Buick Enclave Years to Avoid and The Best Years

Buick Enclave Years to Avoid – Are you considering purchasing a Buick Enclave? As with any vehicle, it’s essential to be well-informed before making a decision. In this article, we will guide you on Buick Enclave years to avoid, helping you make a wise and informed choice for your next vehicle.

Before we dive into the specific years to avoid, let’s quickly recap the Buick Enclave.

Buick Enclave Years to Avoid

The Enclave is a mid-size crossover SUV that has gained popularity for its spaciousness, comfortable interiors, and luxurious features. It has been a favorite choice among families and individuals seeking a refined and reliable ride.

While the Buick Enclave has generally been well-received, it’s crucial to be aware of certain model years that have exhibited more issues than others.

Understanding the Buick Enclave years to avoid can be beneficial when making a purchase decision.

Buick Enclave Years to Avoid

The Buick Enclave has been a popular choice among SUV enthusiasts, offering spaciousness, comfort, and a touch of luxury. However, not all model years of the Enclave have fared equally well in terms of reliability and performance.

Buick Enclave Years to Avoid

Let’s explore the Buick Enclave years to avoid, shedding light on the specific model years that have experienced notable issues.

2008 Buick Enclave: A Troubled Debut

If there is one model year of the Buick Enclave to be cautious about, it is the 2008 version. The 2008 Enclave faced several problems that affected its overall reliability. One prominent issue was related to the transmission and shift cable.

Programming issues in the GM-Ford 6T75 automatic transmission resulted in poor gas mileage, leaving drivers dissatisfied.

Additionally, engagement problems with the shift cable adjustment clip caused confusion about the gear selection, leading to potential safety hazards.

Some drivers reported instances where the car stayed in drive even after shifting to park.

While Buick issued a recall to address these issues, it’s important to note that even after the recall, transmission failures were reported before the vehicle reached 100,000 miles.

Blown engines were also a common complaint among owners, despite regular maintenance and oil changes.

2009-2011 Buick Enclave: Power Steering Woes

The 2009-2011 model years of the Buick Enclave encountered a significant problem with power steering.

Owners of Enclaves in this period, especially those reaching approximately 80,000 miles, often faced issues that required expensive repairs.

It was not simply a matter of low power steering fluid; rather, the power steering system itself needed repair, which could cost around $1,700.

While it’s not unusual for vehicles to experience power steering problems as they age, encountering such issues at relatively low mileage is a cause for concern.

2010 Buick Enclave: Cracked Engine Blocks

The 2010 Buick Enclave joined the list of troubled Enclave models with an additional issue—cracked engine blocks. This particular repair proved to be a costly one, with owners facing expenses ranging from $5,000 to $7,000 or even more.

Dealing with a cracked engine block can be a significant setback, both in terms of finances and vehicle downtime.

2014 Buick Enclave: Recalls and Multiple Problems

Despite being released three years after the aforementioned models, the 2014 Buick Enclave did not escape the reliability issues. This model year experienced six separate recalls, pointing to various concerns that affected its performance and safety.

Transmission problems resurfaced as a common complaint among owners, with reports of jerky shifts and an overall frustrating driving experience.

Additionally, safety became a concern due to airbag faults and seatbelt problems, which is particularly alarming considering the Enclave’s role as a family-oriented vehicle.

A software glitch in the fuel system resulted in incorrect gauge readings, adding to the list of issues. Owners also faced timing chain failure and air conditioning problems, where the cooling system would unexpectedly cease to function.

While these particular model years have had their share of challenges, it’s important to note that Buick has made efforts to address and rectify these issues in subsequent models.

Remember, not all Enclave model years are affected by these problems, and by being well-informed, you can choose a reliable and enjoyable SUV that meets your needs and expectations.

Best Year Buick Enclave

When it comes to finding the best year for a Buick Enclave, there are several factors to consider, including reliability, comfort, safety, and overall performance.

In this section, we will explore various model years of the Buick Enclave, highlighting their key features and advantages.

Best Year Buick Enclave

By analyzing the data provided, we aim to help you make an informed decision when choosing the best year for your Buick Enclave.

2017 Buick Enclave: Last of the First Generation

The 2017 Buick Enclave represents the final model year of the first generation. It offers a spacious and comfortable cabin, providing ample room for passengers and impressive noise isolation.

With its generous cargo space, it is well-suited for long rides and family trips.

