2019 Buick Enclave vs. 2019 Lincoln Navigator

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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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 Lincoln Navigator 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 Navigator 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 Navigator doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

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 Navigator uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the Enclave and the Navigator 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 Lincoln Navigator:







5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

198 lbs.

361 lbs.

Neck Compression

77 lbs.

147 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 post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Buick Enclave is safer than the Lincoln Navigator:





Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

34 G’s

47 G’s

Hip Force

554 lbs.

569 lbs.

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


The Enclave’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Navigator’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are over 2 times as many Buick dealers as there are Lincoln dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Enclave’s warranty.


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 Lincoln vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick third in reliability, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lincoln is ranked 10th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Buick 1 place higher in reliability than Lincoln.

Fuel Economy and Range

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







3.6 V6/9-spd. Auto

18 city/26 hwy

16 city/23 hwy

3.5 turbo V6/Auto


3.6 V6/9-spd. Auto

17 city/25 hwy

16 city/21 hwy

3.5 turbo V6/Auto

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

Tires and Wheels

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 Navigator doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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

For better maneuverability, the Enclave’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Navigator’s (39 feet vs. 41 feet).


The Buick Enclave may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1150 to 1350 pounds less than the Lincoln Navigator.

The Enclave is 5.7 inches shorter than the Navigator, making the Enclave easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 Navigator uses body-on-frame design instead.

Cargo Capacity

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




Behind Third Seat

23.6 cubic feet

19.3 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

58 cubic feet

57.5 cubic feet

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Enclave owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Enclave will cost $1770 to $2910 less than the Navigator over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Enclave is less expensive to operate than the Navigator because typical repairs cost less on the Enclave than the Navigator, including $134 less for front struts and $141 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 $24729 to $29891 less than for the Lincoln Navigator.


The Buick Enclave outsold the Lincoln Navigator/Navigator L by almost three to one during 2018.

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

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