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2012 Buick Enclave

Overview
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2012 Buick Enclave Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.6

As more and more people move away from truck-based SUVs into smaller, more manageable crossovers, the 2012 Buick Enclave begins to make a lot of sense. Once known only for its near-luxury cars with an aging customer base, Buick has transformed itself into a manufacturer of modern luxury vehicles with a uniquely American take. In the 2012 Enclave SUV, Buick has created a vehicle specifically targeted at affluent younger buyers with growing families, people who ordinarily might purchase an Acura MDX, Audi Q7 or a Volvo XC90. The 2012 Enclave offers excellent value in terms of interior space, luxury amenities, styling and highway fuel economy. The 8-passenger Buick Enclave SUV also undercuts more expensive premium-luxury brands by thousands of dollars while still offering the status such premium-brand buyers demand.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you need 8-passenger seating in a vehicle that is reasonably sized, gets good fuel economy (check out the front-wheel drive model) and sells for less than $40,000, there are lots of choices. If, however, you want all this in a vehicle that will impress your friends with its luxurious interior and elegant styling, the 2012 Buick Enclave SUV is the obvious choice.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If part of your upscale lifestyle includes towing a boat or horse trailer, the 2012 Buick Enclave crossover SUV's 4,500-pound tow rating may not be sufficient to meet your needs.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Buick Enclave SUV drops the CX and CXL trim designations, leaving a single model with a number of option packages. New standard features include Hill-Hold Assist and an electronic brake override system designed to prevent unintended acceleration.

Driving the Enclave

Driving Impressions The 2012 Buick Enclave can easily carry up to eight adults in relaxed comfort. The driving dynamics for the Enclave are not sports-car-like, but there is plenty of useful feedback...

via the steering wheel, and the cable chassis and suspension turn in an impressively stable performance. The Enclave's V6 engine provides adequate acceleration, but it could do with a few more horsepower. On the flip side, the Enclave's fuel-economy ratings are near the top of its class. At cruising speeds Buick's attention to noise reduction pays off with very little wind, road or engine noise intruding into the cabin. The 2012 Buick Enclave is available in front-wheel drive (FWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) versions.

Second-Row Seats
Getting to the rear-most seats in many vehicles can be a hassle. Not so in the 2012 Buick Enclave SUV, 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.

QuietTuning
Buick'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.

2012 Buick Enclave Details
Interior

The 2012 Buick Enclave displays a lovely curving instrument panel equipped with highly stylized instrument faces and switchgear. Accented with camphor burled-wood inlays, the Enclave's interior makes for a warm, inviting cabin, as does the intricate sew pattern in the available leather seating and the elegant analog clock. A copious amount of sound-deadening material creates a passenger space that is whisper-quiet at highway speeds, nearly devoid of wind or tire noise. Available with either 7- or 8-passenger seating, the 2012 Enclave SUV features slide-and-fold second-row seats that can be operated with one hand, clearing a wide path to the third-row seat. Perhaps one of the Enclave's greatest strengths is the spacious cargo area behind the third-row seat, an attribute rarely found on the Enclave's competition.

Exterior

Despite the design being a few years old now, the 2012 Buick Enclave still looks good. Maybe it's because the SUV you see today mirrors to the last detail the Enclave concept that first debuted to rave reviews. Or, maybe it's just good design. In any case, the 8-passenger Enclave is a head-turner, with such stunning styling features as an oversized waterfall grille, traditional Buick "portholes" above the front fenders and finely detailed headlight casing with swiveling projector beams. Further luxury enhancements include 18- and 19-inch chrome alloy wheels, chrome-trimmed roof rails and chrome exhaust tips.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2012 Buick Enclave SUV comes in one trim with four possible packages. The base package includes 18-inch wheels, a power liftgate, power front seats and tri-zone automatic climate control. The Convenience Group adds Ultrasonic Rear Park Assist, rearview camera and remote start, while the Leather Group brings leather seating, heated front seats and a 4-way power passenger seat with power lumbar and recline. The Premium Group brings heated and cooling front seats. Standard safety features on the 2012 Buick Enclave include antilock brakes (ABS), stability and traction control, front airbags, front-seat-mounted airbags and 3-row side-curtain airbags that stay inflated longer in the event of a vehicle rollover.

