2020 Mazda CX-9 vs. 2020 Buick Enclave

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 2020/08/03

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mazda CX-9 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.

The CX-9 offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Enclave doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

Both the CX-9 and the Enclave 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 and available around view monitors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Mazda CX-9 is safer than the Buick Enclave:

CX-9

Enclave

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.9 inches

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 Mazda CX-9 is safer than the Buick Enclave:

CX-9

Enclave

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.4 inches

.9 inches

Abdominal Force

98 G’s

161 G’s

Hip Force

195 lbs.

204 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

582 lbs.

716 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

249

251

Hip Force

553 lbs.

554 lbs.

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

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the CX-9 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2020, a rating granted to only 31 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Enclave last would have qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

Reliability

© 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 2020/08/03

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 CX-9’s reliability 39 points higher than the Enclave.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda second in reliability. Buick is ranked 18th.

Engine

© 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 2020/08/03

The CX-9’s 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder produces 54 lbs.-ft. more torque (320 vs. 266) than the Enclave’s 3.6 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/08/03

On the EPA test cycle the CX-9 gets better fuel mileage than the Enclave:

MPG

CX-9

FWD

2.5 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

AWD

2.5 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

Enclave

FWD

3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/26 hwy

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/25 hwy

Brakes and Stopping

© 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 2020/08/03

The CX-9 stops much shorter than the Enclave:

CX-9

Enclave

70 to 0 MPH

178 feet

179 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

134 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

© 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 2020/08/03

The CX-9 Sport/Touring’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 CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature’s tires have a lower 50 series profile than the Enclave’s optional 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The CX-9’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (54.7% to 45.3%) than the Enclave’s (57% to 43%). This gives the CX-9 more stable handling and braking.

The CX-9 Signature AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Enclave Essence pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The CX-9 Signature AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.7 seconds quicker than the Enclave Avenir (26.7 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the CX-9 has a 1.1 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Enclave (8.8 vs. 7.7 inches), allowing the CX-9 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

© 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 2020/08/03

The CX-9 is 4.9 inches shorter than the Enclave, making the CX-9 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the CX-9 Signature AWD is quieter than the Enclave Essence:

CX-9

Enclave

At idle

37 dB

38 dB

Full-Throttle

71 dB

78 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

67 dB

Towing

© 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 2020/08/03

The CX-9’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Enclave’s (3500 vs. 1500 pounds).

Ergonomics

© 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 2020/08/03

The CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature 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 CX-9’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 CX-9 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 CX-9’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.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The CX-9’s headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Enclave’s headlights are rated “Marginal.”

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Enclave doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Economic Advantages

© 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 2020/08/03

The CX-9 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the CX-9 will retain 40.78% to 94.55% of its original price after five years, while the Enclave only retains 34.43% to 39.22%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-9 is less expensive to operate than the Enclave because it costs $418 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the CX-9 than the Enclave, including $26 less for a muffler, $103 less for front brake pads, $102 less for a starter, $195 less for fuel injection, $16 less for a fuel pump and $502 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Mazda CX-9 will be $6262 to $8220 less than for the Buick Enclave.

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 2020/08/03

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Mazda CX-9 and the Buick Enclave, based on reliability, safety and performance.

Car and Driver performed a comparison test in its November 2019 issue and they ranked the Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD two places higher than the Buick Enclave Essence.

The CX-9 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 4 of the last 13 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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