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The 2021 Buick Enclave and 2021 Honda Pilot are the highest rated midsize SUVs by Consumer Reports. The Enclave is the luxury version, but is it worth the extra money? Let’s look at the Buick Enclave and Honda Pilot to see which midsize three-row SUV is the better choice.

A black 2021 Buick Enclave parked in front of a building.
2021 Buick Enclave | Buick

Three-row SUVs are great for families. They have loads of passenger and cargo space, and they’re generally pretty safe. You don’t have to sacrifice style for safety and comfort, either. Consumer Reports ranked the midsize luxury three-row SUVs out there. The 2021 Buick Enclave is the best luxury large three-row SUV.

What criteria does Consumer Reports use to rate the best luxury midsize SUVs?

Consumer Reports focused on luxury three-row SUVs with a sizeable third row. This is important because so many third rows are really only cursory seats, and not something you’d actually want to put kids in.

All of the top luxury midsize SUVs Consumer Reports picked have a Consumer Reports recommended badge. This means that they scored well in the road test, and also have a good reliability rating. They also have some of the most important safety features, and also have good crash test ratings.

The 2021 Buick Enclave is the best luxury large three-row SUV because it has good road test ratings and safety equipment

The 2021 Buick Enclave gets a four out of five for its acceleration. It can go 0 to 60 in 7.4 seconds. Its transmission is excellent, at a five out of five. 

The routine handling gets a four out of five, and emergency handling gets a three out of five. Routine handling is measured by how agile Consumer Reports finds the SUV to be. Emergency handling is rated by several factors, including its max avoidance speed. 

Braking gets a perfect five out of five. The 2021 Buick Enclave can stop from 60 mph on dry pavement in 130 feet and on wet pavement in 141 feet. 

The 2021 Buick Enclave doesn’t come with quite as many advanced safety systems as some other SUVs. It does come with rearview camera, anti-lock breaks, and traction and stability control, as well as daytime running lights. However, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, and blind-spot warning will cost you extra. That’s a lot of safety features to have to opt in for. 

All of the available IIHS crash test ratings are good (though they didn’t test everything). NHTSA crash test results are mostly five out of five, except for the Overall frontal-crash and overall frontal-crash: passenger. Both the 2WD and 4WD also only get four out of five stars.  

The reliability and owner satisfaction contribute to the 2021 Buick Enclave being one of the best luxury large three-row SUVs

A gray 2021 Buick Enclave parked outside of a restaurant.
2021 Buick Enclave | Buick

Consumer Reports sends reliability and owner satisfaction surveys to people who have bought previous versions of the Buick Enclave. Then they combine this data with what they know about the current model. This helps them predict how reliable the newest Buick Enclave will be. 

The reliability score for the 2021 Buick Enclave is a three out of five. There’s currently one recall on the 2021 Buick Enclave.

The overall owner satisfaction score for the 2021 Buick Enclave is a three out of five. Consumer Reports collects data from owners to determine how happy they are with the vehicle. Enclave owners gave the driving experience a 77 out of 100. Comfort gets an 84 out of 100, and styling gets an 83. However, the value is only a 44 out of 100. 

Overall, the 2021 Buick Enclave is a great choice for someone who wants a luxury midsize SUV with decent safety ratings and owner satisfaction, and a roomy interior. It’s not a surprise that Consumer Reports chose the 2021 Buick Enclave is the number one large three-row SUV out there.


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