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Monday Vehicle Matchup – Buick Enclave vs Honda Pilot


Buick Enclave

Engine: 3.6L
Horsepower: 288
Fuel Economy: 17 City / 24 Hwy
MSRP: Starting at $39,050

Inside the 2015 Buick Enclave:

The Buick Enclave is a full-size luxury crossover with three rows of seating. The Enclave was first introduced in 2008 and received a major facelift in 2013. Under the hood, you’ll find a 3.6L V6 engine with 288 horsepower. The fuel economy output is as expected for such a large SUV, with a max rating of 17 city and 24 highway miles per gallon with the front wheel drive option. Passengers will have ample room no matter if sitting in the 2nd row captain’s chair seat or the 3rd row bench seating. The rear of vehicle has 23.3 cubic ft. of cargo room behind the 3rd row. Need additional storage? Fold the third row down and unlock an additional 45.6 cubic ft. of cargo room for a combined 68.9ft. Buick’s SmartSlide technology makes moving seats up and down for access to the back row as easy as pulling a strap.

The Enclave is available in three basic trim options between Convenience, Leather and Premium. The technology offered on just the base model Enclave is better than most upgraded models from the competition. This includes a rear vision camera, universal home remote for your garage door, power rear liftgate and the Buick IntelliLink infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity and voice controls. Available upgrades include an impressive navigation system, Bose® 10-speaker sound system and rear seat entertainment system.

Honda Pilot

Engine: 3.5L
Horsepower: 250
Fuel Economy: 18 City / 25 Hwy
MSRP: Starting at $29,870

Inside the 2015 Honda Pilot:

The Honda Pilot is a mid-sized crossover SUV and the largest SUV offered by Honda with seating for up to eight passengers. While we recently got a sneak preview of the completely redesigned 2016 Honda Pilot, the 2015 is still a very impressive vehicle. The Pilot has a 3.5L V6 engine that puts out 250 horsepower. The Pilot has an EPA rating of 18 city and 25 highway miles per gallon. While it’s technically considered a mid-sized crossover, the Pilot is extremely roomy for all eight passengers. Where the Pilot has the advantage in passenger leg room, it lacks in cargo room when compared to the Buick Enclave. There is 18.0 cubic ft. of cargo room in the rear of the Pilot and with the 60/40 folding 3rd row, that expands to up to 47.7 cubic ft behind the 2nd row. However, the bench seating in the middle, 2nd row, makes access to the rear seats harder to get to.

As with many Honda vehicle models, consumers have many trim options to choose from and the Pilot is no different. In total there are 10 trims to pick from which are broken down into sub-categories of 2WD and 4WD with LX, EX, SE, EX-L and Touring options available in each respective drivetrain. While the Pilot is the affordable crossover option, there are many premium features that are available such as a power liftgate, premium navigation system with voice commands and Honda DVD rear entertainment system. Continuing Honda’s commitment to producing the safest vehicles on the road, the Pilot includes a rearview camera and Bluetooth HandsFreeLink®.

Our Pick for Winner:

Base Model: Buick Enclave

The Buick Enclave is a very spacious crossover SUV with a good balance between cargo room and passenger room. While the price point on the Enclave is higher than the Pilot, it’s still affordably priced when compared to other competitors in this market.

Upgrades: Honda Pilot

While both the Honda Pilot and Buick Enclave offer a wide range of options and upgrade features to choose from, Honda’s options are a bit broader. It’s more affordable base package makes it easy to pick and choose features based on your needs; not in just big trim packages.

Overall Winner:

Buick Enclave

While the 2016 Honda Pilot will likely be a game-changer for Honda, the current state of the Pilot has an outdated appearance. The Buick Enclave received high marks from both the IIHS and NHTSA in terms of safety. The Enclave gives a smoother driving experience when compared to the Pilot. For 2016, Honda looks to change that by adding a new engine offering and the impressive Honda Sensing suite will become available in models. Until then, the Buick Enclave gets our nod in this week’s Monday Vehicle matchup.

Buick Enclave

Dustin "Dusty" Rhodes

A fan of nice round numbers and working on tiny European cars, Dusty is the proud owner of a '58 Lloyd 600, a '50 FIAT 500, and is currently on the hunt for a Vespa 400. And, despite all that repair work, he still finds time to write about cars. 

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  1. Avatar
    Chuck April 2, 2015

    We are on our 2nd Honda pilot, 2009 and now a 2012, waiting on the 2016, always a touring model, my sister bought a Buick enclave and hated it, did not keep it very long at all. I am still a GM man but Honda’s are by far better, except the Van, I also have a 1957 Belair and a 2013 Camaro, I will never own another Camaro.

  2. Avatar
    Andy September 18, 2015

    I have an 2011 pilot, great car. Have 2015 Enclave, it is roomier, significantly quiter and has more features. Will not look back, Enclave should have good reliability as it has been out for a while. My Honda has dead on reliability but 2016 is all new; we’ll see.


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