Quality » 9
Shopping for a new Buick Enclave? MSRP: $36,500 - $45,765
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QUALITY | 9 out of 10
it doesn't come off feeling floaty and uncontrolled
Only sharp bumps intrude.
nicely appointed, user-friendly, supremely quiet and very roomy
The Enclave stands out for its quiet ride...You don't have to raise your voice much to be heard by any passenger.
The bench seat sits very close to the floor, but so do most third rows.
A roomy, quiet interior really is the Enclave's forte. This large crossover vehicle has seating for up to eight passengers and sports lots of cargo room, and it has a soft, mostly composed ride as well as a standard of refinement you won't find in some other large crossovers.
Seating and flexibility are strengths, especially compared to truck-based SUVs like the Chevrolet Tahoe. Even the third row is large enough for adults--although entry and exit may be a challenge. The front seats in the Enclave are nothing special; they're large and wide, but overly soft. The second-row seats sit a bit higher than in most other large crossovers, which makes them comfortable for adults and gives a good view out.
The third-row seat is the largest in this crossover class; adults can sit back there—including those way over six feet. The seat's a little low and crunched, but you can do it for a trip out to the soccer game or short commute. And with total seating capacity of up to eight, it's a true minivan alternative.
Storage is also plentiful, with over 23 cubic feet of space behind the third row when the cargo management system is removed, and if you fold down the second and third rows, you'll free up over 115 cubic feet of cargo space. The Enclave's back seats fold down to a completely flat cargo floor, too, allowing a minivan-like space behind the second row good enough for just about any purchase from big-box stores, and the second tow tilts forward for even more space. The only issue is that you might not be able to fully open those wide rear side doors if you're parked.
Throughout the cabin, materials and trims are quite good, although there's a bit too much dull, hard plastic trim for a vehicle that can cost nearly $50k.
Your passengers will appreciate the quiet cabin and smooth ride of the 2012 Buick Enclave, too. The suspension is soft and absorbent but never bouncy—although there's a fair amount of nosedive during hard stops. If you get the larger 20-inch wheels, you'll add a little more harshness, even though it's still softer and more refined than other three-row crossovers.
Roomy and versatile seating and a smooth, quiet ride make the Enclave a great pick for family road trips.