Buick Enclave vs Mercedes Gl450?

Hazelandlucy

Active member
Would you feel safer in a Buick Enclave that gets 5 stars in the NHSTA, but no small overlap test or auto braking or the Mercedes GL450 with all the safety features, but no crash tests at all?

The smaller Buick SUV gets a poor small overlap rating...doesn't help my confidence, but I guess all models are different.

I am mostly trying to decide between the Honda Odyssey or the Acura MDX, but LOVED driving the Mercedes and the Buick is awesome in that it's more luxurious. quiet, and smoother than the minivan and still can seat 8 with decent cargo space. However I was hoping to get a car that had passed the small overlap and a 5 star rating plus extra space so I could feel better about trading in a 2012 BMW with very low miles (way too small)! But would put both on the list of consideration if the safety gurus think they are worthy!
 
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henrietta

Well-known member
Would you feel safer in a Buick Enclave that gets 5 stars in the NHSTA, but no small overlap test or auto braking or the Mercedes GL450 with all the safety features, but no crash tests at all?

The smaller Buick SUV gets a poor small overlap rating...doesn't help my confidence, but I guess all models are different.

I am mostly trying to decide between the Honda Odyssey or the Acura MDX, but LOVED driving the Mercedes and the Buick is awesome in that it's more luxurious. quiet, and smoother than the minivan and still can seat 8 with decent cargo space. However I was hoping to get a car that had passed the small overlap and a 5 star rating plus extra space so I could feel better about trading in a 2012 BMW with very low miles (way too small)! But would put both on the list of consideration if the safety gurus think they are worthy!

I personally would not and did not put anything made by GM on my short list, in light of current recalls. I really liked the Buick, too, and it's cheaper clones (namely the Chevy Traverse). But we bought an '09 Honda Ody this morning.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2014/05/20/gm-recall-belts-airbags-transmission/9322725/

Sure, lots of recalls on loads of makes and models, including Honda...but not like those GM ones. I had a friend die b/c of a Jeep cover up years ago..same issue as the Toyota/Lexus that accelerated unexpectedly. My dad ran thru the wall of a local restaurant b/c of this one. Stuff like that rules them out for me. GM's fall under that dangerous category in my mind. With coverups and recalls like those, how they were rated in crash testing is completely worthless to me.
 

henrietta

Well-known member
FWIW, I really didn't want to go back to a minivan BUT I already have 3 kids and the idea of fooling w/a third row that my oldest has to move the 2nd row seat out of his way to get in, trying to fit 3 car seats across (frankly not fun in most of the crossovers I was looking at), trying to buckle boosters in 3 across, etc. pretty much ruled those all out. I really wanted to stick w/my nice squishy comfy Volvo and fancier look, but it wasn't practical for us day to day. You have 2 children, if I remember right, and want to be able to have a third adult in the back occasionally. So, the crossovers in that range probably work pretty well for you. I really like the Acura on paper, but didn't even look at one and try out seats. It isn't super comfortable in most of those cars to sit next to the center car seat and the third rows mostly don't have tons of leg room. The Pilot had more, that's why I kept it on my list, but it's definitely not in the same range as the Acura/Mercedes type cars for luxury. I had to suck in my pride and go with the Ody...my sanity is completely worth it in the next few years! ;) All that said, I have 3 kids and my oldest has special needs that cause a lot of car issues. I felt like I needed to go with what will work best for HIM for us all to be happy as a family getting around together...and so I can let him live to adulthood! LOL

If I could afford it, the newer Ody's with the highest trim levels (the Tourings) are really nice...leather, sunroof, DVD, navigation, blue tooth, etc etc...I don't remember what all the "options" are...

Happy hunting!!
 

Cath3114

New member
Just an FYI, you're unable to buy 2009-2014 Enclaves right now. GM issued a stop-sale order to dealerships after a second recall for potentially faulty seatbelts. You can purchase but can't take them home until repairs are done. Problem is, GM has no timeline for repairs and don't even have the parts. My Acadia has the same two recalls on it.
 

