Both the Enclave and the Traverse 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all-wheel drive.
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 Traverse’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The Enclave’s 6 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Traverse runs out after 100,000 miles.
To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Enclave has a standard 730-amp battery. The Traverse’s 660-amp battery 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 Traverse 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 Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 9th in reliability, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked 13th.
The Enclave’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 7 more horsepower (288 vs. 281) and 4 lbs.-ft. more torque (270 vs. 266) than the Traverse LS/LT’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6.
The Enclave stops shorter than the Traverse:
60 to 0 MPH (Wet)
For better traction, the Enclave has larger tires than the Traverse (255/60R19 vs. 245/70R17).
The Enclave’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 65 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Traverse LS’ standard 70 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Enclave has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Traverse LS.
The Enclave has .1 inches more front shoulder room and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Traverse.
The Enclave’s front power windows open fully with one touch of the switches and its driver’s window also automatically closes, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Traverse’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.
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 Traverse doesn’t offer cornering lights.
The Enclave’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Chevrolet only offers heated mirrors on the Traverse LT/LTZ.
The Enclave’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Traverse and isn’t available on the Traverse LS.
The Enclave’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Traverse LS doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.
The Enclave will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Intellichoice estimates that the Enclave will retain 42.88% of its original price after five years, while the Traverse only retains 37.56% to 38.6%.
Both the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse won an award in Kiplinger’s 2012 car issue.