Buick Enclave Years To Avoid | 15 Best & Worst Models 2023

Source: Alpha Coders

The Buick Enclave is a luxurious midsize 3-row Crossover SUV that started its production in 2007. Unfortunately, the Buick Enclave has a history of reliability issues. Here are the worst model years of the Buick Enclave to avoid.

Buick Enclave years to avoid include 2008-2012, 2014, 2015, and 2020; they are considered the worst. The best years for the Buick Enclave include 2016-2019 and 2021-2023. This result was concluded from trustworthy sources such as NHTSA, Edmund, JD Power, and Kelley Blue Book.

Buick Enclave Years To Avoid

Older models of the Enclave tend to have more frequent and severe problems. Here Are the worst Buick Enclave years to avoid.

8. Worst Year: 2020 Buick Enclave (3.91 Rating)

Source: Photoscar / pinterest

The 2020 Buick Enclave was promoted as the latest and most functional luxury SUV. However, several customers have experienced significant problems, including a faulty powertrain, transmission issues, and tire failure. Another typical gripe is that it gets poor gas mileage and has inadequate personal storage space.

Compared to other midsize SUVs, the 2020 Buick Enclave has below-average reliability (24th out of 26 on RepairPal).

Common Problems:

  • Sunroof leaks
  • Powertrain/transmission failure
  • Grinding noise from brakes

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

7. Worst Year: 2015 Buick Enclave (3.89 Rating)

Source: The news wheel

Some 2015 Buick Enclave drivers noted that the dashboard’s ambient lighting reflected outdoor light. The reflection seems like a crack in the glass and can be distracting, especially in bright light.

Although the Enclaves’ heating systems came in handy during the cold months, several residents complained that they were too hot to touch, indicating faulty air conditioners.

Common Problems:

  • A/C doesn’t work
  • Distracting reflection
  • Faulty collision alert system

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

6. Worst Year: 2011 Buick Enclave (3.67 Rating)

Source: Motor Trend

This model year continued the trend of power steering failure, with complaints of squeaking and leaking from the steering rack. There were also repeated accounts of drivers losing engine power due to a timing chain breaking.

The alternator was another part that frequently failed on this model, preventing the vehicle’s battery from charging.

Common Problems:

  • Blown engine
  • Timing chain failure
  • Loss of power

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

5. Worst Year: 2014 Buick Enclave (3.66 Rating)

Source: Goodcarbadcar

Seven distinct recalls were issued for this model year due to various problems. The transmission was jerky and made driving this Buick Enclave a stressful experience. It concerns that a vehicle designed to carry seven people has airbag and seatbelt issues.

Unfortunately, software issues in the fuel system of this model also caused incorrect gauge readings. Owners of this model also reported timing chain failure and air conditioning that suddenly stopped working.

Common Problems:

  • Leak in the rear condenser
  • Reduced engine power
  • Faulty A/C

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

4. Worst Year: 2012 Buick Enclave (3.65 Rating)

Source: CarAndDriver

The timing chain isn’t nearly as important as the transmission. However, the expense to repair can still be relatively high. The timing chain frequently breaks on this model as well.

The fuel gauge had been damaged, so it was giving erroneous readings. In addition, numerous drivers experience hesitation while operating this car.

Common Problems:

  • Timing chain failure
  • Hesitation
  • Inaccurate fuel guage readings

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

3. Worst Year: 2010 Buick Enclave (3.55 Rating)

Source: Autoblog

The 2010 Buick Enclave, not to be surpassed by its predecessors, added broken engine blocks to the list of problems already afflicting many Enclave owners. The average cost to fix this issue is between $5,000 and $7,000, making it a significantly expensive fix for owners.

This model combines the worst features of the Buick Enclave, making it an absolute no-win situation for many drivers.

Common Problems:

  • Timing chain stretched
  • Power steering failure
  • Loss of power

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

2. Worst Year: 2009 Buick Enclave (3.43 Rating)

Source: CarAndDriver

This model year of the Buick Enclave shares the same problem with the power steering as previous years’ models. This model’s engine problems kept the “check engine light” constantly illuminated.

Although the manufacturer made adjustments to enhance the vehicle’s transmission, some drivers still experienced problems and had to replace their vehicles’ transmissions. The car’s timing chain fell prematurely for this model year after about 40,000 miles.

Common Problems:

  • Check the engine light on
  • Power steering failure
  • Transmission slipping

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

1. Worst Year: 2008 Buick Enclave (3.25 Rating)

Source: The car connection

If there’s one year of the Enclave SUV you should avoid, it is 2008. The 2008 Buick Enclave has attracted more complaints and known difficulties than any other Buick Enclave, even though similar versions still have the same problems as the 2008 model.

Transmission failure is the most common issue for this model year. At roughly 91,000 miles, many owners noticed transmission issues. When they changed gears or speed up, their automobiles shook and made clumsy noises.

Other common complaints include total engine failure, faulty airbags, and faulty power steering.

Common Problems:

  • Transmission failure
  • Engine failure
  • Power steering failure

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

Best Years To Buy Used Buick Enclave

Buick’s compact SUV has had fewer complaints since the 2016 model year. Some technology unavailable in earlier generations of the Buick Enclave is now standard on more recent models.

7. Best Year: 2016 Buick Enclave (4.04 Rating)

Source: CarAndDriver

The 2016 Buick Enclave offered only three trim levels. The vehicle was overall quite well riding and capable of towing, but it lacked the luxury of its rivals. This all-wheel-drive vehicle has a starting MSRP of $2,000.

