NEW FOR 2009:

- More powerful 3.6-litre V6 engine with direct injection technology
- Heated and cooled front seats available as stand-alone option
- Standard Bluetooth for Phone hands-free connectivity
- Available XM NavTraffic, OnStar Destination Download for touch-screen navigation system
- Exterior colours: Quicksilver Metallic and Silver Green Metallic added; Platinum Metallic and Blue-Gold Crystal Metallic discontinued

An all-new model for 2008, the Buick Enclave receives a new engine that’s still a 3.6-litre V6, but with direct injection technology for an increase in power from 275 horsepower and 251 lb-ft of torque, to 288 horsepower and 270 lb-ft. Other changes include standard Bluetooth, and the availability of heated and cooled seats, XM real-time traffic, and OnStar Destination Download, which allows navigation users to quickly input a destination by pressing a button.

A sister vehicle to the Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook, the Enclave uses a 3.6-litre V6 with six-speed automatic transmission. Both the CX and CXL are available in front- or all-wheel drive. Seating is for seven, with available eight-passenger configuration.

Features on the CX include 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic tri-zone climate control with second- and third-row controls, fog lamps, privacy glass, power liftgate, heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, roof rails, rear spoiler, variable intermittent wipers, variable delay rear washer/wiper, cruise control, floor mats, driver information centre, exterior temperature display, tire pressure monitoring system, auto-dimming rearview mirror, tilt and telescopic leather-wrapped and wood wheel with audio controls, illuminated vanity mirrors, garage door opener, power windows with front express up/down, six-way driver and two-way passenger power cloth seats, second-row Smart Slide captain’s chairs, 60/40 split-folding third-row bench seat, CD/MP3 stereo, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, XM satellite radio, power locks with keyless entry, automatic xenon headlamps, theft deterrent system, and OnStar with Turn by Turn Navigation.

The CXL adds 19-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors with integrated turn signals and driver’s side auto-dimming, rearview camera and rear parking assist, heated washer fluid system, remote starter, 110-volt power outlet, power tilt and telescopic wheel, perforated leather heated seats with eight-way driver and four-way passenger power adjustment, and Bose premium audio system.

Depending on the model, available options include a two-panel sunroof, second-row console, heated and cooled seats, DVD entertainment system, navigation system, adaptive headlamps, and trailer towing package.

The most luxurious of the four models, the Enclave is a large vehicle that offers a smooth ride, numerous standard features, and available options that will send up the price but also increase the comfort level. The previous V6 engine could feel strained under the Enclave’s weight; the newer, more powerful engine should help to solve that.