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Buick Enclave vs. Hyundai Palisade

1. Introduction

Buick Enclave is a midsize SUV from Buick that was successful in the United States, sold for the 2008-2017 model years. It was the first truck of Buick since the 1920s, and was not a bad first try. The Enclave is a good SUV. It was put on a unibody platform for a better ride and to save weight. It has been powered by a 3.6-liter/288hp V6 with 6-speed automatic. Front-drive and AWD have been offered. Enclave is accompanied by a four-cylinder compact SUV, the Encore, available with front-drive and AWD. Hyundai introduced Palisade at the same time it bid goodbye to the Santa Fe XL and Veracruz, which were two previous mid-large crossovers from Hyundai. Santa Fe LTD will take over as largest crossover option in Hyundai's lineup. Palisade will be powered by a 3.8-liter V6 mated to an 8-speed auto with standard FWD and optional AWD. This makes Palisade a modern version of Veracruz and a "new" large crossover option, as it is more reliable and fuel efficient than the V8 Veracruz and much roomier than Santa Fe XL. As Enclave and Palisade would originally compete for the same customers, it is very natural that people may be choosing between these two as used options. This comparison will help you decide; are you looking for the quietly luxurious SUV of Buick or the large family hauler of Hyundai. Both are excellent options for different people with different needs.

2. Exterior Design

The model is a crossover utility vehicle, which means it has the same comfort as a saloon but higher ground clearance and a hatch. Overall, it's less driving focused. Both the Buick and Hyundai are quite big, which makes the task to visually distinguish the two. The Enclave is 17 feet long and the Palisade is 16.8 feet long. Both of these vehicles are 6.4 feet in width, which is very large for a vehicle. This extra width allows for expanded interior space and a wide track, which further improves handling. The increased dimensions make these vehicles challenging to park. Prefer a well-constructed parking space to avoid door dings. Built to accommodate families, a point vans and bof-suv often forget. Buyers know they're getting a minivan alternative, and they embrace their bulky forms. Both vehicles have large prominent grilles featuring lots of chrome, a premium luxury cue to many consumers. Understand your target market and you'll understand these design elements. Large headlights and taillights are also continuously a design theme for larger crossover vehicles. It's a necessity given their size, as these vehicles must be visible to avoid accidents. The Buick's design fits the current design language of the brand, fitting with the rest of its lineup with some unique design cues. The interior is designed to provide a comfortable environment using soft materials and high-quality interior trims. The Buick features enhanced QuietTuning with active noise cancellation. This includes an all-new in-plant noise-reduction process. Dozens of improvements have helped make the 2020 Enclave cabin quieter than its predecessor. This is something quite important, Eisenstein says. I'm a staunch advocate for sound deadening and interior materials quality. They're some of the most important factors in a new vehicle purchase, despite being very subjective measures. Decades ago, a noisy, rough-running car might have been perceived as having more power, but luxury cars have moved past that, and it's more important than ever to convey a sense of smoothness and quiet, while keeping road, wind, and engine noise outside the cabin. The Hyundai Palisade also features a focus on interior comfort with an aesthetically pleasing interior based on a slim horizontal dashboard and the audio-vent design integration. Step inside and comfortable seats on offer, some more advanced models offer an inter-comfort package with quilted Napa leather and seven USB outlets for all three rows. An intercom feature for the driver to talk to passengers in the back through the speakers. What's hecar of that? A 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster is available, and the Palisade also has quite extensive noise reduction technology. Both vehicles focus heavily on factors that make a premium SUV and what sells onlookers. There's a clear intent to create a luxury vibe. It's important to identify these goals and design cars that encapsulate consumer needs.

2.1. Buick Enclave

The endings will differ in the feeling of the rear, whereas the Buick has the modernized appearance. The Hyundai has the more conventional feel, although both vehicles are similarly tall and are canted more towards having a vertical tail compared to the slopebacks that are prevalent in crossovers. The Buick has LED tail lights which are covered with a "3D-grille". The exhaust pipes are integrated into the bumper, and the wheels range from 18" to 20" in diameter. All Enclaves will have the floating roof design, an effect of the rear portion of the roof that has been colored differently to give the illusion of being supported by the rear window. The Palisade has its own interesting features, like the side-ducts near the wheel wells and the available skid plates, and overall will appear to be a vehicle that is more off-road capable than the Enclave, despite the very similar dimensions, at 120" wheelbase and 78" width. The Palisade is also available with 18" to 20" wheels, and usually with LED tail lights. The rear appearance is something that is best decided individually by each customer when comparing these two vehicles in person.

