Consumer Reports placed the 2020 Buick Enclave atop their list of large luxury SUVs, basing their claim on its road-test performance, predicted reliability, and predicted owner satisfaction. However, mediocre overall reliable scores in the model years from 2017 to 2019 leave many critics wondering if the higher-priced Enclave is any better than its two closest competitors Chevrolet Traverse and Honda Pilot. U.S. News car critics gave equal rankings to these competitors on their list of 22 midsize SUVs.
What does Buick Enclave offer for the price?
As a midsize SUV, buyers look to Buick Enclave and its competitors to provide plenty of comfortable space for a family road trip or cart the kids to various activities and technology, performance, and safety. According to these criteria, U.S. News rates this SUV class along with what critics have to say about each model. Though Enclave’s overall rating was the same as Traverse and Pilot, there are areas where its rating differed.
Enclave’s hushed cabin with room for up to seven passengers in three rows provides both space and comfort. It is sufficiently powered to produce the performance demanded by SUV drivers, and shifting is nearly imperceptible. Upscale touches like finely stitched leather and other luxury features, especially in the Avenir package, which leans toward luxury, set it apart from the other two SUVs in many critics’ minds.
U.S. News mentions that the three most attractive features of Buick Enclave include a gentle ride, a powerful engine, and a large cargo hold. Enclave’s interior includes less of a sporty feel for those who value that feature but takes a slight edge over the other two regarding predicted reliability. However, you will pay up to 10,000 more for these features than for the other two models.
Areas where 2020 Enclave Differs from Traverse and Pilot
In contrast to areas where the Buick Enclave is rated higher and provides more of what critics and buyers want to see in a midsize SUV, there are areas where Traverse and Pilot excel.
Chevy Traverse, which features the same G.M. powertrain and only slight chassis variation, in the mind of many critics, beats out Buick Enclave in several areas like performance, interior design, and safety. Critics from Consumer Reports note that the 2020 Traverse dominates their road tests, pointing to its overall ride, handling, economy, and power as being superior to the competition. U.S. News points to a smooth ride, an intuitive infotainment system, and plenty of room for both cargo and passengers as being Traverse strong points while noting that the average price paid is close to $10,000 less.
When you stack the 2020 Honda Pilot against Buick Enclave, U.S. News points out that critics rate Pilot more than a point higher and give it higher ratings than both Enclave and Traverse for performance and safety. Along with spacious comfort for passengers and an overall enjoyable ride, Pilot also provides a more laid-back driving experience. The average sticker price on Honda Pilot also comes in a couple of thousand dollars less than Traverse.
The 2020 Buick Enclave lags behind Chevrolet Traverse, but beats out the Honda Pilot
When making a head-to-head comparison between these three models, whether the 2020 Buick Enclave is better than Chevrolet Traverse or Honda Pilot is a matter of perspective. Suppose reliability is the buyer’s top priority. In that case, Enclave certainly gets the nod, but with other factors like safety, performance, interior, what critics have to say, and average sticker price, Traverse edges out Enclave. Simultaneously, though less expensive and higher on safety ratings, Pilot lacks interior features and rates significantly lower in reliability, making it a close third among the three.
Which of the three is best? With all things considered, the bottom line appears that the 2020 Buick Enclave lags behind Chevrolet Traverse, but beats out Honda Pilot in an equal comparison of standard models.