2008 Buick Enclave CXL

Sam Smith

GM decided a while ago that it would try to make Buick its Lexus. As part of that effort, it implemented a new engineering program for all Buicks called "QuietTuning," featuring greater application of existing sound-deadening technologies like door and window gaskets, double-glazed windshields and side glass, engine compartment insulation, and careful attention to aerodynamics. The Enclave is probably the greatest beneficiary of the QuietTuning program. I attended the Enclave media launch in June 2007, and Buick engineers had set up several demonstrations that showcased the Enclave's quietness, including a series of recordings taken at highway speeds inside the cabins of the Enclave, the Lexus RX, and a couple of other premium crossovers. The Enclave recording was noticeably quieter.

Buick has hardly become Lexus overnight, but QuietTuning is just one manifestation of the obvious attention that Buick paid toward making its version of the corporate mid-size crossover platform the most luxurious, the best looking, and the best to drive. (The Enclave's corporate cousins include the GMC Acadia, the Chevrolet Traverse, and the Saturn Outlook.) The exterior design is downright voluptuous, which is exactly what a Buick should be; no spare, Bauhaus-inspired aesthetic here, please - leave that to Audi. No, I like the Enclave's richness and sumptuousness, and its quietness, just fine.

Joe DeMatio, Executive Editor

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