2.2. Hyundai Palisade

The Palisade measures 196.1 inches long, riding on a 114.2-inch wheelbase. It's a good bit shorter between the axles than the Enclave's 120.9-inch wheelbase, but the Hyundai is within a half-inch of the Buick in nearly every other dimension. The Palisade's longer front overhang makes it a bit shorter in front, and its 68.9-inch height is less than the Enclave's 69.9 inches, but there aren't significant differences anywhere else. Both vehicles provide three rows of seats, and they are designed primarily to be seven-seaters with a stationary bench seat in the second row, although the Enclave's second-row captain's chairs are a no-cost swap on all but the Avenir. A more common eight-passenger layout is a no-cost option on the Palisade SEL and is more practical thanks to the Hyundai's one-touch-sliding second-row bench, which tilts even when a baby seat is installed for easier third-row access. Buick counters with its own smart-slide second-row seat that also tilts, and it should be noted that the Enclave is available with a second-row bench as a no-cost option only on the entry-level Preferred trim. By same token, the Enclave's third-row seat is power-operated in the range-topping Avenir, but it doesn't have as many recline settings as the Palisade's third-row seat. Both vehicles provide a USB port for every seating position, and while feature counts vary greatly based on trim level, this is an area where the value-packed Hyundai really shines by offering most of its amenities at more attainable price points than the Buick. Luckily for Buick, the Hyundai's interior still seems less nice than the Enclave's, as the Hyundai has some obvious cost-cutting measures like a powered-only driver's seat on the $32,645 FWD SE model and harder, shinier plastics—even on the dash—than what's found in the Enclave. But we digress, and there will be a fight for value between these cabins.

3. Interior Features

With a generous amount of cabin and cargo space, quality materials, and a quiet and comfortable ride, the 2020 Hyundai Palisade is one of the best SUV values on the market. Its soft leather seats and high-quality trim make it feel like a vehicle that could wear a luxury badge. An open-pore wood (veneer) trim is standard on the Limited. The Limited AWD model also has illuminated door sills. Both the second-row captain's chair seating style and the bench style are available on the Palisade, further enhancing buyers' freedom of choice in an affordable luxury vehicle. The second-row bench style allows for a more versatile 8-passenger seating arrangement while the captain's chairs give the vehicle a more spacious feel, boasting a simple passage to the 3rd row from either side of the interior. These captain's chairs are also shiftable, offering various seating adjustments for easier access to the 3rd row. A new or used luxury vehicle mainly in the midsize segment could not exceed the Palisade when it comes to passenger comfort and interior quality. The Palisade has been speculated as a potential threat to some luxury vehicle brands due to its affordability and extensive number of features. The interior is finished with high-standard materials with easy-to-reach controls and rarity for a Hyundai vehicle soft-touch surfaces. The Palisade's passenger seating comfort in each trim level has been designed with ergonomic long-distance comfort in mind, helping to reduce fatigue during long trips.

As a family vehicle, the third row is the Buick Enclave's most important interior feature. With a second-row bench seat, the Enclave can hold seven, and up to eight with the optional second-row captain's chairs. Sliding the second row forward for third-row access is a one-hand operation. Buick says the third row provides "adult-size comfort," and to a certain extent, that's true. At the very least, it has more legroom than the third rows in the Ford Explorer, Nissan Pathfinder, and Mazda CX-9. The quality of the interior materials was one of the first things noticed about the Enclave. Configurable as either a seven- or eight-seater, its tri-zone climate controls, leather seats, and wood-style trim further accentuate the air of luxury that its competitors fall short on. Buick gets props for providing most Enclaves with plentiful features at a reasonable price.

3.1. Buick Enclave

The center stack design is highly functional, easy to use, easy to see, and within easy reach for both the driver and passenger. The vehicle has dual front moonroofs which are divided into three-paneled glass, and the power sunshade is standard on the CXL model. Interior quietness is what Buick has been focusing on for the past few years, and it is no different with the Enclave. It is very quiet while driving and also offers a second-row skylight. The Enclave offers a standard tri-zone climate system which is upgradeable to a four-zone system on the CXL model. The heating, air conditioning, fan speeds, and temperature settings are fully automatic or can be adjusted by the front or rear seat occupants. There is a level of independence for second-row and rear seat passengers. This feature is operated by the driver or front seat passenger with the rear seat control panel and has its own display screen at the top of the console. Overall, the climate system offers maximum comfort to passengers. Buick now offers the Enclave with their first-ever air ionizer, and the air quality monitor senses when air quality is poor. The air ionizer removes impurities from the air and generates charged ions which attract the dust, pollen, and other impurities to the cabin air filter. This is another great feature added for a healthier and more comfortable driving environment.

