Premium midsize SUV; Built in USA
  • 4-door wagon
  • transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $9,400 – $39,800*

2008 Buick Enclave Front

2008 Buick Enclave Rear

2008 Buick Enclave Interior

2008 Buick Enclave Profile

  • Drivetrain refinement
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Quietness
  • Ride
  • Maneuverability in tight spaces
  • Rear visibility

Buick’s Enclave builds upon the strengths of its more mainstream Saturn Outlook and GMC Acadia cousins by offering tangible upgrades in luxury and style. Car-like driving dynamics and ample passenger/cargo versatility make it a must-see for shoppers considering a premium crossover SUV.


Launched for 2008, Buick’s Enclave was this General Motors division’s first eight-passenger sport-utility vehicle. In fact, the midsize Enclave was now Buick’s only truck, replacing the Rainier and Rendezvous SUVs as well as the Terraza minivan.

Sharing its basic design with the GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook, the Enclave crossover came in CX and CXL trim levels. The sole powertrain consisted of a 275-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive Enclaves were available. Seven-passenger seating was standard, with second-row bucket seats and a third-row bench. A second-row, three-person bench was optional, for eight-passenger capacity. General Motors’ Smart Slide second-row seats had flip-forward bottom cushions and sliding backrests. They were designed to allow easier access to the third row, and were standard.

Standard safety features included curtain side airbags that covered all seating rows, front side airbags, antilock brakes, traction control, and an antiskid system with rollover sensing. Bi-xenon headlamps also were standard. CX models included tri-zone automatic climate control, power front seats, a leather-wrapped tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and 18-inch tires on alloy wheels. The Enclave CXL added leather upholstery, heated front seats, and 19-inch tires. A navigation system and DVD entertainment system were available. An Enclave could tow as much as 4500 pounds. Rivals included the Acura MDX, Lexus RX 350, and Volvo XC90, as well as the Chrysler Aspen and Cadillac SRX.

Yearly Updates

2009 Enclave
Engine output rose by 13 horsepower to 288, and several new features were available. Options included a navigation system with real-time traffic and weather updates. Also available were a wireless cell-phone link and heated/cooled front seats. A 110-volt power inverter was included in all entertainment packages. A rearview camera was available with the Driver Confidence package, even in Enclaves without the navigation system.
2010 Enclave
The 2010 Buick Enclave was largely unchanged.
2011 Enclave
The 2011 Buick Enclave is largely unchanged.
2012 Enclave
The only changes of note to the 2012 Buick Enclave regarded trim-level designations, as the former CX and CXL were replaced by Base, Convenience, Leather, and Premium.
2013 Enclave
Enclave receives a substantial freshening for 2013. Buick updated the exterior styling, enhanced the interior, and added some new safety, convenience, and connectivity features.
2014 Enclave
Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning were newly available safety features on the 2014 Enclave.


transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive

In the Enclave’s first season, the 3.6-liter V6 engine produced 275 horsepower, driving a six-speed automatic transmission. Engine output rose to 288 horsepower for the 2009 model year. Enclaves may have either front-drive or all-wheel drive.

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.6/217
Engine HP 275-288
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 251-270
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic



Road Test

Enclaves have adequate “go” in all situations. Front-drive versions are marginally quicker from a stop. The transmission shifts smoothly, but is often caught in too high a gear, limiting available power. Downshifts for passing punch are sometimes tardy.

Test front-drive Enclaves have averaged 17.7 to 18.8 mpg, qualifying as rather impressive for an SUV of this size. Enclaves use regular-grade fuel.

Delivering a controlled and composed ride, the Enclave traverses most rough roads with only minor wallow. Only sharp bumps intrude. There’s little difference in ride quality between the 18- and 19-inch tires.

Handling scores well, as Enclave holds the road with impressive stability and agility for a vehicle of this size, augmented by direct, well-balanced steering. On the other hand, its long, wide body makes the Enclave difficult to maneuver in tight spaces. Brakes are smooth and powerful.

Luxury-sedan quietness is an Enclave hallmark. Road rumble is well controlled, and wind noise is limited to a slight whistle from the mirrors at highway speeds. The V6 engine growls pleasantly under acceleration, and is nearly silent at cruise.

Clear, luminous gauges are easy to see in all light conditions. Climate controls are mounted fairly low, but are within easy reach. However, their pushbuttons are less convenient than rotary knobs. The optional navigation system absorbs most audio functions, but does not complicate their use.

The well-assembled interior includes high-quality materials. Chrome and wood-finished trim accents impart a classy ambiance. The CX model’s cloth upholstery is pleasant, but the CXL’s leather feels more upscale.

