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2012 Buick Enclave

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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 347 Ratings for the 2008 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Love the safety features

By on Sunday, February 07, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 76,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfort and Safety Features"

Cons: "None"

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

"I have been driving my Enclave for the past 2 years, I have found it of be very comfortable for my size (6'6" 280#). The best thing I found is when I was rear ended by a F150 pickup going 55MPH while I was stopped. Other than being a little dazed at the unexpected force of the impact, I was able to walk away and with out any injuries or even soreness. What I didn't expect were the safety features that kicked in automatically. The Enclave to turned itself off and turned on the hazard lights. The vehicle was a totally loss, but I was not."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

The worst ever

By on Monday, February 01, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 150,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
Not Rated

Cons: "Not reliable"

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

"If you plan on using this vehicle it is not up for the challenge. The last 3 cars I have owned lasted well into the 200,000 mile mark. I maintain my vehicles and I drive 80+ miles a day. The 2009 Buick Enclave has left me stranded and costs me $2000+ per year just to maintain. It is not worth what I have in it and I cannot get anyone to buy it. Dealers will not touch it. Do yourself a favor and stay away. Every mechanic that has worked on it says that they have had others with the same issues."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Excellent Car

By on Friday, December 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000

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: "comfortable,safe, large capacity for passengers"

Cons: "Very big car"

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

"purchased this car in 2011 to accommodate two carseats for my grandchildren. We used it on long trips, i.e. CO, ID, UT,WY, PA, NYC. very comfortable riding car. Otherwise useage was primarily for one retired person."

10 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Believe in quite tuning.

By on Sunday, November 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,204

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
9/10

Pros: "Excellent value. Very quite and smooth. Amenities"

Cons: "Seats on the firm side, but comfortable,"

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

"Driven nothing but Cadillac's finest the last 30 years. The Enclave may be the best vehicle I have ever owned. Easy entry and exit, Very quite ride. Very smooth. An excellent interstate cruiser. The infotainment system is outstanding. The interior is equal to the priciest luxury brands. Not one reliability issue. Very good gas mileage for size. More than enough power. Rear visibility is somewhat limited, but the many sensors take care of that. The car drives much smaller than it is. Very classy appearance. Does it get any better?"

17 people out of 22 found this review helpful

Disappointed

By on Tuesday, November 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,500

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
3/10

Cons: "Not enough cup holders, Unsatisfactory Navigation,"

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

"I purchased this car thinking it was an upgrade from my 2012 Toyota Highlander. Highlander had more features That I liked; Navigation is unsatisfactory, smaller screen and more difficult to operate. Cockpit convenience, no place to put stuff like phone glasses,etc."

14 people out of 33 found this review helpful

This is the best car I have ever owned!

By on Friday, October 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Smooth yet powerful, reliable and good looking."

Cons: "None at all"

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

"I have owned foreign premium cars and yet this is the most quiet, comfortable, and wonderful features ever! We have driven it long distances and now, I use it to drive clients to appointments and they always remark how smooth riding and easy it is to get into. I get compliments regularly on it and people ask me if is new!"

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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