Discover The Used Buick Enclave Years to Avoid Versus Best Reliability By Year

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

Are you currently looking to order a used Buick Enclave car, a three-row crossover SUV to transport your family on those special occasions and searching for usable, latest information for best years models?

If yes, then this guide recently published, will be your best guide. You won’t get stuck with a lemon – especially when it comes to the Buick Enclave.

While this mid-size vehicle is known for its style and comfort, not all model years are created equal. In fact, some Enclaves encountered issues affecting their transmission, HVAC actuator, and stretched timing chain, with the 2008 model being the most complained about.

But don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. This article will help you identify the problematic Buick Enclave years to avoid, saving you significant time, money, and stress in the long run.

With this insider knowledge, you’ll be able to confidently browse the pre-owned vehicle market and find the best year Buick Enclave that offers the durability, reliability, and longevity you deserve from a quality SUV.

buick enclave years to avoid

The Worst Years to Avoid

The 2008 model

The absolute worst year to consider when purchasing a Buick Enclave is the 2008 model. This year has the most complaints associated with it, particularly transmission problems.

Drivers reports shaking vehicle, make clunky noises, or both when speeding up or changing gears.

Apart from the 2008 Buick Enclave, there are several other bad years you should avoid. These years include the 2009-2011 and 2014 models:

  • 2009: Although not as problematic as the 2008 model, the 2009 Enclave still has its fair share of transmission issues. This can significantly impact your vehicle’s performance and reliability.
  • 2010: This year’s model is also plagued with transmission problems. On top of that, the Buick Enclave from 2010 has been reported to have more complaints about HVAC actuator issues, which affect the heating and cooling system in the car.
  • 2011: While the issues with the 2011 Enclave may not be as severe as the previous three years, it’s still best to avoid this model due to its stretched timing chain problems.
  • 2014: The 2014 Buick Enclave also falls into the “avoid” category because of its transmission problems, similar to the earlier models mentioned.

RELATED: Discover what issues its sister model, Buick Envision and related problems!

Buick Enclave Transmission Problems

Throughout the years, transmission problems seem to be the most common issue affecting the Buick Enclave across several models.

Consequently, it’s critical to pay close attention to the transmission when considering purchasing a used Buick Enclave, especially if it falls within the problematic years outlined above.

Best Buick Enclave Reliability by Year to Buy

While the years mentioned above are ones to avoid, the Buick Enclave models from other years have shown better reliability.

Keep in mind, however, that even models with good reliability records may still experience occasional issues. It’s essential to perform regular maintenance on your vehicle to ensure optimal performance. Look below for the Buick Enclave reliability by year and better performance:

2015 Buick Enclave

The 2015 Buick Enclave lands a spot on our list, offering exceptional ride quality and available in three different trims. While it has a large turning circle and a somewhat cramped third row, the overall quality makes it worth considering.

2009 and Later Models

While not specifically pinpointing a single year, we recommend you choose a model from 2009 onwards, as these vehicles have shown improved reliability in comparison to the older 2008 version, which experienced numerous common problems.

2020 Enclave

Our top pick is the 2020 Buick Enclave. This model year offers better fuel economy, with some buyers reporting 28 miles per gallon on a combined 450-mile trip through the mountains.

Additionally, the optional 20-inch wheels and retuned suspension and powertrain make for an enjoyable driving experience.

Now that you know the best years for Buick Enclave reliability, you can browse with confidence and find the perfect model for your needs.

Remember to prioritize the 2015, 2009 and later, and 2020 editions for the best chance at a reliable, enjoyable ownership experience.

Buick Enclave Life Expectancy

Despite the problems in some models, the Buick Enclave can still be a durable and reliable SUV. Models outside of the years to avoid can typically last 200,000 to 300,000 miles with proper maintenance and good driving habits.

To give you an idea, if you drive about 15,000 miles a year, this translates to approximately 13 – 17 years of service.

Enclave Safety Concerns

defective airbags and seatbelts: One significant concern in certain Buick Enclave years is the defective airbags and seatbelts. As a family vehicle designed to accommodate up to seven people, it’s crucial to ensure the safety features are reliable.

Gearbox: Many owners have expressed their dissatisfaction with the vehicle’s jerky gearbox, which leads to a stressful driving experience.

fuel system: Fhe 2014 Buick Enclave model, in particular, is known for having various safety flaws, including problems with its fuel system.

Power steering problems and timing chain: Aside from these issues, the 2009, 2010, and 2011 Buick Enclaves also encountered power steering problems and timing chain issues that may contribute to its overall safety risks. Moreover, these models still had experienced problems with their seatbelt mechanisms.

Third Party Ratings

When it comes to ratings, organizations like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety evaluate car models to provide comprehensive assessments of their safety features.

They deliver valuable information on a car’s performance in different types of crash tests and how safe the vehicles are for both drivers and passengers.

To ensure your Buick Enclave has the best possible safety features, consider checking the NHTSA and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety websites for their ratings and recommendations.

