It’s too big!

It was my first thought when the guys at the dealership in Fredericton introduced us to the car that would take us on the last leg of our journey home.

Buick Met

The day we met

Don’t get me wrong. It is a beautiful car this 2012 Buick Enclave. The white shell gleamed in the afternoon sun and the bells and whistles inside had me drooling even as they were being described to me. But after months of being in closely knit spaces with Ish and the boys, the 7-seater seemed like a monster truck.

view from back

The view from the back

I approached the driver’s seat with the trepidation that comes with the new and unfamiliar and set out to explore Eastern Canada on an epic road trip we won’t soon forget.

Now, almost two weeks  and five provinces later,  the car fits us like a glove.

Driving Buick Enclave 2012What once seemed huge now feels like enough space for everyone. We had no problems parking it and though I was initially nervous about changing lanes, I got better with time.  We were comfortable.

comfortable Buick Enclave 2012

Some of us got very comfortable very quickly.

Very comfortable.

Buick Enclave comfortable

Scratch that. ALL of us got very comfortable very quickly

It got to the point where we forgot it wasn’t ours. So imagine my shock when the reminder went off to return the keys to the Courtesy Chevrolet in Etobicoke this morning.

Hint: Not good. ;)

Fact: I cannot guarantee there won’t be tantrums thrown.

kids enclave

These two got it right from the beginning.

The good news is that we had a great time with the car and I managed to make a few notes about the Enclave while we made our way across the country. Hope this helps if you’ve been considering a 7-seater:

(Note: While GM Canada loaned us the car for our drive home there was no promise made or requested for us to write this post.)

*It’s big but you get used to it. Seven seats simply aren’t going to come in a small car. The good thing is that there is a real  sense of comfort being in the driver’s seat that high up and I got used to it quicker than I’d like to admit.

* The fold-down third row seating is very useful. At first I was concerned that as a family of four we wouldn’t have much use for that third row. We folded it down early in the trip and rode with it down for most of it, but when we stopped in Ottawa for a visit with friends and the kids all wanted to ride together, we realized we had an extra seat.

* From the moment the kids’ found it the plug in the second row became my favourite accessory.

Plug Buick Enclave 2012

My favourite accessory in the car

Yes, some people have the lighter plugs in their cars that will charge a phone or ipod but with a regular household plug in the car the options were endless. I could charge my laptop and the camera battery and it offered another option for the kids to charge their devices as well. I loved that plug and it will be  something I look for in any road trip vehicle we have going forward.

* It was fun to be a passenger: Often being a passenger in a car is like being a second class citizen. While the driver has all the power and control you’re regulated to a crank window and envy. Not in this ride. Driver and passenger both had power seats, control of their own heating/cooling system and seat warmers.

different temp controls buick enclave 2-12

His and hers temperature control. Note the differences? Makes you wonder how we even stay married doesn’t it? ;)

And the kids were in car heaven. With enough room around each of their seats, they could have easy access to their backpacks. They loved the wireless headphones (and so did we!) which meant they could listen to the Disney Channel on Sirius XM radio while Dad and I listened to the FM station up front or vice versa. The built in DVD player also meant I didn’t have to listen to them watch Ice Age or Charlotte’s Web for the millionth time. (A sanity-saving win on all fronts.) With a sunroof over the front row and a second over the back, the car was flooded with daylight; and the fold out table in between them was perfect for meals on the go or a place to play cars.

fold out table Buick Enclave 2012

Making the most of the Buick Enclave’s fold-out table

Things I’d change?

* The trunk space is uncovered. That meant that we needed to take care with how high and what was packed where in the trunk  to avoid things spilling forward

*The big tank meant less stops at the pump but it also meant a heart attack every time we filled up. (I blame you Stephen Harper.)  I realize we didn’t pay any more for gas than we normally would have but it was the one part of having the Enclave that took a while to get used to.

Conclusion: The Enclave made what could have just been a long ride home, a very comfortable experience. It felt like a room in my house and we’ll be sorry to see it go.

Thanks to GM Canada for letting us take her for a spin.


Buick Enclave 2012 PEI

Looking pretty outside our cottage at Shaw’s Hotel in PEI