It is only natural to want to save as much money as possible when buying a new vehicle. Large SUVs and trucks, in particular, can be extremely expensive depending on the make, model, and trim you are considering. As a result, it can be easy to feel as though the vehicle you had your heart set on might be out of reach financially. But is this always the case? Is it always bad to spend more money than you may initially want? While there are certainly manufacturers out there that overprice their vehicles, sometimes, you actually get more value, performance, safety, and capability for the higher price tag. The trick in knowing when to spend a bit more and when to try to save is doing enough research ahead of time. If a specific manufacturer has more to offer than the competition, makes reliable vehicles, and can give you an experience that best suited to you, it just may be worth the extra cost for the long term investment. Take, for example, the differences between the 2018 Buick Enclave vs. 2018 Ford Explorer. Both of these crossover SUVs have a lot to offer in terms of overall performance and capability, but the Enclave gives you so much more for a few extra thousand dollars. This is an excellent example where a little bit more money can be a sound investment.
Many people often wonder what exactly they are paying for with a higher price tag. While it is true that some manufacturers simply increase prices to make more profit, there can be good reasons to pay a higher price if you want more performance and features. SUVs, in particular, can benefit from more powerful engines and all-wheel drivetrains which tend to be more expensive due to the extra mechanics and parts involved.
Sometimes, it can be extremely difficult to see the actual differences in performance between two SUV options. On paper, the Enclave and Explorer are fairly evenly matched when you compare their 3.6L and 3.5L V-6 engines. It is not until you start to look at the different metrics like torque and horsepower that you will begin to notice significant differences. In both categories, the Enclave manages to offer more performance, which can translate into better acceleration, higher speeds, and more off-road capability.
Fuel efficiency is another common area to address when comparing different SUV models. Crossover SUVs, even ones with a full three row setup, have the potential for better fuel efficiency than other full-size counterparts. Here again, the Enclave demonstrates this the best by offering 17 city/25 highway miles per gallon versus the Explorer’s 16 city/22 highway MPG. When you need to keep your costs low, better fuel efficiency can help you out at the gas station even when fuel prices start to skyrocket during the summer months or challenging economic times.
Since many people count on their SUVs in challenging weather and terrain, it is important to make sure any option you look at will give you the best possible traction. Quite often, many SUV models will provide you with different options between two, four, and all-wheel drive. Both the Enclave and Explorer come standard with a rear-wheel drive with optional all-wheel drive in upper trims. All-wheel drive allows the vehicle to apply power to each wheel to maximize grip in loose terrain or wet conditions.
When you do not need the most in terms of performance and capability, many SUV models may look similar to each other right off the bat. Even the look and design of many modern SUVs are similar enough to be confusing. That is why it can be helpful to look on the inside of an SUV when trying to make the final choice between two options. The interior of an SUV is where you will spend all your time, meaning the features, safety systems, and overall feel of the inside can be extremely important.
One of the best areas to compare and assess is safety. SUVs at one time have a bad reputation for safety, being known to roll over or catch fire. Modern SUVs, on the other hand, often come with a suite of front and side airbags for passengers, active safety systems like forward collision and blind spot monitoring, and automated features such as automatic braking and stability control. The real difference between many SUV models is whether these features come standard or optional.
When you look at the Enclave safety systems, for example, you will see many of these advanced systems coming as standard on several of the trims. Even the base model trim has several built-in safety features that get an overall better safety rating than the Explorer. Since many large families use a crossover SUV to transport everyone around, it is important to keep everyone inside safe during a worst-case scenario.
Features are the final area to check out when finding a good SUV model to buy. Little touches in the interior like heated seats, dual climate zone control, and turn-by-turn navigation increase the convenience of driving the SUV overall. For family-oriented vehicles, DVD players throughout the interior or separate controls allow individual families to personalize their comfort and experience without compromise.
From a practical point of view, you should also take a look at cargo space. Folding rear seats can increase the overall square footage you have to work with, essentially turning your SUV into a well-protected truck bed. The Enclave excels in this area, offering up to 98 square feet of interior space compared to the Explorer’s 80 square feet. Combined with a larger suite of standard convenience features like independent climate zone control and a stellar infotainment system, the 2018 Buick Enclave is hard to beat.
The 2018 Buick Enclave versus 2018 Ford Explorer comparison is just one example of how different SUV models outperform one another. If you want the best vehicle in the long run, it’s important to set aside time to research, take some test drives, and think about what you need or want from an SUV. When you take these extra steps, you will have a greater sense of confidence in your final choice.