Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • Midsize SUV Buyer's Guide
  • 10 Most Fuel-Efficient SUVs
  • Compact SUV Buyer's Guide
  • 15 Best Family Cars of 2015
Go

2012 Buick Enclave

Overview
Share this page
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?

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)

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?

2012 Buick Enclave Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 315 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

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."

3 people out of 3 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."

7 people out of 17 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

Trade when warranty expires

By on Thursday, February 26, 2015

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

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Attractive car, nice interior, easy to get in and"

Cons: "Too many problems, too much time in the shop."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Shortly after the warranty expired. We had to replace the transmission and motor. Other problems were with the steering column, A/C, noises and small items. At 80,000 this car turned into a lemon. Even the dealer could not fix the motor. They had the car for over 2 months and never was able to get good performance from the motor. Now they advise to use premium gas and designer oil. Would not buy another Buick. I've never had anything in 60 years but GMC products but and considering a Hundai."

11 people out of 13 found this review helpful

LOVE THIS CAR!

By on Monday, February 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 102,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Very luxurious, lots of amenities"

Cons: "Recalls"

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

"I purchased my 2009 Enclave in 2011 with about 36000 miles on it. I have driven it for over 3 years now, and I love it! It has been incredibly reliable, it is amazingly comfortable, and I have really enjoyed it. I am a mom of two, so I bought it instead of a Tahoe or a Suburban (I have owned one of each of these in the past). The Enclave was about $7,000 cheaper than a comparable used Tahoe, and I like it even more than the Tahoe I had before I bought the Enclave!! My two favorite features on the car are the automatic lift gate and the hands free blue tooth. I also love the heated AND cooled seats and the back-up camera that is in the review mirror. GENIUS! Once I bought my Enclave, I started noticing others, and I was surprised that most drivers were older (like, in their 60s or 70s). Very few young families, which shocked me. This is the PERFECT family car. I highly recommend it. My only complaint would be the recalls: there have been THREE on this car since I owned it! They have all been minor, and have been completely fixed and taken care of by the Buick dealership. It's just the hassle of having to take my car in and have it worked on 3 times! But even with that, I wouldn't trade my Enclave for any other SUV out there. I LOVE IT!"

27 people out of 42 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
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?