The 2016 Enclave can offer a 4500-lb towing capacity with the available trailering package. It gets a gas mileage of 15 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

6. Best Year: 2021 Buick Enclave (4.20 Rating)

Source: kelwaysvillage

This year’s Buick Enclave shares many characteristics with the models from the years before it. Inside, you’ll find the same 8-inch monitor and front chairs that are both adjustable and upholstered in perforated faux leather and wood. If you plan on driving on harsher terrain or off-road, you can activate the all-wheel drive.

MSRP for the base model 2021 Buick Enclave is $40,000 plus $1,195 for the destination. Enclave Premium trim is better because of its superior security features. Its base price starts at $48,400.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

5. Best Year: 2017 Buick Enclave (4.21 Rating)

Source: cars.usnews

The first generation of Buick Enclaves ended with this model. It offers a spacious, quiet cabin that’s ideal for long journeys. It’s a fantastic option for long trips because of the ample storage capacity it provides.

Even if many people are in the car, you can rest assured that everyone will be okay thanks to its 5-star safety certification. This model improves upon its predecessors in several respects but still suffers from bad transmission.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

4. Best Year: 2019 Buick Enclave (4.30 Rating)

Source: GM Authority

The Buick Enclave features a spacious cabin, as one would anticipate, and there are USB outlets for every row of seats. If you fold down the middle and rear seats, you can easily place five suitcases or other large items behind the third row.

There are no transmission problems with the 2019 Enclave, and the ride is comfortable. The NHTSA has given this model its highest possible crash test rating of 5 stars. Automatic highlights and lane-keeping assist are the two safety measures available.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

3. Best Year: 2018 Buick Enclave (4.42 Rating)

Source: Cars

This is the first of the second generation of Buick Enclaves, representing a shift in strategy and design philosophy by GM Motors. This model is easy to operate thanks to its 3.6-liter V6 engine and nine-speed automated transmission.

The power steering has been praised for its responsiveness and reliability. The cabin is spacious and comfy, and it looks great with its faux leather upholstery, wooden trim, and panoramic glass roof.

The 2018 Buick Enclave can tow up to 5,000 pounds with the optional Trailering Package and 1,500 pounds with the base towing capacity.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

2. Best Year: 2022 Buick Enclave (4.43 Rating)

Source: Buick

The 2022 Buick Enclave retains the attractive design features that have made it popular since its introduction. It’s based on the Chevrolet Traverse, and features updated bodywork that boosts the crossover’s curb appeal.

The basic price of a 2022 Buick Enclave is $43,995, with the top-of-the-line Avenir variant costing $56,295. The Buick Enclave can tow up to 1,500 pounds without the optional Trailering Package. For your towing needs, that might be more than enough.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

1. Best Year: 2023 Buick Enclave (4.45 Rating)

Source: Buick Pressroom

With its attractive design, several standard features, and ample passenger and cargo space, the 2023 Buick Enclave is a decent substitute for the more expensive European three-row midsize luxury SUVs. It got the position of #1 in Upper Midsize SUV from J.D. Power.

The Enclave’s design, interior, and number of standard technological amenities were all updated in 2022. Due to this, the 2023 Buick Enclave has just minimal updates.

The standard engine for the 2023 Buick Enclave is a 3.6-liter V-6. It produces 310 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque and is paired with a nine-speed automated transmission. The EPA estimates that the Enclave will achieve up to 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. The Enclave can also tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

What Are The Common Problems With Buick Enclave?

Source: 1A Auto / YouTube

The Buick Enclave has mediocre dependability ratings, so potential buyers should know a few problems.

1. Timing Chain Stretch:

The timing chain controls the relative rotation of the camshaft and the crankshaft. Wear and tear on timing chains is unavoidable with time and driving, but it typically takes around 150,000 miles before they break. As early as 40,000 miles, several owners have noticed timing belts stretching in Enclave. An average timing belt repair can cost between $1,700 and $2,050.

2. Transmission Failure:

Problems with transmission are never pleasant, and the Enclave has its fair share of them. The transmission of the 2008 model was reportedly the worst in the lineup. It was reported that severe vibrations and clunking noises occurred when the car accelerated or changed gears. At about 90,000 miles, the transmission system in a Buick will start problems, and the repair might cost as much as $3,500.

3. Power Steering Issues:

The power steering feature is useful in a large SUV like a Buick Enclave, and driving the Enclave without it is risky. Many 2009 and 2010 Enclave SUV customers complained that the power steering frequently failed. This makes controlling the vehicle an effort and hazardous at higher speeds.


1. How Long Does Buick Enclave Last?

You can get up to 300,000 miles out of a Buick Enclave with proper maintenance. Ensure you’re not working with one of the worst Buick Enclave years to avoid.

2. Buick Enclave Vs. Chevy Traverse: Which Is Bigger?

The Buick Enclave and the Chevrolet Traverse are about the same size when parked in a garage since their widths are comparable, but their lengths are not.

3. Are Buick Enclave Reliable Cars?

Buick enclave has reliability ratings of Low to Average. Although the Buick Enclave has improved greatly over the years, it initially suffered from a number of issues due to the SUV’s newness.


If you’re shopping for a used Buick Enclave, models years from 1st generation (2008-2012) are Buick Enclave years to avoid. In contrast, it’s safe to say that any second-generation Buick Enclave (2018-2023) will serve you well.

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