Is Buick’s safety rating for large SUVs better than GMC’s?

The Buick and GMC models tested received many of the same IIHS safety ratings. For some SUV models, auto insurance can cost up to 18% more.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 28, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • The 2017 Buick Enclave and the 2017 GMC Acadia Limited share most of the same IIHS safety ratings
  • The award for Top Safety Pick from the IIHS for 2017 was awarded to a different vehicle in the large SUV class
  • Many vehicle-related criteria impact the cost of auto insurance, including safety ratings

Large SUVs have a commanding presence on the road, and it is easy to feel safe and secure when traveling in one of the vehicles in this class.

However, there is more involved in staying safe on the road than simply choosing a large vehicle to drive on a regular basis. Each year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) examines several vehicles from each class in various areas of safety.

When you spend a few minutes learning more about these various safety rating categories, you can better decide which of the large SUV models for 2017 you want to buy.

The IIHS is an independent automotive safety rating organization that is focused on helping automakers improve the safety level of their vehicles, and gradually improving safety ratings over the years have proven that this organization is successful in its endeavors.

However, many of today’s vehicles still earn low marks in critical safety categories reviewed by the IIHS, and you should understand how the 2017 Buick Enclave stacks up against the 2017 GMC Acadia Limited and other vehicles in this class before buying your next vehicle.

Compare car insurance rates for the vehicles you’re considering. Enter your zip code into our free rate tool above to get started.

A Comparison of IIHS Safety Ratings between the Buick and GMC Large SUVs


While there are many large SUVs on the market today, you may have narrowed down your options to the Buick Enclave and the GMC Acadia Limited because of their features and overall class.

However, when you examine the safety ratings from IIHS for this vehicle class, you will see that neither of these SUVs was awarded Top Safety Pick for this year.

Your review of the ratings will show you that all vehicles in this class were rated in three primary categories, and most of the ratings assign a value from “poor” to “good” for each SUV.


The first safety category reviewed by the IIHS is Crashworthiness, and it is comprised of five smaller categories. These smaller categories are:

  • Head Restraints and Seats
  • Front Small Overlap
  • Front Medium Overlap
  • Roof Strength
  • Side

Together, these vital safety categories tell you more about the SUV’s ability to protect passengers if they are involved in a collision.

Notably, the Buick and GMC models did not receive a grade for the Front Small Overlap category, and they both earned a “good” grade for the other categories reviewed.


Crash Avoidance and Mitigation

The second safety category reviewed is Crash Avoidance and Mitigation, which is broken into the following categories:

  • Front Crash Prevention
  • Headlights

Together, these two sub-sections analyze the SUV’s ability to minimize the severity of a collision or even to prevent a collision altogether.

These two SUVs both received a “basic” grade in the area of Front Crash Prevention, and neither one was reviewed for the Headlights category this year.

LATCH Child Seat Anchors

Because large SUVs are often used as family cars that tote young passengers, the category of LATCH for child seat anchors is of vital importance for many buyers. The LATCH category describes how easy the car seat anchors in the car are to use.

The Buick Enclave had an “average” grade, and the GMC Acadia Limited had a “marginal” grade, which is one step below the Enclave’s rating.

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2017 Top Safety Pick and/or 2017 Top Safety Pick+


Because safety is a top concern for many large SUV buyers, you may be interested to know how the Enclave and the Acadia Limited rank in comparison to other popular vehicles in the large SUV class.

These ratings are fairly similar for most vehicles in this class, but be aware that the Audi Q7 earned the 2017 Top Safety Pick honor from IIHS.

This large SUV model for 2017 had a “marginal” Headlights grade, but it had the highest possible ratings in every other category reviewed by the IIHS.

Analyzing if Buick Is Safer than GMC in 2017

The Buick Enclave had the same ratings as the GMC Acadia Limited in all areas except LATCH in 2017, and in this category, the Buick edged out over the GMC model by one grade level.

As important as it is to find a safe SUV that you can feel confident driving your loved ones around town in, you may want to make a well-rounded and informed decision based on multiple factors.

After all, things like the following should be carefully reviewed:

  • cost of the vehicle
  • quality and value for the money
  • fuel economy
  • the comfort of the passenger seating area

A final and important point to consider when selecting your next SUV is the auto insurance cost. The safety rating as well as the power of the engine, replacement value, and other factors can influence auto insurance costs for each vehicle.

When you spend a few minutes requesting online quotes for each of the top models that you are torn between, you can easily see which vehicle will have the most affordable insurance cost. This could help you to decide which large SUV model to purchase.

Compare car insurance quotes right here by entering your zip code below.

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