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Which Buick Enclave Years to Avoid and Which to Embrace

There are a lot of SUVs you can choose from if you need a reliable one to help you move your family around. But if you want a compact SUV with a luxury cabin and room for up to eight people, you have fewer choices. If you’re looking for a luxury SUV that can compete with high-end names, the Buick Enclave is your best bet.

The Buick Enclave is a midsize luxury SUV that came out for the first time in 2008. During this time, there have been many good and not-so-good SUV types.

The Buick Enclave is a great luxury SUV that’s easy to drive and has much power.

Reviewers have given it good marks for how well it drives, how big its trunk is, and how many basic features it comes with. But the Enclave has been more constant in some years than in others.

The point of this article is to explain the best years for Buick Enclave and what year Buick Enclave to avoid. 

5 Buick Enclave Years To Avoid

When it comes to the worst Buick Enclave years, people have the most trouble with vehicle engines.

Problems with the timing chain and the electrical system also crop up frequently.

The issues vary in degrees from annoying to expensive and make the vehicle unsafe to drive.

Most people selling their Buick Enclaves do so because the vehicles have this specific set of issues.

Knowing which ones to avoid in advance requires some research.

If you’re in the market for a Buick Enclave, here are the Buick Enclave years to avoid.


There were six different recalls for the 2014 Buick Enclave, but only two impacted more than 100,000 cars, so I put it in fifth place in total. Problems with the transmission and engine had gotten better.

But there were still problems, like the transmission shaking and the timing chain breaking. The air conditioning would also stop working because the fan would lock up.

The dirt on the frame caused electrical sparks, which finally made the car stop. Also, the steel wire was still loose, which put the lives of the people on the bus at risk.


Some problems with the 2011 Buick Enclave have been known for a long time, but the company has done nothing to fix them. The main trouble is that the whole time chain is broken.

If this happens, the engine could stop working in the middle of traffic on the highway. It could lead to something terrible.

The second trouble is the steering failure. You can expect the power steering rack to make noises and leak sometimes.

The third trouble with this version of Buick Enclaves is that the alternator often breaks. In this state, it’s not possible to charge the battery.


Although the 2010 Buick Enclave had numerous issues, the company took some corrective measures. However, that was not enough.

By 2010, the transmission problems had been resolved, but there were still issues with the Enclave.

The engine was rendered inoperable because the timing chain became stretched. And the power steering still wasn’t working, which could be deadly.

Another frustrating problem was that the air conditioner produced only hot air, making driving unpleasant in hot weather.

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The 2009 Buick Enclave, released between 2008 and 2010, had fewer issues than either of those models but still had enough for me to rank it third on this list.

The model, which shared problems with both extremes, was the subject of more recalls than the other two.

The vehicle also had a bad reputation because of problems like the transmission slipping and failing, the power steering not working, the engine timing chain coming loose, and the engine running roughly.


It’s not always a good idea to buy the first version of a product, and in the case of the 2008 Buick Enclave, whose launch was plagued by problems and issues, it was not a good idea.

Problems with the model’s transmission failed at under 90,000 miles, the NHTSA received numerous engine-related complaints, and the vehicle was subject to six recalls. There have been many problems with the Enclave over the years, but transmission failure occurs more frequently than any other issue.

There were a total of six recalls on the vehicle, and four of them affected over 690,000 units each, with some reaching over a million.

Most of these vehicles were recalled because of the liftgates suddenly dropping, the side impact airbags failing to deploy, and the heated windshield washer igniting.

All of these problems were potentially fatal, so you must stay far away from the 2008 Buick Enclave.

5 Best Years For Buick Enclave

Best Years For Buick Enclave
YEAREdmunds’ Consumer RatingKelley Blue Book’s Consumer RatingJD Power’s Consumer Rating

The Buick Enclave has seen better days, but not all of them!

The later models of Buick cars are vast improvements over the earlier ones because the company figured out how to improve their vehicles.

There is a Buick Enclave out there for you if that’s what you want.

The worst Buick Enclave years are covered, so it’s only fair that the best ones are.

It’s likely that you’ll find a problem-free model year among the following best years for Buick Enclave.


The 2021 Buick Enclave shines as a practical SUV for the whole gang. It’s packed with cutting-edge gadgets and the latest safety features.

In addition to being easy to drive and ride in, it also features an all-wheel-drive system that can be toggled on and off for off-roading.

The 2021 Buick Enclave has a sophisticated appearance that will attract attention wherever you go.

It looks great and serves a useful purpose. It’s ideal for people who routinely need to transport large amounts of cargo due to its 23.6 cubic-foot cargo capacity.


The 2020 Buick Enclave aimed to re-create the success of the 2019 model year, but it didn’t offer much beyond a larger 8-inch display and minor cosmetic updates across its four trim levels.

Like the 2019 model, this Buick Enclave provided its customers with a comfortable and luxurious ride, but most of the vehicle’s best features were reserved for the expensive upper trims. However, many people think those models are worthwhile regardless of the cost.