Safety is a priority with this model, as it boasts a 5-star overall safety rating. However, it’s important to note that some owners have reported slow transmission and difficulties in handling.

2018 Buick Enclave: First of the Second Generation

The 2018 Buick Enclave marks the beginning of the second generation, representing a shift in approach and design by GM Motors. Equipped with a 3.6-liter V6 engine and a nine-speed automatic transmission, this model offers a smooth driving experience.

Owners have reported no problems with power steering, praising its responsive nature. The stylish cabin features faux leather, wooden trim, and a panoramic roof.

The three-row seating configuration accommodates up to seven passengers, with the second-row seats designed to allow easy access to the third row.

However, it’s worth noting that the fuel economy is modest, with around 25 miles per gallon on the highway.

2019 Buick Enclave: Roomy Cabin and Strong Safety Features

The 2019 Buick Enclave continues to impress with its spacious cabin, ensuring comfort for all occupants. Each row of seats includes its own USB ports for convenient device charging.

The cargo space is outstanding, with the ability to fit multiple carry-on bags even with all rows in use. Owners have reported no transmission issues and have praised the smooth ride.

The Avenir and Premium models come equipped with a heated steering wheel for added comfort.

Safety is a priority in this model year, as evidenced by its 5-star rating in crash tests conducted by the NHTSA. Additional safety features include automatic high beams and lane-keeping assist.

2020 Buick Enclave: Reliability and Cost of Ownership

The 2020 Buick Enclave Avenir stands out as one of the most reliable Buick Enclave models. While no vehicle is perfect, this model year is reported to have fewer maintenance issues compared to earlier models.

However, it’s important to note that even the 2020 Enclave Avenir is not exempt from the transmission and electrical issues that have persisted throughout the Enclave’s history.

The Enclave Avenir is the top trim level, offering luxurious features, but it comes with a higher price tag.

2021 Buick Enclave: Consistency and Style

The 2021 Buick Enclave maintains the familiar formula of its predecessors. The cabin retains its perforated faux leather seats, wooden trim, and standard 8-inch display.

The spaciousness and cargo capacity remain impressive, accommodating up to 38 carry-on containers or boxes when all rows are folded down.

Additionally, all-wheel drive is available for those seeking off-road capability or improved traction on rough terrain.

The pricier models of this year offer additional safety features such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and automatic high beams.

Determining the best year for a Buick Enclave depends on your priorities and preferences.

It’s crucial to consider your specific needs, budget, and desired features when selecting the best year for your Buick Enclave.

Buick Enclave Common Problems

When considering purchasing a Buick Enclave, it is essential to be aware of the common problems associated with this SUV. While the Buick Enclave offers a comfortable and spacious driving experience, it has been plagued by certain recurring issues.

Buick Enclave Common Problems

Explore the major problems reported by Enclave owners, shedding light on transmission issues, stretched timing chains, and power steering problems.

By understanding and addressing these challenges, Buick Enclave owners can enjoy a smoother and more reliable driving experience.

1. Transmission Issues: A Persistent Challenge

One of the most prevalent problems faced by Buick Enclave owners relates to transmission. Reports indicate that transmission issues are a significant concern for the Enclave, with the 2008 model year being particularly problematic.

Many owners experienced excessive vibrations and clunking noises during acceleration or gear shifting.

These transmission problems typically manifest around 90,000 miles, and the cost of repairing a faulty transmission can range up to $3,500.

It is important to note that transmission issues are not limited to the 2008 model year but have been reported across various Enclave model years.

2. Stretched Timing Chain: Premature Wear and Tear

The timing chain in the Buick Enclave is responsible for coordinating the rotation of the camshaft and crankshaft. Over time, timing chains can wear out, but it is generally expected to occur after around 150,000 miles.

Unfortunately, several Enclave owners have reported premature stretching of the timing chain, occurring as early as 40,000 miles.

Repairing a stretched timing chain can be quite costly, with an average price ranging from $1,700 to $2,050. This issue is a cause for concern as it can lead to engine malfunctions and potential damage if not addressed promptly.

3. Power Steering Problems: A Safety Hazard

Power steering is vital for a larger SUV like the Buick Enclave, as it ensures smooth and effortless maneuverability. However, numerous owners of the 2010 Enclave have reported intermittent power steering failures.

This problem can make steering the vehicle a challenging and potentially dangerous task, particularly at higher speeds.

Driving without power steering significantly compromises the safety of the vehicle and its occupants.

Addressing power steering issues may require repairs or replacements, depending on the specific cause of the malfunction.

