Coulter Motor Company

Experience the Difference!

2012 Buick Enclave Shows the Competition it is FOR REAL!

We’re going to make an improbable recommendation. We’re going to recommend that owners of certain European-made crossovers recommend the 2012 Buick Enclave to friends who are thinking about buying a full-size crossover. Better yet, we’re going to recommend that the aforementioned owners consider the Enclave when their leases expire.

That’s not to say that our Buick Enclave AWD Premium is the same as said competitors. The Buick comes with an America personality in its ride and handling, which means it’s plusher and not as eager to carve corners as the others. But we reckon most buyers of full-size crossovers aren’t looking for three-row seven-passenger sport sedans, and for them, the Buick Enclave gives permission to buy big crossover with a three-shield logo on the grille.

Styling is a matter of taste, but the Buick Enclave lacks nothing in handsome. Its flowing body contours are eye-catching and memorable…and we mean that in a positive way. The Buick waterfall grille is the best expression yet of that Buick theme, whiles the front and rear fenders are emphasized, giving the Enclave a Coke bottle shape. There’s a stylish use of chrome—particularly around the side windows that taper towards the rear, emphasizing a taper to the rear of the vehicle.

2012 Buick Enclave AWD Premium dash 

The dash of the 2012 Buick Enclave AWD Premium is swathed in faux wood.

The interior of the 2012 Buick Enclave matches the outside in quality and chic. There’s the right amount of brightwork and the leather is supple and smooth. The seats are softer than the typical German offering and wider, in keeping with American tradition.

The interior of the Enclave is, well, styled. The dashtop has a double wave over the instrument panel and the dash vents atop the centerstack which sweeps down from the dash and into the center console. Faux mahogany is liberally spread across the dash, on the center console and around the interior. The wood on the steering wheel, however, is the real stuff.

The center stack of our test 2012 Buick Enclave AWD Premium included an audio/navigation program. The large touchscreen system slides easily into place, much as it does on other GM products, and the nav system is just as easy to use.

The Enclave has plenty of elbow room. The cabin is wide for a right-crowd-and-no-crowding experience. The Enclave boasts of having the most interior room of any vehicle in its class, however that’s defined. The second row seats match the driver and front passenger seats for comfort and have the additional feature of sliding forward and aft, giving a choice of who gets more legroom, those in the second row or those in the third.

Unlike some vehicles in this class, the Buick Enclave’s third row of seats can be used by adults, not only occupied under duress but without pain and suffering.

2012 Buick Enclave AWD Premium cargo capacity 

The second and third-row seatbacks of the 2012 Buick Enclave AWD Premium fold to make a flat load floor.

Access to the third row is made easier by the clever the second-row seats fold, the seat bottoms tipping forward to allow the entire seat to slide far forward, opening a wide gap between the seat and the rear of the door opening.

Even with the third row in use, the Buick Enclave has 24 cubic feet of cargo space, more than most full-size cars, and with the second and third row seatbacks folded the Buick Enclave cargo capacity swells to 115.9 cubic feet. That’s minivan volume without the minivan stigma. Just as important, the seatbacks form a perfectly flat floor, making it easy to slide large objects in all the way to the backs of the front seats.

A second-row 60/40 folding bench seat is optional on all trim levels of the Buick Enclave. Specifying the bench seat raises total seating capacity to eight.

Beyond such practical considerations, the 2012 Buick Enclave comes with Buick’s “QuietTuning.” More than just an advertising slogan, QuietTuning is a combination of noise reduction and insulation techniques to, Buick says, “reduce, block and adsorb unwanted noise from entering the cabin,” including for example double-layer steel panels sandwiching a rubberized noise absorbing material. It a word, it works. Well, that’s two words. But whatever, the Enclave is quiet.

2012 Buick Enclave AWD Premium 

All the better to hear the engine. The 2012 Buick Enclave is powered by a 3.6-liter direct-injection engine rated at 288 horsepower. It’s utterly smooth and moves the Enclave’s 5,000 lbs with authority. It’s the same engine found in another GM division’s products, one that starts with a “C” and it’s not Chevrolet. It’s a perfect complement to the Enclave’s personality.

As the Premium trim level, the 2012 Buick Enclave was the top of the Enclave range that starts with the base Enclave (1SB), then Convenience (1SD) and Leather (1SL). It’s new nomenclature for 2012, replacing the Enclave CX and CXL trim levels. The base Enclave with front-wheel drive lists for $36,600. Adding all-wheel drive adds $2,000. At the other end of the spectrum, our test Premium had a base price of $45,080, packaged, optioned and delivered out to $51,170.

2012 Buick Enclave AWD Premium, price and key specifications, as tested

Base price: $45,080

•    Exterior: Crystal Red Tintcoat: $395.
•    Stability control w/ traction control, ABS, front/front side/side curtain airbags, brake/throttle override, leather seating 1st & 2nd row, leather wrapped steering wheel w/ wood insert, universal home remote, steering wheel controls, Bluetooth, 8-way power driver seat, 4-way power passenger seat, power windows/driver’s express up/down, tri-zone auto climate control, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror, HID headamps, 19-inch chromed alloy wheels, fog lamps, power rear liftgate, roof rack side rails, remote start, ultrasonic rear park assist, rear view camera, dual outside power-folding/autodimming/turn-signal mirrors, heated & cooled driver and front passenger seats, power tilt & tele steering wheel, direction adaptive headlights, Bose premium audio package including rear power outlet, rear-seat audio controls, USB port, AM/FM/CD stereo, hill-hold:  std
•    Audio system navigation & DVD, including touchscreen navigation, DVD rear seat entertainment, XM navigation & traffic service: $3,185
•    Power sunroof w/2nd-row skylight: $1,400
•    Wheels: $20-inch chrome-clad aluminum: $300
•    Destination: $810

Total: $51,170
Body style/layout: 5-door 7-passenger crossover, front engine/all-wheel drive

•    Type: 3.6-liter 24-valve DOHC direct-injection V-6
•    Displacement, cc: 3564
•    Block/head material: aluminum/aluminum
•    Compression ratio: 11.3:1
•    Horsepower: 288 hp @ 6300 rpm
•    Torque: 270 lb-ft @ 3400 rpm
•    Recommended fuel: 87-octane regular unleaded
•    Fuel economy, EPA est.: 16/22 mpg city/highway
•    Fuel economy, observed: 16.6 mpg/22.4 mpg highway

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

•    Suspension, front/rear: strut / linked H-arm
•    Wheels: 20 x 7.5-inch alloy
•    Tires: 255/55R20
•    Brakes: 4-wheel disc; 12.8-inch dia. front/13.0-inch dia. rear
•    Steering: rack-and-pinion, hydraulic assist, straight ratio w/ variable-effort
•    Turning circle: 40.4 ft.

•    Wheelbase: 119.0 in.
•    Length: 201.5 in.
•    Width:79.0 in.
•    Height: 72.5 in.
•    Curb weight: 4,985 lbs
•    Cargo capacity, min/max: 23.2/115.3 cu. ft.
•    Fuel tank: 20.0 gal.

Warranty: 5-year/100,000 mile powertrain; 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper

All-in-all, The Buick Enclave has gives the Europeans a run for their money.  Come take a test drive in one today at Coulter Tempe.



November 11, 2011 - Posted by | Buick, Coulter Tempe, New Car Specials | , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I will start of by saying, I love my 2011 Enclave. I will however turn it in early.

    Comment by yemmo | December 14, 2011 | Reply

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