Making its debut in 2008, the Enclave is a mid-size 3 row SUV that can seat up to 7 passengers.
It sits at the top of Buick’s SUV lineup and is characterized by its lively engine, stylish design and wide array of features.
If you’re considering an Enclave as your next family vehicle, you might be wondering about its average lifespan.
We’ll answer that in this article, read on to find out…
Table of Contents
Here is the short answer to how long the Buick Enclave lasts:
The Buick Enclave is a durable SUV that can last between 200,000 – 250,000 miles on average with proper maintenance and good driving habits. If you average 15,000 miles of driving a year, this equates to roughly 13 – 17 years of service before repair costs become uneconomical.
How Many Miles Can You Expect from a Buick Enclave?
Newer Buick Enclaves (2015 models and onwards) have a better track record for reliability and longevity and you can expect them to last 200,000 – 250,000 miles with basic repairs and maintenance.
Earlier model years of the Enclave were plagued with well-known transmission and engine issues and whilst these might make it to 200k miles there’s a good chance it will need costly repairs to get it there.
Many of these earlier models received 1/5 for reliability from Consumer Reports.
Despite the problematic years, the Enclave is still a very robust SUV and its longevity becomes more evident when looking up some of the older models on CarGurus many of which are listed with over 150,000 miles and some close to 300,000 miles.
Hitting high numbers will ultimately depend on a few key factors at ownership level as design and quality of materials will only get you so far.
Your result will be heavily impacted by usage, personal care, and to some extent, luck.
However, we’ve made a general assessment based upon trusted industry data, giving you a better idea of what you can expect.
The life expectancy of your Buick Enclave will be cut short if you avoid:
- Using quality parts
- Service appointments
- Routine oil changes
- Tire rotations
- Driving smoothly
The more stress a vehicle’s engine is put under the faster components accumulate wear and tear, with this in mind be sure to tow within the Enclaves 1500 lb limit. With the Trailering Package, the towing capacity increases to 5,000 lbs.
Do Buick Enclaves Rust Easily?
The Buick Enclave does not have any widespread rust or corrosion issues. With regular cleaning – including the undercarriage and wheel wells, you shouldn’t see any significant rust within the first 10 years.
If you live in a region that heavily salts the road in the wintertime or by the coast where salt air is all too common – it’s important to stay on top of your rust prevention regime however additional rustproofing isn’t generally recommended for an Enclave.
A common cause of rust on any vehicle is from rocks that get kicked up whilst driving – these can chip the paint and expose the raw metal which over time rusts.
Tips to protect your Buick Enclave from rust:
- Regularly wash and dry your car: This includes its underside (especially during the winter) to remove the salt, dirt and grime that causes rust. We recommend having a detail shop wash everything underneath at the end of each winter.
- Repair paint damage and scratches: Exposed metal will oxidize. If it’s beyond a DIY fix, speak to your local body repair shop.
- Garage: Store your Buick Enclave in a garage to protect it from harsh weather and bird droppings.
- Waxing: Wax your car twice a year. Not only will this give your Buick a nice shine, it also gives it a protective coating against rust.
- Rustproofing: If you’re planning on keeping your Buick Enclave for a very long time (10+ years), you might want to consider a rustproofing treatment; popular choices are Krown and Rust Check.
- Ceramic Coating: A popular choice for those who want to add an extra layer of protection to the paint job.
All new Buicks (2020 to 2021 models) come with a 3-year/36,000-mile corrosion warranty. 2019 models come with a slightly longer warranty at 4-years/50,000 miles.
What is High Mileage for a Buick Enclave?
A Buick Enclave with 100,000 miles on the odometer is considered high mileage. Although it may deliver many more years of service, it will likely have more than a few parts that are nearing the end of their effective lifespan and the risk of major component failure is much higher.
A full assessment of the vehicle should be undertaken and any decision should not be based on mileage alone.
Buying one with over 100,000 miles won’t necessarily equate to a sour outcome.
A well-kept Enclave with 100,000 miles might be a better purchase than one with 60,000 miles that had lots of owners and led a rough life or was previously a rental car.
When buying a used Enclave consider the following:
- Maintenance history. Check that the car was properly serviced and the owner can provide evidence of this.
- Get a second opinion. Take it to an independent auto repair shop or at least have it inspected by a mechanic you trust.
- Check the CarFax. This doesn’t guarantee anything but it will provide a clearer picture of wear-and-tear. Ensure it has minimal damage, if any. Review the information to make sure if something happened such as engine- or transmission-related.
- Number of previous owners. As a general rule, less is better. More owners usually means more wear-and-tear. If one family owned it and drove the full mileage and serviced the car, then you can almost guarantee they took good care of it throughout their ownership.
