17 Best & Worst Buick Enclave Years (With Pictures)

The Buick Enclave is a popular midsize SUV that started out as a 2008 model year. 

It has a spacious interior, impressive cargo capacity, and a long list of standard tech and entertainment features. 

In this article, we’ll be going through all of its best and worst model years.

2024 Buick Enclave

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Buick Enclave Are:

The best Buick Enclave model years are 2024, 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2013. The worst model years of this model are 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, and 2012. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Buick Enclave?

2024, 2023, and 2022 Buick Enclave

The 2024, 2023, and 2022 Enclave models are part of the second-generation introduced in 2018. They received a refresh with updated front and rear styling, along with interior enhancements and technological updates. Notably, more standard advanced driver aids are included in these latest iterations.

They are equipped with a 3.6-liter V6 engine delivering 310 horsepower, paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available.

The Enclave Essence, the base trim, starts at $42,800. It features keyless entry, leather upholstery, and an 8-inch touchscreen. 

The Premium and Avenir trims add luxury features like ventilated seats and a sunroof. 

Despite a slightly lower fuel economy at 20 mpg combined (according to the EPA), these models stand out for a spacious interior and long list of standard safety features.

2023 Enclave:

  • Edmunds: 4.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: 85 / 100

2022 Enclave:

  • Edmunds: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: 84 / 100

2022 Enclave, Edmunds Review:

“My wife and I recently traded our 18 Buick LaCrosse for a new Enclave because we needed more people room. The new generation of Buick vehicles have much better interior styling and build quality than past generations, with an almost German feel…”

2023 Buick Enclave

2021, 2020, 2019, and 2018 Buick Enclave

Commencing with the 2018 Enclave, the model years from 2018 to 2021 mark the introduction of the second generation of models, bringing substantial updates in both design and performance.

These versions feature a 3.6-liter V6 engine producing 302 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, coupled with a 9-speed automatic transmission. 

Offering a choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive, the Enclave stands out for its spacious interior, accommodating passengers comfortably across all three rows.

The base model includes 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, keyless entry, and a sophisticated 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system supporting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

They also offer ample cargo space of 97.6 cubic feet with rear seats folded.

These models come in 4 trims: Standard, Essence, Premium, and the top-tier Avenir. 

The Essence adds safety features like blind-spot monitoring, while the Premium trim brings additional luxuries like a Bose audio system, lane departure warning, and heated front seats. 

The Avenir, positioned at the luxury end, boasts exclusive amenities like 20-inch wheels, a navigation system, and advanced safety technology, including optional stop-and-go adaptive cruise control.

2021 Enclave:

  • Edmunds: 3.9 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: 82 / 100

2020 Enclave:

  • Edmunds: 3.5 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: 82 / 100

2019 Enclave:

  • Edmunds: 3.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: 83 / 100

2018 Enclave:

  • Edmunds: 3.9 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: 83 / 100

2018 Enclave, Edmunds Review:

“We bought the 2018 Buick Enclave Avenir in February 2018, by September we had 17,000 miles. So I have had some time to get to know the car. It is very quiet, capable and comfortable. It is outstanding on the road, handles well in all ice, snow, rain, black ice conditions, as well as on dry roads. Evens out the bumps, very comfortable on road trips, ride and noise canceling are exceptional…”

2017 and 2016 Buick Enclave

The 2016 and 2017 Enclave models are indistinguishable except for their production years. They are the final first-generation models produced.

This pair of model years are recognized for their elegant exterior design, marked by a waterfall grille and smooth contours. 

Inside, provide a comfortable and quiet environment, though some may find the interior materials and infotainment system a bit dated compared to rivals. 

The IntelliLink 6.5-inch touchscreen system provides smartphone integration and navigation.

Safety is a strong suit, with standard features including anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, various airbags, rear parking sensors, and a rearview camera. 

Advanced safety features like blind-spot monitoring and forward-collision alert are available on higher trims.

The overall driving experience is more akin to a comfortable cruiser, suitable for long journeys, though its size can make it feel cumbersome in tight driving conditions.

2017 Enclave:

  • Edmunds: 4.1 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: 85 / 100

2016 Enclave:

  • Edmunds: 3.8 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: 80 / 100

2016 Enclave, Edmunds Review:

“This is the quietest vehicle that we have ever owned and it is a SUV… Quality SUV & materials for far less in cost than other luxury SUVs. Front wheel drive is rated at 17/24 mpg. So far best that we have gotten pure highway is 23.1. Hopefully will improve somewhat. 2500 miles on it so far. Acceleration is acceptable to pass and go up hills. Overall we are very happy with it…”

2016 Buick Enclave

2013 Buick Enclave

In 2013, the Buick Enclave underwent a significant refresh. While the body structure and engine largely remained the same, considerable changes were made to exterior styling, interior design, quality, suspension tuning, and feature content. Buick’s IntelliLink electronics interface was introduced as a new technological highlight during this update.

