DALLAS, March 5, 2012 — There’s nothing new to the Buick Enclave in 2012, save for a few minor tweaks, but it’s still a vehicle to consider in this class with the Acura MDX, Lexus RX 350 and Lincoln MKT all comparable. Some buyers might also consider a look at the Toyota Highlander or the Honda Odyssey, but for upscale buyer the Enclave still stands tall.
With three rows, there is plenty of room in this crossover SUV without the minivan look some family drivers want to avoid. There is also plenty of cargo space, so if it’s not people you are hauling, you will still find the Buick Enclave more than functional.
There are four different trims for the 2012 Buick Enclave, but all offer ample room for seven passengers with each passenger getting a captain’s chair in the second row or a bench in the third row.
The base has 19-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlights, fog lamps, a power lift gate, heated outside mirrors, tri-zone automatic climate control, and cloth upholstery. There are also the standards you find on most vehicles like tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel but in leather/wood, keyless entry, cruise control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and Bluetooth.
The Convenience Group trim has remote starting, rear parking assist, and a rearview camera.
The next level is the Leather Group with leather upholstery, heated power front seats, and driver memory settings.
At the highest trim level, it’s the Premium Group with 19-inch chrome wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, heated power-folding outside mirrors with built-in turn signal repeaters, heated and ventilated front seats, and a power-adjustable steering column.
There are also some options on the various trims like 20-inch chrome alloy wheels, a sunroof, a second-row bench seat versus the captain’s chairs and a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system.
Under the hood, there is either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. You get a 3.6-liter V6 engine with 288 horsepower and 270 pound feet of torque. The six-speed automatic transmission is standard, but if you opt for the trailering package you have towing capacity of up to 4,500 pounds.
Safety features include stability control, front-seat side and full-length side curtain airbags.
This is one crossover you will love to drive for its appearance inside and out and the fact that even with seven to eight people in the car, it’s an easy ride, period.
Cargo space is 19 cubic feet and there is a 60/40-split third-row seat. If you fold down the second and third rows you get 116 cubic feet of space.
The 2012 Buick Enclave drives like a luxury vehicle, but will definitely take the hard knocks like a tough and ready SUV. Handling stands out too as does the suspension, offering a comfortable ride hands down. Fast on its feet, this is one to consider if you have a lot of hauling to do and want to do it in style.
Should You Need to Know: The 2012 Buick Enclave has the same unibody platform as the Chevrolet Traverse and the GMC Acadia, but it sits above those in luxury since it has a sleek exterior and touts a bit more luxurious interior as well.
Miles Per Gallon: I drove the 2012 Buick Enclave AWD-Premium, which came in at 16 miles per gallon in the city and 22 miles per gallon on the highway.
Cost: For the AWD-Premium you will pay about $51,000.
Rita Cook is a writer/editor with has over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 13-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a radio show in Los Angeles called Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings. She also contributes travel and auto to the Anthony Duva show, which can be heard live from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST every Sunday at www.unregularradio.com. Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association, writes for the Dallas Morning News Green Living Section as well as artist profiles and www.greensourceDFW and spends much of her time on the road traveling or working on books. Her latest book releases are both “Haunted Dallas” and “Haunted Fort Worth” from www.historypress.net. You can also follow Cook at Twitter at @ritacook13.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.