Kemna Automotive Group Compares 2018 Buick ENCLAVE VS 2018 Kia Sorento In IA

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2018 Buick ENCLAVE

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2018 Buick ENCLAVE

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2018 Kia Sorento

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the Buick Enclave’s middle 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 Kia Sorento doesn’t offer comfort guides on its middle seat belts.

Both the Enclave and Sorento have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Enclave has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Sorento’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Enclave are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Sorento doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

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 Sorento doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

The Buick Enclave has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Sorento doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

The Enclave has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Sorento doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Enclave and the Sorento have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front-wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty Comparison

The Enclave’s corrosion warranty is 1 year and unlimited miles longer than the Sorento’s (6/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).

Buick pays for scheduled maintenance on the Enclave for 2 years and 24,000 miles. Buick will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance (up to 2 oil changes). Kia doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Sorento.

There are almost 3 times as many Buick dealers as there are Kia dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Enclave’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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 Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick third in reliability, above the industry average. With 47 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 17th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Buick third in reliability. Kia is ranked fifth.

Engine Comparison

The Enclave’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 125 more horsepower (310 vs. 185) and 88 lbs.-ft. more torque (266 vs. 178) than the Sorento’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The Enclave’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 70 more horsepower (310 vs. 240) and 6 lbs.-ft. more torque (266 vs. 260) than the Sorento EX’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Enclave’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 20 more horsepower (310 vs. 290) and 14 lbs.-ft. more torque (266 vs. 252) than the Sorento’s optional 3.3 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Enclave FWD gets better highway fuel mileage than the Sorento FWD V6 (18 city/26 hwy vs. 18 city/25 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Enclave’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 Sorento doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Enclave AWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Sorento (21.7 vs. 18.8 gallons).

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 Sorento are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Enclave has larger tires than the Sorento (255/65R18 vs. 235/65R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Enclave has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Sorento L/LX. The Enclave’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Sorento SX/SXL.

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

The Enclave has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Sorento doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Enclave 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 Sorento’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Enclave’s wheelbase is 11.5 inches longer than on the Sorento (120.9 inches vs. 109.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Enclave is 3.1 inches wider in the front and 2.4 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Sorento.

Chassis Comparison

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

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

Passenger Space Comparison

The Enclave has 1.5 inches more front headroom, 2.4 inches more front hip room, 3.3 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom, 1.3 inches more rear hip room, 3.7 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.3 inches more third row headroom, 1.8 inches more third row legroom, 7.1 inches more third row hip room and 4.5 inches more third row shoulder room than the Sorento.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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




Behind Third Seat

23.6 cubic feet

11.3 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

58 cubic feet

38 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

97.6 cubic feet

73 cubic feet

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




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



Min Width



Ergonomics Comparison

The Enclave’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 Sorento’s power windows’ passenger windows don’t open automatically.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Enclave Premium/Avenir detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Sorento doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Enclave’s standard side window demisters help clear frost or condensation from the side windows in the winter. The Sorento doesn’t even offer side window demisters, so the driver may have to wipe the windows from the outside to gain side vision.

The Enclave has standard 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 Sorento offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Enclave has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Sorento and isn’t available on the Sorento L.

The Enclave’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Sorento L doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

The Enclave’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Sorento’s navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

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