Front seats offer plenty of headroom and legroom. Thick roof pillars and a high beltline in back hinder the rear view, making the available rear-obstacle-detection system worthwhile. Despite its tall build and chair-height seats, entry/exit is a breeze.

Entering the rear compartment is easy through large doors, and the second-row seats tilt and slide forward to ease access to the third row. Whether buckets or bench, the second-row seats slide fore and aft about 3 inches, to benefit either second- or third-row legroom. With the second row slid forward, the third row can accommodate six-footers-though they will likely ride knees-up. Bench seats are wide enough for adults to sit three-across, but center-seat cushioning is stingy.

Storage space is a strong point. In fact, Enclave’s cargo volume is the largest among premium midsize SUVs, rivaling that of many large SUVs. There’s more usable space behind the raised third-row seat than in most midsize SUVs, plus a handy underfloor compartment. Both the second- and third-row seats fold forward easily to create a flat, nearly level load floor. The standard power liftgate is a handy feature. Several bins and cubbies provide ample interior storage.


Model Tested: Enclave CX w/2WD

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 5
Fuel Economy - 5
Ride Quality - 7
Steering/Handling - 5
Quietness - 8


Controls/Materials - 6
Room/Comfort Front - 9
Room/Comfort Rear - 7
Cargo Room - 10


Value - 8

Total: 70


4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
119.0 201.5 79.0 72.5
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
115.1 22.0 8
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.4 39.4 41.3 36.8
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2008 Enclave 4-door wagon


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Front Passenger Injury - 5

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Rear Passenger Injury - 5


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Description: The passenger airbag light may illuminate and the seat belt reminder may sound if electronic devices such as cell phones, laptops or iPods are placed on the seat. (2009)
Climate control
Description: Air conditioner and heater might not respond to controls. (2011)
Coolant leak
Description: Some vehicle may leak coolant at the water pump shaft. (2009-13)
Engine misfire
Description: Engine main bearings or rods may fail. (2011-14)
Steering problems
Description: At extremely low temperatures, the power steering pump may make noises or leak. (2013)
Steering problems
Description: Power steering pump wear causes intermittent drop in pressure resulting in loss or reduction of power steering assist. (2009-11)
Suspension problems
Description: A slight rear-end sway when traveling at highway speeds or changing lanes. (2008-13)
Description: Power windows may be misaligned and move slowly or not at all. (2008-14)
Electrical problem
Description: The “service park assist” warning my display due to either one of the sensors failing or problems with the reference voltage circuit. (2008-09)
Transmission problems
Description: Torque converter clutch may stick. (2013)
Transmission problems
Description: Some transmissions may lose 3rd, 5th, and Reverse gears. (2008-09)

Recall History

2008 Enclave
Description: For vehicles in certain states, if buildup of snow or ice on windshield restricts movement of wiper arm, linkage may detach and wipers may become inoperative.
2008 vehicles equipped with a heated washer fluid system
Description: With heated wiper/washer fluid system, short circuit on printed-circuit board may overheat ground wire, which could cause other electrical features to malfunction, creating odor or smoke and increasing fire risk.
2008-12 Enclave
Description: The power liftgate struts may prematurely wear and an open liftgate could suddenly fall.
2008-13 Enclave
Description: Side-impact airbags and seat belt pretensioners may fail to deploy in a crash.
2009 Enclave
Description: Transmission shift cable adjustment clip may not be fully engaged, so shift lever might not coincide with actual position of transmission gear.
2009-10 Enclave
Description: Safety belt buckle in second or third row may be missing a rivet, allowing buckle to separate from mounting strap during a crash.
2009-10 Enclave
Description: When folding or raising the second-row seat, the seatbelt buckle cover may be pushed down the belt. This could result in failure of the seatbelt during a crash.
2009-14 Enclave
Description: A flexible steel cable connecting seatbelts to front seats may fatigue and separate.
2011-2012 Enclave
Description: For vehicles in certain states, if buildup of snow or ice on windshield restricts movement of wiper arm, linkage may detach and wipers may become inoperative.
2013-14 Enclave
Description: The chassis electronic module may short circuit and cause the engine to stall.
2014 Enclave
Description: Fuel gauge may inaccurate. The engine could unexpectedly run out of fuel and stall.
2014 Enclave
Description: The transmission-shift-cable adjuster may disengage from the shift lever. The driver may not be able to shift gear positions. A shift lever in Park may not engage Park for the transmission and the vehicle could roll.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

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