Optional Equipment

Many of the available features for the 2012 Enclave are packages within its various groups. The most comprehensive group is the Premium Group, which includes power-folding side mirrors, adaptive headlights, Bose audio, heated/cooled front seats and a power tilting-and-telescoping steering wheel. Other options include all-wheel drive (AWD), a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a rear-facing camera, 8-passenger seating, Bose audio, a DVD navigation system and a power sunroof.

Under the Hood

Powering the 2012 Buick Enclave crossover SUV is a sturdy 3.6-liter V6. It delivers energetic performance and excellent fuel economy with the help of modern technologies like variable valve timing, direct injection and an electronic throttle. The V6 is paired with a 6-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 that requires no driver intervention and automatically distributes torque between the front and rear wheels.

3.6-liter V6
288 horsepower at 6,300 rpm
270 lb-ft of torque at 3,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (FWD), 14/22 (AWD)

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2012 Buick Enclave Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 318 Ratings for the 2008 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Nice reliable luxury SUV

By on Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Quiet, good driving, safe, luxurious"

Cons: "Engine slightly overpowered under a full load"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"For a three row luxury SUV the Enclave is about the best car money can buy. We average about 19 mpg in residential driving, and beat the 22 mpg EPA estimate on the highway regularly getting 23 mpg or a little more. The car is comfortable in all three rows for people six feet tall and can seat 8 with the middle row bench seat. The second radio for the backseat passengers is convinent and the Panasonic video monitor shows movies for kids on long trips with no issues. Bluetooth for a model 5 years ago works perfectly, and can even read out text messages and allow you to dictate a verbal response immediately while driving. It is easy to use and its undertanding is pretty good. On Star is a nice feature we like a lot. They are always very helpful and they are able to help us find the closest resturant or whatever we need with minimal fuss. We have used them for directions probably about 60 times over five years, and only one time did they misdirect us - missing our destination by one block. Overall a good service. The car is exceptionally quiet and the kids fall asleep pretty easily. The V6 engine is good for better gas mileage - some might find it a little taxed on mountain roads and a full load, but that is the only time it might seem a little underpowered. The engine revs high under those conditions to get the torque necessary to move the heavy, 2 ton vehicle. I have nearly 60,000 on the car and it has been a good deal. I am only selling it as I no longer need a three row vehicle as I suspect it will last someone who buys it a very long time. It has been very reliable through 5 years of ownership."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

BEWARE of transmission problems

By on Sunday, May 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 97,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Interior space and features"

Cons: "Quality of car in general!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I absolutely love the outside and inside of this car. I have two children and with the space & DVD player pkg and it has been great. With that said, the quality of this car is not up to par with the luxury title. I have had A/C problems ($2200 repair), my rear door will lift and click at times and won't go back down, my interior storage door completely broke in two, and worst yet is the transmission problems. I took it in to get fixed and the guy fixing my transmission said he sees these cars all the time with transmission problems. We have decided to sell it, which makes me so angry because I was hoping to keep this car longer than the 4 years I have owned it. I test drove an Acura this weekend and the sales guy asked me right away if I was having transmission problems with my Buick. I will never buy a Buick again which is unfortunate."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great vehicle. Love the way it looks and handles.

By on Thursday, April 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Looks luxurious"

Cons: "really check out the transmission"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"The best SUV I've ever owned. It's filled with luxury features that has spoiled me. I would buy another Enclave."

7 people out of 8 found this review helpful

2014 Enclave Premium 2WD

By on Saturday, April 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Styling, excellent value, drivetrain, performance."

Cons: "Lack of visibility out of the rear."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Believe in Buick Quite Tuning. Very smooth, quite and confortable on trips. More than enough power. Excellent gas milage considering the size. The Infotainment system is excellent. The enterior is very confortable, spacious and elegant. The diamond blue piping around the enterior is a very nice touch at night. Cooloed seats are great. No problems in the first 14 months."

11 people out of 21 found this review helpful

Would recommend

By on Wednesday, April 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Design, gas mileage, abundance of options"

Cons: "Uncomfortable rear seat. No rain sensing wipers."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Excellent handling. Great interior design. Reliable with good gas mileage. Third row seat not comfortable at all which is disappointing in a Buick. Turn by turn directions works very well. On star app is an excellent tool."

4 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Beautiful, quiet, comfortable, best in class

By on Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Luxury, style, comfort, quality"

Cons: "Has adequate power, but I like fast cars!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Enclave is a high quality luxury automobile for people who need the extra space and versatility of a cross over versus a sedan. Have had no problems and look forward to driving it every time we get in. Highly recommend."

9 people out of 16 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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