2018 Chevrolet TraverseEnlarge Photo
We all want a little pampering. Just how much pampering is the question posed by the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse and the 2018 Buick Enclave. Under the skin, these three-row crossovers are the same vehicle. They can be ordered with the same engine and transmission and they accommodate up to eight passengers in comfort that’s above average among large crossovers.
But the way they go about their business is markedly different. Overall, we rate the 2018 Traverse at 7.2 out of 10, while the plush Enclave’s softer looks, better feature set, and hushed demeanor push it to a heady 7.8 out of 10.
There’s another set of numbers that most shoppers will want to consider: there’s about a $10,000 difference between the two models’ base prices.
Looking the part
The Suburban-lite looks of the Traverse give it a more utilitarian feel than the soft, curvaceous Enclave. From the side, the Traverse looks elongated like its bigger (but not much roomier) Suburban sibling. Its vertical front end further emphasizes truckiness, even if that’s not backed up by off-road credentials or a tow rating of more than 5,000 pounds. The Enclave is dressier with hints of chrome and a curvy front end that could have been lifted from a Buick Regal mid-size car.
Inside, the two crossovers share a number of controls and switches that reveal their shared lineage. The Enclave echoes its curvy exterior with a sweeping dashboard. It comes standard with an 8.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment that’s mounted high on the dash, but its climate controls are tucked below and can be hard to see at first glance. By contrast, the Traverse offers a 7.0-inch touchscreen and can be optioned up to the 8.0-inch unit. Its blockier shapes intrude more into the cabin but also put the knobs and buttons for climate controls within easy reach.