Doing this research will help you make an informed decision and prioritize the well-being of your family and passengers.

Additionally, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the available safety features in Buick Enclave models. Some standard features you should look for include:

  • Airbags: These provide a protective cushion during a collision to minimize injury.
  • Electronic Stability Control: This system helps maintain control of the vehicle during difficult driving conditions.
  • Traction Control: This feature ensures that your wheels maintain grip on slippery or uneven surfaces.
  • Brake Assist: It’s designed to apply additional brake pressure in emergency situations, reducing the braking distance.

Cargo Space and Passenger Comfort

One of the aspects you might be considering when looking at Buick Enclave models is the available cargo space and the comfort of passengers in both the second and third rows of seats.

The Buick Enclave offers a generous amount of cargo space for a midsize SUV.

There’s an impressive 23.6 cubic feet of room behind the third row, 57.7 cubic feet behind the second row, and a maximum of 97.4 cubic feet with both rear rows folded.

Additionally, there’s a convenient floor compartment for storing smaller items.

The passenger comfort:

As for passenger comfort, the second row provides ample legroom and headroom, making it suitable for adults on longer trips.

The seats are comfortable and supportive, perfect for keeping your passengers relaxed. It’s also worth mentioning that some models come with optional second-row captain’s chairs, adding to the overall comfort and luxury.

Third-row seat: Now, when it comes to the third-row seat, it’s fairly spacious for a midsize SUV. While it might be a bit cozier for taller passengers, the third row offers adequate room and is reasonably comfortable for children and shorter adults.

In summary, the Buick Enclave excels in providing your passengers with a comfortable experience while offering plenty of cargo space for all your traveling needs. Just remember to avoid the problematic years (2008 to 2011, and 2014) for a more reliable experience.

Fuel Economy and Emissions

How does this SUV’s fuel economy and emissions performance stack up?

The 2021 Buick Enclave AWD has a fuel economy of 17 MPG in the city and 25 MPG on the highway. While these numbers may not be the best for an SUV, they are relatively consistent with other midsize SUVs in its class.

One factor to take into account when purchasing a vehicle is the cost of fuel. The annual fuel cost for the 2021 Buick Enclave AWD is estimated at $2,750.

This figure is calculated based on driving 15,000 miles per year with a fuel price of $3.70 per gallon. Keep in mind that changing gas prices, personal driving habits, and other variables will affect your actual fuel costs.

Greenhouse gas emissions: As for greenhouse gas emissions, the 2021 Buick Enclave AWD emits 440 grams of CO2 per mile. This is a relatively high amount compared to more fuel-efficient vehicles, but it is within the range of other similar midsize SUVs.

We discovered that some years may be less fuel-efficient or have more emissions. For example, older models might have outdated fuel systems that contribute to poor fuel economy.

Remember, while fuel economy and emissions may not be the main selling points for the Buick Enclave, it is always wise to consider these factors when purchasing a vehicle.

Also consider your future Enclave’s fuel system, fuel costs, and emissions, you can make an educated choice that best fits your needs and priorities.

Buying Advice

We’ve covered the years to avoid and major and common concerns such as problems with transmission, HVAC actuator, and stretched timing chains.

Consider Alternative

If you’re considering other vehicles, you might want to explore the Buick Encore or the Lexus as alternatives.

For example, the 2013 Buick Encore is a model worth researching. Moreover, the 2020 Buick LaCrosse and the 2017 Buick Enclave are also solid options that boast fewer reported issues. Unfortunately, some years like the 2006, 2008 Buick LaCrosse have serious issues.

Good mileage

Look for and buy Buick Enclave that could last you between 200,000 to 250,000 miles, so pay attention to the vehicle’s mileage and previous owner’s maintenance records.

Compare trim levels

It’s also a good idea to compare different trim levels and choose the one that best fits your needs and budget. For instance, you might prefer a front-wheel or an all-wheel-drive variant, depending on your driving conditions and preferences.

More dealerships

To get the best deal on your used Buick Enclave, take the time to research the market, visit various dealerships, and negotiate the price.

Keep an eye out for potential buyers incentives and special promotions, and don’t be afraid to walk away if the deal doesn’t feel right.

Reliability and Ownership Experience

As the owner of a Buick Enclave, it’s essential to consider factors such as reliability scores, repair costs, and regular maintenance.

In this section, we will discuss the experiences of Buick Enclave owners to help you gain a better understanding of the vehicle’s reliability.

The J.D. Power scores

The Buick Enclave has received mixed ratings when it comes to reliability scores. J.D. Power, a renowned organization in the automotive industry, combines factors such as quality and dependability.

While quality scores focus on initial owner response, dependability scores are based on longer-term ownership experiences of over three years.

repair costs

When it comes to repair costs, the average yearly expense for a Buick Enclave is reportedly around $608 to $720. While this falls within the range of the vehicle class, you must budget accordingly for proper maintenance and unforeseen repairs.

