We are on to Car #2 in our search for Mom’s Perfect Car! Yes, I know there is no such thing as a “perfect” car, but I really want to do my research and find the perfect car that will fit my family. Lucky for us, GM is on board with our search and has been kind enough to let us test drive a few of their vehicles that fit my criteria. Read on to learn more……
Minivans and moms go hand in hand, right? Especially if you have more than 2 kids, a minivan is just so convenient. And we were there. Trust me, there is nothing better than automatic sliding doors when you have a newborn.
We ran our mini into the ground – between soccer practices (yes, we OWN that cliche’), school carpools and even a 3 week road trip (our little Honda Odyssey took us all the way to California and back!), we loved our minivan.
But once the kids got older, I was ready to move on. And that I did. Empowered to get a new SUV, I bought a used GMC Hybrid Yukon at the first car lot I went to. Some say it was an impulsive move (hubby) some say it was a bold negotiation (me). Regardless, I love my Yukon. However, it’s a 2008 and doesn’t have many of the safety, navigation, and other features that newer cars have. Plus, if I can be honest, as much as I LOVE the gas milage I get with a hybrid vehicle, we hit a big snag this summer when it needed to get repaired (like 9 week snag – not going there….).
So this mom is ready to make a purchase for a new vehicle and I want to really take my time in deciding what our next family vehicle is. Let’s call it a hunt for #MomsPerfectCar
Qualifications for #MomsPerfectCar
Everyone wants something different in a vehicle. I posed the question on Facebook a few weeks ago and had many responses – everything from good gas milage to a good color. But in my hunt, I have narrowed it down to these 4 things:
[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”500px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Has to be an SUV or Crossover – I’m not ready to drive a car[/dropshadowbox]
[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”500px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]A 3rd row with room for my long-legged teenagers to sit comfortably.[/dropshadowbox]
[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”500px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Navigation/Entertainment/Hands-Free Phone System[/dropshadowbox]
[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”500px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Safety Features[/dropshadowbox]
Not too much to ask, right? In fact, most of the SUVs these days have all of these features, it’s the right fit for my family that is going to matter most in my decision.
2016 Buick Enclave
Although the Enclave sits a little lower to the ground, it is considered a Sport-Utility Vehicle and not a cross-over. I have driven a few Buick vehicles over the past year and I always feel they are a bit more luxurious than your GMCs and Chevys. The Enclave had beautiful features on the interior, leather seats, wood dash, subtle nighttime lighting and this ornate clock in the dashboard. It is a very nice looking SUV.
Like the GMC Acadia, the Enclave is a nice, gentle ride with great pick-up and highway speed. During my loan, I made sure to drive it in various capacities – grocery store run, carpooling, soccer games. The Enclave worked perfectly for all the day-to-day trips around town. I didn’t have a chance to experience it on a longer drive, but I assume it would be just as economical as would be expected.
With all 3 rows completely up, the Enclave didn’t have great deal of space in the back. It was enough room for groceries or soccer gear, but again, it’s not going to fit a great deal of overnight bags (cargo room behind the 3rd row is 23.3 cu.ft. & smaller than the Acadia’s 24.1 cu-ft).
Qualification #1: Has to be an SUV or Crossover
Yes, the Buick Enclave is classified as a Sport-Utility Vehicle.
Qualification #2: 3rd row with room for my long-legged teenagers
Yes, the Buick Enclave has a 3rd row. Both my teens fought to ride in the second row (my 6 year old was in the other captain’s chair with his booster seat) because the leg room was so much greater in the 2nd row. If we only sat in the middle of the 3rd row, they would be comfortable. But if we were going on a longer trip and had to sit on one of the sides, their legs would be squished. The 2nd row leg room is 36.8″ and 3rd row is 33.2″.
Qualification #3: Navigation/Entertainment/Hands-Free Phone System
The Buick Enclave comes with a color-touch, navigation radio with Intellilink “Infotainment” System. Intellikink connects to your smartphone, allowing you hands-free calling. Having just spent a week in the Acadia, we knew how to use the system better than before, so we took advantage of some of the other features this system offered, such as the traffic warnings.
Without even asking it to, the system automatically warned me of upcoming traffic. I was pleasantly surprised at this feature, as it allowed me to determine the best way to get somewhere without having to fumble with my phone to look online.
I think I have said this before, but once you get used to driving a vehicle with all the modern technology, it is hard to go to one that doesn’t offer it. But on a safety note, I loved the ease of hands-free calling, being able to control music from the steering wheel, and see the upcoming traffic.
Qualification #4: Safety Features
The more driving I do with my family (and their friends) in the car, I am more aware of the safety ratings and features a vehicle brings to the table. The Buick Enclave has an overall vehicle score of 5 stars (government 5-star safety ratings), with 5 stars for frontal and side crashes and 4 stars for rollovers. Good start. But what features does the car have that will allow me to be a safer driver?
- Standard rearview camera with rear-cross traffic alert – I love having this feature when backing out of a busy parking lot.
- Standard side blind zone alert – Great for changing lanes.
- Standard forward collision alert – Lets you know when you are approaching a vehicle ahead of you too quickly.
- Standard lane departure warning – Alerts you when you are crossing into another lane. It can become a lot and you start to tune this on out, but it would be useful on long trips. You can turn this feature on and off.
- Industry first Front Center air bag
- StabiliTrak electronic stability control system – braking control system
What did I like best on the Buick Enclave?
I really loved the luxurious feel of the Buick Enclave. I felt like it was more than “mom’s vehicle” with all the upgraded features like the leather wrapped steering wheel, the wood-paneling and this clock in the dash. And as much as I like modern technology, sometimes it’s just easier to control the air and the radio volume with an old-fashioned knob.
I also felt the rear cross traffic alert on the back up camera was extremely useful. I’m not naming names, but I know we all get in the habit of looking one way when backing up and having both a auditory and visual alert to oncoming traffic is invaluable. One of my favorite safety features.
Once again, the rear controls and USB ports are what’s important to my kids. The Enclave had 5 ways to charge your devices – one for each member of the family. Perfect!
2016 Buick Enclave Details
Fuel Economy: 16 City / 22 Hwy / 18 Combined
Engine: 3.6L V-6
Warranty: 5 year/100,000 mile powertrain limited warranty
Price: $52, 835.00
Please keep in mind, these are my opinions of the Buick Enclave and how the car and features work for MY family. I recognize that every family is different and will have different needs, wants, & desires for a vehicle.
Disclosure: I was provided with the 2016 Buick Enclave for a week to conduct this review. I was not compensated for this article. All opinions are my own.