I last reviewed the Buick Enclave in 2007, when the 2008 first came out. I recall not knowing what it really was. I knew it was an SUV, obviously, but where did it fit in? Who was the prospective buyer? Why not just get a full-sized SUV? I kept an open mind and went through my normal review routine. In short order, I figured out what it was all about and really liked it. When gas went to $4 per gallon the following year, it was really clear!
Now all these years later I find myself looking forward to driving the 2012 Enclave. I can’t see that a lot has changed since the last one, but I really don’t know what I would have changed on it. I think they got it right the first time. Rumors are the 2013 will be much different, we shall see.
I have a Crystal Red All-wheel drive version with the premium package. This package comes with virtually everything power including power seats for driver and passenger, power liftgate, leather interior, automatic climate control, rear camera, even heated and cooled seats. It is very well-equipped and the premium package includes second row captain chairs.
Option-wise, my test vehicle came with touchscreen navigation and rear seat DVD player at a cost of $3185. It also has a large, power sliding glass sunroof that covers the first and second row for $1400, and it has 20″ chrome wheels for $300.
Everything inside the Enclave is nice and is true luxury. Enclave comes with extra insulation and is super quiet. You get steering wheel controls that make everything easy to operate, and the controls are easy to
operate and reach. Enclave is easy to enter and exit and the wood trim inside is very luxurious and appealing to the eyes. One thing I love about Enclave, Acadia, and Traverse is the generous amount of room behind the 3rd row seat. It is much more than you would imagine.
Under the hood we have the GM 3.6-liter V6 with a 6-speed automatic combining for a 288-horse performance. You won’t get whiplash when you step on it, but it is adequate. The ride and handling of the Enclave is very good, especially considering it weighs almost 5000 pounds.
The Buick Enclave is rated to tow 4500 pounds and runs on regular fuel. General Motors did a great job utilizing space, keeping the fuel economy good considering the size and weight of Enclave, and overall it is a very enjoyable luxury SUV. Although it looks a little tired to me on the exterior, they have held the line on price and this vehicle has fueled a re-birth for Buick.
What I liked most: The interior, and the ride and drive.
What I would change: Maybe just a few more horses.
MSRP: $51,170 as equipped, base price is $45,080.
Fuel Economy: 16 city and 22 highway, and it is doing it.
2012 Enclave in a few words: A really nice, mid-sized luxury SUV.