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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 331 Ratings for the 2008 - 2016 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

Buick returned with a vengence!

By on Sunday, July 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 89,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Best experience with a new car. Have purchased (new) a Suburban, an Excursion, a Civic SI, a Sable, and a Dodge 15-passenger van. Of all of them, this vehicle is the best experience by far. A few minor repair issues, but our dealer took care of them and the vehicle has been great for long trips or short around-town. Daughter was rear-ended by someone texting and driving at high speed and came through unscathed."

A wonderful vehicle

By on Thursday, July 23, 2015

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

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Quiet and enjoyable ride, good gas mileage"

Cons: "None"

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

"We have owned the 2012 Buick Enclave for 3 years and it has been a very reliable vehicle. We took a cross country trip from Ga to California last year through the hot desert in the middle of summer without any problems what-so-ever. The ride is very smooth and quiet. The suspension is impeccable. We are just now in the process of trading for a new one while it still has a high resale value and for some of the newer features but would be satisfied to drive it for many more years."

I love my wife's car!

By on Wednesday, July 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comforatable and roomy"

Cons: "Price and gas mileage"

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

"We needed a vehicle with 3 rows of seats for grandkids. We looked at almost every make/model with 3 rows and it came down to this or a Toyota minivan. I chose the Buick because it seemed so much nicer for the money. In AWD vehicles, engines and mileage were practically the same. I feel that we have purchased a vehicle that will last for many years to come. We tend to keep our vehicles 10 years or more. Nothing like a buick!"

9 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Classy Comfort

By on Monday, July 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfort, Family Entertainment, Buick Customer Serv"

Cons: "Drop in value, Electronic Mirrors, Interior Fan"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Saab_9_3 & Davo (and others) do a great job explaining this vehicle. It is a luxury ride and a wonderful GM product with plenty of room. Being a military family, we have filled it to the brim, loaded the top, and towed things across many states with no issues and all in quiet comfort. The ride is so smooth with plenty of power but it is still not a sports car. It is also not a 4x4 off-road vehicle but our Enclave has been through snow storms and in the aftermath of a hurricane and on the back roads of Oklahoma and has not once gotten even close to being stuck thanks to the all wheel drive and traction control. The only problems we have had (not self-induced) is the gear inside the driver side mirror has broken so it no longer retracts electronically and the interior fan motor has gotten slightly louder at the lower speeds but it is over 7 years old and approaching 80k miles so I expect to have some minor issues as you would with any vehicle. Gas mileage on ours runs about 17 city/23 highway."

6 people out of 12 found this review helpful

I really want to like this car - but cant!

By on Monday, June 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "great for kids and trips"

Cons: "jerky transmission, steering creaks - etc,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"2009 - I loved this car at first. Almost immediately noticed a creaking noise in the steering column. Tried to get it fixed but am told they can't hear it. (Am I sure?) Transmission jumps when it shifts gears. Especially when backing up. Seats air and heater have been fixed. Display button has worn off twice. GPS went out. Side view mirror got stuck. Freon leak - had to be fixed. Exterior molding has rippling. Oh yeah and at least 4 trips to the dealer for recalls."

12 people out of 18 found this review helpful

HORRIBLE ACCELERATION STUMBLE - I HATE IT!

By on Friday, June 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,500

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Rides good and quiet"

Cons: "ACCELERATION STUMBLE IS CHRONIC - I HATE IT!!!"

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

"My Enclave has a horrible acceleration stumble 75% of the time I hate it!! It has gotten worse the older it gets. I have had it since it was new. Dealer claims it is because of the 6 speed transmission, I don't think that's what it is. But, I WILL NEVER OWN ANOTHER ONE!! This one thing has totally soured me on my Enclave - no matter how great all the rest of my experience with my Enclave has been. Also, battery in it died before it was three years old. General Motors products are showing the cost cutting going into their manufacture."

14 people out of 24 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

Buying this car?