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What to Look for in a Used Buick Enclave

The Buick Enclave has been around for a while now, and for a good reason. It is a well-rounded SUV that impresses with its lovely ride and refined engine. With competition stiff in the SUV market, only the best can prosper and stay in the market, something that, through a myriad of ways, the Buick Enclave has managed to. According to US News, the car is spacious and ranks in the mid SUV class. Its cabin materials are more cost-effective than they are in similar vehicles. The car also has roomy seats, a silky ride, and ample engine power. The Buick Enclave has been around since 2008; ergo, it has a myriad of models. If you are looking for the best used Buick Enclave, there are some things you need to take into consideration because even though each model has some similarities to its predecessor, it has its own unique features.

Generation type

GM announced the Buick Enclave in 2006 at the North American International Auto Show, but its first model was released in 2008. Over the years, with the release of new models, the Buick Enclave has undergone a sort of metamorphosis, the most prominent being between the 2017 model and the 2018 model. The car has adequate space for 7 visitors. In fact, the Buick Enclave models and being separated by model years can be categorized into two separate generations; the first generation from 2008 to 2017, and the second generation, from 2018 to the present models.

The first-generation models are the quintessential SUVs. They have a seating capacity of up to eight people, with two captain seats in the second row and the option of adding a bench on the second row, thus making the car's capacity eight people. There are many nuance differences between the first generation models and the second generation models, but the most profound difference is the size and shape. The second generation of Enclave models moved the Buick from an SUV to more of a midsize crossover SUV. There are other differences between the two generations, like the upholstery, the infotainment systems, and power sunroof, among others ( Thus, you must make sure that you understand the generation you will find most comfortable when looking for a used Buick car.


General Motors, the Buick brand, have been using the same engine on all the Enclave model, the 3.6-liter V-6 engine. That being said, with every newer model, the performance of the car has steadily grown. The first Buick Enclave model, released in 2008, had the GM's familiar 3.6-liter V-6 engine and produced 275 horsepower and 251 lb-ft of torque, which suffices in hauling the 4500-pound vehicle. The model produced the year after, with the same engine, had 288 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. Thus, it is evident that even though you don't have to pay any mind to the engine that the Buick Enclave has, because they all have the same one, you have to make sure that you understand the metrics that the model comes with. The newer models are more productive than the old ones. For instance, the 2018 Buick Enclave has 310 horsepower with 266 lb.-ft. of torque


It has been noted that, especially when it comes to the earlier Buick models, there seems to be a recurring transmission problem. This is especially prominent when it comes to the 2008 model. Most owners have noticed that the car refused to change gears. However, this only tends to happen when the car has a mileage of more than 100,000 miles. There have been cases where Buick Enclave owners have noticed that the car begins to clunk or shake when the gears are shifted or when there is an increase in speed. Though this is more evident in cars with a mileage exceeding 90,000 miles, you must make sure that you take the car for a test drive before buying it.

Fuel economy

When you are buying any other car, it is important to consider the fuel consumption of the car. When it comes to the Buick Enclave, the older the model, the less effective it is to fuel consumption. The 2008 enclave has a fuel consumption rate of 16 miles per gallon in the city. 24 mpg while on the highway, and 19 mpg combined. Most of the first-generation Buick Enclave models have fuel consumption rates similar to this. The second-generation models are more effective and efficient. For example, the 2018 Buick Enclave has a fuel economy rating of 18 mpg in city streets, 26 mpg on the highway, and a combined rating of 21 miles per gallon.

Drive model

The Buick Enclave comes standard with front-wheel drive in all models. However, all-wheel drive is an available option in almost all models. That being said, most of the first-generation models are front-wheel drive. So if you are looking for a used Buick Enclave, you will be more likely to get a front-wheel drive.


As you'd expect, the earlier models of the Buick Enclave are slower than the later ones. The 2009 Buick Enclave goes from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 7.5 seconds. The 2018 model goes from 0 to 60 in 6.5 seconds, a full second faster.


You are buying a used model, meaning that it has undergone some maintenance or repair service to some extent. You must make sure you have a list of all the parts that have either been repaired or replaced and how often the car has been taken for maintenance. Before you purchase the car, you will need to know how much it costs to maintain the car and the availability of spare parts for the car. On average, the annual cost of repairing a Buick Enclave is 720 dollars. Granted, this amount is a bit higher than cars that compete for the same market. Notwithstanding, you are guaranteed that you will have the best service in the market, for a longer period.

Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

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