I wondered why GM would send us a Buick Enclave so soon after we reviewed the similar GMC Acadia. Until today, that is, when the General put out a press release that revealed how important the Enclave is to Buick’s strategy. Four in 10 Enclave owners return to buy a new Enclave, according to GM.
“As it builds Buick brand loyalty, the Enclave also continues to pull in first-time Buick buyers as it has since being introduced in 2007,” the release said.
GM’s Vice President of Buick Marketing Tony DiSalle said, “The new Enclave is the first model in the second generation of the modern, rejuvenated Buick brand. In previous years we’ve talked about the new, younger, luxury-minded buyers coming to Buick for the first time. With the redesigned Enclave, we’re still seeing those new buyers, but we’re now also seeing the buyers who gave us a try with the first Enclave stay with us.”
The release said the Enclave is moving more luxury features, as well:
First time and repeat Enclave buyers are choosing more luxurious amenities. In fact, 8 percent more owners select the top-level Premium Group. And standalone options like 20-inch wheels, Rear Seat Entertainment, Bose audio, sunroof and navigation are more popular. For example, 15 percent more Enclaves have been ordered with navigation so far in the 2013 model year.
DiSalle said, ““If you want a bellwether for the where the Buick brand is heading, look no further than the Enclave. It’s a very modern, very smart crossover that delivers what our luxury-minded customers want.”
Our test Enclave is equipped with the Premium Group amenities as well as the Bose audio, sunroof, navigation, and rear seat entertainment system. Like our Acadia Denali tester, the Bose branding on the audio system means you don’t have the option of tweaking the EQ– not even through a range of presets– though we suspect most Enclave shoppers won’t mind that, given the Bose system’s excellent all-around balance for different styles of music. Also like the Acadia Denali, the rear seat entertainment system features a single overhead screen. Below it in the center console are RCA jacks for a DVD player as well as a standard household 120V power port so the cheap DVD player from your kids’ room will work just fine with no need for an inverter. To help Mom and Dad keep their sanity, there’s a pair of wireless headphones stashed deep in the center console just waiting to be strapped to the heads of unruly young ‘uns when that DVD player is in use. There’s also a remote control in there.
Taking its tech features in concert with its leather-everywhere interior, silky smooth ride, and attractive exterior, we can see why the Enclave would have repeat customers coming back to the Buick dealer. The question now is how Buick plans to improve the Enclave further to cement its status as a customer magnet.
Disclosure: Buick provided the vehicle, insurance, and a tank of gas.