Used Buick Enclave Is Worth The Hype

Used Buick Enclave Is Worth The Hype

The Buick Enclave is a well-rounded midsize SUV. It has a spacious interior with comfortable seating for up to seven passengers and cargo space on par with a moving van. It’s a peaceful and relaxing vehicle to drive, and its powerful V6 engine balances quick acceleration with respectable fuel economy. The Enclave also comes standard with an easy-to-use infotainment system and a plethora of standard safety and convenience features. The only real issue, and it’s a big one, is that the interior materials don’t match the Enclave’s near-luxury pricing.

Major Changes Over The Years

The following are the most significant changes to the Buick Enclave in recent years:

  • 2022: new interior and exterior styling; many previously optional safety features are now standard; Preferred trim is no longer available.
  • 2021: no significant changes.
  • 2020: new infotainment system
  • 2019: no significant changes.
  • 2018: Completely redesigned with a more powerful engine, a new nine-speed automatic transmission, new styling, and more standard and optional features.


The 3.6-liter V6 engine in the Buick Enclave produces 310 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission are standard. All-wheel drive is also available. 

The V6 has plenty of power to confidently maneuver this big SUV. It runs smoothly and quietly, and it can accelerate the Enclave from 0 to 60 mph in about 7.5 seconds. The Enclave isn’t the fastest crossover, but it’s fast enough that there’s never any cause for concern when merging onto the highway, and the engine runs quietly in the background, leaving the passenger cabin alone. The nine-speed transmission provides smooth and precise gear changes, as well as strong passing power at highway speeds.

The three-row SUV’s well-damped suspension helps it hide its bulk, but it never feels as athletic as, say, the Audi Q7. The Enclave, on the other hand, trades comfort for a luxurious ride that glides over pockmarked asphalt and barely registers harsh impacts. The steering provides adequate feedback for a crossover vehicle, with crisp responses and moderate effort. When properly equipped, the Buick can tow up to 5000 pounds, which is sufficient for most people.

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Ride and Handling

For a larger SUV, the Buick Enclave has remarkably refined driving dynamics. The suspension absorbs bumps and dips in the pavement with ease, resulting in a smooth and comfortable ride. The steering is direct and responsive, and the brakes are powerful and reliable. When navigating tight turns, the Enclave sways slightly, but not noticeably. Overall, it’s calm and composed. If there is a drawback, it is that the Enclave’s size makes it difficult to find parking. The steering is light at low speeds and stable at high speeds, but it becomes ponderous in switchbacks. The Enclave provides excellent ride quality with or without the optional adaptive suspension, and the cabin is quite well insulated from outside noise.

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The interior of the Buick Enclave is upscale, and it does a good job of blocking out road and wind noise. The dashboard is also designed in an elegant, flowing style. However, for the price, the materials and overall fit-and-finish aren’t noticeably better than the mechanically similar Chevy Traverse or GMC Acadia or less expensive competitors such as the Hyundai Palisade. Hard plastic surfaces are more prevalent than you might think. Despite the fact that the leather is a little stiff, the seats are well cushioned. Except for the base trim, there’s even a rudimentary massaging function. Throughout the cabin, all passengers enjoy comfortable seats and armrest padding. There are air vents in each row, and the seat heating and ventilation functions work well.

The Enclave’s simple cabin layout is uncomplicated, but it is functional. Ample space and the ability to slide the second-row captain’s chairs contribute to a very comfortable interior. Because of the Enclave’s low ride height, getting into and out of the first and second rows is a breeze. The third row isn’t too bad to get into, but only the passenger-side second-row chair has an easy-release mechanism. The system is strangely absent from the driver’s seat.

The front visibility is good, but the high window sill makes it difficult to see out the rear quarter window. When parking or backing out of spaces, the optional bird’s-eye view camera system assists you in avoiding fixed objects.

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Every 2022 Enclave comes standard with an 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system. It isn’t the most visually appealing system in the class, but its layout is simple, and the screen responds quickly to inputs. There are also a number of physical buttons and knobs on the dashboard, so you don’t have to rely on the screen to adjust every audio or climate setting. The optional Bose audio system is quite crisp and has good bass, and the navigation system is simple to use despite the graphics being a little dated.

Adaptive cruise control is more widely available across the trim lineup and performs admirably. Even so, a Super Cruise option would be better. The only flaw in the technology is the voice controls.

  • Standard infotainment features: an 8-inch touch screen, wireless Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, wireless device charging, HD Radio, satellite radio, a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, six USB ports, and a Wi-Fi hot spot
  • Available infotainment features: an 8-inch digital instrument cluster, navigation, and a 10-speaker stereo
  • Additional standard features: tri-zone automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, and remote start
  • Other available features: panoramic sunroof

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Fuel Economy

The Enclave has an EPA-rated city fuel economy of 18 mpg and a highway fuel economy of 26 mpg, which is about average for a midsize SUV. All-wheel-drive models achieve 17/25 mpg city/highway.

Safety Features

Key safety features include:

  • Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Standard lane-keeping assist with lane-departure warning
  • Available adaptive cruise control

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The Enclave is a bit of a wild card. It’s a surprisingly well-rounded package, with high levels of comfort and a robust set of standard features. But it doesn’t strike us as a vehicle people want to own, especially at the asking price — unless you’re looking for a Chevrolet Traverse but want something a little more stylish.

It excels at many tasks, from transporting the youth soccer team to practice in comfort to accommodating a large amount of cargo. However, it struggles to stand out in the competitive midsize SUV segment, particularly when compared to its similarly capable and less expensive Chevy Traverse sibling. The Enclave is worth a look, but not as a first pick; therefore, buy used.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do Buick Enclaves have problems?

Transmission issues are the most common complaint among Buick Enclave owners. Other issues to consider include vehicle speed control and electrical issues.

Is the Buick Enclave a reliable car?

The predicted reliability score for the 2022 Buick Enclave is 78 out of 100. A J.D. Power predicted reliability score of 91-100 is considered the best, 81-90 is considered great, 70-80 is considered average, and 0-69 is considered fair and below average.

How many miles will a Buick Enclave last?

A well-maintained Buick Enclave can travel 150,000 to 250,000 miles on average, with some models reaching more than 300,000 miles near the end of their lifetime.

Is the Buick Enclave manufactured in the United States?

The Enclave is currently assembled in Detroit, Michigan, at the Lansing Delta Township plant.

Is the Buick Enclave expensive to maintain?

During the first ten years of ownership, a Buick Enclave will cost approximately $8,660 in maintenance and repairs. This is $473 more than the industry average for popular SUV models. During that time, there is also a 25.14% chance that an Enclave will require major repairs. This is 3.64% worse than the performance of comparable vehicles in this class.