Skip to content

Free Delivery For All Orders + 2 Year Warranty

    Buick Enclave or Acura MDX? A Side-by-Side Comparison

    Buick Enclave or Acura MDX? A Side-by-Side Comparison

    When it comes to midsize luxury SUVs, the Buick Enclave and Acura MDX both make compelling cases. As shoppers ourselves, we understand the dilemma in deciding between these two refined and capable family haulers. That's why we've put together this comprehensive head-to-head guide - to arm you with the insights needed to make the right choice for your needs.

    Balancing Performance, Comfort, and Value

    For many buyers, choosing between the Enclave and MDX comes down to priorities around three key factors:

    • Performance - Which SUV provides the best combination of power, handling and ride quality?
    • Comfort - How do these vehicles compare for passenger space, cargo room, and interior refinement?
    • Value - Which model gives you the most for your money both today and down the road?

    Over the next few thousand words, we'll explore each area in-depth. We'll also touch on safety, technology, ownership costs, and other important considerations. Let's get to the nitty gritty!

    Driving Dynamics - The MDX Brings the Sport

    When it comes to performance, the Acura MDX has the edge. As the brand's performance-focused SUV, the MDX emphasizes agile handling and potent powertrains across all trims.

    Motor Matters

    The base MDX gets motivation from a 3.5L V6 generating 290 horsepower. Upgrade to the sporty Type S variant and output climbs to an energetic 355-hp. The MDX has a responsive 10-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters for added driver engagement.

    By comparison, the Buick Enclave utilizes a 3.6L V6 with 310 horsepower - slightly higher than the MDX's entry engine but well below the Type S model. It drives the front or available all-wheel-drive through a 9-speed gearbox.

    Twisty Thrills

    In addition to its brawnier powertrains, the MDX bests the Enclave when corner carving comes into play. Acura gave this SUV stiffer suspension tuning, bigger brakes, and specially-developed Integrated Dynamics System tech to sharpen turn-in response. Steering is also more direct and weighted.

    As a result, the MDX serves up sports sedan-like moves that other family rigs can’t match. Reviewers praise its eagerness to attack bends and overall poise at speed. It's a properly athletic performer.

    The Buick Enclave goes for a softer, quieter approach that favors cruising over canyon running. Don't get us wrong - it handles winding roads competently enough thanks to sound chassis engineering. But drivers wanting a truly engaging, smile-inducing experience should look to the MDX.

    Winner: Acura MDX

    Passenger & Cargo Room - Enclave Pulls Ahead

    Buyers needing maximum interior space for passengers and gear will likely prefer the Buick Enclave.

    Let's crunch some numbers:

    Interior Room Comparison Acura MDX Buick Enclave
    Passenger Volume (cu ft) 133 154
    Cargo Capacity (cu ft) 16.3 23.6
    3rd Row Headroom (in) 36.6 37.2
    3rd Row Legroom (in) 28.1 33.5

    As you can see, the Enclave enjoys advantages in passenger volume (+21 cu ft), cargo space (+7.3 cu ft), and third-row head/legroom.

    So while the MDX seats seven like the Enclave, its third row and luggage area are noticeably tighter. The Buick also offers more total interior room, making it easier for second and third-row passengers to stretch out.

    Winner: Buick Enclave

    Cabin Comfort & Quality - Advantage MDX

    Ah, but there's more to interior livability than pure measurements. Ambiance, features and the look/feel of cabin furnishings also factor in. Here the Acura MDX regains the lead with a richer, airier, and more contemporary environment.

    Hop inside the MDX and you’re welcomed by supportive power front seats, authentic metal and open-pore wood trim, soft-touch dash/door surfaces, and precise switchgear operation.

    The intuitive dual-screen interface provides logical smartphone-style menus and standard wireless connectivity. Acura also fits the MDX with a premium branded audio system and useful tech like wireless phone charging, multi-zone climate control, ambient lighting, and an electronic gear selector.

    Now the Enclave certainly delivers its share of upscale appointments like leather seating, heated/ventilated front chairs, and a power liftgate. Nicely cushioned seats and a standard tri-zone climate system also add comfort.

    But design and materials lean more mainstream than luxury. The same goes for the older IntelliLink infotainment system - it gets the job done but feels dated next to the MDX’s slick tech. Simply put, the Buick’s execution isn’t quite special enough given its price.

    Winner: Acura MDX

    Safety Tech - MDX Leads in Advanced Features

    Today's buyers rightly put safety at the top of their must-have list. Here again, the Acura MDX leads versus the Buick Enclave by offering more advanced driver assistance and crash avoidance technologies.

    For instance, every 2023 MDX comes standard with AcuraWatch safety gear including smart cruise control, road departure mitigation, and traffic jam assist. Blind spot information, rear cross-traffic alert, and parking sensors are also included across the lineup.

    While the Enclave provides worthwhile standard features like forward collision and lane keep assist, you typically need to pay extra for extras like blind spot monitoring, surround view cameras, and front/rear parking sensors.

    When evaluating crashworthiness, both SUVs perform admirably. But test data gives the MDX a slight edge for occupant protection. As for awards, the Acura also garners more safety recommendations from organizations like the IIHS and NHTSA.

    Winner: Acura MDX

    Ownership Value - MDX Wins Long-Term

    Evaluating true ownership value requires looking beyond MSRPs and discounts. Important factors like depreciation, insurance costs, and projected reliability also affect your bottom line.

    In these areas, the numbers favor the Acura MDX:

    • Depreciation - ALG predicts the MDX will retain 51% of its value after 5 years versus just 43% for the Enclave. That's thousands back in your pocket down the road.
    • Insurance - On average, insuring an MDX costs $14 less per month than the Enclave according to quotes analyzed by Quadrant Information Services. That adds up over years of coverage.
    • Reliability - Both SUVs score well here. But Acura's reputation and specific MDX track record help it edge out the Enclave according to Consumer Reports' probability data.

    The Buick fights back with lower ownership costs around maintenance thanks to longer intervals between services. Depending on rebates and ongoing APR deals, the Enclave may be cheaper to finance over equivalent MDX models.

    On balance though, the MDX’s higher resale value, cheaper insurance premiums, and rock-solid predicted reliability offset the Enclave’s lower maintenance and purchase costs. It’s the wiser value overall.

    Winner: Acura MDX

    The Bottom Line - MDX Brings More to the Table

    Let's summarize our key findings in bullet points:

    • Performance - MDX outpaces Enclave for acceleration, handling prowess, and ride quality
    • Passenger/Cargo Room - Enclave has the space advantage, especially in the third row and cargo hold
    • Cabin Comfort & Quality - MDX provides a richer, tech-focused environment
    • Safety - MDX offers more standard and available driver assistance features
    • Ownership Value - MDX is projected to return more money at resale while costing less to insure

    On paper, the Buick Enclave makes a case thanks to its stretched dimensions and value pricing. For shoppers to maximize passenger and cargo flexibility, it deserves strong consideration.

    Yet in most other areas that matter, the athletic and upscale Acura MDX proves the more compelling overall package - blending responsive performance with contemporary accommodations and excellent predicted reliability. Yes, it costs more upfront. But long-run value and enjoyment justify the investment for most buyers.