CarSafetyGuy

New member
I wouldn't go near an Acadia/Enclave/etc until GM gets their seat belt and other recall issues sorted out. Honestly, I'd imagine the differences between all of the vehicles you listed (e.g., a new Odyssey, MDX, Acadia, and GL class) are very small from a safety standpoint. At this level, to gain meaningful safety boosts, you'd need to upgrade to much larger vehicles.
 

CarSafetyGuy

New member
However, to give you a straight answer, I'd go with the GL class if I could choose between the two, simply because it should be all of the things in the M class (already one of the safest SUVs on the road year after year) in a larger, heavier package.
 

tl01

New member
I'd go with the GL hands down. I had a 2010
GL and loved it. If I ever give up my odyssey I would get another GL for sure! The ML did great on the small overlap test so I would assume the GL would too.
 

Hazelandlucy

Active member
Thanks so much!

Another plus for the GL450 is that I could fit a rear facing Foonf in the third row. I don't think I tried that in the MDX - does anyone know if it would fit?

A minus is that I feel like my kids would just trash it. As they will the minivan or MDX and that's bad enough for 45-55k, but not sure I can watch a 75k SUV get covered in puke and chocolate!
 

tl01

New member
Thanks so much!

Another plus for the GL450 is that I could fit a rear facing Foonf in the third row. I don't think I tried that in the MDX - does anyone know if it would fit?

A minus is that I feel like my kids would just trash it. As they will the minivan or MDX and that's bad enough for 45-55k, but not sure I can watch a 75k SUV get covered in puke and chocolate!

Get one with black interior. My kids bring a lot of sand and other junk in my minivan but I wipe it clean and vacuum all the time. My GL had beige interior and I only had a 4 year old and a newborn at the time so they weren't too messy but I was always frustrated that the only GL with the options I wanted in all of my state had beige interior. It didn't look bad when I got rid of it... but like I said... I spend time cleaning the insides of my cars bc I can't stand my minivan to be gross either;).

My cousin bought a BlueTec diesel GL used and I think it might have the MB tex instead of leather... and with the black interior... hers still looks new.
 

Hazelandlucy

Active member
Get one with black interior. My kids bring a lot of sand and other junk in my minivan but I wipe it clean and vacuum all the time. My GL had beige interior and I only had a 4 year old and a newborn at the time so they weren't too messy but I was always frustrated that the only GL with the options I wanted in all of my state had beige interior. It didn't look bad when I got rid of it... but like I said... I spend time cleaning the insides of my cars bc I can't stand my minivan to be gross either;).

My cousin bought a BlueTec diesel GL used and I think it might have the MB tex instead of leather... and with the black interior... hers still looks new.

I forgot it had the MB tex option!

One other safety question....would an suv like the 2015 Yukon Denali with a 3 star rollover rating still be safer than the MDX/Odyssey due to sheer weight and mass? Or is passing the small overlap and getting 4 star rollover rating more important?
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
I forgot it had the MB tex option!

One other safety question....would an suv like the 2015 Yukon Denali with a 3 star rollover rating still be safer than the MDX/Odyssey due to sheer weight and mass? Or is passing the small overlap and getting 4 star rollover rating more important?

I think the 2014 Odyssey is hands down one of the safest vehicles on the road today. Not only top in all crash tests, but you also get much better routine and emergency handling than any of the full-size, truck based SUVs. I'm testing a Lexus LX570 right now and while a beast, I wouldn't want to be trying to do a hard swerve to avoid anything in it!

I like the GL350 Bluetec in the luxury full-size class;-)

If you haven't seen our review, check it out:

http://carseatblog.com/23375/2013-2014-mercedes-benz-gl-450-video-review-kids-carseats-and-safety/

The Audi Q7 is very nice as well. I'm testing the Infinity QX60 hybrid a little later this month. It's a little smaller, but still larger inside than the MDX I think, but gets better fuel economy than the MDX and Audi diesels. If you are considering something midsize like the MDX, be sure to check out the 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited. Good crash test results and also a very nice near-luxury-class vehicle. I'll have my review posted at CarseatBlog in a couple weeks.
 

tl01

New member
I think the 2014 Odyssey is hands down one of the safest vehicles on the road today. Not only top in all crash tests, but you also get much better routine and emergency handling than any of the full-size, truck based SUVs. I'm testing a Lexus LX570 right now and while a beast, I wouldn't want to be trying to do a hard swerve to avoid anything in it!

