2012 Buick Enclave

Buick Enclave front side

The Buick Enclave offers three rows of seats standard, with seating for up to eight people. Standard 19-inch aluminum wheels; 20-inch chrome-clad wheels optional

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

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. 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 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.

The 2012 Buick Enclave is offered with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. 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. Even the third-row seats are suitable for adult passengers.

Driving Impressions

Other large crossovers feel more nimble, but overall the Enclave's handling inspires confidence.

This Enclave is awfully quiet both in town and on the freeway. Likewise, I found some of the materials unacceptable in this price class. The steering wheel had casting flash and unpleasant hard plastics right at the fingertip touch points. There's lots of room, though, and the Enclave is nicely configurable for multiple needs.

Even a loaded Ford Explorer--more this crossover's competition, whether Buick wants to admit it or not--comes out significantly less than the Enclave and offers a far superior driving experience. Pass.


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