- How long you are planning on keeping the car. If you’re planning on keeping the car for a long time, you should evaluate whether the short-term savings outweigh spending a bit extra on something more reliable.
As a general rule, the older the car gets the more often repairs are required and the cost of maintenance increases too.
How Long Do Buick Enclaves Last Compared to Similar Car Models?
In this section we’ll compare the Enclaves reliability and longevity of to some of its closest rivals.
Buick Enclave vs. Chevy Traverse
The Traverse and Enclave share the same platform, but the Traverse comes with a second row bench seat allowing it to seat up to 8 passengers.
The Chevy Traverse can last 200,000 – 250,000 miles or 13 – 17 years, just like the Enclave.
- RepairPal gave the Buick Enclave and Chevy Traverse the same reliability rating of 3/5.
- Annual average repair and maintenance costs for the Traverse is a little cheaper at $656 vs. $720 for the Enclave.
- Kelley Blue Book consumer ratings gave the Traverse a lower score for reliability with only 4.3 stars vs. 4.7 stars for the Enclave.
- J.D. Power’s Quality and Reliability score for the Traverse is higher at 85/100 vs. 79/100 for the Enclave.
If you need the extra passenger space, the Traverse is the way to go. For a softer, quieter ride the Enclave comes out on top.
The Traverse will also offers a zippy 4 cylinder engine, which is not available on the Enclave.
You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Chevrolet Traverse Last?
Buick Enclave vs. GMC Acadia
The Acadia also allows seating for up to 8 passengers, it uses the same platform as the Enclave although it’s a little bit smaller overall.
The GMC Acadia can last 200,000 – 250,000 miles or 13 – 17 years just like its stable mate the Enclave.
- RepairPal gave the GMC Acadia and Chevy Traverse the same reliability rating of 3/5.
- Annual average repair and maintenance costs for both vehicles is roughly the same with the Acadia costing $734 a year vs. the Enclave’s $720.
- Kelley Blue Book consumer ratings gave the Acadia a slightly lower score for reliability at 4.5 stars vs. 4.7 stars for the Enclave.
- J.D. Power’s Quality and Reliability score for both vehicles is roughly the same with the Acadia getting 81/100 while the Enclave got 79/100.
These SUVs are very similar however those seeking a more spacious, more capable and more luxurious vehicle should opt or the Enclave. Its slightly more expensive however it comes with a lot more standard features.
You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do GMC Acadia Last?
Buick Enclave vs. Toyota Highlander
The Toyota Highlander is a popular midsize SUV that also features third row seating and a premium looking interior.
It comes with a similarly powered V6 engine, as well as a hybrid version which you can’t get in the Enclave.
The Highlander can last 250,000 – 300,000 miles or 17 – 20 years which is higher than the estimated lifespan of the Buick Enclave.
- RepairPal gave the Toyota Highlander an above average higher reliability rating of 4/5 vs the Enclave’s 3/5.
- The average annual repair and maintenance cost for the Highlander is much lower at only $489 vs. $720 for the Enclave.
- Kelley Blue Book’s consumer ratings gave the Highlander a lower score of 4.3/5 stars vs. the 4.7/5 stars it gave to the Enclave.
- J.D. Power’s Quality and Reliability score for the Highlander is higher at 85/100 vs. the Enclave’s 79/100.
If reliability and resale value is your top priority, the Highlander is the better choice.
However the Enclave offers more room for passengers and cargo, and has the presence and ambiance of a luxury vehicle.
|Buick Enclave||Chevy Traverse||GMC Acadia||Toyota Highlander|
|Annual Repair Cost||$720||$656||$734||$489|
|KBB Consumer Rating||4.7/5||4.3/5||4.5/5||4.3/5|
|Lifespan (miles)||200k – 250k||200k – 250k||200k – 250k||250k – 300k|
Is the Buick Enclave Reliable?
In recent years the Buick Enclave has received very respectable reliability scores from consumers and motoring journalists. Older models however, don’t have the best reputation for reliability.
To highlight the Enclaves overall reliability, we’ve listed some data points below:
- RepairPal gave the Enclave an overall reliability rating of 3/5 which is lower than the average for the midsize SUV class which stands at 3.5/5.
- RepairPal ranks the Enclave in 24th place for reliability out of 26 other midsize SUVs.
- Average annual repair and maintenance costs for the Enclave is $720 which is higher than the average of $573 for the midsize SUV class.
- Kelley Blue Book’s consumer rating index gave the 2020 Buick Enclave a very good score of 4.7/5 stars for reliability which shows that owners are quite happy with the Enclave.
- J.D. Power gave the 2020 Buick Enclave a very respectable Quality and Reliability rating of 79/100.
