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Ranking 19 Buick Generations by Reliability

Sorting models by their generation gives us a clearer picture of common problems across a group of similar vehicles. From there, we can assign scores to each generation to give you a basic picture of which to consider and those to avoid. The higher the score, the faster you should run away.

Rank Model Gen Years PainRank (?)
19th Enclave Gen 1 2008–2017 18.27
18th LeSabre Gen 8 1999–2005 10.74
17th Lucerne Gen 1 2006–2011 9.16
16th Century Gen 6 1999–2005 8.07
15th Encore Gen 1 2013–2018 7.46
14th LaCrosse Gen 1 2005–2009 7.43
13th LaCrosse Gen 2 2010–2018 7.39
12th Verano Gen 1 2012–2016 7.2
11th Regal Gen 5 2011–2017 4.06
10th Regal Gen 4 1997–2004 3.41
9th Rainier Gen 1 2004–2007 2.8
8th Envision Gen 1 2016–2018 1.57
7th Park Avenue Gen 2 1997–2005 1.56
6th Park Avenue Gen 1 1991–1996 0.81
5th Cascada Gen 1 2016–2018 0.41
4th Century Gen 5 1982–1982 0.28
3rd Regal Gen 6 2018–2018 0.0
2nd Enclave Gen 2 2018–2018 0.0
1st Verano Gen 2 2017–2017 0.0

Answers to the most frequently asked questions

What Are Vehicle Generations?

Generations are groups of model years where the vehicles are continuously produced, use similar engineering, and share features. Generational data is not always cut-and-dry – manufacturers might not always release generation information, some generations might last longer in different countries, and various trim levels and model variants can make the whole thing confusing. We do our best but make no guarantees about our generation data. When in doubt, we stick with data about US models.

Why Are Some Vehicles Missing a 1st / 2nd / 3rd Generation?

You might notice that some of our data starts at generation 5, 6, etc. So what happened to the older generations? One of two things. 1. some models have been around a long time and we don’t have any complaint or NHTSA data about them. 2. some new models share the same platform as existing models, so we typically tie them together. For instance, a new hybrid vehicle might be introduced during the 5th generation of its non-hybrid counterpart. We’ll typically start the hybrid’s generation at 5, unless it’s otherwise noted.

What is PainRank™? Where Does it Come From?

PainRank™ is a algorithm that uses complaint data from owners (the average mileage of failures, the cost to make repairs, etc), relative complaints analysis, sales numbers, NHTSA data, & owners’ own vehicle rankings to come up with a number representing how much pain a car inflicts on its owners. The higher the PainRank™ score, the more painful a car is to own (typically).