Head to Head: 2016 Ford Explorer vs. 2016 Buick Enclave

Buick Enclave, Ford Explorer, midsize SUVs
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The Winner Is:

It's a Tie

According to the results of our head-to-head comparison, the 2016 Ford Explorer and the 2016 Buick Enclave are in a dead heat. Each vehicle has significant pros and cons, in terms of practical considerations as well as nice-to-have features. To recap, the Enclave sits much higher than the Explorer in U.S. News and World Report’s midsize SUV rankings, yet the Explorer was a finalist for our Best Large SUV for the Money award this year. In other words, while critics may prefer the Enclave, the Explorer has significant budget-friendly appeal.

Buyers who want a better value, more efficiency, and more power should choose the Ford Explorer. The Explorer has a much lower cost of entry and its premium options are more affordable. Even though the Explorer can be configured at price points that are comparable to the Enclave, you get more for your money with the Explorer. Ford’s engine offerings are more powerful, and it’s nice to have the more-efficient turbocharged four-cylinder option, too. The Ford Explorer is also the clear choice for buyers who plan to tow or take the vehicle off-road.

For buyers who prefer more comfort and refinement and are willing to pay near-luxury prices, the Buick Enclave is the better option. According to critics, it’s a more upscale vehicle than the Explorer, and that’s reflected in its higher price. The passenger cabin is more comfortable and the technology options beat the Explorer’s. The Enclave also has some practical benefits. It’s safer, it’s more reliable, and it has great cargo capacity.

Though this head-to-head comparison is inconclusive, it illustrates how the Ford Explorer and Buick Enclave are different enough to appeal to buyers with completely different priorities. You can take a look at a specs comparison of the two cars here. If you’ve decided on the Explorer, the Enclave, or another SUV in our rankings, the next step is to check out the newest car finance and lease offers, as well as our Best Price Program.

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