Car Buyer Labs

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2018 Buick Enclave

The 2018 Buick Enclave vs. 2018 Toyota Highlander: Which SUV Comes Out on Top?

Let’s be real, there are a lot of SUVs out there and when you’re on the lot searching through all the makes and models it can be difficult and overwhelming to single out the best car for your needs. Cost, specs, safety all take time to research, so we’ve done some of the work for you and singled out two of this year’s top-of-the-line vehicles: 2018 Buick Enclave vs. 2018 Toyota Highlander to determine which SUV comes out on top.



Performance is important for any car buyer, and Buick has some impressive specs for their new model. The 2018 Buick Enclave boasts a 3.6L V6 SIDI VVT engine with 310 horsepower and 266 lb.-ft. of torque, making it a quick off-the-starting-line vehicle that doesn’t skimp on speed or power. It also has a massive towing capability of 5000 lbs, perfect for taking boats to the lake or hauling campers.

The 2018 Toyota Highlander offers a few different models with slightly less horsepower. The Toyota Highlander Limited offers the best specs, with a 3.5L V6 engine with 295 horsepower and 263 lb.-ft, while the Toyota Highlander Le offers a 2.7L engine with 185 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft of torque. This will get you off the starting line quick, but with a little less power than the Enclave. However, the Toyota Highlander also has a 5000 lb towing capability and also offers a hybrid option for interested parties.



The 2018 Buick Enclave is advertised as a ‘midsize luxury SUV’ and you can see why with it’s many high-tech features and luxury components. The SUV fits a spacious seven, with seat power-folding capabilities that allow for more space for cargo. The car also features a sunroof, leather seating, and Buick QuietTuning to silence outside noise. There are a variety of smart capabilities like the rear camera mirror, front end collision alert, which warns the driver of a potential front-end collision, line change alert, and automatic braking as the latest in modern safety features. For those who enjoy connectivity capabilities, the 2018 Buick Enclave has a built-in WIFI hotspot so that your device can always be connected. Apple CarPlay, built-in navigation system, and optional services like a remote vehicle start are just some of the fancy extras available.

The 2018 Toyota Highlander has some similar capabilities, including rear-seat entertainment, a panoramic moonroof, and eight seats. They don’t have quite as many luxuries as the Buick, especially in regards to smart capabilities, but the Highlander does include an eight-inch touchscreen and Driver Easy Speak for voice command. If staying connected to your device is of the utmost importance to you, the Buick Enclave might be the better fit here. However, if safety is your main concern, the Highlander does include a lane departure alert with steering assist and a Pre-Collision system that alerts the driver if a collision is imminent.



If you are looking for lots of options for the exterior of the car, the 2018 Toyota Highlander offers eight different models with slightly different exteriors. The main motif for all the models is the large front grille. If you’re looking for something bold and dynamic, this model may be right for you. Alloy wheels give it a sporty aesthetic and include LED tail lights for added visibility. The front of the vehicle is slightly more aggressive than the Buick Enclave, with the grille and down-turned front that gives it a noticeable finish.

The Buick Enclave is a stylish and sleek car with some seriously attractive exterior features. The 2018 Buick Enclave displays their signature grille with the classic tri-colored badge that speaks to luxury and subtle minimalism. The rest of the car has superb lines that make it look like a top-of-the-line sports car. The winged headlamps give it a modern aesthetic, and peering in at the leather seats make this car seem like you’re about to hop into a Jaguar, not a four-door SUV.


Comparing The Stats

When trying to determine the winner of any automotive competition, relevant vehicle stats can be incredibly helpful. So, let’s take a look at how some of the most important stats of the 2018 Buick Enclave vs 2018 Toyota Highlander stack-up.


The 2018 Buick Enclave

  • MSRP: Starting at $39,995
  • Cargo Volume: Up to 97.6 cu ft.
  • Towing Capacity: 1,500 LBS
  • Fuel Efficiency: 18 City/26 Highway


The 2018 Toyota Highlander

  • MSRP: $31,030
  • Cargo Volume: Up to 83.7 cu. ft.
  • Towing Capacity: 1,500 to 5,000 LBS
  • Fuel Efficiency: 21 City/27 Highway

While the 2018 Buick Enclave takes the lead in the ever important cargo space and the 2018 Toyota Highlander wins the battle of overall towing capacity, the starting prices and fuel efficiencies are fairly similar. It should be noted that while the MSRPs are the largest differences among the stats, the Buick Enclave certainly exceeds its value when it comes to luxury, styling, and onboard technology.


2018 Buick Enclave vs 2018 Toyota Highlander: And The Winner Is?

So, the race was close in the 2018 Buick Enclave vs the 2018 Toyota Highlander battle. But at a similar starting price, we had to pick the 2018 Buick Enclave as the resounding winner. The modern design and connectivity capabilities prove that the designers behind the car had the consumer and buyer in mind. Nowadays, people work, socialize, and network on their phones, so we applaud the designers for keeping that in mind with their WiFi hotspot. The sleek exterior is a great extra, making it a car that you’d want to show off to friends and family, not to mention the leather-seated interior. Not to be outdone by the smart devices and classy exterior, the Buick Enclave is the total package with the latest safety measures in place as well as plenty of functional cargo space and towing capabilities for long journeys. So, take a look at the car, plug in, and see if it’s something to rave in reviews about.