2012 Buick Enclave SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Buick Enclave SUV

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Buick Enclave Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.6 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 288 hp @ 6300 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/22 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2012 Buick Enclave

  • The three-row 2012 Buick Enclave crossover SUV is an excellent choice for families who want minivan functionality along with classy styling and a luxurious interior.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Sleek design inside and out; smooth and quiet ride; all three rows are spacious; ample cargo space; top crash-test scores.

  • Cons

    Large size hampers maneuverability; some minor interior annoyances; compromised rear visibility.

  • What's New for 2012

    Other than receiving some minor feature changes, the Buick Enclave carries over unchanged for 2012.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Good mpg for it's size

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Vehicle: 2011 Buick Enclave

I bought a 2011 Enclave with only 20k miles after my lease was up on my 2012 Infiniti EX35. My Enclave gets a consistent 17 mpg in town compared to 15 mpg for the EX. It is easily twice the size of the Infiniti, the primary reason for not getting another EX lease - no one could fit in the back seat! So, for a vehicle that is nearly as large as my Yukon Denali, I'm fairly impressed with the gas mileage. everyone has their opinions, but I was puzzled by all the comments about how 2-3 mpg was bankrupting people that bought $45k cars and were considering $60k cars with better MPG to make up the difference. Different econ class than I had in high school I guess...LOL!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful


by on
Vehicle: 2011 Buick Enclave

I have had my Buick for about two and a half years now and love just about everything about it. It is comfortable, responsive, hold lots of people and things. My only concern is about six months ago my "service air bag" light came on. So I promptly took it to the dealer where they had it for several days and repaired the faulty piece. While I was there I asked the service tech if the airbags would still work if the light was on and he told me NONE of the airbags would have worked in a crash. The light came back on again today so I am bringing it back to the dealership to have it fixed for a second time. This is not some thing that I find acceptable in a 2 1/2 year old car.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

19 months in, tearing my

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Buick Enclave

I wrote my first review after driving the Enclave for a week; we've had it now for 19 months. We bought it to transport my teenage daughter and her friends around and it's been a great success. They love the luxurious leather seats, the sound system and the great ride. The back seats fold down in a variety of ways and you can transport pretty much whatever you want. The main drawback is the awful fuel consumption on the AWD version, which is less even than the 15 mpg Buick claims it will get. Our lease runs out at the end of 2014 and we'd like to buy the Enclave, even though it will be a bit big for two people, but I think we'll downsize to a BMW X3 or the Audi Q5 just to save money on gas.

21 of 21 people found this review helpful

Good and bad

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Buick Enclave

The Enclave is the most comfortable vehicle I have ever driven. We got it to drive on highway trips and that's all we use it for. My previous Lexus 350 caused Sacrum pain after long drives. Six weeks in physical therapy at $600+/week definitely makes a few miles per gallon mileage difference a non-issue. If you want a performance vehicle get something else. The Enclave definitely is a land cruiser.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

Like an ocean liner (a

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Buick Enclave

I've had the CXL1 AWD for a week and am still adapting to a vehicle that reminds me of an ocean liner. It's very stately and is not the kind of crossover you'd want to be manoeuvring in a tight parking lot. My wife wanted a leather-seated vehicle, so I test drove the Toyota Highlander, Subaru Outback, Mazda CX9, Acura MDX and Chevrolet Traverse. The Enclave beat the lot. I love the exterior design but some of the interior controls are oddly placed. The gas mileage so far has been disappointing (no shocks there) and I haven't yet worked out a totally comfortable seating arrangement. My 15-year-old daughter though says the Enclave is "sick", which is a great compliment coming from her.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

So far so good.

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Buick Enclave

I have had my Buick for about 7 months now. I like and I am happy I bought it. I do miss my Tahoe everyday though. It was more comforable and the radio was far more supreme than the one in the Enclave. It get about 19 miles to the gallon on average only about 3 more mile than my Tahoe. I do love and enjoy the bluetooth that has great clarity and the sunroof. Over all I am happy, but will go back to a Tahoe probably in a few years.

Gas Mileage


  • 16
  • cty
  • 22
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2012 Buick Enclave Review

What's New for 2012

Other than receiving some minor feature changes, the Buick Enclave carries over unchanged for 2012.


The family hauler has changed a lot over the years, with wagons making way for minivans and then truck-based SUVs. Today, crossovers have largely melded the attributes of the latter two, with a few wagon bits occasionally thrown in for good measure. One of the best of these modern family haulers is the 2012 Buick Enclave, a large crossover that boasts a refined ride and an enormous cabin that can fit up to eight adults.

