2012 Buick Enclave Luxury Crossover Review

Once in a great while something comes along that disrupts (in a good way) our vision. That’s exactly the design philosophy behind Buick Enclave. And why it was crafted to never blend but rather to stand far apart. Curves sweep from one end to the other. Up front, wraparound high-intensity discharge xenon headlamps provide a brighter light than halogen to help you see road signs better. From there, the signature waterfall grille, chrome portholes and sculpted lines flow undisturbed into three-dimensional, multi-lens taillamps. They’re all hallmarks of Buick design introduced by Enclave. Discovering new places on your own is great; sharing them with seven of your closest friends is even better. We did the numbers and gave Buick Enclave three rows of first-class seating for up to eight something not found on any luxury crossover. And with SmartSlide, getting to the third row is simple thanks to second-row seats that easily slide forward using only one hand.

Plenty of storage space also comes along for the ride. Fold down the second- and third-row seats
to create a level load floor, freeing up 115 cubic feet1 (that’s room for enough food to fill five fullsize refrigerators for your next dinner party). With the third row down, you have 65.9 cubic feet, plenty of luggage space for a family of four. And with both rows up, you still have 23.3 cubic feet behind the third row for that end table you just have to have. On top of plenty of leg room, there’s lots of wide-open space up above. Bring the outside in to illuminate the spacious interior with an available power sunroof and companion 3-foot by 4-foot skylight. The sunroof tilts up or slides open while the skylight offers a sunshade to control all those rays. You’ll thrill to the joy of open-air driving.

Take the driver’s, for instance. Beyond its warm camphor wood tones and brushed aluminum at-a-glance gauges, the driver’s seat in Buick Enclave is command central. Responding to you from its genuine mahogany-inlaid steering wheel placing buttons for cruise control, speaker volume and Bluetooth at your fingertips. Passengers can enjoy the comforts that result from 1,400 hours of real world evaluation. French-stitched seams highlight available leather seating surfaces infused with silk and perforated for breathing and sound deadening. The driver and front-passenger seats may be heated and cooled, with the driver’s power adjustable up to eight directions including lumbar, when you choose these options.

Don’t let the art-deco-inspired analog quartz clock fool you. We gave Buick Enclave all the latest technologies you need to find whatever you’re searching for. To help guide you, the available voice- and touch-screen activated DVD Nav igation System charts over million miles of North American roads. To navigate those roads, optional XM Nav Traffic incorporates real-time road conditions right into your NAV screen, directing you around trouble spots and toward the most efficient route. And while you’re on the road, keep your hands on the wheel thanks to Bluetooth connectivity. So get ready, the adventure is about to begin. Since music is recorded in an acoustically tuned room, we think you should hear it in a similar environment. That’s why Buick pioneered the Quiet Tuning process to reduce, block and absorb noise and vibration. Leaving outside noises outside, so you’re left with quiet solitude.

Nothing stands between your ears and the Bose 10-speaker 5.1 surround sound system. This available technology was engineered specifically for the Buick Enclave cabin. The system reproduces instrumental nuances and vocal inflections captured during live recordings so you won’t miss a single note. Plug your iPod into the available USB port and your tunes travel everywhere you do. Rear-seat passengers aren’t left out; they will enjoy the optional overhead DVD Enterta inment System with an 8-inch screen and two pairs of wireless headphones.

In Buick Enclave, it’s all about the power of teamwork. Intricately tuned shift points make the 6-speed automatic transmission one half of a high-tech powertrain. The other is a 288-hp 3.6L V-6 engine with direct fuel injection and Variable Valve Timing (VVT ). Together, they maximize performance and efficiency, producing better highway fuel economy than any other eight-passenger crossover. The gearbox is specifically engineered for either Enclave’s front-wheel- or all-wheel-drive configurations. A sophisticated 32-bit control module monitors its operation and enables smooth shifts even at high speeds to help minimize vibrations. And because we realize sometimes you can’t wait, you can start Buick Enclave and activate climate controls (based on previous settings) from nearly 200 feet away with a handy optional remote starter system.

In challenging situations, handling becomes utterly priceless. That’s where Buick Enclave’s available All-WheeL Drive (AWD ) comes in. When conditions demand more traction, the intelligent AWD system doesn’t ask you to push buttons. It’s activated automatically when you need it most. It constantly monitors traction at all four wheels, and when it detects slip, it delivers power to the wheels with the best grip. Unlike passive systems that merely react to wheel slippage, Enclave’s AWD reads a wide variety of vehicle conditions to continuously monitor and provide optimal power distribution between all wheels. This proactive system optimizes both handling and traction independently and simultaneously. Providing both slippery-surface traction and dry-road performance benefits.

From its curved lines to the ones in the road, Enclave happily marries form with function. It may be called a crossover, but when it comes to how it looks and acts, Buick Enclave is anything but. Underneath its unique bodylines, Buick Enclave boasts a four-wheel independent suspension with spring rates and stabilizer bars engineered to deliver a premium ride with stable cornering. All four wheels work in tandem with anti-lock brakes and Stab iliTra k’s electronic stability control system with rollover mitigation. Stabili Trak has the uncanny ability to constantly monitor Buick Enclave to help retain traction and assist you in maintaining your steering path for optimal control. The technology shines when traveling over ice, snow, gravel, wet pavement or uneven roads.

A holistically designed structure strategically positions high-strength steel to create a protective safety cage for occupant protection. This includes building in crush zones in the front and rear, and giving doors the reassurance of steel-reinforcing beams to help preserve occupant space in impacts. Inside, all rows have head curtain sideimpact air bags with rollover protection, along with driver and front passenger side-impact and dual-stage frontal air bags. Technology includes pretensioners (tighten belts to prevent you and your passenger from jerking forward during sudden braking) for front safety belts and side-impact door beams.

Enclave’s approach to safety also includes available high-intensity discharge articulating xenon headlamps to help you see around curves and beyond corners. A quick glance in the rearview mirror allows you to see objects behind you with the available bac kup camera . And with OnStar –standard for 6 months Automatic Crash Response can get you help fast even if you can’t ask for it. In the event of a crash, built-in sensors can automatically send an alert to OnStar. A lways use safety belts and the correct restraint for your child’s age and size. Even in vehicles equipped with the Passenger Sensing System, children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate infant, child or booster seat. Never place a rear-facing infant restraint in the front seat of any vehicle equipped with a passenger air bag. See the Owner’s Manual and child safety seat instructions for more safety information.  On Star acts as a link to existing emergency service providers. Visit for details and system limitations.


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