We’re definitely taking more road trips than ever before and see this trend continuing into our future. Don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE flying and hope to get in two long haul trips each year but the numbers work out better if we do quick weekend trips and this way I can satisfy my need to constantly travel. So when Buick Canada asked us to test drive the new 2014 Buick Enclave we knew a road trip would suit us well. This is exactly how we found ourselves buckled in the Buick Enclave on our way to Chicago. This was a trip that came together quite randomly as we were joined by two of our friends in Toronto and we linked up with another family in Chicago. Travelling in a group can be tough but it works out much better if we’re in one vehicle! We had four adults and two kids in the eight passenger Buick Enclave and the six of us were comfortable.
The seating configuration with car seats meant that we had to put the car seats in the second row which made it a bit tough for my friend and I to keep getting past the seats into the third row but once we were back there, we were comfortable ( I took many a nap) and since neither of us are over 5.2 feet, we had plenty of leg room. We put the SmartSlide second-row seats to good use each time we had to get in and out. Luggage space was at a premium since we were using the third row of seats and this meant that we had to travel with duffle bags vs. suitcases as our double stroller took up quite a bit of room. We did also have lots of bags ( snacks, ice cooler, beer purchases) that fit under the seats and the aisles. Let’s just say that this was a fully loaded car during our weekend travels! Logistic wise we had everything within easy reach to quickly appease Baby Boy’s fussy stints and Little Monkey’s toddler tantrums.
What I enjoy about road trip is that we get to explore spots on our drive. We’ve learned that a stop every two to three hours is necessary and we plan them around the napping schedule. The Little Monkey figured out that we’d stop if she yelled “I NEEEEEED the POTTTTY”. Whenever she wanted a break to stretch her legs or just run around, she’d yell this phrase that would have us scrambling for a good stop. We’d stop, she’d run around and then have no need to pee. Know how frustrating that is? Tricky little bugger. We learned quickly and would pretend that we’re looking for a washroom until she forgot all about.
No road trip is complete without a stop at Tim Hortons so that’s exactly where our first stop was to fuel up on some breakie. On our Chicago drive one of our favourite stops was grabbing a pint and snacks at the Three Floys Brewery. I was quite surprised by how good the food was there! We also swung by the retail side to stock up on brews to bring back to Toronto.
So how did the hubs enjoy driving the Buick Enclave? Fairly well. This puppy hugged the road well and as with most GM vehicles we felt safe. The Enclave has an industry-first driver centre-mounted airbag in addition to the other 6 air bags.The lane departure warning was awesome! There’s no sleeping on the job here…drive straight or else you’ll be told to do so! Another cool feature was the Side Blind Zone Alert, we got a flashing icon on the rear-view mirror if there was a vehicle in our blind spot.
We haven’t got into the singing yet so we rely on the professionals to serenade us with some good tunes. The Enclave’s standard IntelliLink infotainment made it easy for us to sync our phones and the USB ports were very hand on our 12 hour journey. The voice commands worked well for the hubs but when my friend tried getting directions, she got frustrated and gave up – accent issues perhaps?
All in all the 2014 Buick Enclave is definitely very sleek and a looker when parked. Don’t let the sleekness fool you on how spacious it is on the inside. The six of us were comfortable but with two car seats I wouldn’t add any more people into the mix. When it was just the four of us we had plenty of luggage space but if you plan to road trip with 6 in the Enclave, pack wisely and definitely manage your gear accordingly. Space is at a premium when that third row is up. However you’re guaranteed a safe journey with all the trimmings to prevent you from getting lost!