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2021 Chevrolet Traverse vs Buick Enclave

2021 Chevrolet Traverse vs Buick Enclave

2021 Traverse vs Enclave - How do they stack up? Which is Better?

The 2021 Chevy Traverse and Buick Enclave would both be excellent choices if anyone is looking for a capable three-row SUV. These vehicles have powerful engines that can give the ability to handle rugged terrain. Both models are attractive in their own way, and people will appreciate that there are many available high-tech features in these SUVs.

In many ways, the Traverse and Enclave are similar to each other. This may be especially apparent in the next section since both vehicles run on the same type of engine. These similarities do make sense given the fact that General Motors is the parent company of Buick and Chevrolet. This overview will go over specific differences between the two models, and hopefully a potential customer will find this information useful as he/she determines which SUV would be the right pick.

The Powertrain

These vehicles run on the same type of engine. The Traverse and Enclave use 3.6-liter V6 engines. This is a pretty sizable engine for this size of vehicle, and drivers will be satisfied with the power that this engine can generate.

Both SUVs have 310 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. These are respectable numbers that can give people more confidence if they ever have to deal with challenging situations. These SUVs can power their way through rugged terrain, haul up to 5,000 pounds when they have the proper equipment, and maintain traction even with the roads are slippery.

Traction can be enhanced when a vehicle has all-wheel drive (AWD). With both trims, all-wheel drive is available on every trim but the base model. These AWD systems can continuously monitor how the wheel are doing. If there are issues with traction, power can be redirected to the wheels that have the best grip. This will ensure that the SUV can move safely in the right direction. If someone doesn't need AWD, the default option is front-wheel drive.

The two models have the same transmission systems as well. They both use nine-speed automatic transmissions. Everything is smooth, and the vehicles feel responsive. If drivers ever want to have more control over shifting, they can do so using the manual shift option. For the average driver, this feature can be fun to use on occasion, and for performance-oriented drivers, it can be utilized more often to enhance the experience of being behind the wheel.

As noted earlier, these models can be rated to tow up to 5,000 pounds. This is a lot of weight to pull, and it gives people the freedom to bring along all kinds of equipment and cargo with them. Trailering packages on the models come with a trailer hitch, heavy-duty cooling system to prevent overheated, and hitch guidance. This last component can be very useful when trying to back up the SUV into just the right spot.

It may come as no surprise that the powertrain warranties on the Chevy Traverse and Buick Enclave are exactly the same. One of these warranties is good for five years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. These terms aren't above average by any means, but they should give people some extra confidence when purchasing new models.

The interesting thing is that the fuel efficiency in these models are not exactly identical. However, they're close enough to be just about the same from a practical standpoint. A Chevy Traverse with FWD can achieve up to 18 miles per gallon in the city and 27 miles per gallon on the highway. The Buick Enclave with FWD can earn an estimated 18 miles per gallon in the city and 26 miles per gallon on the highway. If an SUV has all-wheel drive, fuel economy drops slightly by about one or two miles per gallon.


With a good amount of power, the Traverse and Enclave can be fun and easy to drive. The engine responds when people need it to, and these SUVs would almost never struggle to accelerate. The exception would be when hauling their maximum load in tough conditions.

Further, they both have mechanisms that can keep the cabin nice and peaceful. The Traverse's system is called Active Noise Cancellation, and the Buick's is called Quiet Tuning. Given all that goes on in people's busy lives, it can be pleasant to take a quite ride without external distractions.

Vehicles like these have the height that many people prefer. The Traverse has a ground clearance of 7.51 inches, while the Enclave sits 7.7 inches off the ground. They're both about 204 inches from hood to tail, so they're certainly not compact by any standard. This length is necessary so that they can have enough room for the third row of seats.

While the exact amount of leg room is slightly off when comparing the two models, it's essentially the same. The Traverse has 41, 38.4, and 33.5 inches of leg room in its first, second, and third rows, respectively. Leg room in each of the three rows of the Enclave is 41.2, 38.9, and 33.5 inches. As evident from these numbers, it's clear that the third row isn't going to be the best place for taller adults to sit. It can be fine, though, for smaller adults and especially children. For many households, having that extra seating area can be so beneficial.

Both models give customers the option of getting cabins that can fit either seven or eight total passengers. With an eight-seat configuration, there would be a bench in the second and third rows. This way, three people could sit in each of the rear rows, with two people up front. With a seven-seat configuration, there would be captain's chairs in the middle row. The tradeoff is one that some people are comfortable with, as it takes away one seat but gives the cabin a more spacious feel. Plus, it makes it much easier for passengers to get in and out of the third row.

Again, there are minor differences when it comes to cargo capacity. The Traverse has a maximum cargo capacity of 98.2 cubic feet when all the rear seats are folded down. Behind its third row of seating, the dedicated cargo area has a volume of 23 cubic feet. In the Enclave, the rear cargo area has a volume of 23.6 cubic feet, and maximum capacity is 97.6 cubic feet.

