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2020 Buick Enclave vs. 2020 Acura MDX: Which Is Better?

There are plenty of midsize, 3-row SUVs out there, including the 2020 Buick Enclave and the 2020 Acura MDX. Which is better?

Quick Facts

  • The 2020 Buick Enclave is the brand’s largest model.
  • The 2020 Acura MDX offers style and a suite of great options for an affordable price.

2020 Buick Enclave

2020 Buick EnclaveBase Price: $41,195 / Read our 2020 Buick Enclave Review

What we like: Upscale, roomy, tech-loaded, and sportier than most midsize SUVs.

What we would change: Driver-assist systems not standard like some competitors, and seating options are limited to seven passengers.

Overview: The 2020 Buick Enclave offers luxury amenities, a sizeable interior, and a hushed cabin all for less than some of its competitors.

What’s new for 2020: The Buick Enclave adds cosmetic enhancements with its new Sport Touring package, HD Rear Vision, and HD Surround Vision options are now available, and optional SiriusXM with 360L delivers satellite radio with streaming.

Features and technology: Inside the Enclave is roomy and comfortably upscale. The first and second rows inside the vehicle get captain’s chairs while the third row gets a bench-style seat. The entry-level Enclave comes equipped with plenty of features that include a programmable power tailgate with gesture control, tri-zone automatic climate control, OnStar, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and six USB ports. On the road, the interior is library quiet, thanks to Buick’s Quiet Tuning. Quiet Tuning which consists of laminated glass, active noise cancellation, an extensive amount of sound-deadening material, a rigid body, and a calibrated chassis.

What does the future hold: The 2021Buick Enclave will be introduced soon with no major changes. A major refresh isn’t expected for a least another model year. See 2020 Buick Enclave models for sale near you

2020 Acura MDX

2020 Acura MDXBase price: $44,500 / Read our Acura MDX Review

What we like: Strong and efficient V6, solid reliability, agile handling.

What we would change: Sub-par interior quality and is due for a full redesign in 2021.

Overview: Luxury shoppers looking for something on the more family-friendly and value-conscious side of midsize three-row SUVs will find a lot to love in the Acura MDX. Primarily based on the Honda Pilot, the MDX has many of the virtues of its trusty Honda cousin while being a legitimate contender in the luxury arena. With three rows of seats, a fantastic reliability rating, and a low base price for its class, the MDX is a solid choice in midsize three-row luxury crossovers.

One of the strong suits of the MDX is the powertrain. The base engine is a naturally-aspirated V6 that delivers a very satisfying blend of muscle and efficiency. It may not have fancy performance variants, but the V6 is more than sufficient for most people’s needs. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional. However, AWD is standard when you opt for the MDX Sport Hybrid, which gets you a pretty decent fuel economy with 26 city/27 highway mpg.

What’s new for 2020: There are no notable updates to the MDX for 2020.

Features and technology: The Acura MDX is technically a one-option vehicle but has several option packages available. SH-AWD can be added to any trim for an extra $2,000, but it comes standard with the A-Spec and Entertainment packages. For the MDX Sport Hybrid, the base model is the Technology Package, and the Advance Package is an available upgrade.

The standard Acura MDX is well-appointed for a base model. It comes standard with a dual-screen infotainment system with Bluetooth, SiriusXM, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. Plus, you get six USB ports throughout the car, leather seating, heated front seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, and a moonroof. As for safety tech, standard features include lane-departure warning, automatic high-beams, and the AcuraWatch safety tech suite. AcuraWatch comes with collision mitigation and braking, lane-keep assist, road departure warning, and adaptive cruise control.

Move up the ladder to the A-Spec if you want a cooler-looking vehicle without any performance upgrades. There are optional technology and entertainment packages to add on, should you need to keep your kids entertained on longer rides, too.

What does the future hold: The Acura MDX will be all-new for 2021 and is slated to be introduced by the end of the year. See 2020 Acura MDX models for sale near you

Enclave vs. MDX: Strengths comparison

Buick Enclave Benefits: Spacious and luxurious.

Acura MDX Benefits: More standard safety, better price.

Enclave vs. MDX: Which is better?

For our money, we’d go with the MDX, even though it gets a significant update in 2021. The Acura offers a lot more in terms of standard safety, driver assistance, and style. Find a Buick Enclave for sale or Find an Acura MDX for sale

2020 Buick Enclave 2020 Acura MDX
Popular Powertrains
Engine 3.6-liter V6 3.5-liter V6
Horsepower 310 hp @6800 rpm 290 hp @ 6,200 rpm
Torque 266 lb-ft @2800 rpm 267 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm
Transmission 9-spd automatic 9-spd automatic
Fuel Economy 21 mpg (18 city/26 hwy) 23 mpg (27 city/27 hwy)
Also Available AWD Hybrid; AWD
Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles 4 years/50,000 miles
Powertrain warranty 6 years/70,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 stars 5  stars
Max Seating Capacity 7 7
Wheelbase 120.9 inches 111 inches
Overall Length 204.3 inches 196. 2 inches
Width 78.8 inches 77.7 inches
Height 69.9 inches 67.4 inches
Turning Diameter 39.0 feet 38.7 feet
Headroom, Front 41.0 inches 38.1 inches
Headroom, Rear 39.9 inches 38.3 inches
Headroom, Third Row 37.6 inches 35.6 inches
Legroom, Front 41.2 inches 41.4 inches
Legroom, Rear 38.9 inches 36.6 inches
Legroom, Third Row 33.5 inches 30.9 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 62.4 inches 61.1 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 61.7 inches 59.1 inches
Shoulder Room, Third Row 57.3 inches 54.7 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 157.3 cu. ft. 132.7 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 97.6 cu. ft. 43.4 cu. ft.

Abigail Bassett
Abigail Bassett
Abigail Bassett is a freelance journalist based in L.A. and she's covered automotive topics for a variety of well-known outlets including Fortune, Forbes, CNN and Motor Trend. She's also a television and video host and regularly covers breaking news, social justice, technology, health and wellness, and science in addition to her car coverage. When she's not working on her next project she's... Read More about Abigail Bassett

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