Are you planning to purchase a used Buick Enclave and you are interested in learning more about the Buick Enclave years to avoid? Well, if this is the case, and you are interested in buying this SUV, then you are at the right place because there will be quite a lot to cover in this article.
- Who & What Is Buick?
- Buick Enclave Overview & History
- 1st Generation
- 2nd Generation
- Final Conclusion
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Doing the proper research before you go out there and purchase a vehicle should always be one of your top priorities. On the market, currently, there are dozens of car brands and hundreds of models. And every one of them has problems, some of them more and some of them to a lesser extent.
And your task is to find the best deal possible for your hard-earned dollar. Mainly because we are far away from those times when cars were attainable. Nowadays cars cost an arm and a leg. And making the right decision is the number one priority for you as a car owner. But you shouldn’t worry because we are going to help you out learn all about the Buick Enclave and its problems.
First, we are going to cover what is the Buick brand and more about the Enclave model. Then we will cover the last two generations of this vehicle. We will cover the specs, problems, reliability, best years, and also the Buick Enclave years to avoid. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.
Now before we dive into the Buick Enclave years to avoid, let’s take a look at who Buick is in general. Why do we think that this is necessary? Well, some of the younger audience that will be reading this article is probably not quite familiar with Buick and its history. So, we need to make a proper introduction and spill some facts about this legendary car brand.
If you are not familiar with Buick, you probably don’t know its history. This brand was founded in 1899 by David Dunbar Buick and this brand was among the pioneers when it comes to building cars.
In 1908 Buick was incorporated into General Motors which is one of the top three companies in the US and for a long time the biggest carmaker in the world.
Nevertheless, Buick has a very rich history with many legendary models that were released in the US market and worldwide.
For a long time, Buick was considered the Mercedes Benz of North America. Mainly because Buick made luxury models of the crème de la crème when it came to features and automotive ingenuity.
But unfortunately, since the 80s the Buick brand fell really behind what it was decades ago. It still exists and has some models. But it is a far cry from the big giant that it was in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Still, this brand is really popular in China where 80% of the cars of this brand are sold. And one of these models that Buick offers is the Enclave. But what are the Buick Enclave years to avoid? More on that, in a bit.
Now before we cover the two generations of the Enclave and learn more about the Buick Enclave years to avoid, let’s first take a look at the Enclave and the core concept of this SUV.
So, this model is pretty much perfect for a big family. This is why if you have a lot of kids, checking this model is the way to go since it is probably one of the most high-end models in this segment. A level above the Chevy Traverse and the GMC Acadia in terms of luxury.
What is good about this model is that it is built and assembled at Lansing Assembly Plant in Detroit, Michigan. So, it is not an import like the smaller Envision.
This model was first introduced in 2007 and as of 2022, there are two generations released and each of them sold quite well in the US. Nothing crazy as some cars sell really well. The Enclave sells about 50,000 cars annually and this is why you don’t come across too often with these vehicles on the roads as with other Chevy or GMC models.
But what are the Buick Enclave years to avoid? Well, more on that, we are going to discuss it in one of the following chapters.
The important thing to know when it comes to this model is that the market is quite saturated and they also use a lot of know-how with other GM brands. So, you should never worry when it comes to finding a service or parts for these vehicles.
Worst Years For Buick Enclave
The Buick Enclave, with its sleek design and luxurious interiors, has long been a top choice for many car enthusiasts. However, as with any vehicle, some years stand out for the wrong reasons. Let’s dive into the most unreliable model years of the Buick Enclave and what potential buyers should keep an eye out for.
2008 Buick Enclave
Starting off, the 2008 Enclave garnered attention due to its troubling issues. Owners frequently reported problems with the power steering and leaks in the transmission. Additionally, the air conditioning system often malfunctioned, making summer drives unbearable. If you’re considering a used Buick, it might be wise to steer clear of the 2008 model.
2011 Buick Enclave
Fast forward a few years, the 2011 Enclave had significant transmission problems. Owners found themselves frequently visiting mechanics due to a jerky transmission. Furthermore, the check engine light is frequently illuminated without clear reason. Needless to say, this year’s model tested the patience of many.
2013 Buick Enclave
While many hoped for improvements in the subsequent models, the 2013 Buick Enclave experienced concerning electrical problems. Faulty headlights, unpredictable dashboard readings, and infotainment system glitches were just some of the nuisances reported. Moreover, water pump failures were a common issue, leading to expensive repairs.
Buick Enclave Generations
So, we have covered the Buick brand and we learned more about the Buick Enclave and what type of vehicle this is.
We think that now it is time to move on and learn more about the generations of the Enclave and cover some of the specs of this model. In addition to the specs, we will also cover the safety, fuel economy, as well as common problems, reliability, best years, and lastly, the Buick Enclave years to avoid. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.
First Generation Buick Enclave 2008 – 2017
The first generation of the Buick Enclave was introduced to the market in 2007 and 2008 was the first model year of this vehicle. The model enjoyed a long production stint until it was replaced with the second generation in 2018. So, the last production year is 2017.