I like the GL350 Bluetec in the luxury full-size class;-)

If you haven't seen our review, check it out:

http://carseatblog.com/23375/2013-2014-mercedes-benz-gl-450-video-review-kids-carseats-and-safety/

The Audi Q7 is very nice as well. I'm testing the Infinity QX60 hybrid a little later this month. It's a little smaller, but still larger inside than the MDX I think, but gets better fuel economy than the MDX and Audi diesels. If you are considering something midsize like the MDX, be sure to check out the 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited. Good crash test results and also a very nice near-luxury-class vehicle. I'll have my review posted at CarseatBlog in a couple weeks.

Agreed... the Lexus doesn't feel as maneuverable. I agree with Darren on the GL Bluetec. It is the only option I would consider besides the Ody. I am currently close to getting my 2014 ody... for the small overlap test. But anyway... I think I am repeating myself:).
 

CarSafetyGuy

New member
I forgot it had the MB tex option!

One other safety question....would an suv like the 2015 Yukon Denali with a 3 star rollover rating still be safer than the MDX/Odyssey due to sheer weight and mass? Or is passing the small overlap and getting 4 star rollover rating more important?

In a frontal crash (head-on, moderate overlap), yup, simply because of weight (5500-5800 lbs vs 4300-4600 lbs). However, there are lots of other driving situations to keep in mind, such as the fact that half all auto deaths in the US are from single vehicle collisions. If you're more likely to lose control and drive into a tree (and trees tend to win most collisions) in a Yukon than in an Odyssey, then which vehicle is safer overall?
 

Hazelandlucy

Active member
Does anyone know what the ML350 scored on the small overlap before it was updated in August 2013 to get a good rating? It might give me an idea on how the GL450 would score.

I really am just totally stuck for many reasons between the Odyssey,MDX, and GL450. Just trying to use the safety stuff as a deciding factor. Sorry to sound neurotic!
 

tl01

New member
Does anyone know what the ML350 scored on the small overlap before it was updated in August 2013 to get a good rating? It might give me an idea on how the GL450 would score.

I really am just totally stuck for many reasons between the Odyssey,MDX, and GL450. Just trying to use the safety stuff as a deciding factor. Sorry to sound neurotic!

The GL has already been redone... With the same chassis as the ML.
 

henrietta

Well-known member
Does anyone know what the ML350 scored on the small overlap before it was updated in August 2013 to get a good rating? It might give me an idea on how the GL450 would score.

I really am just totally stuck for many reasons between the Odyssey,MDX, and GL450. Just trying to use the safety stuff as a deciding factor. Sorry to sound neurotic!

I think it's great you are doing so much research. I'm the same way about many things. At some point in this decision, you need to factor in what you *want* to drive. If you're physically uncomfortable driving one of these vehicles, it will not be as safe for *you*. One of my personal arguments against the Ody was that my ability to turn around, look behind me, etc can be affected day to day by how I feel from my autoimmune condition. I really feel much more comfortable driving something smaller. That's why I'm so sad about trading in my Volvo. :( But getting kids in and out of it..and similar situations for me w/the three row SUVs...are also physically a challenge. I think the Ody may be safer for *me* to drive than a 3 row SUV that rates "higher" in some areas, b/c I won't have kids fighting as much and there is space between my oldest and others for when he has a meltdown. Those are a huge safety challenge at 70 mph on the interstate! It's also easier for me to load the baby, who is a chunk.

I just wanted to throw out there that just like car seats, there is no one "safest" vehicle out of all of them. There are certainly ones that are safer than others overall...or safer in some situations...but using them correctly counts for a lot, too! LOL

It sounds to me like you really want the safest three row luxury crossover sized SUV...drive the top 3 out there (that you've narrowed down here)...drive them several times each...put your kids seats in them...get the kids in and out...really try them out...and then pick. :) Have fun!
 

