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Buick has set a precedent for automaker rebounds. Over the decades, the GM brand has survived a roller coaster of terrific times as well as painful declines. In recent years, Buick has almost doubled its sales, in part due to the success of its family of SUV crossovers.

Attracting new generations to all things tech, convenience, and luxury, the Encore, Enclave, and Envision are winning over consumers. You’ll find plenty of new and exciting redesigns and features in these crossovers for 2020.

If you’re considering a used Buick SUV, you’re sure to find an older model perfectly suited for your lifestyle. However, you should know about a few complaints, at least for older model Enclaves and Encores.

The ‘before you buy’ basics of Buick SUVs

Buying a used model Buick is often a smart move. You can take advantage of lower mileage models, sometimes with certified used credentials, at reduced prices. However, as with any used vehicle, you’ll want to do your homework to ensure you can avoid serious maintenance or repair costs. Below are a few best practice tips to get you started:

  • Inquire about previous ownership, driving habits, and CarFax report history.
  • Ask about recent maintenance, repairs, and replacements.
  • Depending on the Buick’s model year, you’ll want to identify if warranties may apply to your ownership.
  • Check for make and model reviews and complaint history.

What to consider when evaluating complaint history

When reviewing Buick’s complaints and historical issues, it’s best to consider a few tiers of information. Technical Service Bulletins are issued by manufacturers, as an example, when the automakers acknowledge a defect or problematic concern.

Recalls are issued to offer remedies to major concerns. Complaints are logged along with ownership repair costs. For Buick’s lineup, claims range from fluid leaks to power window failure.

Problematic years for the Buick Enclave

When it comes to the Enclave, you want to be mindful of one year in particular. According to, the 2008 Buick Enclave has the highest number of concerns overall. The assessment also suggests that the 2008 models are the worst overall for ownership problems.

The site also reviews the average costs to repair as well as vehicle mileages when problems present. Buick Enclaves for 2008, 2009, and 2014 all show transmission concerns. The most common failures were reported around the 94,000-mile mark and cost an average of $3,500 to fix.

  • Technical Service Bulletins: Over 1000 TSBs were issued for 2008 alone regarding transmission failure.
  • Recalls: Five recalls were issued for the 2008 Enclave, although none were transmission related. Liftgate issues, airbag wiring, windshield wiper module, heating unit, and inoperable wipers during heavy snow or ice were all recall concerns.

Unpopular Buick Encore issues

Enclave wasn’t the only Buick model with complaints. The Encore has experienced some rocky years, too. According to, 2014 is the year with the most claims; it’s ranked as the worst model of Encore overall.

The SUV’s problems during the 2013-15 models, although numerous, weren’t engine-related like the Enclave. Instead, the Encore had interior accessory and electronic issues that were more of a nuisance than anything.

  • Technical Service Bulletins: There are over 1,300 TSBs issued for the 2014 Buick Encore, most of which are sealant, accessory, or electronic related.
  • Recalls: There are four recalls reported for the 2014 Encore, and they’re a little more serious. One cited issues with the front seat staying attached. Two others were regarding airbags failing to deploy.

Don’t hesitate to consider either the Buick Enclave or Encore as a reliable, used crossover option. It is best, however, that you look into the model year you’re buying to find out what recalls or trending issues you may need to know.

Overall, Buick’s SUV lineup — both new and used — offers a marriage of convenience and stylish comfort that anyone can appreciate.