A Buick is often more expensive than its rivals, but most critics agree that the cabin quality of these vehicles is top-notch. They’re often constructed with more upscale materials, plus offer more space for riders to get comfortable. The Buick Enclave is one of the best SUVs in its lineup, but how does it compare with the competition?
The Toyota Highlander is another popular three-row SUV with a reputation for reliability. However, as Autotrader found, even the Highlander can’t top the Buick Enclave in terms of interior space.
How big is the Buick Enclave?
The Buick Enclave is the biggest model in the Buick family, measuring over 203 inches in length. Its wheelbase measures almost 121 inches, giving it a smoother ride quality. The Enclave has a big engine under the hood to match, a 310-hp V6 paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
However, that big wheelbase also comes with a larger turning diameter of 39 feet. Additionally, at 21 mpg combined city/highway, the V6 engine doesn’t provide drivers with the biggest savings on fuel. However, it still handles well for its size and the suspension absorbs harsh bumps on the road.
Inside the cabin, front-seat riders have over 42 inches of headroom and over 41 inches of leg space. Middle-row passengers get 40 inches of headroom and nearly 39 inches to stretch their legs. The third row is a tad cramped, but still boasts a sufficient 37 inches of headroom and 33 inches of legroom.
Combined with generous shoulder room dimensions, that’s a total of 157 cubic feet of passenger space. The Buick Enclave also has a spacious cargo hold, measuring over 97 cubic feet of space. The liftgate is hands-free, and some trims feature electronically-folding third-row seats.
Measuring the Toyota Highlander
Although the Toyota Highlander was recently redesigned to be larger, it’s still not quite as big as the Enclave. It measures almost 195 inches in length, with a wheelbase of 112 inches. The V6 is also slightly less powerful with 295 hp, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
However, this powertrain is also more efficient compared to the Enclave’s, rated for 24 mpg city/highway. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid, while more expensive, has a powertrain rated for 35 mpg combined city/highway. The Highlander also has a small turning diameter, so it’s easy to maneuver around tight city streets and parking spaces.
Toyota Highlander cabin riders get 40 inches of both headroom and legroom. The Highlander and Enclave are pretty evenly matched in terms of second-row space, but the Highlander’s last row is tiny. Those riders only get 36 inches of headroom and just below 28 inches of available legroom.
The Highlander can seat eight passengers compared to the Enclave’s seven, yet it still doesn’t have as much passenger volume. The cargo hold is much smaller as well, measuring just above 84 cubic feet. To make up for this, the interior has a lot of storage cubbies, plus big cupholders and bottle pockets.
Who should buy a Buick Enclave?
If you need the space for tall passengers and extra cargo, the Buick Enclave is a better buy. The Buick Enclave also has the longest warranty and one of the best interiors in the segment. However, as Autotrader points out, the Toyota Highlander is superior in several other categories.
The base Highlander is cheaper than the Buick Enclave while still providing more standard features. These include essential driver’s aids like forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking, which are both optional on the Enclave. The Highlander is also more efficient, has a higher reliability rating, and a better resale value.