Are Buicks Good Cars?

Buick has been making cars for over a century, and many of its models are among the most reliable in the industry.
Written by Amber Reed
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Known mainly for upscale SUVs and crossovers,
Buick
is a well-established brand that’s often a great alternative to luxury makes. But beware—not all Buicks are created equal. 
  • Buick is one of the oldest automakers in North America—and its reliability is above the industry average
  • Buicks tend to earn high ratings from safety and reliability experts
  • Buick vehicles can make good alternatives to more expensive luxury brands

Are Buicks good cars? 

Here's how 2022 Buick vehicles stack up with leading automotive press sources Edmunds and Car and Driver:
Model
Starting price
Vehicle type
Edmunds.com rating
Car and Driver rating
$27,295
Subcompact crossover
7.9/10
6.5/10
$34,745
Compact crossover
7.4/10
6.5/10
$46,195
Three-row crossover
7.8/10
5.5/10
$26,895
Subcompact SUV
7.9/10
7.5/10
Buicks can make great new cars for buyers looking for a lower-cost alternative to luxury brands like Lexus or Mercedes Benz. They may not quite stack up to those more expensive automakers, but they do come close.
With high reliability and safety ratings coupled with sleek styling, buying a Buick is a great way to experience driving a luxury SUV without breaking the bank.
The more you know: Buick’s triple-shield emblem is based on the Buick family’s Scottish coat of arms.

Are Buicks reliable cars?

According to the 2022
Consumer Reports
rankings, Buick is above average in terms of reliability, coming in at #11 out of 32 car brands and earning an overall score of 72/100. 
Buick is less reliable than Japanese automakers like Toyota and Mazda—but it was the highest-scoring U.S. brand, making it more reliable than other GM brands and automakers like Ford or Chevrolet.
Buick also came in second in the 2022
J.D. Power
U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study. This means that Buick owners experience fewer problems during the first three years of car ownership compared to other brands.

Are Buicks safe?

Buick earned high safety rankings from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in 2023. The Buick Encore GX was even named a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS. Here’s a rundown of Buick’s safety ratings and recalls in 2023:
Model
NHTSA rating
IIHS rating
Recalls
2023 Buick Encore GX
5 out of 5
Top Safety Pick (moderate headlights)
0
2023 Buick Envision
5 out of 5
Good (moderate child seat anchors)
1
2023 Buick Enclave
4 out of 5
Good (acceptable side crash test and child seat anchors)
0
2022 Buick Encore
5 out of 5
Mixed (Good to Poor)
0
Not only do Buick models perform well on safety evaluations and crash tests, Buick Driver Confidence—a suite of advanced safety features and driver-assistance technologies—is available on most models. 
Buick Driver Confidence includes:
  • Forward collision alerts, which warn you if you’re at risk of collision with another car or a pedestrian, and automatically apply the brakes when necessary.
  • Lane-keeping assist, which can briefly take control of steering to ensure you don’t drift out of your lane.
  • Following distance indicator that measures the gap between your car and the one in front of you, and helps you decide if you’re following too closely.
  • Sensors that automatically turn your high beams on or off based on traffic conditions.

Are Buicks expensive to maintain?

According to RepairPal, Buick drivers spend about $608 a year on repairs. The average annual cost for car repairs is $652, so Buick maintenance costs can be considered slightly below average.
The Buick Enclave has caused drivers some trouble, however, earning 610 complaints on CarComplaints.com. The modern Enclave is generally very reliable, but the 2008 version had some major transmission problems that created a lot of hassle for their owners.
Pro Tip Reduce your yearly repair costs by following the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual.
MORE: Are Buicks expensive to maintain? 

What’s the best Buick?

Choosing the Buick that’s right for you depends on your budget, and your personal preference for things like cargo space, interior features, seating capacity, and more. But the Buick model that was rated highest by both Car and Driver and Edmunds.com is the Buick Encore GX. 
Here are a few reasons why the Encore stands out as one of Buick’s best cars:
  • Active noise cancellation offers a quiet ride, with very little road noise.
  • It’s one of the smallest crossovers on the market, so it’s easy to maneuver and park.
  • A stylish body design means it looks as good as some other luxury car brands.
  • The Encore is the most affordable new Buick, starting at just $26,895.

Do Buicks get good gas mileage?

Buicks aren’t the most eco-friendly cars, since none of the SUVs and crossovers in the 2022 lineup offer a hybrid or electric option—but they get average fuel efficiency for their size. This means that you won’t spend significantly more on gas with a Buick than you would with any other non-electric SUV or crossover. 
Here’s how the Environmental Protection Agency rated the fuel economy of new Buick models:
Model
City
Highway
Combined
2024 Buick Encore GX (FWD)
29 mpg
31 mpg
30 mpg
2024 Buick Encore GX (AWD)
26 mpg
28 mpg 
27 mpg
2023 Buick Envision (FWD)
23 mpg
31 mpg
26 mpg
2023 Buick Envision (AWD)
22 mpg
29 mpg
25 mpg
2023 Buick Enclave (FWD)
18 mpg
26 mpg
21 mpg
2023 Buick Enclave (AWD)
17 mpg
25 mpg
20 mpg
2022 Buick Encore (FWD)
23 mpg
30 mpg
26 mpg
2022 Buick Encore (AWD)
23 mpg
30 mpg
26 mpg
The Buick Encore GX is the most fuel-efficient model now, but an electric or hybrid Buick might be available in the future. Buick is currently developing an all-electric concept car with a goal of driving over 400 miles on a single charge.

Buick’s auto legacy

The best car manufacturers are able to stand the test of time—and the Buick brand has been around for more than a century. Like Cadillac and Chevy, it falls under the General Motors family of brands.
David Buick founded the Buick Motor Company in 1899 and released its first car—the Model B—in 1904. Buick was a pioneer in its early days, and was the first brand to release a car with four-wheel brakes in the 1920s. 
It was also among the first carmakers to offer vehicles with power brakes and steering in the 1950s and 60s. Buick solidified its popularity by the 1980s, with models like the Regal Grand National and the GNX earning a reputation as the fastest American-made cars.
In more recent years however, Buick has moved away from its signature blocky, sporty, full-size sedans to produce high-end SUVs and crossovers. 

Are Buicks fun to drive?

If you define fun as a posh-looking interior, cushy seats, luxury features, and an affordable price tag—any of the 2023 Buick models fit the bill. But if you want power too, then you should check out the Buick Enclave. 
This stylish SUV comes with a 310-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 engine that can do 0 to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds. It’s not going to win any speed contests, but that’s still pretty fast for a crossover SUV.
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FAQs

In most cases, Toyota beats Buick in reliability ratings—but Buick took second place in the 2022
J.D. Power
U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, while Toyota only came in fifth
In general, Buick cars offer above average reliability and can easily last for
200,000 miles
with proper care and maintenance.
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