Its 3.6-liter V6 engine produces 288 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. 

This setup ensures adequate performance for a variety of driving conditions, making the Enclave a strong contender for family road trips and daily commutes.

According to the EPA, fuel efficiency stands at 19 MPG combined for the front-wheel-drive model, balancing power with reasonable fuel economy for its class. 

This model year introduces Buick’s IntelliLink system, enhancing the tech experience with smartphone integration and a user-friendly touchscreen interface.

Safety is a priority in the Enclave, featuring anti-lock brakes, airbags, and a rearview camera. The model earned top ratings in crash tests, emphasizing its family-friendly appeal. 

The interior is also upscale, offering a comfortable and quiet cabin with upgraded materials and ample cargo space.

  • Edmunds: 3.7 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: 83 / 100

2013 Enclave, Edmunds Review:

“My wife and I purchased this vehicle for our expanding family. We went from a 2009 Rav4 to the 2013 Buick Enclave. Lots of space, comfy ride (we’ve made a few trips up and down the coast with no complaints), and runs smoothly. It is a bit hard to see out the back, but the camera more than makes up for it. Definitely our favorite feature…”

2013 Buick Enclave

Consumer Scores For Best Buick Enclave Years

Model YearEdmunds
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book
Consumer Rating
J.D. Power
Consumer Rating
2024 Buick Enclave
2023 Buick Enclave4.3 / 5.04.4 / 5.085 / 100
2022 Buick Enclave4.0 / 5.04.4 / 5.084 / 100
2021 Buick Enclave3.9 / 5.04.4 / 5.082 / 100
2020 Buick Enclave3.5 / 5.04.4 / 5.082 / 100
2019 Buick Enclave3.4 / 5.04.4 / 5.083 / 100
2018 Buick Enclave3.9 / 5.04.4 / 5.083 / 100
2017 Buick Enclave4.1 / 5.04.4 / 5.085 / 100
2016 Buick Enclave3.8 / 5.04.4 / 5.080 / 100
2013 Buick Enclave3.7 / 5.04.4 / 5.083 / 100

Related: How Long Do Buick Enclaves Last? (Solved & Explained)

What Are The Worst Years For The Buick Enclave?

2008 Buick Enclave

The 2008 Enclave is the most problematic model year ever produced. In fact, CarComplaints.com has dubbed this a clunker (as in “Beware of the Clunker”). This is somewhat expected, given that this is the inaugural model year.

It experienced recurring powertrain problems, particularly concerning the transmission.

Owners reported various transmission failures, often linked to a malfunctioning wave plate, resulting in symptoms like hesitation, power loss, and occasional stalling.

These problems, occurring even at highway speeds, raised safety concerns. Despite widespread acknowledgment, a comprehensive recall addressing these defects was notably absent, leaving owners frustrated with repair costs and safety anxieties.

Additionally, electrical problems, including stabilitrack system issues and unexpected shutdowns, contributed to owner dissatisfaction, highlighting concerns about overall vehicle reliability and performance.

“The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact stated while driving 45 mph, the traction control warning light illuminated. The contact took the vehicle to an independent mechanic and was informed that the transmission needed to be replaced…” – CarProblemZoo.com

  • The 2008 Enclave had a total of 260 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 728 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.

Other common problems:

  • Transmission failure
  • Engine failure
  • Power steering failure

2009, 2010, and 2011 Buick Enclave

Owners of the 2009, 2010, and 2011 models faced intermittent power steering failures, particularly at low speeds or during sharp turns, posing significant safety risks. 

Steering difficulties often required excessive force, making maneuvers like parking and turning at intersections challenging and dangerous. Instances included power steering locking up, creating potential hazards during regular driving conditions. 

“While decelerating the power steering randomly goes out. I’m having the vehicle checked out for a second time. I have recently done the research and this seems to be a very common problem…” – CarProblemZoo.com

Persistent powertrain issues were also reported, including sudden and violent shaking at highway speeds due to transmission problems.

Drivers faced safety concerns such as uncontrollable rolling on inclines and failures in holding the vehicle in place while in gear. Despite these significant safety risks, some owners reported challenges in obtaining support or acknowledgment from Buick for necessary repairs.

“The car rolls down uncontrollably on hills while in gear whether in drive or reverse, and is very hard to control. This also requires very quick movement from brake to accelerator. There is no “hill hold” feature and drivetrain provides no resistance.” – CarProblemZoo.com

Many owners also reported recurring issues with the timing chain, leading to engine failures, loss of power, and expensive repairs.

“Stretched timing chains at 82,000 miles. Known problem at Buick and they are doing nothing about it. $3,300 to repair.” – CarProblemZoo.com

  • The 2009 Enclave had a total of 72 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 283 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.
  • The 2010 Enclave had a total of 93 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 339 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.
  • The 2011 Enclave had a total of 54 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 275 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.

