KBB Logo Expert review written by the Kelley Blue Book vehicle review editorial team.

You'll Like The 2008 Buick Enclave If...

If you appreciate the refinement of a luxury car but also need the flexibility of a crossover SUV, we think you’ll like the 2008 Buick Enclave. It offers the image of owning a luxury vehicle, yet at a more affordable price than many of its competitors.

You May Not Like The 2008 Buick Enclave If...

You may not like the 2008 Buick Enclave if you plan to venture far from paved roads. All-wheel-drive is offered for the Enclave but it is engineered to enhance traction in the more realistic conditions of wet or snowy roads and is not intended for serious off-roading.

What's New

The Buick Enclave shares its basic structure with its siblings the GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook, but is aimed at the more demanding luxury buyer. Buick hopes the Enclave can succeed in the luxury SUV segment where its previous entries have had only marginal success.

Interior Features

The 2008 Buick Enclave’s interior features a curvaceous dash design accented by camphor burl wood appliques and chrome trim. High-quality materials, a simple, logical layout and an impressively low level of interior noise make for an extremely inviting cabin. The Enclave is offered in both seven- and eight-passenger versions with slide-and-fold second-row seats that make getting to the third row extremely easy. Cargo space behind the third row is good and, with the second and third rows folded, the Enclave offers a cavernous, flat load area.

Exterior Features

As one of the few vehicles to make it from concept to production without having its exterior styling diluted, the 2008 Buick Enclave offers a bolder appearance than many crossover SUVs. While large enough to accommodate eight passengers, the Enclave’s artful body lines give it the look of a much smaller vehicle. The face of the Enclave features a "waterfall" grille, modern-looking portholes above the fenders and intricately detailed almond-shaped head lamps. Adding some flash to its svelte body are standard 18-inch wheels, chrome-tipped dual exhaust outlets and chrome roof rails.

Driving Impressions

The 2008 Buick Enclave is made to carry up to eight passengers in relaxed comfort and it does so with ease. At the same time it also manages to deliver engaging, even fun driving dynamics. The steering is light but firms up a bit at speed to give the Enclave a confident feel. The V6 engine provides good if not scorching acceleration and should be up to the task of hauling a full load of cargo or passengers. At cruising speeds Buick’s attention to noise reduction pays off with very little wind, road or engine noise intruding into the cabin.

Pricing Notes

Among the Buick Enclave’s competitors are the Lexus RX350, BMW X5, Volvo XC90 and Acura MDX. With a starting price around $33,000 and a fully loaded price of nearly $46,000, the Enclave is a relative bargain in the luxury crossover SUV category. While the less-expensive Enclave doesn’t offer a V8 engine like the X5 and XC90, it does offer seating for eight, more than any of its competitors. To compare the actual transaction prices that consumers are paying, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price. The price advantage offered by the Buick Enclave is somewhat offset by residual values that are expected to fall well below those of its competitors.

Notable Equipment

There are two trims offered for the 2008 Buick Enclave. The standard equipment list for the base CX trim includes 18-inch wheels, a power liftgate, power front seats and tri-zone automatic climate control. Stepping up to the CXL adds heated power adjustable front seats, leather seating surfaces and stylish 19-inch aluminum wheels. Standard safety features on all Enclaves include anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, front air bags, front-seat-mounted air bags and three-row side curtain airbags that stay inflated longer in the event of a vehicle rollover.

Notable Options

Many of the optional features available for the 2008 Buick Enclave are grouped into packages. Included in the Driver Confidence package are remote vehicle engine start, a heated windshield washer fluid reservoir and rear parking sensors. Available only for the CXL trim is the Luxury Package that adds power folding side mirrors, adaptive headlamps and a power tilting and telescoping steering wheel. Also available are a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a rear-facing camera, eight-passenger seating, a navigation system and a sunroof.

