Kemna Automotive Group Compares 2017 Buick ENCLAVE VS 2017 Toyota Highlander In IA

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2017 Buick ENCLAVE

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2017 Buick ENCLAVE

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2017 Toyota Highlander

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Buick Enclave are height-adjustable, and the middle and rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer comfort guides on its middle or rear seat belts.

The Enclave has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Both the Enclave and the Highlander Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, 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 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Buick Enclave is safer than the Toyota Highlander Hybrid:



Highlander Hybrid


5 Stars

4 Stars




5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

366 lbs.

509 lbs.

Neck Compression

62 lbs.

73 lbs.




5 Stars

5 Stars




Neck Stress

188 lbs.

219 lbs.

Neck Compression

51 lbs.

55 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

221/280 lbs.

387/392 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Buick Enclave is safer than the Toyota Highlander Hybrid:



Highlander Hybrid


Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Chest Movement

.4 inches

.6 inches

Hip Force

318 lbs.

348 lbs.


Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

34 G’s

41 G’s


Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

16 inches




Spine Acceleration

40 G’s

43 G’s

Hip Force

677 lbs.

829 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

The Enclave comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The Highlander Hybrid’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Buick’s powertrain warranty covers the Enclave 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Toyota covers the Highlander Hybrid. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Highlander Hybrid ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Enclave’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Highlander Hybrid’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are over 65 percent more Buick dealers than there are Toyota dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Enclave’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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 Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

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 Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick third in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked fourth.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Enclave has 4.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Highlander Hybrid (22 vs. 17.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Enclave’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Highlander Hybrid are solid, not vented.

The Enclave stops shorter than the Highlander Hybrid:



Highlander Hybrid


70 to 0 MPH

184 feet

187 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Enclave has larger tires than the Highlander Hybrid (255/60R19 vs. 245/55R19).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Enclave has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Highlander Hybrid LE/XLE. The Enclave’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Highlander Hybrid Limited/Platinum.

The Buick Enclave’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Enclave has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Enclave’s wheelbase is 9.1 inches longer than on the Highlander Hybrid (118.9 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Enclave is 2.9 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than on the Highlander Hybrid.

The Enclave AWD handles at .79 G’s, while the Highlander Hybrid Limited pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Enclave has 6.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Highlander Hybrid (151.1 vs. 144.9).

The Enclave has .9 inches more front headroom, 2.3 inches more front shoulder room, 2.3 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.9 inches more third row headroom, 6.5 inches more third row legroom, 2.7 inches more third row hip room and 2.4 inches more third row shoulder room than the Highlander Hybrid.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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



Highlander Hybrid

Behind Third Seat

23.3 cubic feet

13.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

68.9 cubic feet

42.3 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

115.2 cubic feet

83.7 cubic feet

Ergonomics Comparison

The Enclave has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Enclave’s optional Easy Exit Seat raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the Enclave and the Highlander Hybrid have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Enclave is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Highlander Hybrid prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Enclave offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer cornering lights.

When the Enclave with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Highlander Hybrid’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Enclave offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Highlander Hybrid offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Enclave owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Enclave will cost $805 to $1505 less than the Highlander Hybrid over a five-year period.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends the Buick Enclave, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Enclave third among midsize SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Highlander Hybrid isn’t in the top three.

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