The Enclave rides on the same unibody platform as the Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia. To help distinguish it as the most premium model in the group, the Enclave has sleeker exterior styling and the most luxurious interior. Other traits are similarly shared but are still quite positive, including a powerful V6, a comfortable and quiet ride and massive cargo capacity.

As with its cousins, though, the Enclave does have some weaknesses, the most notable being its large size that makes maneuvering in tight quarters a challenge. Some prospective buyers may also have a hard time getting past the Buick brand's stodgy image, though the Enclave is modern enough in both design and execution to make this a non-issue for anyone willing to judge the vehicle on its own merits.

While the 2012 Buick Enclave remains a very appealing choice in a crowded segment, there are a few other crossover models we'd urge buyers to have a look at. These include luxury brand competitors like the 2012 Acura MDX, 2012 Lexus RX 350 and 2012 Lincoln MKT. Upper trim levels of some mainstream models like the 2012 Ford Flex and 2012 Toyota Highlander are also nice enough inside to make them worthy of consideration. And for sheer practicality, there's just no beating modern minivans like the 2012 Honda Odyssey and 2012 Toyota Sienna. Overall, though, the Buick Enclave stands out as a solid pick for an upscale family hauler.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Buick Enclave is a large crossover SUV that's offered in four different trim levels. All have a standard seven-passenger seating configuration via second-row captain's chairs and a third-row bench seat. An optional second-row bench seat, available at no extra charge, increases capacity to eight.

Even the base model is nicely equipped with 19-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlights, foglamps, a power liftgate, heated outside mirrors, tri-zone automatic climate control and cloth upholstery. Other standard features include partial power front seats, a tilt-and-telescoping leather/wood steering wheel, keyless entry, cruise control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth, OnStar and a six-speaker CD/MP3 audio system with an auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio.

Stepping up to the Convenience Group trim level adds remote starting, rear parking assist and a rearview camera. The Leather Group tacks on leather upholstery, heated power front seats (eight-way driver, four-way passenger) and driver memory settings.

The top-of-the-line Premium Group has the above equipment plus 19-inch chrome wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, heated power-folding outside mirrors with built-in turn signal repeaters, heated and ventilated front seats, a power-adjustable steering column, a 115-volt household-style power outlet and a 10-speaker Bose premium audio system with USB/auxiliary audio input jacks and a pair of rear seat headphone jacks.

Major options vary by trim level and include 20-inch chrome alloy wheels, a dual-pane sunroof, the second-row bench seat and a second-row center console. Electronics upgrades include the 10-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system, a rear-seat entertainment system and a navigation system.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2012 Buick Enclave is offered with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Either way, it's powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that pumps out 288 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. With the optional trailering package, the Enclave can tow up to 4,500 pounds.

EPA fuel economy estimates stand at 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined for front-wheel-drive models, while all-wheel-drive versions rate 16/22/18.


Stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags are standard on every 2012 Buick Enclave. In brake testing, the Enclave came to a stop from 60 mph in 139 feet, a longish distance for this class of vehicle.

In government crash testing, the Enclave earned a top five-star rating for overall performance, with four out of five stars given for front-impact protection and five stars for side-impact protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Enclave earned the best score of "Good" in both frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

While the first things you're likely to notice about the Enclave's interior are its stylish design and quality materials, these superficial elements are just the beginning. The ability to comfortably transport up to eight passengers with the available second-row bench seat is something not all crossovers can claim. Even the third-row seats are suitable for adult passengers. If carrying a full load of grown-ups is something you expect to be doing a lot of, however, we should point out that there's a bit less room back here than in the Ford Flex's third row.

With or without passengers there's a good amount of cargo room here as well, including 19 cubic feet of usable space behind the 60/40-split third-row seat. For bulky items, folding down the second and third-row seats creates a nice flat load floor with 116 cubic feet of cargo room, a number that handily beats many crossovers but falls short of the massive carrying capacity of modern minivans.

Downsides here include chrome trim that can cause blinding reflections on a sunny day and audio and climate control buttons that are a bit on the small side. Outward visibility to the rear quarters is also relatively poor.

Driving Impressions

While it's hard to describe any 2-ton vehicle as light on its feet, the 2012 Buick Enclave feels decidedly less truck-ish than traditional SUVs. Other large crossovers feel more nimble, but overall the Enclave's handling inspires confidence. The suspension also earns high marks for ride comfort.

The 3.6-liter V6 provides good acceleration in a wide variety of driving conditions. This performance, combined with the Enclave's hushed cabin, makes this a fine choice for daily driving, long road trips and everything in between.

Talk About The 2012 Enclave

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