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Near Luxury?


New Member
We bought a new Buick Enclave Avenir back in 2018 and it was a mistake. We had previously owned a 2010 (bought in 2009) Buick Enclave and really loved that car until the transmission started to fail. 9 years of good ownership and the car looked good and was a great size and utility. The 2018 took away so many things that made the previous generation so good, and while it added some nice features, like the smart cruise control, the safety features like the automatic braking were poorly implemented and we ended up turning off that and never using the lane keep assist (it wasn't good at keeping and just bounced off the right lane line and delayed way too late on the left lane line). There are a lot of things that GM just messed up with it, too many to go into here. Long story short, GM is buying that "new" 2018 back under the California Lemon Law since the emergency brake has self-activated multiple times while the car was in motion and the dealer has tried twice to fix it (software calibrations for the brake system) and has not been successful, something else is broken or worn out and they can't figure it out.

However that Enclave was marketed as "near luxury", trying to compete with Acura, Audi and BMW and the rest, except it really wasn't on the same quality or engineering level. It was, however larger, had leather seats, sunroof and for the 2010 version, a fair amount of features, which is what we needed.

So the Hyundai doesn't seem to be marketed as "near luxury" or luxury but from the experiences we've had, which has been limited to a 20 minute test drive at night and looking at the car on the dealer lot, it does seem to be at the same level in terms of materials (looking at the Palisade Limited version with the Nappa leather and full digital dashboard). What I haven't been able to assess yet is the "engineering quality". How is the door seal attached and will it hold up, how is the carpet held down, how are the interior plastics secured (and are they tight or loose on those mounts). How are the printed button overlays or the console overlays, do they scratch easily? Does the labeling flake off (this has been a GM problem for years)? Is the textured hard plastic easily scratched (lower door panels and lower dash by glove box). Basically, how much attention has Hyundai paid to the little details? Do you find little details that you appreciate after having the car for a while? This really amounts to is it engineered well and built well or is this built to a price point (a.k.a. cheaply) and decontented by the bean counters. BTW, I already know about the front cup holders being non-convential and in my opinion, a likely candidate for early failure.

I'd appreciate any input on these, good and bad, so we know what we're likely to be getting into. I have a 2015 Mercedes S550 and that has really spoiled us for materials quality and engineering details. It's not fair to compare that car to anything else, but after driving that car for the past 3 years it's hard not to ask questions about why the manufacturer (GM or Hyundai) chose to do things a certain way... it usually comes down to money to put in the extra time to refine the engineering for a solution or put higher quality materials in a certain place. And before you ask, no, I'm not interested in going the Mercedes SUV route, the Palisade is going to haul our 2 large dogs, do the Costco run, get us up to the cabin in the snow, take my daughter and her friends to the beach and so on. It's also going to get a lot of miles (we were putting about 1700 miles on it a month) since we'll use it to drive from San Jose to Los Angeles periodically and other longer trips as well as all the around town driving my wife does.

thanks in advance!
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