Quick Take on Buick Enclave (by Ricardo Rodriguez-Long)
Technological advances, materials supply, and logistics have been a constant challenge to all vehicle makers since the invention of the automobile. On top of that, people cannot agree on what is the best color or the most beautiful thing in the world. Car-making is challenging to say the least. Like fashion trends can change overnight. Except for car factories, missing the customer's taste can cost millions in losses.
Buick is one of the earliest automakers. Since the beginning, it has built cars that offer premium features to its customers. And that was noticed by the elite in China. During the fifties, Buick's were mighty and the preferred car for government officials. Buick today continues building premium content cars, but it sells three times as many there than in the USA. Of the million Buicks built, eighty percent are delivered in China. The company does very well with executives and women in the far east. Here in America, Buick has reinvented itself and carved a niche with female buyers.
I had the opportunity to talk to executives who currently lead the brand here. After a few questions, it is evident that they have put together a group of women to design and market the Envision and Enclave models to their peers. I drove the Enclave, which aesthetically looks modern and luxurious, and was surprised by the quality of the ride. Helen Emsley, Executive Director of Global Design, has created a simple but elegant interior that creates a relaxed mood while in it. The exterior is expressive in posture and pleasant to the eye.
I drove it and like it. Found that the motor is powerful and smooth. The car is also loaded with tech and safety features. But I needed more. I wanted a female perspective. I contacted Amelia Dalgaard, known as Motorhead Mama, to get her version of this medium-size SUV. " The finishes inside the Buick Enclave will surprise the upscale female consumer. Buick isn't top of mind for many of us regarding luxury, but the colors and textures are right in line with other luxury brands. In addition, touches like a quiet interior cabin and a simple user interface can help to define the luxury vehicle experience." So the Enclave passes the test.
Buick is not a "luxury" brand like Cadillac or Mercedes Benz. The price of the base model, around $45,000, reflects that—thousands of dollars less in cost that are saved on trims and door panels which do not affect the ride and feel of the car. Buick offers the Avenir class that steps things up a notch if you need to pamper yourself. The Enclave Avenir costs $55,000. Still less than comparably equipped luxury SUV's.
It is offered with a large package of tech and accessories (3-row seating; Confidence Plus assisted driver tech; surround vision; auto emergency brake; automatic crash response; wireless phone charging) and pretty much everything you expect today in a car to make a smooth transition from your connected device. The Enclave made me think about car design. This car is a lot more user-friendly and comfortable than the cars designed for men!