2009 Buick Enclave CX FWD
2009 Buick Enclave CX FWD . Click image to enlarge

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Test Drive: 2008 Buick Enclave CXL AWD

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General Motors of Canada

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2009 Buick Enclave CX FWD

Ottawa, Ontario – It’s not often that we get to drive “base” examples of the vehicles we review. Usually manufacturers like to “load up” their press fleet with all manner of expensive options and features, so the as-tested price typically far exceeds the base MSRP. However, General Motors kindly sent us a front-wheel drive 2009 Buick Enclave CX with only one option — a Driver Confidence Package, which includes back-up camera and ultrasonic rear parking assist — adding only $800 to the Enclave CX’s $42,805 base price.

Likely they did this to make the point that the Enclave CX — a full-size, seven (or eight) passenger SUV sibling to the GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook and Chevrolet Traverse — is unusually well equipped without adding options. Point made.

2009 Buick Enclave CX FWD
2009 Buick Enclave CX FWD
2009 Buick Enclave CX FWD . Click image to enlarge

Standard equipment includes eighteen-inch alloy wheels, automatic tri-zone climate control, satellite radio, fog lamps, privacy glass, Bluetooth “hands-free” connectivity, wood-look interior trim, turn signals integrated into the rearview mirrors, On-Star navigation (one-year subscription included), steering-wheel mounted remote controls, brushed aluminum roof rails, anti-lock brakes, stability control, power liftgate, tilt/telescoping steering….the list goes on.

Motive power is a 3.6-litre V6 engine which has received direct fuel injection for 2009 that compared with last year’s introductory Enclave boosts power to 288 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. The transmission is an electronically controlled 6T75 six-speed automatic, and when properly equipped (towing package), the Enclave is capable of towing 4,500 pounds.

Interior space is very generous, with entry to the second row seats easily accomplished, and to the third row less of a challenge than you might think (the second row slides and pivots forward — GM’s Smart-Slide — so you don’t have clamber too inelegantly into the back). A seven-passenger configuration is standard, featuring two front seats, two “captain’s” chairs and a third-row 60/40 split bench. Our tester was equipped with an optional, no-charge, second-row bench, which increases seating capacity to eight. In both cases, the second and third rows fold flat, opening up a cavernous cargo area into which you could likely fit a mid-size sofa, with room to spare.

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