These days, technology really factors into purchasing decisions. Since Buick and Chevy are owned by the same organization, the Traverse and Enclave share many features. All Traverse trims have Wi-Fi capability, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and USB ports in all three rows. They also have voice recognition and steering-wheel-mounted controls so that people can make adjustments to their infotainment systems in a variety of ways. The Traverse starts out with a seven-inch touchscreen, and its higher trims have eight-inch touchscreens with navigation and wireless charging. SiriusXM becomes standard with the mid-level trims, and it can really be appreciated when people are trying to find music to listen to.

Things are pretty similar with the Buick Enclave. It has smartphone compatibility, available wireless charging, and available navigation as well, but it comes standard with an eight-inch touchscreen. Like the Traverse, it has an available Bose premium sound system that has ten speakers to enhance the audio quality.

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Quite a few advanced safety components can be found on these two SUVs. However, not all of them are standard. This is noticeable when comparing these models to others in this class of three-row SUVs.

The base model of the Traverse, which is the L trim, doesn't even have any driver-assist systems. It does, though, have a rear vision camera, a rear seat reminder that reduces the chances of leaving a child or pet in the back seat alone, and a teen driver system that lets people keep track of their teen's driving habits.

On the higher trims of the Traverse, there are many advanced technologies, fortunately. The SUV can have frontal collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and a following distance indicator. The Traverse can also have a surround vision camera that can be useful when parking and maneuvering, blind zone monitoring and rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, and lane departure warning.

Customers might assume that because the Enclave has a higher price point, its base model would have many of the previously mentioned features. Like the Traverse, though, the Enclave doesn't come standard with automatic emergency braking or any of the other driver-assist systems except Rear Park Assist. This feature alerts drivers when they're getting close to other objects when backing up.

Moving up to the higher trims of the Enclave comes with several benefits in terms of safety. Most Enclave trims have rear cross traffic and blind zone monitoring so that people can be aware of vehicles that might be difficult, or impossible, to see. Higher trims have automatic emergency braking and the associated systems that can reduce the chances of frontal collisions, and they have lane keep assist with lane departure warning. A surround vision system is standard on the top trim and available on some of the other trims.

Which Has the Best Value?

After reading this overview up to this point, it may seem like the Traverse and Enclave are nearly identical. It's true that they have the same engine and similar infotainment and safety packages, but these components are just part of the offerings. Of course, one also has to consider price when determining the value of a vehicle.

The Chevy Traverse starts out with a price of $30,995. There are seven available trims, and the list is topped off by the High Country trim, which costs $52,095. In contrast, the Preferred has a starting price of $41,195. Its four trims are much more closely priced than the trims of the Traverse are, with the Avenir trim of the Enclave costing $54,995.

After looking at these prices, a potential customer is likely going to be wondering why the models have a price difference of more than ten thousand dollars. It may be helpful to review some of the highlights of these entry-level models to explain this discrepancy. The L trim of the Traverse has 18-inch wheels, heated side mirrors, LED Daytime Running Lamps, and LED taillamps. Inside its cabin, there are premium cloth seats as well as cruise control, keyless open, and tri-zone automatic climate control.

The Avenir's base model is called the Preferred trim, and it has those same exterior features just described. It also has a hands-free programmable liftgate, LED headlamps, chrome moldings, side rails, and a rear spoiler. Inside its cabin, it has heated and power-adjustable front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, so things definitely feel more upscale. Its remote start function, rear climate controls, and universal home remote are very convenient, too. A customer just has to ask him/herself if all of these features warrant the additional cost in comparison to the Traverse.

The higher trims of the Avenir are even more sophisticated. The top trim, the Avenir, has many impressive components, like 20-inch wheels, power-folding mirrors, a power moonroof, heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, and perforated leather upholstery. The High Country trim of the Traverse has many of these same features. Plus, it has fog lamps.

Since there are seven trims of the Traverse, there is more opportunity to get a trim that's perfectly suited for someone's tastes. The RS trim, in particular, is quite sporty and has a more aggressive style. This isn't an option with the Enclave.

Which is Better?

In some ways, it's hard to differentiate these two models from each other. They basically have the same dimensions and capability, and they even have really similar tech features. Perhaps the most notable distinction between the two SUVs is related to price.

The Buick Enclave does feel more luxurious than the Traverse does. It has more high-end interior and exterior features, so customers have to decide how much they value those extra components. The Enclave will appeal to those with more refined tastes and budgets that allow them to splurge a bit. In contrast, the Traverse will be more of a practical choice for budget-conscious consumers.

If someone wants to be treated to a premium trim, there's not really that much that separates the Traverse from the Enclave. It may come down to a style preference, as the Enclave may feel more sophisticated and the Traverse may seem to be more rugged.

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