Consumer Report Reliability:
|Model Year||Reliability Rating|
Reliability Compare to Other SUVs
|Mazda CX-5||4.5 / 5.0|
|Hyundai Santa Fe||4.0 / 5.0|
|Toyota Venza||4.0 / 5.0|
|Hyundai Veracruz||4.0 / 5.0|
|Mitsubishi Endeavor||4.0 / 5.0|
|Dodge Journey||4.0 / 5.0|
|Toyota Highlander||4.0 / 5.0|
|Dodge Nitro||4.0 / 5.0|
|Toyota 4Runner||4.0 / 5.0|
|Subaru Outback||3.5 / 5.0|
|Ford Edge||3.5 / 5.0|
|Toyota FJ Cruiser||3.5 / 5.0|
|Honda Pilot||3.5 / 5.0|
|Jeep Liberty||3.5 / 5.0|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee||3.5 / 5.0|
|Mazda CX-7||3.5 / 5.0|
|Nissan Pathfinder||3.5 / 5.0|
|Subaru Tribeca||3.5 / 5.0|
|Ford Explorer||3.5 / 5.0|
|Ford Explorer Sport Trac||3.5 / 5.0|
|Chevrolet Tahoe||3.5 / 5.0|
|Chevrolet Traverse||3.0 / 5.0|
|GMC Acadia||3.0 / 5.0|
|Buick Enclave||3.0 / 5.0|
|Volkswagen Touareg||3.0 / 5.0|
|Ford Police Interceptor Utility||2.0 / 5.0|
|Avg. Midsize SUV||3.5|
The Best and Worst Years for the Buick Enclave
The Buick Enclave definitely has its share of good and bad years and we’ll take a closer look at these in this section.
Worst Model Year
According to CarComplaints, the 2008 Buick Enclave is the worst model year due to the large number of transmission failures reported and also for receiving significantly more complaints than any other model year.
It’s common for most vehicles to experience a lot of teething issues in the preliminary years and this holds true for the Enclave.
Older first-generation Enclaves were known to have major issues at around 60,000 to 80,000 miles, with repairs costs in the region of $3,500.
Other known problems for these early models include:
- Timing chain stretch
- Transmission failure
- Water pump leaking
- Power steering pump failure
- Climate control issues
Due to the widespread timing chain, transmission and water pump issues on the 2008 – 2009 Buick Enclaves, Buick extended the warranty coverage on these parts for 10 years or 120,000 miles, whichever came first.
If you’re thinking about picking up an older Buick Enclave because of its low price, have a competent mechanic check it out first to make sure it’s not going to cost you a fortune in repairs.
Best Model Year
The best model years for the Buick Enclave are those sold from 2019 onwards. These have had minimal issues reported so far and have received excellent reliability scores.
Our top pick would be the 2020 Enclave – this received a 5/5 reliability rating from Consumer Reports and features an 8-inch touchscreen multimedia system as standard.
The 2018 Buick Enclave, which was the first year of the second generation models, has had a handful of transmission issues reported so far.
It was also the first year they introduced the 9-speed automatic transmission which probably still had some early production issues.
For the first gen Enclaves, you should be safe with the 2015 to 2017 models.
Not only will these have the facelifted exterior introduced in 2013, but also much improved mechanical reliability — judging by the number and types of reported issues.
Model Year and Number of Complaints
Here is the total number of complaints for every Buick Enclave model year from the CarComplaints database.
|Model Year||No. of Complaints|
|2020||1 (Best Year)|
|2008||258 (Worst year)|
What About Recalls for These Models?
The Buick Enclave has had a total of 48 recall campaigns since it was first released in 2008.
You can check if your Buick Enclave has been subject to a recall campaign by entering your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) on Buick’s Recall Center webpage.
Recalls are manufacturing faults repaired at no charge to the consumer.
Here are the total number of recall campaigns for every model year of the Buick Enclave:
- 2021: 1
- 2020: 6
- 2019: 1
- 2018: 0
- 2017: 1
- 2016: 2
- 2015: 2
- 2014: 5
- 2013: 3
- 2012: 5
- 2011: 5
- 2010: 5
- 2009: 7
- 2008: 5
Buick Enclave Model Year List
- 2008 Buick Enclave
- 2009 Buick Enclave
- 2010 Buick Enclave
- 2011 Buick Enclave
- 2012 Buick Enclave
- 2013 Buick Enclave (facelift)
- 2014 Buick Enclave
- 2015 Buick Enclave
- 2016 Buick Enclave
- 2017 Buick Enclave
- 2018 Buick Enclave
- 2019 Buick Enclave
- 2020 Buick Enclave
- 2021 Buick Enclave
Are Buick Enclaves Expensive to Maintain?
Maintenance costs for the newer model years of the Buick Enclave should be fairly reasonable as their strong reliability will keep ownership costs down. However, older more problematic years will cost more in maintenance and repairs.
