it tight. Only small kids will find the third row comfortable for long trips, though, because the seat bottoms sit too low to provide thigh support.

The Enclave gets high marks for storage space and flexibility. There's 23.2 cubic feet of cargo room just inside the power tailgate behind the third row, 67.5 cubic feet with the third row seats down, and 115.3 cubic feet with both rows folded. Another 4 cubic feet of storage space is found under the rear cargo floor. And if you need to, you can flop the passenger seat over as well for extra-long cargo. Up front, the Enclave has storage on top of the dash for sunglasses, iPods, and cell phones. Buick says the Enclave has 24 storage areas, counting door pockets, under-seat areas, and built-in storage. The Buick Enclave has more cargo volume than the Acura MDX, the Lexus RX, Volvo XC90, and Audi Q7 do.

Driving Impressions

The Buick Enclave offers brisk acceleration performance. Buick claims a 0�60 time in the low eight-second-range, not bad for 5000 pounds. Its 3.6-liter V6 engine features a special intake system for increased power, and for 2009, it gets direct-injection, which adds 13 horsepower and 19 pound-feet of torque. The added power makes the Enclave slightly more responsive. Because the Enclave is lighter than a truck-based SUV, you don't really miss having a V8 engine.

The Enclave's six-speed automatic transmission benefits from special gearing that gives a 14.2 overall ratio in first gear for rapid acceleration and a 2.33:1 ratio in sixth gear overdrive that lets the engine run at very relaxed rpm at Interstate cruising speeds. So you get quick acceleration performance for jumping on the freeway, but long-legged relaxed cruising at high speeds.

The Enclave also offers frugal fuel economy for its size. It scores an EPA-estimated 17/24 City/Highway mpg with front-wheel drive and 16/22 with AWD. By comparison, the AWD Cadillac Escalade is rated 12/18 mpg. The Enclave is 800 pounds lighter than the Escalade and its V6 is more fuel-efficient than the Escalade's V8.

For some years now, Buicks have been all about living your driving life in splendid isolation, and that's true is spades with this big empty box called Enclave, the toughest kind of vehicle to quiet down. The Buick folks have taken dozens of time-consuming and expensive steps to quiet down the engine, transmission, all-wheel-drive system, and tires, isolate the front and rear suspension and steering from the cabin, and wrap the entire package in sound-deadening materials in the floor, pillars and doors, all under the rubric of Quiet Ride. In lab tests, the Buick Enclave is quieter than the Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, and Acura competition, and in our road-driving experience in Missouri, it was extremely quiet. Conversations between first-row and third-row occupants at 70-plus mph were heard and understood in normal speaking voices, and the XM satellite music played through loud and clear at reasonable volumes.

The suspension on the Enclave is far more sophisticated, far sharper in handling and far more compliant and comfortable than what we'd come to expect from this class of vehicles. The rear suspension is especially complex and expensive, designed to work well with or without the rear-drive portion of the all-wheel-drive system, and using elaborate aluminum H-arms to put the wheels out as far as possible to the corners and allow for a wide, flat load floor up above.

Flying around on Ozark Mountain two-lane roads or humming down I-44 and I-64 in and around St. Louis, the Enclave showed off ride and handling. It provided a quiet, compliant ride, and very, very quiet road behavior. It's far more carlike than any of GM's big truck-based SUVs, with much less lean in turns. Drivers will find that it feels much smaller than its considerable size. The steering is accurate, although a bit numb.

The all-wheel-drive system operates full-time all the time, automatically adjusting to road speed, throttle position and the relative speeds of each of the four tires, wet or dry. We think the all-wheel drive is well worth the extra money. Normally, it is biased 90/10 front/rear torque split, normally operates between 40/60 and 60/40 in most driving, but it can divert 100 percent of available torque to the rear wheels if necessary. No buttons, no ranges, no fuss, just traction.

Summary

With all due respect and reverence for classic Buicks like the 1956 Century, the '63 and '66 Rivieras, and the pavement-ripping GS 455 Stage II of the muscle-car era, we'll go out on a short, sturdy limb and call the Enclave the best Buick ever built, and the most complete Buick we've ever driven. If you're in the market for a luxurious family hauler, give this one a long, serious look. It makes much more sense than a heavier, more wasteful truck-based SUV for anyone who doesn't need to tow a heavy load.

NewCarTestDrive.com correspondent Jim McCraw test drove the Enclave in the Ozarks. Correspondent Kirk Bell reported from Chicago.

