Rising gas prices, raised eco-consciousness and a struggling economy have taken their toll on the large SUV market. But some families truly need the space and utility of big crossovers. And for them, General Motors has this pair of plus-size SUVs.
What the GMC Acadia Does Well
The first thing you'll notice about the Acadia is its size. It comfortably seats eight passengers with ample headroom and legroom. Cargo space is also generous: 24 cubic feet with the third row in place; 70 cubic feet with the third row folded; and 116 cubic feet with second and third rows folded.
The 3.6-liter V6 produces enough power to move this heavy vehicle with authority, but still delivers decent fuel economy (16/23/18). Features and options are grouped into convenient trim levels, but the Acadia also has several stand-alone upgrades like a sunroof and rear entertainment system.
What the Buick Enclave Does Well
The Enclave's stylish exterior is more compact than traditional SUV rivals. But it gives up very little interior space -- its capacity is only marginally smaller than the Acadia's.
The comfortable interior has plenty of room for all passengers. The Buick IntelliLink interface is useful, though hampered by slow response times.
The Enclave isn't quick, but the 3.6-liter V6 manages just fine while producing fuel economy that's slightly better than the Acadia (17/24/19). There's a nice menu of standard features and options, most grouped into packages available on several trim levels.
How do they Compete Against One Another?
The Acadia and Enclave have a lot in common -- this shouldn't be surprising since they share a platform. Both are heavy people movers with similar interior storage dimensions, and both have similar price points. What separates them -- from our perspective -- is style.
Our Verdict: Buick Enclave
The Buick Enclave is the more elegant choice, with winning interior and exterior design.