|Cargo Space (cu.ft.)
Buyers investigating options in three-row SUVs have a wide range of brands available. Comparing the 2021 Buick Enclave vs 2022 Nissan Pathfinder reveals a number of features that show how the Buick Enclave is superior in luxury and space compared to the Nissan Pathfinder's newest generation. While the Pathfinder narrows its vision on technology features, Buick continues to provide that interior comfort and quality that have always been outstanding features of the Buick brand.
Certain features that are standard on the 2021 Enclave are only available in upper trims on the 2022 Pathfinder. Even though Nissan is making efforts to be technology-rich, Buick's Enclave comes standard with a surprising array of standard and available tech features for buyers enticed by modern conveniences. While the Pathfinder may have increased its spaciousness for passengers, it still cannot compare to the roomy interior of the Enclave, which far exceeds the Pathfinder. Safety features available for the Enclave are also comparable to the Pathfinder, with more features available overall for the Buick. To top off the comparison, only Buick offers its luxurious Avenir trim with wood-trim accents, signature detailing, and trim-exclusive features.
Every loyal Buick buyer knows that Buick's interior quality means a peaceful cabin, supportive and comfortable seats, soft-touch materials, and an overall upscale appearance. Buick is known for its luxury as a brand - an aspect buyers get to enjoy without having to pay the price of a more expensive luxury vehicle. Entering the 2021 Enclave begins without even needing a key, from the keypad on the door to the hands-free programmable liftgate that shines the Buick logo on the ground, so you know where the sensor lies beneath the bumper. The simplicity of standard remote starting and heated front seats mean your Enclave is comfortable before you arrive, and standard automatic tri-zone climate control allows your rear-seat passengers to adjust the temperature for themselves.
In the driver's seat, the standard leather-wrapped steering wheel tilts and telescopes for your comfort, and in upper trims, the steering wheel is heated and powered. Automatic powered seats with lumbar control support you on long drives to keep you comfortable hour after hour. Standard noise cancellation, an acoustic windshield and side windows, and triple door seals ensure the silence inside your Buick Enclave is complete, and standard air filtration keeps the interior air quality fresh at all times. Available leather seats with ventilation provide even more comfort, and available power-folding rear seats make expanding your cargo area even easier. Access to the third row is simplified with standard smart-slide seating, which requires just one pull of a handle to tilt and slide the seat.
Where Buick assures luxury for all trims, many convenience features are only available for upper trims in the 2022 Pathfinder. Nissan gives the new Pathfinder standard tri-zone climate control, but you must purchase an upper trim to gain independent rear controls for your back seat passengers. Buick makes heated front seats standard, but this feature is reserved for upper trims on the Pathfinder. An acoustic laminated windshield and side windows are standard for the Nissan, but the active noise dampening features and extra seals of the Buick mean you will experience more noise in the Pathfinder from the highway and city streets. Other features like a one-touch release for the second-row seats and available heated rear seats are equal to the Buick's features, but the overall luxury and hushed interior of the Buick is superior.
Cargo space in the 2021 Enclave generously accommodates your luggage, groceries, and travel needs in any seating arrangement. With up to 23.6 cubic feet in the trunk area, you have far more than the smaller 16.6 cubic feet of the 2022 Pathfinder. The Enclave has up to 58 cubic feet when the third-row seats are folded, as compared with the Pathfinder's 45 cubic feet. Then with all seats folded down, the Enclave expands to a large 97.6 cubic feet, which far exceeds the Pathfinder's 80.5 cubic feet. When you need to travel with luggage, make room for golf bags, or pick up a great find at an antique store, the 2021 Enclave accommodates it all.
Nissan as an overall brand has been edging toward a model of higher technology, presenting itself as a brand with more inclusive features that adapt to modern life. But while the 2022 Pathfinder certainly has a long list of tech features, Buick incorporates its own array of technology to attract modern buyers who want to stay connected on the road. Some standard features Buick offers require purchasing a more expensive trim in the Nissan. Both brands include standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with an eight-inch touchscreen. Bluetooth connectivity will allow for driving hands-free and streaming in both SUVs, but this is where the similarity ends.
Buyers of the 2021 Enclave enjoy a much longer list of standard technology, like SiriusXM satellite radio, Siri EyesFree, a universal home remote, an HD rearview camera, six standard USB ports, and the option to download compatible apps to the infotainment screen. The addition of standard OnStar capability includes a WiFi hotspot that can be activated with any trim level. None of these features are available for the 2022 Pathfinder's entry-level trim. Available tech for 2021 Enclave upper trims include HD radio, GPS navigation, wireless charging, and a premium Bose sound system.
On the other side of the coin, the Pathfinder does offer a WiFi hotspot through its NissanConnect system, but not for its entry-level trim. Satellite radio is also available with upper trims, along with wireless charging, navigation, and the premium Bose sound system. Technology for both vehicles is comparable, but the 2021 Enclave comes standard with more at entry-level, and some features the Buick offers are not available from Nissan.
Features that incorporate technology are readily comparable for both the Buick Enclave and Nissan Pathfinder. New styling for the Pathfinder is geared toward a more aggressive, athletic appearance, though buyers seeking a three-row SUV are likely to be families rather than sport-oriented drivers. The 2021 Buick Enclave comes standard with an enhanced five-link rear suspension system which both insulates the cabin from jostling and improves ride quality. Nissan builds the 2022 Pathfinder with a multi-link suspension, but it is described as stiffening the steering and ride control for a more sport-oriented experience behind the wheel.
Certainly, some buyers are looking for a sporty driving feel, but when you need to drive a vehicle full of passengers for long periods, a stiffer ride quality means more uncomfortable jouncing from the bumps in the road. Additionally, Buick offers the Avenir trim level, which even further advances the suspension system with real-time damping to increase control and smooth out the ride. Both brands offer drive modes for better stability and traction control, though Nissan caters its drive modes toward a sportier experience; Buick designs the 2021 Enclave for more road-oriented driving.
Trailering is possible with both the Enclave and the Pathfinder, and each brand offers its own capabilities to simplify towing for buyers. Exterior LED lights, including headlights, are standard for both vehicles, as are a nine-speed automatic transmission and a V6 engine which will offer plenty of power for acceleration and towing small trailers. In terms of safety features, the overall safety offered by both brands is fairly comprehensive. Trim levels vary for both brands in terms of which feature is available at certain price points, but Buick actually has more overall features available for the 2021 Enclave.
Both brands offer the same or similar driver-assist safety features, such as auto emergency braking with front pedestrian braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control. Variations on blind spot systems are also included in both SUVs, and they both have an emergency system to call authorities in case of an accident. While Buick offers HD Surround Vision for a 360-degree view around the Enclave, Nissan offers an Intelligent Around View monitor. Where the 2021 Enclave comes with the option of a safety alert seat, the 2022 Pathfinder has Intelligent Driver Alertness.
Slight differences show up in the descriptions of certain features, though lane-changing and lane-keep assist features are likely to have comparable results when driving on the highway. There are a few features that differ with each brand, such as standard rear park assist and StabiliTrak, which are found on the Buick. Nissan gives the Pathfinder rear door alert and traffic sign recognition. Upper trims for the Buick will include front park assist and a following distance indicator, and the Nissan offers high beam assist as standard. It may surprise buyers to learn that the 2021 Buick Enclave incorporates so much safety tech into its trims. Certainly, the two brands offer plenty of safety coverage to make any family feel comforted by the technology that will keep passengers safe on the road.