2020 Buick Enclave vs. 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/09

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 Mitsubishi Outlander 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 Outlander 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 Outlander doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Compared to metal, the Enclave’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mitsubishi Outlander has a metal gas tank.

The Enclave has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Outlander doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Enclave and the Outlander have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, 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 Buick Enclave weighs 777 to 1356 pounds more than the Mitsubishi Outlander. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

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 Mitsubishi Outlander:

Enclave

Outlander

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

15.6%

29%

Neck Stress

198 lbs.

412 lbs.

Neck Compression

77 lbs.

90 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

53/40 lbs.

334/511 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

35.2%

43%

Neck Stress

128 lbs.

221 lbs.

Neck Compression

51 lbs.

91 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

258/133 lbs.

394/494 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 Buick Enclave is safer than the Mitsubishi Outlander:

Enclave

Outlander

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

69

163

Abdominal Force

161 G’s

163 G’s

Hip Force

204 lbs.

518 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

134

349

Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

47 G’s

Hip Force

716 lbs.

794 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

17 inches

HIC

251

365

Spine Acceleration

34 G’s

41 G’s

Hip Force

554 lbs.

807 lbs.

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

Warranty

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The Enclave’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Outlander’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

There are almost 6 times as many Buick dealers as there are Mitsubishi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Enclave’s warranty.

Reliability

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A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Enclave’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Outlander’s camshafts. If the Outlander’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Buick vehicles are better in initial quality than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 29 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 30th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 40 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 20th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Mitsubishi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Buick 2 places higher in reliability than Mitsubishi.

Engine

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The Enclave’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 144 more horsepower (310 vs. 166) and 104 lbs.-ft. more torque (266 vs. 162) than the Outlander’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Enclave’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 86 more horsepower (310 vs. 224) and 51 lbs.-ft. more torque (266 vs. 215) than the Outlander GT’s standard 3.0 SOHC V6.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Buick Enclave is faster than the Mitsubishi Outlander 4 cyl.:

Enclave

Outlander

Zero to 30 MPH

3.1 sec

3.8 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

10 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.7 sec

6 sec

Quarter Mile

15.8 sec

17.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92 MPH

81 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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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 Outlander 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 Outlander GT requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Enclave FWD’s standard fuel tank has 3.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Outlander AWC’s standard fuel tank (19.4 vs. 15.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Enclave AWD’s standard fuel tank has 5.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Outlander FWD’s standard fuel tank (21.7 vs. 16.6 gallons).

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 Outlander doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Buick Enclave higher (6 out of 10) than the Mitsubishi Outlander (5). This means the Enclave produces up to 6.9 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Outlander every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Enclave’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Outlander:

Enclave

Outlander

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

11.9 inches

The Enclave’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Outlander are solid, not vented.

The Enclave stops shorter than the Outlander:

Enclave

Outlander

60 to 0 MPH

130 feet

132 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

149 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Enclave has larger tires than the Outlander (255/65R18 vs. 225/55R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Enclave offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Outlander’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

The Buick Enclave’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Mitsubishi Outlander 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 Outlander 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 Outlander; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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The Enclave offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Outlander’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Enclave has variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Outlander doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Enclave’s wheelbase is 15.8 inches longer than on the Outlander (120.9 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Enclave is 6.7 inches wider in the front and 6.4 inches wider in the rear than on the Outlander.

The Enclave Essence handles at .82 G’s, while the Outlander GT AWC pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Enclave Avenir executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Outlander SEL AWC (28.4 seconds @ .6 average G’s vs. 28.8 seconds @ .56 average G’s).

Chassis

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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 Outlander 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 Outlander doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Enclave Essence is quieter than the Outlander GT AWC (38 vs. 39 dB).

Passenger Space

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The Enclave has .4 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front legroom, 6.5 inches more front hip room, 6 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear headroom, 1.6 inches more rear legroom, 5.8 inches more rear hip room, 5.7 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.9 inches more third row headroom, 5.3 inches more third row legroom, 9.1 inches more third row hip room and 6.9 inches more third row shoulder room than the Outlander.

Cargo Capacity

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

Enclave

Outlander

Behind Third Seat

23.6 cubic feet

10.3 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

58 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

34.2 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

97.6 cubic feet

63.3 cubic feet

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the Enclave Premium/Avenir’s third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Outlander doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Enclave’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Outlander doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

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Maximum trailer towing in the Mitsubishi Outlander is limited to 3500 pounds. The Enclave offers up to a 5000 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The Enclave uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Outlander uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The Enclave has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Outlander doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Buick service is better than Mitsubishi. J.D. Power ranks Buick 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 11% lower rating, Mitsubishi is ranked 12th.

Ergonomics

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When two different drivers share the Enclave Premium/Avenir, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position (with optional power wheel adjuster), outside mirror angle and radio stations. The Outlander doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Enclave Premium/Avenir’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Outlander doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the Enclave and the Outlander have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Enclave is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Outlander prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 Outlander can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Outlander 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 Outlander’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

The Enclave has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Outlander has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SE/LE/SP/SEL/GT.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Enclave has standard extendable sun visors. The Outlander doesn’t offer extendable visors.

When the Enclave Premium/Avenir is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Outlander’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Enclave’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Outlander offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the Enclave and the Outlander have standard heated front seats. The Enclave Premium/Avenir also has standard heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the Outlander.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Enclave Premium/Avenir keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Outlander doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The Enclave Premium/Avenir has standard massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Outlander.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Buick Enclave Avenir has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) for the front seat. The Outlander doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 Outlander doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Enclave owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Enclave will cost $560 less than the Outlander over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Enclave is less expensive to operate than the Outlander because typical repairs cost less on the Enclave than the Outlander, including $39 less for a fuel pump and $86 less for front struts.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/09

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

The Buick Enclave outsold the Mitsubishi Outlander by 25% during 2019.

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

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