Everyone loves a good deal, and a reliable vehicle like the Buick Enclave could be a tempting find on the used market. These midsize crossovers have been transporting drivers from point A to point B since 2007, making them a familiar sight on the road and a popular choice for a luxury SUV.
Still, if you want a Buick on a budget, there are some models to look out for. Though the 2012 Enclave isn’t the worst model year, you’d still be wise to avoid it.
The Buick Enclave has had its ups and downs
The Buick Enclave made a splash in the SUV market following its debut in 2007. With its four-door body and seven-passenger layout, it soon competed with vehicles like the GMC Acadia and the Chevy Traverse. Boasting a 3.6-liter V6 engine producing 275 hp, the first-generation Enclave endured until 2017, Money Inc reports.
The 2008 through 2012 models maintained a standard look, but fans seemed to appreciate the reliable style. According to Autoblog, Enclave sales consistently rose over the years, peaking in 2011 with 58,000 units sold. Perhaps in celebration of its segment-leading success, Buick introduced the 2013 Enclave with an updated grille and redesigned hood.
As a result, the 2012 Enclave is the last of its kind to sport the original look. Although it would be years before Buick introduced the second generation, many fans of the classic look would consider the 2012 model a collectible that still offered a decent ride.
The 2012 Buick Enclave disappoints in key areas
Despite the 2012 Buick Enclave’s original look and trusted branding, remain wary of that model year. U.S. News ranks it as one of the “Best Cars for the Money,” with owners paying an average of $12,572 to $16,454 for their new wheels. Unfortunately, this price doesn’t consider the additional costs you may incur at the gas pump. The average driver achieved 16 to 17 mpg in the city and 22 to 24 on the highway. This falls far short of similar SUVs from the year, such as the Toyota Highlander and Venza.
U.S. News also praised the car as one of the “Best Cars for Families.” Still, other reviewers disagree. Consumer Reports notes not only the lackluster fuel economy but also the horrible rear visibility. CR named it a “Popular Luxury SUV to Avoid.” The consumer site also cited the Enclave’s unreliable engine and transmission.
A used model could be a steal, but it seems in this case you’d be getting what you paid for — if that.
The 2021 model offers affordable luxury
If you’re looking for a used luxury SUV, it’ll be a while before you find a pre-owned 2021 Buick Enclave. Still, the latest model’s positive reception is encouraging news for the line. The second-generation Enclave retails for $40,000 to $56,000. It’s one of the most affordable options in its class.
Still, it would seem this most recent addition to the lineup includes many of its predecessors’ drawbacks. It has received criticism for its lack of standard safety features, seriously diminishing its value as a family vehicle. It also offers poor fuel economy. However, its heavy body offers benefits like increased towing and torque.
Dis the Enclave’s reliability all you want, but at least it’s consistent in the way it disappoints.