The model was based on the GM Lambda Platform. This platform was shared with the Chevy Traverse, as well as with the GMC Acadia and the Saturn Outlook. The model was assembled in Lansing, Michigan at the Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant of GM.
The Enclave is a rather large SUV. Not the largest, but still big enough to be considered a mid-size three-row SUV.
The wheelbase of this model is 118.9 inches and has an overall length of 201.8 inches. The curb weight of the Enclave is somewhere between 4,780 and 4,985 lbs. Quite a heavy vehicle.
There is a big difference when it comes to the weight because mainly of the AWD system. AWD cars tend to carry some extra weight because these systems need more components than the standard FWD model. But what about the Buick Enclave years to avoid? More on that, we will cover it in a bit.
Engines & Transmissions
So, what are the Buick Enclave years to avoid? More on that later on. Let’s cover the engines and transmissions first. In terms of engines, we can say that this model included only two engines during its long production stint.
The first engine was the 3.6 v6 LY7 which produced about 275hp. But the sad thing about this engine is that it was pretty old and in 2009 Buick decided to upgrade to the 3.6L L55 engine.
This new V6 engine was a big improvement in comparison to the previous one. Firstly, it produced more power. 288hp and 270lb-ft of torque to be more exact. Also, it implemented direct injection and this increased the torque curve to a big extent. Making it quite a better application for this heavy chassis.
In terms of transmissions, there was only one available. And that was the 6-speed 6T75 GM automatic transmission. But what about the Buick Enclave years to avoid? More on that, we will cover it in a bit.
What is worth noting is that the fuel economy of this model is not its highlight. The chassis is quite heavy. So, the FWD model gets only 17 mpg in the city, 24 mpg on the highway, and 20 mpg combined.
The AWD version on the other hand is even thirstier. This model gets about 16 mpg in the city, 22 mpg on the highway, and 18 mpg combined. But what about the Buick Enclave years to avoid? More on that we will cover in a bit.
When it comes to safety, the Buick Enclave performs quite well. The model was crash tested by the IIHS and got Good scores on all of the tests and got the top safety pick award for 2008. And on the IIHS tests, Good is the highest grade possible.
So, we can say that this model is rather safe. But beware that this vehicle was built in 2008 so, the standards have moved up a little bit in comparison to 2008. But what are the Buick Enclave years to avoid? More on that, we will cover it in a bit.
Buick Enclave Problems
Now before we start discussing the Buick Enclave years to avoid, let’s take a look at the problems this model has. And frankly, there is quite a bit to cover.
2008 is the first year of production and also the most problematic year of all other production years. More precisely, this model’s biggest problem is transmission. On carcomplaints.com, there are 107 reports of transmission failure for this specific model year.
This problem with the timing chain stretched out repeats itself even in the next model years with the new and improved engine. But to a lesser extent. The timing chain problems were sorted out in 2013 and after this model year, there are no serious reports of engine failures because of a loose timing chain.
Also, there were minor electrical problems reported with the interior accessories inside of the car that started to malfunction.
But overall, the problems are more or less sorted out after 2013 and there are no serious reports on issues with this model. But what about the Buck Enclave years to avoid? More on that, we will cover in a moment.
Buick Enclave Reliability
When it comes to the overall reliability of this vehicle, we can say that the Enclave model is quite reliable and a vehicle that you can rely on.
Overall, the chassis is strong and quite safe. The biggest problem was the engine in the first production year it was greatly underpowered and this caused problems with reliability.
Also, the second engine introduced in 2009 was having a problem with the timing chain. The chain loved to stretch out and cause issues and this problem failed many engines.
So, your first priority when it comes to one of these vehicles is to check the timing chain health and see if the chain has some slack to it. If it does, then you will have to replace it. And this can be rather expensive. So, be aware of this problem.
Also, the power steering and transmission in the first production years can be problematic as well and can fail. But what about the Buick Enclave years to avoid? More on this we will cover in a moment.
Best Year For Buick Enclave
When it comes to the best year of this model, we would say to go after the 2014 model year or possibly later model year. Mainly because the earlier models had some problems and you definitely don’t want to get a problematic model.
Going for a later model year will guarantee that you will avoid some issues that the first model years have. But what about the Buick Enclave years to avoid? More on that next.
Buick Enclave Years To Avoid
When it comes to the Buick Enclave years to avoid, we will definitely recommend you to avoid the 2008 model year, as well as the 2009 model year if you can.
These two production years have the most reports on engine problems and transmission failures. So, try to avoid them if you don’t want to deal with problems.
Second Generation Buick Enclave 2018 – Present
The second generation of the Buick Enclave was welcomed in 2017 and 2018 was the first production year of this model. And currently, this vehicle is still in production.
The new model unlike the previous model is based on a completely new platform that is quite a bit lighter than the previous one. The platform on which this model is based is the GM C1XX and is shared with the GMC Acadia, as well as with the Chevy Traverse.