Despite being outdated, the Buick Enclave has made several improvements on many of its older features. The interior of the car features a beautiful modern wood trim that you would rarely find in an SUV in this price range, providing it with an upscale feel. The cluster and gauge themselves have also been updated to a more modern look, giving the driver the familiar Buick red glow. Buick has also made some improvements in interior storage compared to the previous version, although in this category the Enclave is still trailing behind most of its competitors. The front console is designed to provide maximum space and convenience to the driver. Buick also offers a second-row console which is standard on the CXL model. It also provides smart slide access to the third row, although unlike some other models, the Enclave does not feature a second-row bucket option in any of the trim levels. Overall, the interior features offered on the Enclave provide a solid mix of luxury and convenience to consumers.

3.2. Hyundai Palisade

Hyundai's interior has good quality materials, which are soft to touch in the lower end models (cloth seating). The upper end models get quilted Nappa leather. The buttons are backlit to allow for clear functionality at nighttime. Second row passengers have the same features as front row passengers with heated and ventilated second row seats. The infotainment system is a touchscreen display with physical buttons so you won't smudge the screen. It is a well-designed system with good functionality. The system allows for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to be used and has a 12-speaker audio system. There are 7 USB ports that are spread out throughout the car and also has an intercom system which allows the driver to communicate with third row passengers. Step-in height is good for passengers as it is not too high and the vehicle's stepping board extends when you open the door and retreats when the door is closed. This makes for easier access into and out of the vehicle for passengers. In addition, it has a one-touch button that folds the second row seats flat and tilts the seats forward so passengers can access the third row. Third row passengers have an adequate amount of space and it is comfortable for adults. The rear hatch is a smart liftgate which allows for easier use when coming to and from the vehicle, especially when your hands are full of groceries or other goods. A standout feature of the vehicle is the blind view monitor in which a camera shows what is in the Palisade's blind spot. This is a unique function that is rare to find in vehicles and it adds to the vehicle's safety features. Overall, the Palisade has premium features with great functionality for consumers.

3.3. Comparison of Comfort and Convenience

It is expected that the interior and comfort level of these vehicles are notably high. The Enclave is boasted about its quietness, in how quiet it is compared to a luxury sedan. Tests reveal that the car has never been as quiet in the cabin compared to other models. Little noise is heard from the road and the engine, and whispering is possible between all three rows. This quietness is achieved through Buick's very own QuietTuning, which is a process to block and absorb sound and vibration to prevent it from entering the cabin. The Palisade has been claimed to be roomier and more versatile compared to any other Hyundai to date. It is equipped with a one-touch second-row seat, which allows easy access to the third row. Once said access has been granted, passengers are greeted with 3 inches of additional legroom for the second row and 4.6 more cubic feet, and more headroom and legroom in the third row compared to the Enclave. Despite no specifics on noise level, it can be noted that the Enclave's Whispering test between rows can go unmatched with any vehicle. Both vehicles have available options for rear seat entertainment with wireless headphones. The Enclave offers a 3-month all-access trial for SiriusXM radio, and the Palisade offers a 3-month trial for SiriusXM and a 3-month trial for 115 channels of sports, news, and information from SiriusXM. The Enclave features the first application of the new air ionizer system to purify air in the cabin, and the Palisade has one-touch air conditioning control with available second-row seat heating and ventilation, which can create an even more comfortable experience. Both vehicles have interesting takes on driver memory systems. The Enclave features memory seat and mirror settings with a system that recalls up to 2 drivers' comfort preferences at the touch of a button. These preferences could be listening and climate settings, seat position, and steering wheel position. The Encore and LaCrosse can also have their settings adjusted by the key fob, which is a setting relevant to the Enclave. The Palisade offers easy access driver seat and side mirror positions, which move when shifting and moving seat to make the seat easier to enter and exit, and incorporates a memory system linked to the driver's smart key, which will then recall driving preferences for the climate and radio with an integrated radio preset function that selects favorite radio stations. Both vehicles offer a comprehensive suite of driver aid technologies to assist and provide further convenience for the driver.

4. Performance and Safety

It’s time to compare the horsepower and "get up and go" between the Buick Enclave and the Hyundai Palisade. Both SUVs utilize a 3.6L V6 engine. The Enclave puts out 288hp at 6300rpm with 270 torque at 3400rpm and according to Buick sprints 0-60 in 8.5 seconds. The Palisade tops the Enclave in horsepower as it boasts 291hp at 6000rpm with 262 torque at 5200rpm and Hyundai is claiming the Palisade will do 0-60 in 7.2 seconds. The Palisade has a slight power advantage but probably won’t be hugely noticeable in driving habits. Both SUVs have plenty of power to haul around cargo or trailers, with fuel efficiency being virtually the same between the two. For driving dynamics the Buick Enclave is considered to be quiet and smooth ride. The tall body structure and center of gravity will often promote body roll and lean during cornering and abrupt maneuvers. The Enclaves driving feel would best be described as a luxury minivan with AWD. The Hyundai Palisade has yet to be determined on real world driving, but it is built using unibody construction, making it car based. Car based SUVs often carry better driving dynamics akin to a car due to a lower center of gravity and having tires clamped to the corners. It’s easy to steer, brake, and handle emergency maneuvers. Expect there to be less body roll and better handling in the Palisade compared to the Enclave. This makes the Palisade better for those who like a sporty driving feel, but it can come at the expense of ride quality and off-road/no snow capabilities which are often found in truck based SUVs such as the Chevrolet Tahoe or Suburban.

