The Buick Model With the Lowest Annual Maintenance Costs Isn’t an Encore
When buying a car, it’s easy to focus on the initial purchase price, but shoppers should also consider the potential repair costs. Buick compares well with other vehicle brands in reliability and maintenance costs. One model has the lowest annual maintenance costs in the Buick lineup, but it’s surprisingly not the Encore.
How much does it cost to fix a Buick?
RepairPal compiled data from 23 Buick models and found that the average annual maintenance cost for one of the brand’s vehicles is $608. That amount is tied with Chrysler for the 20th lowest of the 48 automakers reviewed on the site. Costs vary depending on the car’s age, mileage, and location of the shop performing the repairs.
As a collective, Buick vehicles have had 358 reported problems. The most common is the air compressor might fail in specific models with rear air springs, causing the rear suspension to sit lower than it should. Buick’s overall reliability rating is 3.5 out of 5, which ranks the automaker 13th of 32. The ranking is based on an average across 345 unique models, an average of 0.3 visits to a repair ship each year, and a 13% probability of said repairs being severe.
Buicks have had 202 recalls, most notably for a software defect that could prevent airbags from deploying.
Buick Envision maintenance costs are much lower than average
After debuting as a concept car in 2011, the Envision has been a part of Buick’s modern lineup since the production version came out in China in 2014. The premium compact SUV’s average annual maintenance cost of $233 is substantially lower than the average Buick. The most expensive repairs are replacements for the engine oil pan (typically from $371 to $416), axle shaft seal ($305 to $359), and ignition switch ($105 to $114).
The Envision is one of the rare vehicles rated on RepairPal with zero reported problems, but it has had seven recalls. The most significant involves an issue where the daytime running lights do not deactivate when the headlights are on. The solution is an update to the Envision’s body control module software by a dealer or through an over-the-air update, free of charge.
Cascada maintenance costs are on the opposite end of the spectrum
The Cascada was part of Buick’s stable for six years, from 2013 to 2019, but the convertible left many cold due to its dated features and unimpressive power. In addition to receiving some milquetoast reviews, the mostly forgotten Cascada has the most expensive yearly maintenance and repair costs of all Buick vehicles at a glaring $798.
The highest prices for repairs are to change the coolant ($313 to $341) and replace the turbocharger oil line ($175 to $196) and airbag clockspring ($161 to $180).
On the bright side, the car has zero reported problems on RepairPal. And only one model year (the 2016 Cascada) had a safety recall. It involved an issue where the windows would shut automatically when closing the convertible roof and could be shut remotely from distances beyond 11 meters using the key fob. The problem stemmed from cars with the wrong convertible roof control module (CRCM). General Motors replaced the CRCM free of charge.