Well, we rolled over 1000 kms the other day and here's a review of what the car's like after less than a month, but with more than 1000 klicks on it.
First off, this is the best car I've ever owned in terms of simple joy and satisfaction. I simply love getting into it. It's comfortable and handles superbly for a vehicle of its size. I've never been happier with a car I've owned, I'm totally amazed at how much I and the whole family adore this car.
I'm going to do this in a "likes" and "dislikes" type of way, to keep it simple.
- Fit and Finish. It's simply stellar. The interior and exterior are so well put together. All the seams and gaps are consistent and small. Nearly everything you touch is pleasant to the touch. The hard plastics are in the right place to take scuff marks, winter boots, and other pleasantries of having to actually use the car on a daily basis. Everything is very nice to the touch.
- Tactile Joy. Nearly every part of the car is a joy to touch. My favourites include the various buttons in the centre console, the vent controls with their chrome and rubberized feel, and the turn stalk. The turn stalk in particular is very very nice to the touch.
- Roominess and Comfort. We knew this from the start, but the car is simply roomy -- and oh so comfortable. Going on a 50 km excursion, even on crappy back roads, is not a problem. You don't feel that the vehicle's abused your poor old body. The ability to get 5-7 6'+ adults into the vehicle is a huge plus. With my son and his buddies going from 6' to 6'6" means being able to deliver a bunch of them to the movies or a game easily, and without having to request he leaves some behind. Seating 7 is simply massively useful. It has made me a bit of a taxi service, but such is the life of a parent of a 15 year old that can't drive (yet) and his army of massive friends.
- Ergonomics. Everything easily comes to hand. No hunting for the right button. Things like the power liftgate are awesome and very useful for my petite wife. No more trying to reach the liftgate when it's up. Simply push a button and its done. The fold flat seats have come in handy a half dozen times already. And, getting in/out of the car is easy
- Cubby Holes. There are so many little places to store things. It's well thought out. And for those that love cup holders, there are a tonne of them all through the car.
- Engine. It's perfectly fine for this car. I had my doubts about it hauling approximately 5000 lbs of vehicle, but it's been fine. It has no trouble passing or merging into traffic. The transmission gets smarter each time and rarely hunts for a gear. I have noticed that if I ease off it hunts, if I don't it holds.
- Handling. It handles like a MUCH smaller vehicle. It took a bit of getting used to in terms of parking, but driving it has been a breeze. It turns much better than I ever expected and handles more like a sedan than an SUV, crossover, or van. I'm very very happy with the way it handles. I've gotten more confidence as I've driven it as I continue to find how well it can actually handle turns, etc. GM did a superb job in this department.
- Styling. Simply stellar. The car is gawked at regularly. Last night at the movies folks would go out of their way to simply walk around it, all the while talking and pointing. A lot of nodding would happen. No other cars in the lot garnered as much attention. In fact, none garnered any attention. Enclaves are still fairly rare in Ottawa so that probably explains the attention.
- AWD. It's simply awesome. We had a dump of snow the other day and it handles the snow like a champ. Excellent decision there!
- Sound System. The kids love it. I like it, but I've not played with it as much as the kids have. The AUX IN is quite popular with the kids and their iPods.
- NVH. Oh my God, is this thing every quiet! At full throttle it has a nice little bark. Under normal operating conditions it allows pertinent exterior noise in while allowing us to hold a conversation at normal volume with all three rows. Simply incredible. At idle the car is so smooth you think it's not running. At highway speeds it's vault-like quiet.
- Ambient Lighting. The Enclave has a touch of ambient lighting -- like the LED that lights up the gear shift area. It makes the interior quite striking.
- Auto-Folding Mirrors. Great idea to get the car into the garage. Way less likelihood you'll tear off a mirror. Plus, when parked in a parking lot you can fold them. Makes the car a bit easier for people to get around.
- Cargo Area. More than enough room with all the seats up. With the seats down it's simply cavernous.
- Glove Box. Simply HUGE. For a change, a useful glove box.
- Seats. I love the seats. The ability of the middle row to slide back and forth is a godsend. The Smart Slide is very smart. Makes getting in and out a breeze!
- No iPod Integration. It really should have seamless iPod integration.
- No Door Lights. When you open the door I expected to see lights illuminating downward. No lights exist on the car. Kind of weird and rather silly on a car in this price range.
- Cargo Area. Doesn't take a 4'x8' piece of plywood, but comes close. It's about 42" wide at its narrowest point which means if you want to take full sheets you'll have a bit of a problem. I blame the style of the vehicle which pinches in at the back.
- No Instant MPG. There is no way to get an instant MPG rating. It only has overall average. I think this is a stupid oversight.
- Cheap Button for Clock. The only gripe with the interior so far is the button for adjusting the time on the Art Deco style clock. It just feels cheap. It should've been a bit nicer.
- Cut Lines. There are a few cut lines I wish didn't exist in the dash, primarily the one below the clock in the "aluminum" trim. I wish they'd found a way to make it one long piece as opposed to two pieces. Sure, the pieces are put together well but one piece would've looked better.
- Tactile Oddity. There is a single tactile oddity and that's the plastic right above the clock. It just feels wrong. I should have been a soft plastic instead of the hard plastic they used. The other part they should have had better tactile plastic is on the back of the steering wheel. You have to have large hands to feel it, but it feels wrong. The same can be said about the various radio/cruise control setting buttons on the steering wheel. They should have a nicer feel to them. Too hard, in my opinion.
- Rear Headrests. I find it odd that only the front headrests are adjustable up and down. You'd think they'd all be adjustable. Unless I simply haven't figured out how to adjust them, this was more than a tad odd.
- Mileage. I don't know how much the mileage will improve once the vehicle is fully broken in. The first week the mileage was horrid. It's much better now, but still not at EPA levels. Close, but not fully there. I think with a bit more break-in it'll get there no problem.
And there you have it. My 1000km review of our Enclave. No regrets. A great vehicle. And the customer support has been exquisite. They've called every week to ensure everything is good with the car and our ongoing experience. Their treatment of us has made us feel rather special, which isn't a bad thing.