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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm in the market for a used crossover 3rd-row-seat SUV's on the market now... primarily interested in sister models Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave, and might as well throw in Saturn Outlook. The Enclave is my favorite because of luxury features, but pricing also reflects that in my experience thus far. I heard that upgrades were done for 2012 models that may make them more desirable (?), but some quick image searching shows body style changes were in 2013. Either way, something 3-5 years old with mileage under 60k is what I'm looking for.

My "options" wish list would probably fall in this order:

- All Wheel Drive (the main one)
- Auto Climate Control
- TV/DVD screens
- Sunroof

None of those options are really dealbreakers, except for perhaps AWD. I'm fine with any of the models since they are so similar, in just about any color. Price, mileage, and condition will be much bigger factors for me than anything else.

Also somewhere on my list are the new styles of Ford Explorer and/or Dodge Durango, so feel free to comment on those (if you have direct experience) although I realize this is not a Ford/Dodge forum. ;) My local used market on those two seems to have them priced much higher too.

Any comments or advice are appreciated!
 

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You will do well with any one you choose, Newest and lowest miles you can afford. I can speak to the Traverse and the Enclave. I owned an 09 Traverse LTZ. First year model had a lot of little headaches. Never let it go out of warranty so no big deal. I liked it a lot and would have bought another. Totally loaded with everything you are looking for. Traded it with 77000 miles. Stole..., a 2015 Enclave Premium used with 5000 miles. Real nice. Listed for over 54000. With trade in I'm in to it for less than 24. Stole it!! The Traverse Had Everything the Buick does, Both top of the line. For me the difference is one is a Buick and one is a Chevy.
 

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All things equal, the Enclave will be the nicer vehicle. It is quieter inside than the others and has a slightly nicer interior.
 

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do your research well, I have a lot of threads on the earlier models being money pits. Spending a little more to get you in a 14 and up may save you money down the road. Every year GM quietly improves their product.
 

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oldman said:
do your research well, I have a lot of threads on the earlier models being money pits. Spending a little more to get you in a 14 and up may save you money down the road. Every year GM quietly improves their product.
I agree!!
 

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oldman said:
do your research well, I have a lot of threads on the earlier models being money pits. Spending a little more to get you in a 14 and up may save you money down the road. Every year GM quietly improves their product.
I've owned a 2008, a 2011 and a 2014. I was lucky enough to avoid the major problems with the 2008, the sunroof and transmission. My problems were related to recalls. Same with the 2011, only minor issues. The 2014 is by far the best of the bunch. It drives and rides much better then the previous models. Of the three, the 2011 was the one I liked least.

Gas mileage is much better on the 2014. After 25,808 miles I am averaging 19.8 mpg. The 2011 was at 18.7 mpg at 25,747 miles. Both cars were driven very similarly in the mix of urban and highway driving. I did not track the mpg on the 2008 but my gut feeling was that it was better than the 2011. All cars were FWD.

I hope you find an Enclave that you like. I've been driving Enclaves since 2007 and am still a fan.
 

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hoffjny said:
I've owned a 2008, a 2011 and a 2014. I was lucky enough to avoid the major problems with the 2008, the sunroof and transmission. My problems were related to recalls. Same with the 2011, only minor issues. The 2014 is by far the best of the bunch. It drives and rides much better then the previous models. Of the three, the 2011 was the one I liked least.

Gas mileage is much better on the 2014. After 25,808 miles I am averaging 19.8 mpg. The 2011 was at 18.7 mpg at 25,747 miles. Both cars were driven very similarly in the mix of urban and highway driving. I did not track the mpg on the 2008 but my gut feeling was that it was better than the 2011. All cars were FWD.

I hope you find an Enclave that you like. I've been driving Enclaves since 2007 and am still a fan.
You are a true fanatic!

BTW, I'm surprised that you think that the 2008 got better mileage than the 2011, because it lacked the more efficient DI fuel delivery system.
 

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I own a 2013 Enclave AWD Premium and a 2007 Acadia AWD SLT2 and previously owned a 2008 Enclave CXL2 FWD. The AWD models that we own get better gas mileage than our FWD. Hard to believe, but that is a fact. At least 1-3 mpgs better... always. The 2013 gets the best mileage and averages 20 mpg in mixed driving. My Acadia gets 18.5 and our 08 enclave got 17 mpg. Never did much better and ran perfectly.
 

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GoldEnclave said:
You are a true fanatic!

BTW, I'm surprised that you think that the 2008 got better mileage than the 2011, because it lacked the more efficient DI fuel delivery system.
Just a gut feeling. The 2011 only topped 23 mpg on 3 fill-ups and topped 24 mpg on 1 fill-up. The 2008 got 24 and even 25 quite a few more times. It might be that my 2011 wasn't tuned very well. Or, maybe it was that addition of ethanol to the gas. Hindsight tells me I should have recorded the gas usage on the 2008.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the replies everyone! It sounds like the model differences would be minor.

oldman said:
do your research well, I have a lot of threads on the earlier models being money pits. Spending a little more to get you in a 14 and up may save you money down the road. Every year GM quietly improves their product.
Any reason why you suggest '14 as a target year (i.e. what kinds of changes were made then)? Regardless that will probably be out of my price range. Anything problematic about '11 or '12 models I should be on the lookout for? I won't plan to go any older than that.
 

