Buick’s product has been getting stronger and stronger over the last decade. Gone are the issues from the 90s and 2000s and GM is working to establish a new identity for the brand. Key to helping change public perception is actually getting the product out there and let consumers experience what you have to offer. Their latest campaign allows you to pick any of their vehicles at participating dealers and take it for a 24 hour test drive. We worked with the great folks at Reynolds Buick GMC in West Covina to borrow the 2015 Buick Enclave. The “24 Hours of Happiness” campaign focuses on wellness and the feeling their cars bring. According to the website “Whether you’re running errands or discovering a new destination, a day with Buick and our wellness experiences will enhance your journey and open up a world of possibility.” So we set off to see if the #BuickHappiness program could lift our spirits.
The initial experience emailing to the dealer was typical of these type of events. The sales team was not aware of the program and had to follow up to research. to be fair it was the exact day it had been announced and things like this generally take time to get around. Once connected to the right people we were able to find a time and day that worked to have us go and pick up the car. The 2015 Enclave was a dealer service loaner but was in great condition and just under 3,000 miles.
I have driven every variation of the GM Lambda SUV platform and find that the Enclave and GMC Acadia are by far the best choices. The exterior looks and interior layout are all near-identical across the platform but the Buick seems to make the best design choices of the bunch. The V6 engine and transmission are aging well and still get the job done to give decent mid-20s mileage for a vehicle this size. The drive is smooth and feels much lighter on its feet than the truck-based GM SUVs like the Tahoe.
The GM platform may be nearly a decade old at this point but the sales keep piling in as 2014 saw a high of 250,000 units sold. The Enclave is priced well at just around $40,000 to start and gives the space and entry-level luxury bits that buyers appreciate. Key to the Enclave’s success lies in the fact that there simply aren’t many vehicles in the luxury space that seat 7 passengers and their cargo with the same economy. Although, the Infiniti QX60 (formerly JX35) is a better option if you are willing to pay a few grand extra and deal with the CVT.
As for the happiness, 24 Hours with a “Family Hauler” can only raise your pulse so much. But the entire Buick lineup is worth a pressure free test drive. If that hasn’t swayed you enough – this Buick promo video of Bar Refaeli doing yoga should do the trick :