Kemna Automotive Group Compares 2017 Buick ENCLAVE VS 2017 Cadillac Escalade In IA

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2017 Buick ENCLAVE

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2017 Buick ENCLAVE

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2017 Cadillac Escalade

Safety Comparison

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the Enclave uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The Escalade uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the Enclave and the Escalade have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, front seat center airbag, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, collision warning systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The Buick Enclave has a better fatality history. The Enclave was involved in fatal accidents at a rate 28.2% lower per vehicle registered than the Escalade, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Warranty Comparison

There are over 2 times as many Buick dealers as there are Cadillac dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Enclave’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the Enclave has an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engine in the Escalade.

The Enclave has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Escalade doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Enclave has a standard 730-amp battery. The Escalade’s 660-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the Enclave’s reliability will be 284% better than the Escalade.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Buick vehicles are better in initial quality than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick third in reliability, above the industry average. With 39 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 15th.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Enclave AWD gets better fuel mileage than the Escalade 4x4 (15 city/22 hwy vs. 15 city/20 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Buick Enclave uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Escalade requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Enclave stops much shorter than the Escalade:





70 to 0 MPH

184 feet

202 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

124 feet

133 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For superior ride and handling, the Buick Enclave has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Cadillac Escalade has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Enclave’s wheelbase is 2.9 inches longer than on the Escalade (118.9 inches vs. 116 inches).

The Enclave AWD handles at .79 G’s, while the Escalade 4x4 pulls only .73 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis Comparison

The Buick Enclave may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 800 to 850 pounds less than the Cadillac Escalade.

Unibody construction makes the Enclave’s chassis much stiffer, which contributes to better handling, and enables softer springs to be used for a better ride. Unibody construction’s stiffness also contributes to better durability and less body squeaks and rattles. The Escalade doesn’t use unibody construction, but a body-on-frame design.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Enclave AWD is quieter than the Escalade 4x4 (73 vs. 75 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Enclave has 30.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Escalade (151.1 vs. 120.8).

The Enclave has .7 inches more rear headroom and 8.4 inches more third row legroom than the Escalade.

The front step up height for the Enclave is 3.1 inches lower than the Escalade (18.9” vs. 22”).

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Enclave’s cargo area provides more volume than the Escalade.




Behind Third Seat

23.3 cubic feet

15.2 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

68.9 cubic feet

51.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

115.2 cubic feet

94.2 cubic feet

The Enclave’s cargo area is larger than the Escalade’s in almost every dimension:




Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)



Max Width



Min Width






A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Enclave. The Escalade doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Escalade Premium Luxury/Platinum’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The Enclave’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Enclave owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Enclave will cost $2484 to $4040 less than the Escalade over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Enclave is less expensive to operate than the Escalade because it costs $72 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Enclave than the Escalade, including $80 less for a water pump, $491 less for an alternator, $277 less for a fuel pump, $47 less for front struts and $277 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Buick Enclave will be $22397 to $32276 less than for the Cadillac Escalade.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends the Buick Enclave, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Cadillac Escalade isn't recommended.

The Buick Enclave outsold the Cadillac Escalade/Escalade ESV by 49% during the 2016 model year.

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