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scottydl said:
Thanks for the replies everyone! It sounds like the model differences would be minor.

Any reason why you suggest '14 as a target year (i.e. what kinds of changes were made then)? Regardless that will probably be out of my price range. Anything problematic about '11 or '12 models I should be on the lookout for? I won't plan to go any older than that.
Make sure the AC system works properly in all vent positions as actuators tend to go bad on these. Leaking evaporators have also occured, so make sure there are no "hissing" sounds from the dash board.

Check the power steering rack and pump to make sure there are no leaks. Many have had to replace the rack for around $1400.00 because of leaks. A little leaking may be normal (there is a post with pictures around here by rbarrios) and there is also a TSB issued by GM defining what is or isn't normal.

Good luck in your search, and make sure you get a full service and maintenance history. A GM dealer should be able to get it from their service department. A pre-purchase inspection might also save you money in the long run, depending where you buy it and if it is CPO (GM ONLY, not a store CPO).

You can also try doing a Google search on the VIN number. Sometimes you will find a Carfax or other report, and you may also see if the car had been offered at a different price or from a different area in a short period of time.
 

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I took 6 months to find "my" "Cherry-Ot" Enclave. that was exactly what trim, and amenities bells, dings and whistles that I wanted, Color(inside & out), Leather, Cruise Control, Dual Climate Control(passenger/rear), AM/FM/CD/DVD/NAV, remote start/entry, heated seats, heated mirrors, power folding mirrors, Sunroof/moonroof, 1 owner, low mileage.
I scoured the internet daily and had search criteria on Yahoo Autos, Cargurus.com, tons of Google searches. Until I found exactly what I wanted, for the price I wanted. Sure I have had my share of same old, same old issues that others have had here. With exception of the water pump and transmission(knock on wood steering wheel).
Yes, the front and rear AC evap coils were replaced. Yes, the power steering pump went south. Yes, there was a broken rear coil suspension spring. I have done the oil changes, changed the coil packs, spark plugs, vapor purge valve solenoid, transmission fluid, rear diff fluid, etc. have not had any major issues with the preventative maintenance kept up with. I have the occassional Check Engine Light(CEL) for codes being thrown on the transmission solenoid #1 stuck in "on" position, I read it with my code reader, reset it, and forget it until next time.

I wish you well in your endeavor/search for "your dream CUV". Keep us posted what you find, and decide upon.

But, trust the advise that members are telling you. Look seriously at a '13 or '14 at the least. I know that the body styling and front/rear light configurations are different than 08-12. They changed the engine from the 2008 275 HP 3.6 L LY7 V6 cylinder to 2009 and up with a 288 3.6 L LLT V6. Both equipped with a 6-speed 6T75 automatic transmission. Some earlier 2008-2010 transmission wave plates(gear plates) are prone to breakage and major headaches where the transmission needs totally replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
cfedor said:
But, trust the advise that members are telling you. Look seriously at a '13 or '14 at the least. I know that the body styling and front/rear light configurations are different than 08-12. They changed the engine from the 2008 275 HP 3.6 L LY7 V6 cylinder to 2009 and up with a 288 3.6 L LLT V6. Both equipped with a 6-speed 6T75 automatic transmission. Some earlier 2008-2010 transmission wave plates(gear plates) are prone to breakage and major headaches where the transmission needs totally replaced.
I definitely trust the consensus of the Enclave "brain trust" here, and have a lot of past experience participating in (and moderating in some cases) automotive forums. The information resources and online community aspect is second-to-none! I'd love to make this another online homebase, if I can find a good quality Enclave within my price range. I'll definitely be checking out the full functioning of the HVAC system and crawl underneath to check for any steering leaks.

As much as I'd like to consider 2013-2014, I'm afraid those are simply out of my price range. The ones I'm seeing are upwards of $25k-30k which would take me another year to save that much cash (on top of what I already have). I'm more in the $15k-20k range, and am hoping to find a low(ish) mileage 2011-2012 for that price. My hope is that those later 1st-gen models had more of the TSB and other issues worked out.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
After many months of research and shopping for many of these models/years/trims, I bought a 2013 Traverse LS AWD this week. The new body style (2013+) really improved on a lot of the standard options in the LS, that used to only be available (for Traverse and Acadia) in the higher trim levels on the older body style. We bought in cash and I own outright from the get-go, which is a great feeling and how I always plan vehicle purchases.

The forum won't let me post links, but photos and more information on my Traverse are in the "Picture Share" section of the Traverse Forum for anyone interested.

Thanks to everyone who provided input! Everything discussed here and the other Lambda forums helped me make the decision. I'll be spending most of my time on the Traverse forum, but wanted to update this thread and may check in here periodically. Who knows, my next gently used vehicle could be a loaded 2017 Enclave after I find one that is a few years old with low miles. ;)
 
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