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2012 Buick Enclave

Overview
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2012 Buick Enclave Review

By

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 290 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

Very comfortable and easy to drive

By on Monday, August 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Very comfortable to drive especially on long trips"

Cons: "Tailgate height not adjustable"

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

"My wife and I found the car to be very comfortable especially on long trips. We've never had a problem with it. Only thing is we wish we had rear view camera. Our next car will be an enclave & will have the camera."

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

I love my Enclave but it's not perfect!

By on Thursday, August 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Stylish, pleasure to drive, comfortable."

Cons: "Poor gas mileage"

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

"I did lots of research before purchasing my 2012 Enclave. I chose it because it was a Buick, it was well engineered, it had excellent leg room for my husband and it could tow and be towed by our motorhome. I have not had issues except the bluetooth and several recalls. I am disappointed that I only get 16 mpg most of the time unless we are on a trip with lots of highway driving. It is very comfortable, has all the bells and whistles and can carry 7 passengers. It has lots of cargo space, especially with the center seats down. It has excellent power, expecially when accelerating, and never knew it was towing a trailer. The only down side I find is the ride. It's very rough over bumps and it definitely doesn't have the ride of my 1955 or 1976 Buicks or my 1993 Lincoln Towncar that my Enclave replaced. I keep a car twenty years and I expect to keep this one that long too."

10 people out of 17 found this review helpful

You paid for luxury and you got it

By on Monday, August 04, 2014

I want this car

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "style, comfort"

Cons: "price of a fill up"

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

"I traded in my 2012 Verano for the 2013 Enclave. I did so because I was driving across country and needed the larger space. I filled up the Enclave almost to the ceiling, had 2 dogs, and 2 adults. This car drove like a luxury care being loaded down with all this stuff. It drove flawlessly and the v-6 engine always gave me the power I needed. The extra cargo did not cause any slow down or cause any power or performance let downs. I love the styling and I have almost every option you can have. The warning side mirrors are a life saver. My only complaints are there is no front camera warning systewm (now available on the 2014) and the cost at the gas pump. At last fill up it was $80 to fill up. It is luxurious and it drives amazingly. It is just a bit steep at the gas pump/"

20 people out of 35 found this review helpful

Best Car for the Money

By on Saturday, July 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "comfort, quiet, gas mileage"

Cons: "dashboard paint"

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

"I have had three Enclaves. I drive them all over the country. First one had almost 90K miles. The ride is unsurpassed. The overall efficiency is very good. The space to haul things on long trip is great."

11 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Comfort

By on Friday, July 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 86,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "High quality car for 7 adults."

Cons: "None"

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

"We have thoroughly enjoyed this car. The ride and over all comfort are unequaled. The workmanship inside and outside is high quality. Gas mileage has been 22mpg on Highway, and around 18 in town. Middle row and third row seats can fold flat for a huge cargo area. Would I buy another? In a heartbeat!!"

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

My favorite car EVER!!!!

By on Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 44,000

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: "Beautiful, comfortable and spacious."

Cons: "Gas Hog"

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

"I have owned my Enclave for over three years and it is an exceptional vehicle. It is easy to handle, comfortable to drive as well as comfortable for passengers. We drove to the outer banks last summer and it was very spacious and we had three adults two small children and a hundred pound Labrador retriever in my Enclave. Incredible trip. My one and only complaint is the gas mileage. When we bought it the sticker said 16 mpg city, No Way!! I am getting 12 on my best day in the city. But I would definitely recommend the Enclave to everyone. My All Time Favorite car!!!"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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