Buick Envision vs. Buick Enclave

By

Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage. 


, Automotive Editor - February 26, 2019

Once known for its comfy sedans, Buick now grabs most of its sales from crossovers like the compact Envision and seven-passenger Enclave. Both deliver on the brand's long-standing promise to provide tasteful, upscale transportation with good value. But which one is a better fit for the way today's families like to travel?

See a side-by-side comparison of the Envision & Enclave »

What the Envision Gets Right

Even in base trim, the Envision is a pleasant place to stretch out and relax. Five passengers fit easily into the thickly padded seats, and visibility is excellent in all directions. The Envision offers 26.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat, and 57.3 cubic feet with it folded.

The comfort-tuned suspension does a fine job of filtering out road imperfections. The cabin is remarkably quiet at all speeds. Standard features include a panoramic sunroof, a hands-free power liftgate, and remote start.

The standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine produces 197 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission does the shifting. This setup is EPA-rated at 22 miles per gallon city, 29 mpg highway, and 26 combined. The optional all-wheel drive system reduces these estimates to 21/27/24 mpg (city/highway/combined).

The upper trims carry a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 252 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The upgraded engine comes with a nine-speed automatic and standard all-wheel drive. With the extra power and traction, efficiency slips to 20/25/22 mpg.

What the Enclave Gets Right

Last year's total redesign brought a raft of improvements to the Enclave, including a luxury-caliber interior and all-new suspension system. The Enclave can be outfitted with just about every comfort and tech feature found on premium-branded crossovers.

The Enclave handles well for a vehicle of its size, and it's one of the quietest crossovers in its class. Second-row captain's chair are standard, and the third row accommodates three people in relative comfort. When there's a fell crew aboard, cargo space tops out at 23.6 cubic feet. With the rows folded, capacity reaches a class-leading 97.6 cubic feet.

The Enclave is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine that lays down 310 hp and 268 lb-ft of torque. A nine-speed automatic comes standard. All-wheel drive is available on all but the base trim. The Enclave is EPA-rated at 18/26/21 mpg with front-wheel drive, or 17/25/20 mpg with all-wheel drive.

Does Bigger Mean Better?

When it comes to interior space and conveniences, the Enclave is as family-friendly as crossovers get. All of that goodness comes at price, however. The smaller Envision does many things just as well and undercuts the Enclave in price by $8,005. That's not chump change to most families.

Our Verdict: Buick Enclave

The Buick Enclave's superior comfort and capability make it worth the extra dough.

Take a closer look at the Buick Envision »

Take a closer look at the Buick Enclave »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage. 


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