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2008 Buick Enclave CXL

The 2008 Buick Enclave is a little too bulky for our tastes, and we weren't terribly impressed with the driving experience. But the navigation and entertainment module is worth the price of the option.

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CNET Reviews staff
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Buick's new crossover is built on the same platform as the GMC Acadia, but has a more stylish exterior.
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In keeping with the crossover theme, the Enclave has a smaller engine than you would find in an SUV. The Enclave gets a 3.6-liter V-6.
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Buick includes its signature hood vents, previously seen in the Lucerne. It also has big fenders and, on our test car, 19 inch wheels.
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The curvy D pillars are reminiscent of the Infiniti FX45. But the small rear windows make for poor rear visibility. Fortunately, a rear view camera is available.
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The Enclave feels big, which should please recovering SUV owners. But it's tough to drive around in crowded conditions.
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The Enclave has three rows of seating, accomodating seven or eight passengers, depending on whether the middle row is a bench or captain's chairs. There is also plenty of cargo room even with the third row.
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The CXL version of the Enclave gets leather seats and wood accents in the dash.
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The navigation and entertainment module has a lot of good features, such as this split-screen view.
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The steering feels overpowered with the Enclave, making it easy to spin the wheel around, but not providing any road feel.
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The analog gauges have a watch dial look, conveying a sense of refinement.
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We found the six speed automatic transmission to be incredibly clunky, but manual gear selection is available by shifting it into Low and using the rocker switch on the side of the shifter.
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Rear seat passengers can adjust heat and AC by adding or subtracting degrees from whatever temperature the front passengers chose.
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The resolution on the map screen is decent, and in urban areas it has 3D landmarks.
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The route guidance system uses very rich graphics to show upcoming turns.
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Satellite radio is available on the stereo, and we like how the presets, at the bottom of the screen, can contain stations from any band.
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The most impressive thing about this system is how it indexes MP3 CDs, letting you select artist, folder, or album.
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The stereo has the usual audio settings, but we weren't that impressed by the audio quality.
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OnStar is installed in the Enclave. With it, you can order various services, such as telephone or navigation.

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