Son's Automotive Group Compares 2017 Buick Enclave VS 2017 Mercedes GLS Near Buford, GA

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2017 Buick Enclave

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2017 Buick Enclave

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2017 Mercedes GLS

Safety Comparison

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 Mercedes GLS doesn’t offer comfort guides on its middle 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 GLS doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

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 GLS doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Enclave and the GLS have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, collision warning systems, lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty Comparison

Buick’s powertrain warranty covers the Enclave 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the GLS. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the GLS ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

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

Buick pays for scheduled maintenance on the Enclave for 2 years and 24,000 miles. Buick will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance (up to 2 oil changes). Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the GLS.

There are over 5 times as many Buick dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Enclave’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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 GLS doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the Enclave’s reliability will be 137% better than the GLS.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Buick vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick third in reliability, above the industry average. With 29 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 12th.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Buick Enclave uses regular unleaded gasoline. The GLS requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Enclave stops shorter than the GLS:





70 to 0 MPH

184 feet

186 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

124 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Enclave is 1.9 inches wider in the front and .9 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the GLS.

The Enclave AWD handles at .79 G’s, while the GLS450 pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis Comparison

The Buick Enclave may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 650 to 850 pounds less than the Mercedes GLS.

The design of the Buick Enclave amounts to more than styling. The Enclave has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .358 Cd. That is lower than the GLS (.369 to .38). A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Enclave get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Enclave offers optional seating for 8 passengers; the GLS can only carry 7.

The Enclave has 1 inch more front legroom, 3.1 inches more front shoulder room, 3 inches more rear shoulder room and 6.9 inches more third row shoulder room than the GLS.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Enclave’s cargo area provides more volume than the GLS.




Behind Third Seat

23.3 cubic feet

16 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

68.9 cubic feet

49.4 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

115.2 cubic feet

93.8 cubic feet

Ergonomics Comparison

The Enclave has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The GLS doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Enclave owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Enclave will cost $4640 to $10110 less than the GLS over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Enclave is less expensive to operate than the GLS because typical repairs cost much less on the Enclave than the GLS, including $407 less for a water pump, $196 less for an alternator, $36 less for front brake pads, $376 less for a starter, $297 less for fuel injection and $423 less for front struts.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Buick Enclave will be $24220 to $72805 less than for the Mercedes GLS.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends the Buick Enclave, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Mercedes GLS isn't recommended.

The Buick Enclave outsold the Mercedes GLS by 89% during the 2016 model year.

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