4.1. Engine and Power

The Palisade is powered by a 3.8-liter V6 that produces 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. This is roughly equivalent to the Enclave's power rating, and while the Enclave also has an available V6 engine, it is marginally more fuel efficient on the highway. Both vehicles have idle stop/start technology, and the Palisade's powertrain comes with an 8-speed automatic while the Enclave has an available 9-speed transmission. While the Enclave has been praised for its smoother and quieter acceleration, the Palisade also offers a smooth and refined driving experience. It has a snow mode and downhill brake control, and the Enclave has a similar traction select system. Both vehicles allow for LTE wifi capability and come with a standard front-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive is an available upgrade. The Palisade has standard 18" alloy wheels (20" upgrade) and the Enclave also comes standard with 18" alloy wheels, although there is only a 1" upgrade. Overall, there is a good balance of power and fuel efficiency in both vehicles, and all drivers should feel satisfied with either choice. Both models also have a 3-year/36k mile complimentary maintenance package.

4.2. Handling and Driving Dynamics

In terms of handling and dynamics, the Enclave feels heavy and cumbersome, which does not make for an enjoyable driving experience. Though the steering is responsive, there is little feel, and the Buick has a tendency to understeer in tight corners. Ride comfort is great even on the 20-inch wheels of the Premium and Avenir models, but it is hindered by the fact that the vehicles feels unsettled over bumps. The Enclave has composed and responsive handling. It's not particularly sporty, but its reasonable body control and solid steering feel will inspire confidence for the average driver. All models have all-wheel drive, which makes for good traction off the line, though fuel economy suffers slightly because of it. The Palisade is much better. It is nimble and easy to maneuver, easing the stress of everyday driving and making parking a breeze. Despite that, the ride does not feel too firm or too soft. The Palisade has good suspension compliance with well-tuned dampers, which gives it a great balance between handling and ride comfort. It had no problem smoothing out the very rough roads and has a very quiet cabin that is well isolated from road and wind noise. This is partially achieved by Hyundai's new industry-first Road Active Noise Cancellation. The Palisade has an approach and departure angles suited for slight off-roading and can even tow up to 5000 lbs. This towing capacity is best-in-class for vehicles in this category. The Palisade is front-wheel drive, but an HTrac AWD system is available on all models. It features a large Snow, Sand, and Mud modes for enhanced traction and Multi-Terrain control. This is a definite improvement over the Enclave, making the Palisade an all-round more capable vehicle for all kinds of driving situations. The Enclave wins back some points with a higher tow rating of 1500-2000 lbs depending on whether or not it has a trailering package, but this is not important for most crossover buyers.

4.3. Safety Features

Buick Enclave has been a popular crossover SUV since it was first introduced in the year 2007. The upcoming, 2021 model should be no different in that regard. In fact, it should be better with a range of updates and benefits over the previous version. For those considering purchase of an Enclave, safety is of crucial importance. With that in mind, let's examine in some detail the safety features of the upcoming 2021 Buick Enclave. As it stands, Buick has done a great job in the past of blending standard safety features with optional ones. Step by step, Buick has increased the range and friendliness to the consumer of its safety technology and features. In as much as case, every trim within the Enclave line has a certain degree of advanced safety technology, whether it is standard or the optional upgrade. An example of this prior to 2021 is the Enclave's addition of an HD rear vision camera. This came standard on all Enclaves from 2019 forward. The camera displays the area behind the vehicle, with grid lines showing projected path of travel to assist the driver. High definition is not the only type of rear vision camera that Buick is using, with some trims having a rear camera mirror. Other safety technology features that have been recently added to the Enclave and should carryover into the 2021 version are a front pedestrian braking system and a following distance indicator. Both of these features are exceedingly advanced for a car company to bring to a mainstream consumer vehicle. Many manufacturers include automated braking systems or warnings for oncoming pedestrians, but Buick has upped the ante to include a system that detects pedestrians from the rear as well as the front. This has integration to the Enclave's safety alert seat, and if the system detects an imminent collision with a pedestrian it uses the safety alert seat to warn the driver and if necessary, automatically start emergency braking. The front pedestrian braking system is rated by IIHS and was a factor in the Enclave's 2019 top safety pick award.

Buick Enclave vs. Hyundai Palisade

The Buick Enclave and Hyundai Palisade are both popular choices for those seeking spacious SUVs. Each has its own strengths in terms of design, performance, and technology. For a more detailed comparison, explore the articles below: