Lincoln and Buick models often get compared to luxury models from some pretty heavyweight European and Japanese rivals. Both brands work hard for their piece of the luxury landscape, and they both produce excellent vehicles. Let's see how these two domestic rivals compare by taking a look at the 2017 Lincoln MKX and the Buick Enclave in more detail.
The Lincoln MKX goes down a different styling route, concentrating on presence and prestige over sporty and sleek in a very mature way. The distinctive grille makes the front fascia of the Lincoln MKX stand out from its rivals, although it does look, from the side, like any number of crossover SUVs.
Buicks are rarely thought of as instantly attractive vehicles and, like the Lincoln, the Enclave isn't as sporty or sleek as mass-market equivalents because it's trying to pursue a unique kind of buyer. The Enclave's front fascia is nowhere near as unique as that of the Lincoln, and overall the exterior of the Buick is fairly homogenous. You don't find the distinctive presence on the Buick that you get from the Lincoln.
Two V-6 engines are available in the Lincoln MKX, both of which offer plenty of power and performance. The standard unit is a 303 horsepower 3.7-liter V-6, while the more powerful alternative is a twin-turbo 2.7-liter V-6 that puts an impressive 335 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque at your disposal. They're not rocket-ship fast, but they do offer a great deal of understated refinement, composure, and quality.
The Buick takes a one-and-done approach with the current Enclave, with just one engine available to buyers. That engine is a pretty strong one, though: a 3.6-liter V-6 that develops 288 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque. Once again, the Lincoln takes the honors.
You shouldn't take safety for granted just because you're looking at a luxury model with a luxury price ticket, but there are no worries with the Lincoln MKX. You'll find standard and available high tech safety features here, which contributes to a five-star overall rating from the feds at the NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHS.
The NHTSA also gives the Buick Enclave a full five-star rating for overall safety, but because it lacks some of the Lincoln's more advanced safety features it doesn't rate as highly with the IIHS as the Lincoln MKX.
Not many people are going to get inside the Lincoln MKX and think there's anything wrong with it as a luxury vehicle. With no third-row squeezed in, passengers will find plenty of space for them and their stuff in an interior where the quality of the materials is outstanding. The seats are particularly plush and comfortable, and the ride is everything a luxury buyer would expect.
The Buick is a little bigger than the Lincoln MKX, and the fact that there are three rows of seating doesn't negatively impact on the space for front and second-row passengers. The quality of the surfaces and materials is at least as good as in the Lincoln, and you'll find a great deal more cargo space throughout the Buick.
It's hard for either of these domestic luxury models to beat the draw of a BMW, Mercedes, Lexus or Audi badge, but it would be a mistake to overlook them just because of the branding. Both of these vehicles offer a posh ride with good performance, but when placed head-to-head, the winner is clearly the 2017 Lincoln MKX.