2019 Audi Q7 vs. 2019 Buick Enclave

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Audi Q7 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Buick Enclave doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

The Q7’s 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.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Audi Q7 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Buick Enclave doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.

Both the Q7 and Enclave have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Q7 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 Enclave’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.

The Q7 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Enclave doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Q7 offers an optional backup collision prevention system which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Enclave doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Q7 has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Enclave doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the Q7 Prestige helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Enclave doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the Q7 and the Enclave have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors 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 Audi Q7 is safer than the Buick Enclave:

 

Q7

Enclave

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

102

333

Chest Compression

.7 inches

.9 inches

Neck Stress

118 lbs.

128 lbs.

Neck Compression

38 lbs.

51 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

46/29 lbs.

258/133 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 Audi Q7 is safer than the Buick Enclave:

 

Q7

Enclave

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.8 inches

.9 inches

Abdominal Force

128 G’s

161 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

14 inches

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

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 Q7 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Enclave has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The Q7’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the Enclave’s (12 vs. 6 years).

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Q7’s reliability 50 points higher than the Enclave.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 12 places higher in reliability than Buick.

Engine

The Q7 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 266) than the Enclave’s 3.6 DOHC V6. The Q7 55 TFSI’s standard 3.0 supercharged V6 produces 19 more horsepower (329 vs. 310) and 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (325 vs. 266) than the Enclave’s 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Q7 55 TFSI 3.0 supercharged V6 is faster than the Buick Enclave:

 

Q7

Enclave

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

7 sec

Quarter Mile

14 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100.2 MPH

84.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Q7 45 TFSI 4 cyl. gets better city fuel mileage than the Enclave AWD (19 city/25 hwy vs. 17 city/25 hwy).

The Q7 has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Enclave FWD’s standard fuel tank (22.5 vs. 19.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

The Q7 stops much shorter than the Enclave:

 

Q7

Enclave

 

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

134 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

141 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Q7’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Enclave (285/45R20 vs. 255/65R18).

The Q7 2.0T’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Enclave’s standard 65 series tires. The Q7’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Enclave’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Q7 offers optional 21-inch wheels. The Enclave’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Q7 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Enclave doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Q7 Prestige handles at .85 G’s, while the Enclave Avenir pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Q7 Premium Plus executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2 seconds quicker than the Enclave Avenir (26.4 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Q7 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Enclave (8.3 vs. 7.7 inches), allowing the Q7 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Q7 w/Air Suspension’s minimum ground clearance is 2 inches higher than on the Enclave (9.7 vs. 7.7 inches).

Chassis

The Q7 is 4.7 inches shorter than the Enclave, making the Q7 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Q7. The Enclave doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

The Q7’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Enclave’s (4400 vs. 1500 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Buick Enclave is only 5000 pounds. The Q7 offers up to a 7700 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the Q7 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Enclave. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Buick. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 21% lower rating, Buick is ranked 9th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Enclave Premium/Avenir, the Q7 Prestige offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The Q7 Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Enclave doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Q7’s front and rear power windows all open or close 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 passenger windows don’t close automatically.

The Q7 has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Enclave doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Q7’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Enclave’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Q7 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Enclave doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Q7 offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Enclave doesn’t offer cornering lights. The Q7 also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

To better shield the driver and front passenger’s vision, the Q7 has standard dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The Enclave doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

A manual rear sunshade is optional in the Q7 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Enclave doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Q7 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Q7 with a number “5” insurance rate while the Enclave is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Q7 is less expensive to operate than the Enclave because it costs $126 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Q7 than the Enclave, including $296 less for a water pump, $16 less for front brake pads, $117 less for a fuel pump and $642 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi Q7, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Buick Enclave isn't recommended.

The Q7 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 2 of the last 2 years. The Enclave has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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