Kemna Automotive Group Compares 2017 GMC Acadia VS 2017 Buick Enclave In IA

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2017 GMC Acadia

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2017 GMC Acadia

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2017 Buick Enclave

Safety Comparison

The Acadia Denali’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Enclave doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The Acadia (except SL/SLE) offers optional Front Automatic Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Enclave offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Acadia SLE/SLT’s optional Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Enclave doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The Acadia Denali offers an optional Surround Vision System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Enclave only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

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

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Acadia the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 112 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Enclave has not been fully tested, yet, but doesn’t qualify for 2017 “Top Pick.”

Engine Comparison

The Acadia’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 22 more horsepower (310 vs. 288) and 1 lbs.-ft. more torque (271 vs. 270) than the Enclave’s 3.6 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Acadia gets better fuel mileage than the Enclave:







4 cyl./Auto

21 city/26 hwy





18 city/25 hwy

15 city/22 hwy



4 cyl./Auto

21 city/25 hwy





18 city/25 hwy

15 city/22 hwy


In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Acadia 4 cyl.’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Enclave doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Acadia has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Acadia flat and controlled during cornering. The Enclave’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Acadia offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Enclave’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Acadia SLT AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the Enclave AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Acadia SLT AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.8 seconds quicker than the Enclave AWD (26.9 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 28.7 seconds @ .56 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Acadia’s turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the Enclave’s (38.7 feet vs. 40.4 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Acadia All Terrain has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Enclave (7.8 vs. 7.6 inches), allowing the Acadia to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

The GMC Acadia may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 600 to 750 pounds less than the Buick Enclave.

The Acadia is 8.3 inches shorter than the Enclave, making the Acadia easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the Acadia FWD 4 cyl. uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Enclave doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Acadia uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Enclave doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Acadia has .2 inches more rear headroom and 2.9 inches more rear legroom than the Enclave.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Acadia Denali’s cargo door can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Enclave doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its cargo door, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Acadia’s front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Enclave’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open them fully.

Keyless Open and Start standard on the Acadia allows you to unlock the doors, cargo door and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Buick Enclave doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The Acadia’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Enclave’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Acadia has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Enclave only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Acadia (except SL/SLE) detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Enclave doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

Both the Acadia and the Enclave offer available heated front seats. The Acadia also offers optional heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the Enclave.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Acadia Denali offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Enclave doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Recommendations Comparison

The GMC Acadia outsold the Buick Enclave by 42% during the 2016 model year.

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