Since it’s based on the same platform as the GMC Acadia and Chevy Traverse, parts will be easy enough to get hold of and not too expensive.
Older models which had lots of engine and transmission issues can quickly turn into money pits when things start to break down.
According to RepairPal:
Yearly repair and maintenance costs for the Buick Enclave will average out at $720 which is higher than the average of $573 for all midsize SUVs and only slightly higher than the $652 estimated for all vehicles combined.
According to CarEdge:
A Buick Enclave will run you roughly $8,660 in upkeep during its first 10 years. This beats the average maintenance and repair costs for all popular SUV models by $220.
|Model||Avg. Annual Repair Cost||Frequency of|
|Probability of |
|Hyundai Santa Fe||$515||0.2||10%|
|Toyota FJ Cruiser||$506||0.5||14%|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee||$666||0.3||13%|
|Ford Explorer Sport Trac||$720||0.3||14%|
|Ford Police Interceptor Utility||$1,160||1.0||20%|
|Avg. Midsize SUV||$573||0.4||13%|
How Long Do the Brakes Last?
The Buick Enclave’s brakes pads will typically last between 30,000 – 60,000 miles and this is largely dependent on driving conditions and styles. While it’s impossible to give an exact number, the 40,000-mile range is the general mileage to keep in mind when planning for vehicle maintenance.
- You can expect your brakes to wear out sooner if you frequently stop and accelerate in rush-hour traffic
- Brake pad replacement, which includes parts and labor, can cost anywhere between $150 – $300 per axle.
- Full and complete stops from a high speed are the #1 cause of premature brake pad wear.
- A sporty driving style will lead to faster deterioration of brakes, a slow and steady style will help them last longer.
How Long Do the Tires Last?
The Buick Enclave’s stock tires usually last around 50,000 to 60,000 miles or 3 to 5 years. However, they can wear out much sooner. This is dependent on various factors such as driving habits, climate, and road conditions.
- Rotate tires every 5,000 miles to ensure even wear.
- If you have to drive on rough or flooded roads, or go off-roading, your tires will take more of a beating.
- Check your tire pressures every few weeks to make sure they’re at the correct tire pressure.
- Have a mechanic or tire shop check your wheel alignment every 6 months.
How Long Do Buick Enclave Engines Last?
The Buick Enclaves engine can last 200,000 to 250,000 miles on average or 13 – 17 years if they’re properly taken care of. This can vary drastically depending on vehicle care and driving style.
There are lots of early Buick Enclaves that are still on their original engines.
Many have avoided the timing chain stretching issues just by regularly changing their oil.
These timing chain issues have been sorted out in the later model years of the Enclave.
How Long Do Buick Enclave Batteries Last?
The Buick Enclave’s battery usually lasts between 3 – 5 years. A vehicle’s battery life varies depending on many different factors such as climate, driving habits, and battery type, among many others.
- Keep your battery tightly fastened: The vibrations of your car can loosen the connections, potentially resulting in short circuits and internal damage.
- Limit short rides: Quick car rides prevent the battery from fully charging.
- Storage: Keep your Buick stored indoors away from extreme changes in temperature.
- Control Corrosion: Clean the terminals (toothbrush dipped in baking soda and water mixture) and keep them free from build-up.
How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?
The Buick Enclave’s spark plugs need to be replaced every 100,000 miles which is part of the vehicle’s scheduled maintenance. The Enclave uses iridium-tipped spark plugs which are designed to last significantly longer than regular spark plugs, they also offer better performance.
Spark plugs are usually inspected every time you take your vehicle for routine maintenance.
Signs of a fouled spark plug include:
- Reduced gas mileage
- Lack of acceleration
- Rough idling
- Hard starts
- Engine misfires
What About Insurance Costs?
The average cost of full comprehensive coverage for a Buick Enclave is $1,462 per year or around $122 per month.
In comparison, its rivals in the midsize SUV segment cost an average of $1,475 per year, which is $13 more expensive.
Insurance costs can vary from person to person; be sure to shop around to find the best possible deal for your Buick Enclave.
Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Buick Enclave
- Adopt smooth driving habits.
- Keep up to date with factory-recommended maintenance.
- Use quality parts and fluids.
- Keep on top of repairs to prevent them from developing into larger problems.
- Regularly wash your Buick Enclave to remove dirt and grime to protect the paint and undercarriage from rust developing.
- Check your Enclave’s engine oil, coolant, brake, and transmission fluid levels and top them up when required.
- Keep your Buick in a garage to help protect it from the elements.
- Don’t overload your Enclave and tow within the vehciles 1500 lb limit.
- Read the owner’s manual to learn the location of important components, what your Buick needs and what quantity, and to understand the symbols and dashboard warning lights.