2019 Buick Enclave vs. 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Enclave (except Preferred) offers an optional Surround Vision to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Tahoe only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the Enclave uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The Tahoe uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the Enclave and the Tahoe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, front seat center airbag, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, 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 and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The Enclave comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Tahoe’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Buick’s powertrain warranty covers the Enclave 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Chevrolet covers the Tahoe. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Tahoe ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Enclave’s 6-year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Tahoe runs out after 100,000 miles.

Reliability

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the Enclave has an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engines in the Tahoe.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Enclave has a 170-amp alternator. The Tahoe’s standard 150-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 Tahoe’s 720-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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 Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick third in reliability, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked 6th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Buick 10 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Engine

As tested in Motor Trend the Buick Enclave is faster than the Chevrolet Tahoe 5.3 V8:

 

Enclave

Tahoe

Zero to 60 MPH

7 sec

7.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.4 sec

16.2 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

Enclave

Tahoe

 

2WD

3.6 V6/9-spd. Auto

18 city/26 hwy

15 city/22 hwy

5.3 V8/Auto

 

 

n/a

14 city/23 hwy

6.2 V8/Auto

4WD

3.6 V6/9-spd. Auto

17 city/25 hwy

15 city/21 hwy

5.3 V8/Auto

 

n/a

14 city/22 hwy

6.2 V8/Auto

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 Tahoe doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Buick Enclave uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Tahoe RST 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 Tahoe 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 Chevrolet Tahoe (3). This means the Enclave produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Tahoe every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

The Enclave stops shorter than the Tahoe:

 

Enclave

Tahoe

 

60 to 0 MPH

130 feet

136 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Buick Enclave has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Chevrolet Tahoe has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Enclave’s wheelbase is 4.9 inches longer than on the Tahoe (120.9 inches vs. 116 inches).

The Enclave Avenir handles at .75 G’s, while the Tahoe LT 4x4 pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis

The Buick Enclave may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 900 to 1000 pounds less than the Chevrolet Tahoe.

Unibody construction lowers the Enclave’s center of gravity significantly without reducing ground clearance. This contributes to better on the road handling and better off-road performance and stability. In addition, unibody construction makes the chassis stiffer, improving handling and reducing squeaks and rattles. The Tahoe uses body-on-frame design instead.

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

Passenger Space

The Enclave has 1.2 inches more rear headroom and 8.7 inches more third row legroom than the Tahoe.

Cargo Capacity

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

 

Enclave

Tahoe

Behind Third Seat

23.6 cubic feet

15.3 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

58 cubic feet

51.7 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

97.6 cubic feet

94.7 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 Tahoe’s liftover is 35.9 inches.

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

 

Enclave

Tahoe

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

23.8”/54”/90”

11.1”/43.2”/79.9”

Max Width

52.7”

n/a

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Buick service is better than Chevrolet. J.D. Power ranks Buick 9th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 1% lower rating, Chevrolet is ranked 10th.

Ergonomics

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 Tahoe’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open them fully.

If the windows are left open on the Enclave the driver can close them all from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Tahoe can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Enclave is less expensive to operate than the Tahoe because it costs $72 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Enclave than the Tahoe, including $455 less for a muffler, $59 less for a fuel pump, $49 less for front struts and $437 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 $70 to $354 less than for the Chevrolet Tahoe.

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

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