The 2019 Buick Enclave set out to be the most luxurious and comfortable SUV on the market, and it succeeded by releasing a model that epitomized that ideal without compromising in any way on performance or power.

This 7-seat SUV is ideal if you have a large family and frequently transport bulky items and is the most reliable year for Buick Enclave.

The Buick Enclave doesn’t waste any time trying to impress you with its comfort and features, offering four different trims, two of which are top-of-line regarding premium feel and features.

While these two packages are nice, the base model of the year with its V6 9-speed auto and second-row captain chairs is the one to get if you want a nice, powerful ride without breaking the bank.


We highly recommend the 2018 Buick Enclave. Its sleek exterior and upscale cabin materials make for a more pleasurable journey.

In addition to being a pleasant car to relax in, the seating configuration is adaptable, making it a good choice for trips with the family. Hence, 2018 is the most reliable year for Buick Enclave.

You won’t have to leave anything behind due to a lack of space in the trunk. You won’t have any trouble keeping your vehicle on the road because of how well it handles.

Must Check: Where Can I Sell My Car for the Most Money?


The 2017 Buick Enclave reliability by year was a great model despite only being available in three trims and offering new colors and a revised grille over the outgoing model.

The 288 horsepower generated by its 3.6-liter V6 engine and its 6-speed automatic transmission gave this model a lot of muscle for a luxury SUV.

The vehicle’s center dashboard & multimedia system enhanced comfort, and its antilock brakes and electronic stability system added to the vehicle’s already considerable safety and power, making it a strong contender for second place.

#5 Most Common Buick Enclave Problems

Most Common Buick Enclave Problems

The Buick Enclave is hardly a top-tier automobile. This is especially true for more mature iterations of the sport utility vehicle.

While newer models of the Buick Enclave have had few, if any, issues, older models suffered from several problems, some of which were shared by different years of the same model. Some of the common problems with Buick Enclave [older models] are as follows:

1) Problems with Transmission

The transmission is a part of the drivetrain and includes several moving components that cause the most common issues for the Buick Enclave.

One of the most frequent issues with the Buick Enclave is transmission failure. All 2008-2011 models are susceptible to transmission failure. If you can help it, steer clear of this model.

2) Stretched Timing Chain

Your engine’s valves rely on timing chains to stay in time with one another and aligned.

Damage to the engine and a loss of vehicle control can result from a stretched timing chain.

This is a widespread issue for Buicks manufactured between 2002 and 2008, though it can affect any GM vehicle powered by the same engine.

3) Loss of Steering Power

Losing control of your vehicle due to a power steering failure is especially dangerous when traveling at high speeds or on a crowded highway.

If this happens to you, and you have a Buick Enclave manufactured between 2008 and 2011, you should have your SUV towed to a repair shop immediately.

4) False Gas Readings

When the gas level dropped below half, the gauge sometimes went haywire. It was determined that this was part of a larger failure of a group of the car’s instruments and that the subsequent failure of the other gauges and meters was inevitable.

This problem made it impossible for drivers and owners to know how much gas was left in the tank.

5) Lower Fuel Economy Than Stated

After initially boasting about the 2016 Buick Enclave’s MPG, the manufacturer admitted that the car got lower fuel economy than advertised.

After discovering the problem, the manufacturer stopped making the vehicle and offered extended warranties to customers who had already purchased one.


What is the bad year for the Buick Enclave?

2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2014 are the Buick Enclave years to avoid. However, 2008 was the worst year for Buick Enclave.

What years did the Buick Enclave have transmission problems?

All Enclaves have transmission issues, but the 2008 model has more complaints than any other year. Around the 91,000-mile mark, most owners report transmission issues.

The Enclave’s most frequently reported transmission issues were:

  • Loss of transmission control
  • The transmission cannot engage gears.
  • Weird noises coming from the transmission.
  • The gearbox overheats.
What is considered high mileage for a Buick Enclave?

Engine Patrol reports that the typical lifespan of a properly cared-for Buick Enclave is between 150,000 and 250,000 miles, with some models lasting even longer at the end of their lives, approaching or exceeding 300,000.

Is the Buick Enclave a good reliable car?

The Buick Enclave is a decent vehicle, but it has a low-reliability rating. According to J.D. Power, it has an average predicted reliability score of 81 out of 100. Transmission, engine, and electrical issues have been reported in the Enclave. It’s a luxury SUV with plenty of room and conveniences included as standard. The older model had many problems, but newer ones are quite reliable. 

Do Buick Enclaves last a long time?

The Enclave’s powertrain is covered by a 5-year warranty from Buick, but some estimate a lifespan of 15 years.


The Buick Enclave seems to have found its stride in just over a decade, with subsequent releases of high-quality, impressive products that are largely problem-free and provide a high level of convenience and power.

Recent models, especially the 2019 model, are among the best in the series and offer a lot. This wasn’t always the case, however, and issues plagued models like the 2008 Buick Enclave.

If you want to buy a Buick Enclave, you can make the most of your money by avoiding the worst model years.

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