Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2013 Buick ENCLAVE VS 2012 Mazda CX-9 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2013 Buick ENCLAVE

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VS

2012 Mazda CX-9

Safety Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Buick Enclave are height-adjustable, and the middle and rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Mazda CX-9 doesn’t offer comfort guides on its middle or rear seat belts.

The Enclave has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The CX-9 doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

The Buick Enclave has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The CX-9 doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

To help make backing safer, the Enclave’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The CX-9 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Compared to metal, the Enclave’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mazda CX-9 has a metal gas tank.

The Enclave has standard OnStar ®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The CX-9 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Enclave and the CX-9 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all-wheel drive.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ( IIHS) performs roof strength tests. In that test the Enclave earned the top rating of “Good” because its roof supported over four times the Enclave’s weight before being crushed five inches. The CX-9 was rated two rankings lower at “Marginal.”

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the general design of front seat head restraints for their ability to protect front seat occupants from whiplash injuries. The IIHS also performs a dynamic test on those seats with “good” or “acceptable” geometry. In these ratings, the Enclave with standard seats is safer then the CX-9:

Enclave

CX-9

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Head Restraint Design

GOOD

GOOD

Distance from Back of Head

36 mm

60 mm

Dynamic Test Rating

GOOD

MARGINAL

Seat Design

Pass

Fail

Torso Acceleration

9.1 g’s

12.9 g’s

Neck Force Rating

Low

Medium

Max Neck Shearing Force

58

132

Max Neck Tension

643

682

(Lower numerical results are better in all tests.)

For its top level performance in frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the Enclave as a “Top Pick” for 2012, a rating only granted to 137 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The CX-9 was not a “Top Pick.”

Warranty Comparison

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The Enclave comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The CX-9’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Buick’s powertrain warranty covers the Enclave 40,000 miles longer than Mazda covers the CX-9. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the CX-9 ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Enclave’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the CX-9’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are almost 4 times as many Buick dealers as there are Mazda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Enclave’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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The Enclave has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The CX-9 doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Enclave has a standard 170-amp alternator. The CX-9’s 110-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Enclave first among midsize multi-activity vehicles in their 2012 Initial Quality Study. The CX-9 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2012 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 9th in reliability, above the industry average. With 38 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 23rd.

Engine Comparison

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The Enclave’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 15 more horsepower (288 vs. 273) than the CX-9’s 3.7 DOHC V6.

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the Enclave’s engine produces its peak torque at lower RPM’s than the CX-9 (3400 vs. 4250).

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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The Enclave has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-9 (22 vs. 20.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the Enclave’s brake rotors are larger than those on the CX-9:

Enclave

CX-9

Front Rotors

12.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

12.8 inches

The Enclave stops shorter than the CX-9:

Enclave

CX-9

60 to 0 MPH

142 feet

150 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

153 feet

161 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the Enclave has larger tires than the CX-9 (255/60R19 vs. 245/60R18).

The Buick Enclave’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Mazda CX-9 only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Enclave’s wheelbase is 5.7 inches longer than on the CX-9 (118.9 inches vs. 113.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Enclave is 2.2 inches wider in the front and 2.4 inches wider in the rear than on the CX-9.

Passenger Space Comparison

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The Enclave offers optional seating for 8 passengers; the CX-9 can only carry 7.

The Enclave has 11.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CX-9 (151.1 vs. 139.4).

The Enclave has .8 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more front legroom, .7 inches more front hip room, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom, 1 inch more rear hip room, 2.6 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.4 inches more third row headroom, .8 inches more third row legroom, 4.6 inches more third row hip room and .5 inches more third row shoulder room than the CX-9.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The Enclave’s cargo area provides more volume than the CX-9.

Enclave

CX-9

Behind Third Seat

23.3 cubic feet

17.2 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

68.9 cubic feet

48.3 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

115.2 cubic feet

100.7 cubic feet

The Enclave’s cargo area is larger than the CX-9’s in almost every dimension:

Enclave

CX-9

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

24.5”/55.2”/86.9”

19”/48.9”/82.5”

Min Width

46.7”

46.1”

The Enclave has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The CX-9 doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Ergonomics Comparison

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The Enclave’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The CX-9 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the Enclave and the CX-9 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Enclave is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The CX-9 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Enclave has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The CX-9 has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Grand Touring.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Enclave offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The CX-9 doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Enclave’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Mazda charges extra for heated mirrors on the CX-9.

When the Enclave with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The CX-9’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Enclave offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The CX-9 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Enclave’s optional air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The CX-9 doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.

Standard IntelliLink for the Enclave allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including playing internet radio stations and other online activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The CX-9 doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Enclave is less expensive to operate than the CX-9 because typical repairs cost much less on the Enclave than the CX-9, including $499 less for a water pump and $44 less for a timing belt/chain.

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