The wheelbase of the current model is 120.9 inches and it has an overall length of 204.3 inches. Making this model a bit longer than the previous generation.
The weight varies between 4,359lbs and 4,685lbs, almost 300 lbs lighter than the previous generation. Which is a rather crazy amount of weight removed from the car.
What is interesting about this model is that it moved up in the market. And started to compete with more luxury offerings like the Acura MDX, as well as with the Volvo XC90 and the Infiniti QX60. But what about the Buick Enclave years to avoid? More on that, we will cover in the following chapters, let’s first take a look at the engines used in this model.
Engines & Transmissions
This Buick enclave uses the same 3.6L V6 engine as the previous generation. But the power numbers were bumped by a notch. This model now produces 310hp and 266lb-ft of torque. Considering that the model is lighter and more powerful than the previous generation, we can easily say that it drives a lot better.
Also, the new model comes with a new 9-speed automatic transmission that delivers extremely smooth shifts, and also it is quite more fuel efficient and less problematic than the previous generation’s 6-speed transmission. But what about the Buick Enclave years to avoid? More on that in a bit.
The fuel economy of the Buick Enclave is also quite improved compared to the previous generation. This new model gets about 18 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, and also 21 mpg combined for the FWD version.
The AWD version has slightly worse fuel economy. With 17 mpg in the city, 25 mpg on the highway, and 20 mpg combined. But what about the Buick Enclave years to avoid? More on that in a bit.
This 2018 model similar to its predecessor, performed quite well on the IIHS tests and got Good scores on most of the tests except on one when it got only an Acceptable score. And that test concerning the structure and safety cage. But the overall evaluation was deemed Good.
On the NHTSA tests, this model also got a 5-star rating and performed quite well on their tests. But what about the Buick Enclave years to avoid? More on that, we will cover it in a bit.
Buick Enclave Problems
When it comes to the Buick Enclave problems. For this new generation, there are not a lot of reports on issues on carcomplaints.com.
The most common complaint was on the 2018 model year and this complaint referred to the transmission. The new 9-speed was shifting roughly and slipping gears. Some owners also reported shuddering and hesitation from the transmission.
Overall, there were no other major issues reported in the following years. Still, if I were you, I would watch out for the timing chain of the engine.
These timing chains tend to stretch after a lot of miles and once the chain stretches well enough, it will jump and ruin the whole engine. So, beware of this possibility. But what about the Buick Enclave years to avoid? More on that we will cover in a bit.
Buick Enclave Reliability
When it comes to the overall reliability of this model, we can say that it is quite a reliable car. There are no major issues whatsoever and it is definitely a good investment if you want to get a proper three-row SUV.
Best Year For Buick Enclave
The best year of this model is definitely 2022. This is the case because in 2022 the model got a big refresh and a ton of improvements like new LED headlights and also a lot of other tech and safety equipment. Also, it is far more recent than other models that were released a few years back. But what about the Buck Enclave years to avoid? More on that next.
Buick Enclave Years To Avoid
When it comes to the Buick Enclave years to avoid, we would definitely recommend avoiding the 2018 model year. Since this was the first production year of this generation, we can say that it is rather unrefined in comparison to later model years.
Buick Enclave Years To Avoid: In Conclusion…
In this article, we have covered quite a bit when it comes to the Buick Enclave. First, we covered a little bit about Buick and its history. Then we focused on the Enclave model.
Then we discussed the Buick Enclave models. We covered both generations in-depth by learning the specifications, common problems, reliability, best years, and also the Buick Enclave years to avoid.
Buick Enclave Years To Avoid: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.
Are Buicks Good Cars
Yes, Buick makes fairly good cars. Since they are a GM brand, you can’t expect from Buick more than a standard Chevy or GMC. Mainly because they share the same components like engines and transmissions.
Are Buicks Reliable
Yes, the Buick cars are fairly reliable. Usually, they do not have major issues. Namely, the Enclave is a really reliable model that does not have a bad rep.
Where Is Buick Enclave Made
The Enclave is made at the GM factory in Lansing, Michigan. This means that it is a purely American product and not an import like other Buick models. Also, it is quite a reliable car that does not have any major problems.
How Much Is A Buick Enclave
The base price of the Enclave starts at $43,000. The top trim Avenir AWD model costs about $57,000. This is not a crazy amount considering that with the base you get a plain mode and for $14,000 more you get the top trim with AWD.
Do Buick Enclaves Have Problems
Yes, they have problems. Especially the 2008 model that was seriously underpowered and suffered major issues with the engine and transmission. The biggest problem with the engine was the timing chain stretching. Engine problems with the timing chain. persisted till 2014 when they were sorted out. Still, beware that you have a timing chain and this component needs to be serviced.
What Year Buick Enclave To Avoid
When it comes to the Buick Enclave years to avoid, we would recommend avoiding 2008, this model year is most problematic. Even though vehicles till 2014 have problems with timing chain stretching out as well. So, going for a model that is produced after 2014 might be the best thing to do and avoid the early model years.