Favorite Features

Second-Row SeatsGetting to the rear-most seats in many vehicles can be a hassle. Not so in the Enclave, where the cleverly designed second-row seats, with flip-up cushions and the capability to slide far forward, provide a wide flat space to enter the third-row seating area. QuietTuningBuick’s QuietTuning method of in-vehicle noise reduction may seem like marketing hype, but it has to be experienced to be appreciated. At higher speeds the interior remains delightfully calm and free of the sounds that fatigue occupants on long drives.

Under the Hood

Powering the 2008 Buick Enclave is a strong 3.6-liter V6. It delivers energetic performance and excellent fuel economy with the help of modern technologies like variable valve timing and an electronic throttle. The V6 is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. A wide spread of gear ratios helps get the most out of the engine while maximizing efficiency. We did, however, notice some delayed reactions from the transmission and the occasional rough shift. An optional all-wheel-drive system is also available which requires no driver intervention and automatically distributes torque between the front and rear wheels. 3.6-liter V6275 horsepower at 6600 rpm251 lb.-ft. of torque at 3200 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/24 FWD, 16/22 AWD

Editors' Notes

Over the years Buick has earned a reputation as a builder of cars that are long on comfort, if short on excitement. It is a little surprising, then, to encounter the Buick Enclave, a family-friendly eight-passenger crossover SUV that proves Buick can build an exciting vehicle. The Enclave is Buick’s entry into the growing luxury SUV category and competes with well-established offerings from Lexus, Acura, BMW and Volvo. With eye-catching exterior styling, a highly usable interior and a remarkably quiet cabin the Buick Enclave has what it takes to be a viable competitor in this hot segment.

Road Test Video Reviews

2008 Buick Enclave Owner Reviews

103 Reviews
49% 29% 18% 2% 2%
Leave your review Would you recommend this vehicle?
(Select your rating)

Still running beautifully with an even more beautiful inside!

2008 Buick Enclave CXL

I bought this car used, and even though it had been previously owned it has been amazing! I love the size, plenty of room for my stroller, traveling swing, and any really! The sunroof and moonroof just add to the beauty of the car. The TV in the back will be very beneficial when my baby is old enough to watch it! Also the ability to control the A/C or heat in the back and front separately is a huge plus. Not the mention the sound system! Bose speakers throughout make any trip, no matter how long or short a good time! Especially with the option to have an aux cord connected, or listen to the radio! Comfort in this car is easily achieved. With electric seats I can move easily to where I feel comfortable, and also have the option for heat on my back and seat or just on my back. With adjustable heat temperature settings as well. As someone who struggles with back problems I definitely rely on this in the mornings! I have not had any problems with the performance of the car, or anything for that matter. The car has been extremely reliable even though being previously owned and being now over 10 years old. It's running like a champ!

- Lyndsey H

My beautiful Buick enclave!

2008 Buick Enclave CX

My Buick enclave is spacious and comfortable with third row seating that allows me to bring 6 other people along for the ride. It is a nice looking interior with faux wood and leather accents on the dash and steering wheel. Heated leather sweats that power adjust for a comfortable ride. There are airbags throughout the car offering for better safety. A sun and moon roof with shade covers that keep the car cool. Slightly tinted windows give some privacy. Sliding center console with two cup holders and automatic shift on the console that also offers standard shift options when car is in low. This is helpful in slippery road conditions. There is plenty of legroom. The car is sharp looking with chrome accents and luggage rack.

- Cindy B

If I had to do it over I would buy another one.

2008 Buick Enclave

Transmission, water pump replaced covered under warranty. This vehicle is very quiet, you can barely hear the engine running. We have driven to the east coast several times and to the gulf coast several time it has over 150, 000 miles on it and is still going strong. The second water pump was replace in October of 2018 this seems to be a problem with this model. We have never gotten more than 21 miles to the gallon. The heated seats are nice the cabin finishes are very pleasing I would purchase another one if I wasn't retired, the vehicle seems to be a little pricey.

- Cliff R

Leave your review