2009 Buick Enclave Review

Pros & Cons

  • Attractive interior and exterior design, supple ride quality, spacious seating in all three rows, copious cargo space, easy to drive considering its size, excellent safety scores.
  • Transmission can be hesitant to downshift, blinding interior chrome trim.
List Price Range
$6,786 - $10,672

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Edmunds' Expert Review

With three rows of seating and a roomy, luxurious cabin, the 2009 Buick Enclave is a great pick for shoppers looking for an upscale, large crossover SUV. It's also the best Buick in recent memory.

Vehicle overview

Like Rob Schneider movies, Buick's product line has been universally disappointing in recent years. Thankfully for Buick, there's an exception that rises above the status of "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo" -- the 2009 Buick Enclave. This large crossover SUV, introduced just last year, distinguishes itself as a top choice in its category.

Under its sleek and attractive bodywork, the Enclave shares a platform with its corporate siblings in the GM stable -- the GMC Acadia, Chevrolet Traverse and the Saturn Outlook. However, among this group, it offers the most opulent appointments. The Enclave is aimed at an upscale demographic, and this is reflected both in its feature content and overall aesthetic.

One of the Enclave's most compelling attributes is its cabin. Design throughout is thoughtful and cohesive, with luxe seats and a gracefully curvaceous dash lit by soft, eggshell-blue illumination. The downside to this classy look is the abundance of chrome trim (even surrounding the gauges) that frequently flashes the driver's eyes from multiple places. It can be like driving with paparazzi in the car.

Parents who get stuck with Little League chauffeuring duties will love the Enclave's generous passenger capacity. Seven- and eight-passenger seating configurations are available; second-row twin captains' chairs are standard, but a bench seat is available for those who need to accommodate the maximum amount of players. There's a roomy third row (a 60/40-split fold-flat third-row seat is standard) that manages to seat adults in comfort. And there's lots of room for all that team gear, since at 116 cubic feet, this Buick's maximum cargo capacity exceeds that of many old-school truck-based SUVs. In keeping with its mandate of luxury, the Enclave feels smooth and plush on the road, serenely managing uneven surfaces without ever feeling too disconnected from the pavement and cruising down the road with the heavyweight assuredness of a freight train.

In many respects, this Buick measures up favorably with the crossovers made by established luxury automakers such as Acura, BMW, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz. Due to the presence of a few questionable plastics, especially faux wood trim and gaudy design choices, its cabin lacks the consistency seen in these premium haulers, but for some, this deficiency may be offset by the fact that the Enclave is several thousand dollars less expensive -- and bigger. Shoppers in this category will also want to consider the roomy and stylish Ford Flex, along with the Hyundai Veracruz and Mazda CX-9, both of which are fun to drive and universally competent, though less spacious and lavish than the Enclave. Overall, if you need lots of room and luxury at a reasonable price, the 2009 Buick Enclave is a great choice.

2009 Buick Enclave models

A large crossover SUV, the 2009 Buick Enclave comes in CX and CXL trim levels. Both have a standard seven-passenger seating configuration via second-row captain's chairs and a third-row bench seat. An optional second-row bench seat, available for no extra charge, increases capacity to eight.

The base CX comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon HID headlights, a power tailgate, heated outside mirrors, cloth upholstery, a six-way power driver seat, a tilt-telescoping leather/wood steering wheel, tri-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth and OnStar telematics (including the Turn-by-Turn navigation feature). A six-speaker CD/MP3 audio system with an auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio is also standard.

The high-line Enclave CXL adds 19-inch wheels, leather upholstery and additional power seat adjustments, including memory settings for the driver.

Most options for the Buick Enclave are grouped in packages. There are four different entertainment packages, allowing you to pick up features like a navigation system with real-time traffic and a back-up camera, a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system with an in-dash CD changer, and a rear-seat entertainment system. There's also the Driver Confidence Package, which adds remote engine start, rear parking sensors and heated windshield washer fluid. Exclusive to the CXL is the Luxury Package, which contains adaptive headlights, power-folding outside mirrors and a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel. Heated and cooled front seats are also offered on the CXL trim as a stand-alone option. Other Enclave options on both trim levels include a rearview camera (built into the rearview mirror and separate from the navigation system's camera), the Dual SkyScape Sunroof (a sliding front sunroof with a fixed rear skylight), a second-row storage console and towing preparation.

2009 Highlights

The 2009 Buick Enclave is equipped with a more powerful 3.6-liter V6 engine that offers 288 horsepower and direct-injection technology. New features this year include Bluetooth, real-time traffic for the optional navigation system and a 110-volt household-style plug.

Performance & mpg

Buyers have a choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive on the Buick Enclave. Either way, the power source is a 3.6-liter V6 rated for 288 hp and 270 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. Front-wheel-drive Enclaves are estimated to get 17 mpg in the city, 24 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg combined. All-wheel drive lowers those numbers to 16/22/18. Properly equipped, Buick's crossover SUV can tow up to 4,500 pounds.

Safety

Stability control (with anti-rollover logic), traction control, front-seat side airbags and three-row side curtain airbags are standard on all 2009 Buick Enclaves. In government crash tests, the Enclave scored a perfect five stars in both frontal and side-impact evaluations. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Enclave earned the best score of "Good" in frontal offset and side crash tests.