Regular maintenance, such as oil changes and timing belt replacement, should not be neglected. By staying on top of your vehicle’s requirements, you’ll increase the lifespan of your Buick Enclave and boost its reliability.

Warranty coverage

Lastly, consider the warranty coverage provided by Buick. Typically, new Buick Enclaves come with comprehensive coverage, which can help offset repair costs and give you peace of mind during your ownership experience.

By being aware of all these factors, you can make an informed decision on whether the Buick Enclave is the right choice for you and be prepared for any challenges you may encounter during your ownership journey.

Optional Features and Technology

It’s equally important to look at the optional features and technology that can enhance your driving experience.

Audio systems: One of the areas where the Enclave excels is in its audio system offerings. Many models come equipped with high-quality audio systems which provide crystal clear sound at high speeds.

heated steering wheel: Hnother great feature to look out for is a heated steering wheel. This addition can provide extra comfort during those cold winter months. With the heated steering wheel, you won’t have to worry about freezing hands while driving.

Automatic climate control is another optional feature that can make your driving experience more enjoyable.

This feature allows you to set your preferred temperature, and the system will maintain that temperature for you, adjusting it as needed. This can help reduce the need to fiddle with the temperature knobs, making your rides more enjoyable.

When it comes to standard features, many Buick Enclave models offer a solid selection to improve your driving experience.

Some of these standard features include advanced safety systems, comfortable seating configurations, and various connectivity options. To stay informed and have information about your vehicle right at your fingertips.

In summary, while choosing a Buick Enclave, pay attention to these optional features and technologies:

  • High-quality audio systems
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Automatic climate control
  • Standard features such as safety systems, seating options, and connectivity

Comparing Buick Versus Close Rivals

Specification Buick Enclave Infiniti QX60 Acura MDX Chevrolet Traverse Honda Pilot Mazda CX-9 Subaru Ascent
Starting Price $41,195 $46,850 $47,925 $34,795 $33,370 $34,160 $32,295
Engine 3.6-liter V6 3.5-liter V6 3.5-liter V6 3.6-liter V6 3.5-liter V6 2.5-liter 4-cylinder 2.4-liter 4-cylinder
Horsepower 310 hp 295 hp 290 hp 310 hp 280 hp 227 hp 260 hp
Torque 266 lb-ft 270 lb-ft 267 lb-ft 266 lb-ft 262 lb-ft 310 lb-ft 277 lb-ft
Transmission 9-speed automatic Continuously variable automatic 10-speed automatic 9-speed automatic 6-speed automatic 6-speed automatic Continuously variable automatic
Fuel Economy (city/hwy) 18/26 mpg 20/27 mpg 19/25 mpg 18/27 mpg 20/27 mpg 22/28 mpg 20/27 mpg
Cargo Space 23.6 cu.ft. (behind 3rd row) 14.5 cu.ft. (behind 3rd row) 16.2 cu.ft. (behind 3rd row) 23.0 cu.ft. (behind 3rd row) 16.5 cu.ft. (behind 3rd row) 14.4 cu.ft. (behind 3rd row) 17.8 cu.ft. (behind 3rd row)


Let’s share our current findings upon comparing Enclave to its close rivals in the market. We often do this to to widen your options and happy decision

We are comparing Enclave versus, Infiniti QX60, Acura MDX, Chevrolet Traverse, Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-9, and Subaru Ascent:

  • Buick Enclave vs Infiniti QX60:

The Enclave and QX60 are both luxury midsize SUVs with seating for up to 7 passengers. The QX60 has a slightly more powerful engine, but the Enclave has more cargo space. The QX60 also has more standard safety features.

  • Vs Acura MDX

The Enclave and MDX are both luxury midsize SUVs with seating for up to seven people.

The MDX has a slightly more powerful engine, but the Enclave has more cargo space. The MDX also has more standard safety features but best to avoid MDX with recalls.

  • Vs Chevrolet Traverse

The Enclave and Traverse are both midsize SUVs with seating for up to eight people but Traverse best models have different years. to Enclave

They have similar engines and cargo space, but the Enclave is considered more luxurious and has more standard safety features. Check pros and cons of buying used Chevrolet Traverse on this guide!

  • Vs Honda Pilot

The Enclave and Pilot are both midsize SUVs with seating for up to eight people.

The Pilot has a slightly more powerful engine, but the Enclave has more cargo space. The Pilot also has more standard safety features.

  • Vs Mazda CX-9:

The Enclave and CX-9 are both midsize SUVs with seating for up to seven people. The CX-9 has a slightly more powerful engine, but the Enclave has more cargo space. The CX-9 also has more standard safety features.

  • Vs Subaru Ascent

The Enclave and Ascent are both midsize SUVs with seating for up to eight people, but better to not purchase Ascent worst versions.

The Ascent has a slightly more reliable and powerful engine, but the Enclave has more cargo space. The Ascent also has more standard safety features.


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