We set our sights on two eye-catching mid-sized luxury SUVs, the Buick Enclave and Cadillac XT5 (it replaces the 2016 Cadillac top seller: the SRX). Why would we pit the three-row crossover Enclave against the more compact mid-sized XT5? The similarities are enough to warrant comparison, and both vehicles cater to a family-friendly lifestyle. Read on for our current iteration, Head to Head: 2017 Buick Enclave vs. 2017 Cadillac XT5.
2017 Buick Enclave vs. 2017 Cadillac XT5 Interior Comparison
The 2017 Buick Enclave can seat up to eight comfortably with an available third row. Efficient second-row captain’s chairs slide effortlessly to allow easy access, as do the wide-opening rear doors. The 23.3 cubic feet of space behind the third row make this crossover the logical choice for families hauling athletic gear and luggage back and forth from the airport. Standard features on the base model include: leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescopic steering, tri-zone automatic climate control, and an eight-way power driver seat with lumbar adjustment.
The 2017 Cadillac XT5 is essentially an upgraded SRX. Improvements can be seen all around with cabin upgrades that include a luxurious and enhanced high quality interior with more room, complete with a waterfall center stack with more attractive controls. The XT5 is now drenched in leather while the SRX only had leather accents. The XT5 also loses the metallic trim, and the climate controls are now housed under a glossy, sleek surface design. The eight-inch Cadillac Cue Infotainment touchscreen is more intuitive, efficient and responsive. The 2017 XT5 scores additional points for rear seat legroom gains of 3.2 inches.
2017 Buick Enclave vs. 2017 Cadillac XT5 Exterior Comparison
Measuring in at 202 inches, the Buick Enclave is the elegant beast of the three-row crossover space. The Enclave presence is hulking yet handsome, with a waterfall grille up front and a rear that is flanked by spiral-shaped exhaust outlets. Features that come standard on the Convenience trim include a rear liftgate, rear privacy glass, rear parking sensors, 19-inch alloy wheels, remote engine start, heated side mirrors, and a roofrack.
The XT5 redesign is more true to the Cadillac look with a bigger, bolder front grille for a more commanding presence, and headlights get smaller and sleeker with LED lighting, extending down the front fender. Cadillac has enlarged and repositioned the side view mirrors for improved visibility. A rearview camera and power lift gate were once optional but are now standard. Standard exterior features of the Cadillac XT5 also include automatic headlights, camera-based rearview camera functionality, and 18-inch wheels (20-inch wheels are available).
2017 Buick Enclave vs. 2017 Cadillac XT5 Performance Comparison
The Buick Enclave has three trim levels called Convenience, Leather, and Premium. There are special Tuscan Edition and Sport Touring Edition packages that add bronze or satin black accents available. All trim levels come with a 3.6-liter V6 that emits 288 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. The V6 is mated with a six-speed automatic transmission–standard on all models, although AWD is an option with the Leather and Premium trim levels. The Enclave can go from 0-60 in 8.2 seconds and tow up to 4,500 pounds. The ride is still and quiet, thanks in part to the sound insulation included with Buick’s “QuietTuning” technology and dual-flow suspension dampers. You can add advanced traction control for enhanced agile yet powerful driving and maneuvering.
The Cadillac XT5 has four trim levels: Base, Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Platinum AWD. It also has just one engine, a 3.6-liter V6 that puts out 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque, mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Cadillac can go from 0-60 in 6.6 seconds. The 2017 Cadillac XT5 comes standard in FWD but AWD is available with all trims except for the base model. The 2017 XT5 is up to 300 pounds lighter than the 2016 SRX, and serves up a remarkably smooth and quiet drive. You can get the optional adaptive suspension to enhance this. Continually adjusting suspension dampers come as part of the Driver’s Awareness package, available with the Premium Luxury trim. Additional happy results of the lighter construction is a notable fuel efficiency with rapid acceleration.
2017 Buick Enclave vs. 2017 Cadillac XT5 Feature Comparison
Features that come standard with the base model Enclave include: a rearview camera, cruise control, Buick IntelliLink with voice control and smartphone compatibility, a six-speaker stereo with a CD Player and satellite radio, two USB ports, an auxiliary jack, a 6.5-inch touchscreen, and OnStar compatibility. The Premium trim gets you all this plus leather interior, ventilated front seats, navigation, a 10-speaker Bose surround sound stereo, forward collision and lane departure, and more. Options on Leather and Premium trims include rear seat video entertainment, a dual-panel sunroof, and a towing package.
New for the Cadillac XT5 this year is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The base package has the following standard features: an engine start/stop feature, keyless ignition and entry, remote start, power tilt-and-telescopic steering, dual-zone climate control, eight-way power driver seat, six-way power passenger seat, a 40/20/20-split sliding/reclining second row seat, BOSE eight-speaker surround sound stereo with satellite radio, wireless charger, voice commands, four USB ports, an auxiliary jack, and OnStar compatibility. Get the panoramic sunroof, driver memory settings, heated front seats and steering wheel, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, and more when you upgrade to Luxury. A ton more features are also for the taking as options. The AWD Platinum model is a jackpot of features with an Advanced Security Package, along with an upgraded leather interior and gauge cluster.
2017 Buick Enclave vs. 2017 Cadillac XT5 Overall Comparison
Buick and Cadillac have upped their games in the mid-sized luxury space. The Enclave and XT5 have in common the same powerful V6 for all trim levels, and these are vehicles that no family would willingly walk away from. Where the Buick is practical, it loads its base model with standard features that many car manufacturers only offer as options. It is the Buick’s answer to the high end luxury SUV and they do not scrimp on quality craftsmanship or an attractive exterior aesthetic. The Enclave holds its own against Cadillac; however, Cadillac has pulled out the Ace up their sleeves by taking last year’s best-selling model and slaying it with improvements. We’re calling it a tie and tasking you with the challenge of breaking that tie. You can check out both models at your local AutoNation-affiliated dealerships. The test drive is the way to go and it’s never been easier to reserve the car you want to test, right here online. See how they ride!