Other common problems:

  • Check engine light on
  • Power steering not working
  • Transmission slipping
  • Timing chain stretched
  • Vehicle stalling
  • Blown engine
  • Loss of power
2011 Buick Enclave

2014 and 2015 Buick Enclave

Owners of the 2014 and 2015 Enclave models faced significant problems related to airbags. These problems revolved around the unavailability of parts to address NHTSA recall number 23v334000. 

The owners experienced concerns over the prolonged delay in obtaining the necessary repairs, potentially leaving the vehicles with faulty airbags, which could lead to severe injuries or fatalities. 

Many owners expressed frustration and fear regarding the safety of their vehicles due to the unresolved airbag issue. 

“Recall incomplete, remedy not yet available. This is unacceptable as we are still driving the vehicle.” – CarProblemZoo.com

  • The 2014 Enclave had a total of 48 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 177 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.
  • The 2015 Enclave had a total of 21 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 154 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.

Other common problems:

  • Leak in rear condenser
  • Engine power reduction
  • Traction malfunctioning
  • Stabilisystem issues
  • Air conditioning stopped working
  • Collision alert system failure
2014 Buick Enclave

2012 Buick Enclave

The 2012 Enclave had several structural and body-related problems, namely:

  • Body Slamming: The rear liftgate unexpectedly slams down, potentially causing injuries. 
  • Abnormal Sounds: Loud rattling and ticking noises near the front passenger side when starting the vehicle.
  • Hatchback Closure: The hatchback randomly closes on its own, posing safety risks, especially to individuals under it.
  • Power Back Door Issue: The power back door/hatch closes unexpectedly, even with the power off, potentially causing harm, especially to children.
  • Rack and Pinion Replacement: Rack and pinion needed replacement at relatively low mileage.
  • Cutting Design: The vehicle’s door design led to leg injuries when exiting, as the door’s corner protruded and could cut the driver’s leg.

“The hatchback slams shut randomly. It always closes on its own while people are under it.” – CarProblemZoo.com

  • The 2021 Enclave had a total of 36 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 148 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.

Other common problems:

  • Timing chain failure
  • Transmission hesitation
  • Inaccurate fuel gauge

Related: 11 Most Common Buick Enclave Problems (Explained)

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

Model YearComplaints
2024 Buick Enclave
2023 Buick Enclave060
2022 Buick Enclave070
2021 Buick Enclave4142
2020 Buick Enclave1236
2019 Buick Enclave0391
2018 Buick Enclave12550
2017 Buick Enclave6893
2016 Buick Enclave20674
2015 Buick Enclave211544
2014 Buick Enclave481777
2013 Buick Enclave25994
2012 Buick Enclave361486
2011 Buick Enclave542756
2010 Buick Enclave933396
2009 Buick Enclave722838
2008 Buick Enclave2607286

What Problems Do Buick Enclave Have?

  • Timing chain failure
  • Transmission hesitation
  • Inaccurate fuel gauge
  • Leak in rear condenser
  • Engine power reduction
  • Traction malfunctioning
  • Stabilisystem issues
  • Air conditioning stopped working
  • Collision alert system failure
  • Check engine light on
  • Transmission slipping
  • Timing chain stretched
  • Vehicle stalling
  • Blown engine
  • Loss of power
  • Transmission failure
  • Engine failure
  • Power steering failure

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Buick Enclave?

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Kia Telluride8.8$35,990 – $53,185City: 18 – 20 /Highway: 24 – 26
Hyundai Palisade8.6$36,400 – $53,600City: 19 /Highway: 24 – 26
Chevrolet Traverse8.3$34,520 – $54,200City: 17 – 18 /Highway: 25 – 27
Hyundai Santa Fe8.3$34,520 – $54,200City: 17 – 18 /Highway: 25 – 27
Jeep Grand Cherokee L8.3$43,035 – $65,710City: 14 – 19 /Highway: 22 – 26
Mazda CX-98.3$38,750 – $48,460City: 20 /Highway: 26
Mazda CX-908.3$39,595 – $59,950City: 23 – 24 /Highway: 28
Buick Enclave8.2$43,900 – $59,500City: 17 – 18 /Highway: 25 – 26
Honda Passport8.2$41,100 – $46,560City: 19 /Highway: 24 
Kia Sorento8.1$29,990 – $43,590City: 22 – 24 /Highway: 25 – 29
Volkswagen Atlas8.0$37,725 – $52,455City: 18 – 20 /Highway: 24 – 27
Ford Edge7.9$38,365 – $47,205City: 19 – 21 /Highway: 25 – 28

Source: cars.usnews.com, edmunds.com

Related: 15 Midsize SUVs with the Best Ground Clearance (With Pics)












  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...