By Don Armstrong
General Motors has been “sharing” platforms, or chassis designs, for decades. But General Motors learned long ago that it can also be a detriment if there weren’t enough styling differences between the different brand’s sheet metal attached to those platforms. Here are a couple of examples.
Chevy Traverse VS Buick Enclave
The Chevy Traverse 3-row SUV has many of the same standard features than that of our comparison vehicle, the Buick Enclave. But subtle changes to each, give the vehicles a more brand-centric identity, from exterior to interior to handling characteristics.
Clearly, the Traverse has the familiar Chevy nose, its chrome trim pieces are more in-line with its sedan siblings, but the biggest difference in styling is the “C” pillar, it’s canted differently than the Buick.
The Chevy interior seems a bit sparser and utilitarian but offers many of the same features as the Buick. The design of the Buick is clearly more upscale looking, some of the controls are placed in different locations and touch surfaces and stitching have a different, more exclusive looking design flair. Even though both vehicles have the exact same wheel-base, the Traverse has a slight advantage with interior room.
We like the ride and handling of Traverse, it’s very generic, easy to maneuver and is well-mannered on the highway. If you’re looking for a more luxurious ride, the Enclave, however, edges out the Chevy with different sway bars, shocks and other suspension tweaks.
As for seating, the advantage goes to the Traverse. A three passenger second row is available, where the Buick has captain’s chairs. Big summer trips or Christmas at Aunt Mary’s are always something to consider when looking for your Family Truckster.
Power from the 310-horsepower V-6 is delivered to the front wheels through a nine-speed automatic transmission in both. All-wheel drive is also available. Mileage is similar too, 18-city and 26-highway.
Here’s the head scratcher, the Chevy Traverse starts at $30,995, the Buick Enclave begins at $41,795. Since they are basically the same, why the jump in price you ask? Slightly better quality on some of the Enclave’s interior prices, but it really comes down to packaging. The Buick has 4 trim levels from which to choose, the Chevrolet offers 7 trims.
If a three-row SUV is on your shopping list, do your homework and always comparison shop.