Model Line Overview
Base Price (MSRP)
$35,070
Model lineup:
Buick Enclave CX ($32,790); CX AWD ($34,790); CXL ($34,990); CXL AWD ($36,990)
Engines:
288-hp 3.6-liter V6
Transmissions:
6-speed automatic
Safety equipment (Standard):
frontal airbags, side-impact airbags, curtain airbags; electronic stability control, ABS, EBD, tire pressure monitoring, collapsible pedals
Safety equipment (Optional):
all-wheel drive
Basic warranty:
4 years/50,000 miles
Assembled in:
Lansing, Michigan
Specifications As Tested
Model tested (MSRP):
Buick Enclave CXL AWD ($39,380)
Standard equipment:
leather upholstery, heated front seats, three-zone automatic climate control with rear controls, tilt/telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control, 8-way power driver's seat with lumbar adjustment, 4-way power front passenger seats, second-row captain's chairs, split-folding third-row seat, OnStar assistance, power windows, power locks, power heated mirrors with turn signals, remote keyless entry, AM/FM/CD stereo with XM satellite radio and an auxiliary input jack, memory for the driver's seat and mirrors, Bluetooth cell phone connectivity, auto-dimming rearview mirror, compass, outside temperature indicator, power liftgate, automatic bi-xenon headlights, fog lights, roof rails, and P255/60R19 tires on alloy wheels
Options as tested:
Entertainment package 4 ($4045) with navigation system with voice recognition and real-time traffic information, rearview camera, Bose Surround Sound audio system, rear radio controls, DVD entertainment system, and 110-volt power outlet; Driver's Confidence package ($920) with rear park assist, remote engine starting, and heated washer fluid; Luxury package ($750) with power tilt/telescoping steering wheel with memory, power folding mirrors with driver-side auto-dimming, and steering-linked adaptive headlights; chrome alloy wheels ($1495)
Destination charge:
735
Gas Guzzler Tax:
N/A
Price as tested (MSRP)
$47,325
Layout:
all-wheel drive
Engine:
3.6-liter dohc 24-valve V6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm):
288 @ 6300
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm):
270 @ 3400
Transmission:
6-speed automatic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:
16/22 mpg.
Wheelbase:
119.0 in.
Length/width/height:
201.5/79.0/72.5 in.
Track, f/r:
67.3/67.1 in.
Turning circle:
7 ft.
Seating capacity:
N/A
Head/hip/leg room, f:
40.4/57.2/41.3 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m:
39.4/57.0/36.8 in.
Head/hip/leg room, r:
37.8/48.3/33.2 in.
Cargo volume:
115.3 cu. ft.
Payload:
N/A
Towing capacity:
4500 lbs.
Suspension F:
independent, coil-over struts, stabilizer bar
Suspension R:
independent, H-arms, coil springs, lateral links, twin-tube shocks
Ground clearance:
7.2 in.
Curb weight:
4985 lbs.
Tires:
P255/60R19
Brakes, f/r:
disc/disc with ABS, EBD, Brake Assist in.
Fuel capacity:
22.0 gal.

Printable Version

2009 Buick Enclave Sport Utility Crossover

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Rollover Resistance
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Std
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std
Side Head Air Bag Std
Rear Head side Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

HID Headlights Std
Daytime Running Lights Std
Fog Lamps Std
Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Std
Intermittent Wipers Std

Accident Prevention

Rear Parking Aid Opt
Back-Up Camera Opt
Handsfree Wireless Std

Security

Alarm Std
Anti-theft System Std
Telematics Opt
Printable Version

2009 Buick Enclave Sport Utility Crossover

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Drivetrain 5 Years/100,000 Miles
Corrosion 6 Years/100,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance 5 Years/100,000 Miles

Buick Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

2-Year/24,000-Mile1 CPO Scheduled Maintenance Plan.

12-Month/12,000-Mile2 Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty.

5-year/100,000-Mile3 Powertrain Limited Warranty for model years up to 2012. 6-Year/100,000-Mile3 Powertrain Limited Warranty for 2013 model year and newer Certified Pre-Owned Buick vehicles (as of 6/24/13).

1Covers only scheduled oil changes with filter, tire rotations and 27 point inspections, according to your vehicle's recommended maintenance schedule for up to 2 years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. Does not include air filters. Maximum of 4 service events. See participating dealer for other restrictions and complete details.
2Whichever comes first from date of purchase. See participating dealer for limited warranty details.
3Whichever comes first from original in-service date. See participating dealers for limited warranty details.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 2009-2014 model year / Under 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 172-Point Vehicle Inspection and Reconditioning
Download checklist
Return/Exchange Program 3-Day 150-Mile Satisfaction Guarantee
Roadside Assistance Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $0

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2009 Buick Enclave Sport Utility Crossover

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