2019 Buick Enclave vs. 2019 Audi Q7

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Audi Q7 doesn’t offer comfort guides on its middle seat belts.

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 Q7 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 Q7 doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Both the Enclave and the Q7 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, 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 Buick Enclave is safer than the Audi Q7:

 

Enclave

Q7

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

15.6%

25%

Leg Forces (l/r)

53/40 lbs.

61/46 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

35.2%

44%

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 Audi Q7:

 

Enclave

Q7

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

69

187

Hip Force

204 lbs.

350 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

134

337

Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

62 G’s

Hip Force

716 lbs.

888 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

251

290

Spine Acceleration

34 G’s

40 G’s

Hip Force

554 lbs.

557 lbs.

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

Warranty

Buick’s powertrain warranty covers the Enclave 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Audi covers the Q7. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Q7 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

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). Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Q7.

There are almost 7 times as many Buick dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Enclave’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Enclave has a 170-amp alternator. The Q7’s standard 120-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Enclave has a standard 730-amp battery. The Q7’s 380-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Buick vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 16th in initial quality. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick third in reliability, above the industry average. With 25 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 13th.

Engine

The Enclave’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 62 more horsepower (310 vs. 248) than the Q7 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Buick Enclave uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Q7 requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Enclave has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Q7 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Buick Enclave higher (6 out of 10) than the Audi Q7 (3). This means the Enclave produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Q7 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Buick Enclave, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Q7.

Tires and Wheels

The Buick Enclave’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Audi Q7 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 Q7 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Enclave has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Q7; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some models of the Q7 don’t even offer run-flats.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Enclave’s wheelbase is 3 inches longer than on the Q7 (120.9 inches vs. 117.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Enclave is 1.2 inches wider in the front and .4 inches wider in the rear than on the Q7.

For better maneuverability, the Enclave’s turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the Q7’s (39 feet vs. 40.7 feet).

Chassis

The Buick Enclave may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 400 pounds less than the Audi Q7.

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 Q7 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 Q7 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Enclave has 2.6 inches more front headroom, 2.9 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, .1 inches more rear legroom, 3.2 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.7 inches more third row headroom, 4.3 inches more third row legroom and 7.9 inches more third row shoulder room than the Q7.

Cargo Capacity

The Enclave’s cargo area provides more volume than the Q7.

 

Enclave

Q7

Behind Third Seat

23.6 cubic feet

14.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

58 cubic feet

37.5 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

97.6 cubic feet

71.6 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Enclave easier. The Enclave’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 31.2 inches, while the Q7’s liftover is 32.5 inches.

The Enclave’s cargo area is larger than the Q7’s in every dimension:

 

Enclave

Q7

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

23.8”/54”/90”

19.5”/44.7”/80.7”

Max Width

52.7”

52.5”

Min Width

48.6”

42.6”

Height

30.8”

30”

Ergonomics

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Enclave has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Q7 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

Consumer Reports rated the Enclave’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Q7’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

The Enclave (except Preferred) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Q7 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

The Enclave is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Q7 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Enclave is less expensive to operate than the Q7 because typical repairs cost much less on the Enclave than the Q7, including $348 less for a muffler, $602 less for a starter, $338 less for fuel injection, $572 less for front struts and $628 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Buick Enclave will be $6724 to $11863 less than for the Audi Q7.

Recommendations

The Buick Enclave outsold the Audi Q7 by 33% during 2018.

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

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