So, you want to buy a three-row crossover. Before plunking down $40,000 on a new sport utility vehicle, might we dissuade you with the prospect of minivan ownership? The Pacifica Hybrid, perhaps ... no? Fine. Good thing crossovers (especially the Telluride and comparable Palisade) are so nice to drive these days. We’ll assume you want the big three-row crossover, as you intend to seat folks in all three rows. Unfortunately, raising that third row reduces the luggage area from cavernous to crawl space. It’s rather devastating from a pure numbers perspective to the two models we have today. The 2019 Buick Enclave goes from a monstrous 58 cubic-feet with the second-row in place down to 23.6 cubic-feet (which along with the nearly identical 2020 Chevrolet Traverse is still best-in-class). Meanwhile, the 2020 Kia Telluride takes a similar hit, going from 46 cubic-feet down to 21 cubic-feet. Just looking at the numbers, it would seem that the Enclave’s big advantage all but disappears with the third row up, boasting just 2.6 cubic-feet of storage more than the Telluride. But as West Coast Editor James Riswick has discovered in the numerous luggage tests he's conducted, the numbers don't always tell the whole story. Let's see how the Enclave and Telluride compare when you actually put things inside. Boom. The Enclave swallows all of the test luggage we have for it without any fuss. The distance between the back of the seats to the hatch opening is enough to fit our full-size suitcase horizontally, making it easy to stack every other bag around it. It even fits below the seatbacks, so the driver will have an uninhibited view out the rear of the vehicle. At our Michigan HQ, our test luggage consists of the following pieces: 28-inch upright suitcase, 24-inch upright suitcase, 19-inch upright suitcase, two small tote bags and one backpack. It’s likely enough luggage for a quick weekend getaway with the family, given there are no strollers involved. As we attempted to pack it all into the Telluride, we’re glad we didn’t have anything else. The loss of 2.6 cubic-feet of space was indeed felt much harder than what it looks like on paper. We knew we were in trouble when the 28-inch suitcase didn’t fit along the floor as it did so neatly in the Enclave. We were forced to stack it up next to the rear seats, which left it sitting rather tall back there. As a result, the other suitcases didn’t have a neat or convenient place to go. After squeezing it all in as geometrically sound as we could, a couple pieces of baggage hung out over the edge. The hatch would not close. This amount of luggage wouldn’t work if all three rows of seats were needed. So as it stands, the Enclave (and Chevy Traverse) is the big winner if you need all three rows and extra cargo room. We’re not exactly surprised by the winner, but the margin of victory was a bit shocking. …
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|MPG||18 City / 26 Hwy|
|Transmission||9-spd auto w/OD|
|Power||310 @ 6800 rpm|
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