CarSafetyGuy

New member
I think it's great you are doing so much research. I'm the same way about many things. At some point in this decision, you need to factor in what you *want* to drive. If you're physically uncomfortable driving one of these vehicles, it will not be as safe for *you*. One of my personal arguments against the Ody was that my ability to turn around, look behind me, etc can be affected day to day by how I feel from my autoimmune condition. I really feel much more comfortable driving something smaller. That's why I'm so sad about trading in my Volvo. :( But getting kids in and out of it..and similar situations for me w/the three row SUVs...are also physically a challenge. I think the Ody may be safer for *me* to drive than a 3 row SUV that rates "higher" in some areas, b/c I won't have kids fighting as much and there is space between my oldest and others for when he has a meltdown. Those are a huge safety challenge at 70 mph on the interstate! It's also easier for me to load the baby, who is a chunk.

I just wanted to throw out there that just like car seats, there is no one "safest" vehicle out of all of them. There are certainly ones that are safer than others overall...or safer in some situations...but using them correctly counts for a lot, too! LOL

It sounds to me like you really want the safest three row luxury crossover sized SUV...drive the top 3 out there (that you've narrowed down here)...drive them several times each...put your kids seats in them...get the kids in and out...really try them out...and then pick. :) Have fun!

Good points...there's no safest vehicle out there; pretty much every vehicle discussed (Odyssey, MDX, M Class, GL Class, Yukon) would lead to immediate death if crashed into a semi, bus, dump truck, garbage truck, moving van, etc, whether from the front (head-on, moderate overlap, small overlap, doesn't matter), side, or rear (e.g., rear underride), or if crashed into by any of those vehicles from any angle at significant speed (e.g., above 30 mph). It's still a risk we take each time we get on the roads.
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
Even if you can't directly compare crash safety results, also take a look at which models provide advanced safety features. Many times, even on very expensive luxury models, these features may be optional and can be very expensive addons at best, and difficult to find on dealer lots at worst. Things like forward collision mitigation/autobrake, cross traffic alert, blind spot warning, crash notification (Onstar etc) and lane departure warning might be easy to find on one vehicle but all but impossible on another in your area.

For example, you can get nearly all of these features optional on the new for 2014 Highlander, but only on higher trim levels and some are still optional. The GL-Class has some standard, but the rest are in the optional Driver Assist package. Or you could pick the Volvo XC90 that hasn't had a major update in over a decade and has very few advanced safety features at all, though it does have great crash test scores all-around. Honda added the bare minimum forward crash notification system to the Odyssey to get the Top Safety Pick+ award, but nothing extra like forward collision mitigation/autobrake, cross traffic alert or a crash notification system.
 

DawgDad

New member
You have to test these out like you would drive them day-to-day. Load the kids in with the car seats, test getting into the 3rd row as an adult and actually RIDE in the 3rd row. Look at the daily cargo space, put your stroller in there. Fold the seats. Play with the tech package...which is easiest and offers the right features (not most). Add in options (warning...Mercedes is notorious here...they have WAY too many and almost everything you want is spread out among lots of packages forcing you to add lots of features you really don't want/need)...and invest the extra coin in all-weather mats (sanity for having a clean car on a regular basis will be strengthened with this in your vehicle).

Add up the total cost of ownership (maintenance costs, premium fuel or no requirements, insurance rates, ad valorem tax, and ROI - resale value). To me this metric is my "comfort in getting a good deal".

In the end, you need to buy what's right for your daily life. If you are ever expecting or wanting another kid, the Odyssey is the hands down favorite here pushing you to 3 kids and all the convenience of putting any sort of car seat anywhere in any seat in the back in any configuration...and fitting like a dream. If not, then all vehicles are equal until you make that top 5/10 requirements and how they all scored when you add it up. Is the GL really worth $20-30k more than the others? Sure...if it meets your criteria and ranks #1 in most of them. Just keeping it simple helps make confusing and daunting tasks easier.

I really love seeing these posts on here...it's refreshing to see other people really take a step back and evaluate everything before making the right decision for them.
 

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