2017 Infiniti QX60 vs. 2017 Buick Enclave: Compare Cars

December 7, 2016

The Infiniti QX60 and Buick Enclave are upscale picks for the "anything but a minivan" set, but how do these family wagons—sorry, SUVs—stack up against each other?

Let's dive into the numbers to find out.

First, we're happy to report both 'utes have undergone our rigorous new ratings system. By the numbers, the Enclave gets a slight edge (and we mean slight) in the overall score, but the details are a see-saw. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

MORE: Read our reviews on the 2017 Buick Enclave and 2017 Infiniti QX60

2017 Buick Enclave Sport Touring Edition

2017 Buick Enclave Sport Touring Edition

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2017 Buick Enclave Sport Touring Edition

2017 Buick Enclave Sport Touring Edition

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2017 Buick Enclave Sport Touring Edition

2017 Buick Enclave Sport Touring Edition

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On the styling front, both the Enclave and the QX60 have winning looks, but the Buick looks just a little better. The Enclave's been with us longer, and only mildly refreshed for the 2013 model year—but it's a curvy, classy shape that's aged very well, and now has an interior with the universally high-quality trim it's wanted since launch. The QX60? It's what the Mercedes R-Class always wanted to be, a harmonious shape that fits a crossover body into a design language that's shared by other new Infinitis, down to the highly sculptured front fenders and the arrow-themed rear pillar. That signature detail points the QX60 forward distinctively, while other SUVs just round off the rear and leave it at that. Inside, the Infiniti's dash has muted wood trim and a minimum of cutlines, the premium feel dialed up with luminescent gauges and marred just a little by inexpensive plastic "chrome" on the shift-mode selector and seat-climate controls.

Performance is in Buick's favor too. Both the Enclave and QX60 rely on big V-6 engines for output, and both have a sole transmission. The QX60 sounds more urgent, possibly because its continuously variable transmission vaults the V-6 into the meat of its powerband and leaves it there for a more gutsy feel and a little more powertrain noise. The Buick's more relaxed drivetrain has more V-6 power, and a conventional automatic transmission with better shift logic this year than before. The QX60 may be shy on output, but drives with more involvement; it has better steering than the Enclave, which has a more hefty feel but a better sense of ride control than the Infiniti.

If it were always put to eight-passenger use, the Enclave would outpoint the QX60 every time for sheer capacity. The Infiniti's only a seven-seater, and its rearmost bench seat sits low to the floor, with less headroom, than the one in the eight-seat Enclave. Outside of that extreme duty, it's the Infiniti that holds the edge in flexibility. Its second-row seats slide and fold up to make third-row access much better than the Enclave, while both have reclining second-row bench seats, which in the Enclave can be swapped out for captain's chairs. Both have enormous cargo capacity, with somewhat high cargo floors balanced off by power tailgates and excellent small-item storage.

2017 Infiniti QX60

2017 Infiniti QX60

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2017 Infiniti QX60

2017 Infiniti QX60

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2017 Infiniti QX60

2017 Infiniti QX60

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In safety, there's a clear winner between these pricey 'utes. The QX60 simply has more data. It's a Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS and gets a five-star overall score from federal testers. The Buick gets the same score from the feds, but hasn't gone through the same battery from the IIHS. It's likely that it won't in the current format either.

Luxury features from navigation systems to voice-controlled infotainment systems keep the race tight too. The Enclave's displays are brightly colored and more intuitive, with more smartphone-connected capability built into them. The QX60 has more complex controls on the dash, less voice control, and a less well-developed infotainment system in general—though every one comes with four years of Infiniti Personal Assistant, so that web requests can be handled by humans other than the driver.

By our overall review numbers, the Buick Enclave narrowly wins this head-to-head comparison—mostly on its looks, quiet ride, and performance. The Infiniti is a little more fuel-efficient, but not enough to topple the mighty family wagon from Buick. Err, we meant crossover.

Summary

7.2
Expert Rating
The 2017 Buick Enclave is a good-looking SUV for families and one of the better-aging GM cars in recent memory.
6.8
Expert Rating
The 2017 Infiniti QX60 has a rich look and excellent interior space, but it doesn't deliver the driving polish that it should.

Styling

8.0
Expert Rating
The Buick Enclave still has a good-looking exterior and richly appointed interior.
Read More
7.0
Expert Rating
The QX60 cuts a distinctive profile outside, but its interior looks and feels a lot like the Nissan Pathfinder on which it is based.
Read More

Performance

7.0
Expert Rating
The Buick Enclave won't go anywhere very quickly, but it will be plenty comfortable wherever it goes.
Read More
5.0
Expert Rating
Infiniti has improved its crossover's ride quality, but it remains unsettled against rivals. And its CVT does it few favors in the refinement department.
Read More

Comfort & Quality

9.0
Expert Rating
There's plenty of room for cargo and adults in the Enclave.
Read More
8.0
Expert Rating
Upmarket leather trim and a flexible second row that allows child seats to remain in place for third row access help the QX60 here.
Read More

Safety

6.0
Expert Rating
Federal test scores are good, but the IIHS hasn't put it through a full battery, and the Enclave lacks some advanced safety features.
Read More
7.0
Expert Rating
The QX60 receives top marks from the IIHS, but its top safety tech requires adding several extra packages.
Read More

Features

8.0
Expert Rating
The Enclave can sport plenty of pricey options, but most of them are worthwhile, we say.
Read More
8.0
Expert Rating
The QX60 has lots of features, but it's hobbled somewhat by an outdated infotainment system.
Read More

Fuel Economy

5.0
Expert Rating
The aging 3.6-liter V-6 won't impress, but for a three-row SUV, the Enclave is acceptable.
Read More
6.0
Expert Rating
At 22 mpg combined, the Infiniti QX60 is about par for its class.
Read More

MSRP

from $39,065
from $43,100

Invoice

from $37,111
from $40,083

Fuel Economy - Combined City and Highway

18
22

Engine

Gas V6, 3.6L
Premium Unleaded V-6, 3.5 L

Drivetrain

Front Wheel Drive Read Full Specs
Front Wheel Drive Read Full Specs
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