2011 Buick Enclave CXL-2 AWD
Power: 288hp @ 6300rpm
Torque: 270ft-lbs @ 3400rpm
Engine: 3.6L V6
Fuel Consumption: 16/22mpg
Price as Tested: $51,170
For a crossover, it looks pretty good. It has a strong, Buick character line running along the side of the car that gives it a unique and not altogether unpleasant look. This smoothly curving line that runs the length of the vehicle works in conjunction with the proportions in order to give the impression of a somewhat smaller car. Even though your children are hulking behemoths, the vehicle used to haul them doesn't have to look like one. The red is also a particularly rich hue, and really helps the Enclave look like something.
The rear bench folds down flat. The second row of seats folds up to snuggle against the first row of seats, which creates a truly massive storage area. It would be fairly easy to transport even large items like sofas in the Enclave.
Every part of the car the driver interacts with feels numb. The steering is vague and the brakes match. Throttle response isn't bad, but the unnerving steering doesn't inspire confidence. Honestly, when I was driving the big Buick, I felt like I'd had a couple of drinks and my senses had been dulled a bit. For people who couldn't care less about driver involvement, this is probably a non-issue. However, if an accident happens right in front of you, you'll want good handling to protect your issue, even if they are fat.
That would be forgivable if these weren't some of the world's least comfortable seats. It's all due to the headrests. The headrests in the Enclave barely adjust up and down, do not pivot, and are angled so far forward that they seem to be intentionally designed to give the driver and front passenger a herniated disc. It's as if the seat is at war with itself. The lumbar support is trying to prevent deformed spines, but the damn headrests seem like they were designed by chiropractors who want more patients.
Why doesn't the wood on the dash/console match the wood on the steering wheel? Seriously, that's just silly.
My neck was pretty ugly after a drive of an hour and a half.
My wife's neck was even worse, on account of her pony-tail.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Some people will no doubt love this car, but some people no doubt loved their AMC Gremlins. Given the price of the Enclave, you could do much better.