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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 352 Ratings for the 2008 - 2017 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Great vehicle for travel

By on Tuesday, June 14, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "safety rating, smooth ride"

Cons: "not much get up & go, more slow & sure."

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

"I'm on my second Enclave. Traded in my 2012 model with 70k miles. Love the Enclave on the road. No mechanical problems, dealership has handled recalls and have just had a great overall experience. The 2012 was the first SUV I had ever owned and even though I don't need this much car, I feel better driving on the road with the Enclave's high safety rating."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Great car with versatility, capacity and comfort.

By on Sunday, February 28, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfort, capacity, smooth ride"

Cons: "poor mpg, blind spots due to large A pillars."

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

"The Enclave is spacious, comfortable, and rides well. The mpg on the highway is pretty good (23+) but the city MPG is bad (around 12). Visibility is good with the exception of the A pillar area."

29 people out of 42 found this review helpful

Buick Family

By on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

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
10/10

Pros: "Its great on gas and very smooth driving"

Cons: "I wish it had a V8 that my only :(V6 works fine :)"

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

"I purchased this vehicle for my spouse and two daughter they love our 2015 (White Diamond) Buick. We had know issues or concerns since our purchase."

12 people out of 22 found this review helpful

We purchased this vehicle based on safety ratings.

By on Thursday, February 18, 2016

I owned and sold this car
Reason: 5 safety recalls

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great driving vehicle, and beautiful design."

Cons: "5 safety recalls in the first year of ownership"

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

"We purchased 2014 Buick Enclave based entirely on highway crash safety features. We are both retired Law Enforcement Officers, and vehicle safety is vital. After the 5th vehicle part safety recall, we traded in this vehicle. We lost approximately $7000 in value, due to the 5 safety recalls. The Buick dealership where we purchased this vehicle refused to accept it as a trade in so we could purchase the 2015 model. Five Buick dealerships refused to accept this vehicle as a trade in. We finally accepted the $7000 loss and traded the Buick in on a Volvo. We were Buick owners for 3 decades. Never again, will we purchase a GM product. As union members, we did support American made/or America brands, no more."

16 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Love the safety features

By on Sunday, February 7, 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."

16 people out of 20 found this review helpful

The worst ever

By on Monday, February 1, 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."

17 people out of 25 found this review helpful

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