Driving

At close to 5,000 pounds for the all-wheel-drive version, the 2009 Buick Enclave is no lightweight, but its V6 is powerful enough it keep it adequately motivated throughout a wide range of driving situations. One frequent annoyance concerns the shifts from the six-speed transmission; the system is programmed to optimize fuel economy, and as a result, downshifts are sometimes slow in coming. Other than that, the Enclave is about as stress-free as crossovers come. The ride on the highway is quiet and smooth, and when driven around town, the Enclave often seems smaller than it really is. Handling is competent, but take the Enclave on a curvy road and you'll quickly realize this Buick holds no aspirations for sporty behavior.

Interior

Luxury is the order of the day within the Enclave's cabin thanks to the curvy dash, pliant double-stitched leather and warm wood-grain inlays. Still, the vista is occasionally marred by a few cheap-feeling plastics that have little place in a premium SUV, and shiny chrome trim that flashes the driver's eyes. Some of the controls are also quite small, with complicated labeling. However, if you've got a big family, you may be inclined to overlook these flaws once you see how roomy the Enclave is. There's easy third-row access since the second-row seats tilt and slide out of the way at the pull of a lever. A full 19 cubic feet of usable space rests behind the third-row seat, and when you fold its 60/40 sections into the floor, nearly 68 cubic feet become available. Fold the second-row seats and the Buick Enclave offers cargo volume that's among the highest available in the SUV realm -- 116 cubic feet.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2009 Buick Enclave.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Beware! Unreliable!
hchambley,12/10/2014
CXL 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
I purchased my used 2009 Enclave approx. 2 years ago. Carfax report looked good and a friend of mine had one and loved it. I have loved and sang praises of my new car! I traded my 2009 Yukon XL for this car to save on gas and loved the downsize and savings. Since I purchased my Yukon brand new and never had issues, I opted out of the extended warranty on this car thinking I wouldn't have issues either. Boy was I wrong! Within a month one of the coil packs went out but it was replaced at no charge under dealership 30 day warranty. Six months later I started having transmission problems and my transmission needed to be replaced. Within two weeks of it being replaced started having other trouble and had to replace the throttle body. Since then I have had to replace every coil pack, the timing chain and everytime I get it fixed months later there are more problems.
Have to do your homework before you buy one.
John Smith,10/02/2018
CXL 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
2009 AWD CXL Make sure this vehicle has had the timing chain RE-program recall done before you buy or your engine will jump or stop, make sure it has had the water pump replaced. Shock go bad about 80k miles, make sure it has had a transmission fluid flush by 65k miles or you will be replacing that (be nice to your transmission, it is not durable). Do regular oil changes (a must with this engine), Steering wheel has a squeek on most of them, will possibly require coils/plugs at 65k miles, but most GM's do. LCD controls are not easy to navigate, LCD is not very clear with back up camera. Headlights/fog lights rock! Bluetooth works very well, but not easy to connect the first time compared to Ford sync. Gas mileage under normal city driving, maybe 13-15 at best. Highway maybe18-22 at best. When taken care of properly, this is a great suv to drive.
Engine failure with less than 50,000 miles
David Romer,11/09/2016
CXL 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
I became aware of a transmission issue with this make/model of vehicle after purchasing the vehicle from my Wife's grandmother (first owner). The transmission felt like it was slipping and the service engine light came on so I attempted to drive the vehicle into the dealership, but ended up requiring a tow when the vehicle broke down on the freeway. The dealership found a broken rocker arm, opened the engine and determined that the engine required complete replacement (vehicle under 50,000 miles). I was told by the dealership that they could not identify the cause of the issue. GM offered to cover less than half of the cost to replace the engine (My bill will be $5,500). Once the engine is replaced the dealership will have to inspect the transmission and possibly replace the wave plate. My plan is to repair the vehicle, sale it, and never again drive a GM vehicle.
Night mare
JK Mir,12/21/2015
CX 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
Bought it new 2009 1. All steering wheel hydraulic parts had to be replaced 2. Water pump went bad 3. Now transmission is gone.

Features & Specs

MPG
17 city / 24 hwy
Seats 7
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
288 hp @ 6300 rpm
MPG
17 city / 24 hwy
Seats 7
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
288 hp @ 6300 rpm
MPG
16 city / 22 hwy
Seats 7
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
288 hp @ 6300 rpm
MPG
16 city / 22 hwy
Seats 7
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
288 hp @ 6300 rpm
See all Used 2009 Buick Enclave features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2009 Buick Enclave

Used 2009 Buick Enclave Overview

The Used 2009 Buick Enclave is offered in the following submodels: Enclave SUV. Available styles include CXL 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A), CX 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A), CXL 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A), and CX 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2009 Buick Enclave?

Price comparisons for Used 2009 Buick Enclave trim styles:

  • The Used 2009 Buick Enclave CXL is priced between $6,786 and$10,672 with odometer readings between 84520 and147200 miles.
  • The Used 2009 Buick Enclave CX is priced between $7,988 and$7,988 with odometer readings between 122534 and122534 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2009 Buick Enclaves are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2009 Buick Enclave for sale near. There are currently 3 used and CPO 2009 Enclaves listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $6,786 and mileage as low as 84520 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2009 Buick Enclave.

Can't find a used 2009 Buick Enclaves you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Buick Enclave for sale - 4 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $24,672.

Find a used Buick for sale - 1 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $23,548.

Find a used certified pre-owned Buick Enclave for sale - 5 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $17,990.

Find a used certified pre-owned Buick for sale - 9 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $22,306.

Should I lease or buy a 2009 Buick Enclave?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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