4. Addressing Buick Enclave Problems

While the Buick Enclave has faced several common issues, it is important to note that not all vehicles within the model range will experience these problems.

Some Enclave owners have reported trouble-free ownership experiences, while others have encountered more significant challenges.

It is advisable for potential buyers to conduct thorough research, seek expert opinions, and consider the specific maintenance and repair history of individual vehicles before making a purchase.

Furthermore, routine maintenance, such as following the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals, can help mitigate potential problems.

Regularly inspecting and addressing any early signs of transmission, timing chain, or power steering issues can prevent more severe and costly repairs down the line.

What Cars Compare to the Buick Enclave?

The Buick Enclave is a midsize luxury SUV that competes with several other vehicles in its segment.

Cars Compare to the Buick Enclave

If you are considering the Buick Enclave, you may also want to explore the following comparable vehicles:

  1. 2022 Acura MDX: The Acura MDX is a luxury SUV that offers a refined driving experience, an upscale interior, and advanced safety features. It provides seating for up to seven passengers and boasts a strong V6 engine.
  2. 2021 Chevrolet Traverse: The Chevrolet Traverse is a spacious midsize SUV that offers a comfortable ride and ample cargo space. It features a user-friendly infotainment system and a range of available safety technologies.
  3. 2021 Lincoln Aviator: The Lincoln Aviator is a luxury SUV that combines elegance with performance. It features a stylish interior, powerful engine options, and advanced technology. The Aviator offers seating for up to seven passengers.
  4. 2021 Mazda CX-9: The Mazda CX-9 is a stylish and sporty SUV known for its engaging driving dynamics and upscale interior. It offers three rows of seating, advanced safety features, and a well-crafted cabin.
  5. 2021 Subaru Ascent: The Subaru Ascent is a midsize SUV that emphasizes safety, practicality, and versatility. It comes with standard all-wheel drive, a spacious cabin with seating for up to eight passengers, and a host of advanced driver-assistance features.

These vehicles share similarities with the Buick Enclave in terms of size, seating capacity, and features, but each one has its own unique characteristics and strengths.

Exploring these alternatives can help you find the SUV that best fits your preferences and requirements.

Remember to test-drive multiple vehicles and compare their features, reliability, performance, and pricing before making a final decision.

How long can Buick Enclaves last?

With proper maintenance, you can expect a Buick Enclave to last for up to 200,000 miles. Regularly following the recommended maintenance schedule and taking care of your vehicle can help it withstand the test of time.

Do Buick Enclaves have transmission problems?

Yes, Buick Enclaves are known to have transmission problems, particularly the 2008 model, which has received the most complaints. Owners have reported issues such as shaking, clunky noises, and erratic shifting around the 91,000-mile mark.

It’s important to be aware of these potential transmission problems when considering a Buick Enclave purchase.

Is Buick Enclave considered a luxury?

Yes, the Buick Enclave is considered a three-row luxury SUV. However, it may not offer the same level of luxury as some other more renowned luxury car brands. Buick, as a brand, has a long-standing history and is recognized as one of the oldest automobile manufacturers globally, and the oldest in the United States.

Is the Buick Enclave a reliable vehicle?

In terms of reliability, the Buick Enclave has received a reliability rating of 33, which indicates that it is not considered very reliable. When comparing this rating to other cars, the average overall reliability rating is 57.

It’s important to consider this reliability aspect when making a decision about purchasing a Buick Enclave and to weigh it against other factors such as features, comfort, and personal preferences.


When it comes to the Buick Enclave, there are certain years to avoid due to known issues and reliability concerns.

However, it’s not all bad news for the Buick Enclave.

There are also years that have proven to be more favorable. The 2017 Enclave offers a comfortable cabin and strong safety ratings, although it may have some transmission and handling challenges.

The 2018 and 2019 models provide a smooth ride, ample cargo space, and additional safety features. The 2020 Buick Enclave Avenir stands out as the most reliable year so far, despite sharing some common transmission and electrical issues.

When considering a Buick Enclave, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons of each model year, taking into account the reported problems and overall reliability ratings.

Remember to prioritize regular maintenance and consider extended warranties to mitigate potential problems.

So, if you’re in the market for a Buick Enclave, be sure to carefully evaluate the specific model year you’re interested in and be aware of the Buick Enclave years to avoid. By doing so, you can enhance your chances of finding a reliable and enjoyable SUV that meets your needs and expectations.

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