In February 2017, I directed my daughter to this 2012 MacBook Pro
, not only because it was the cheapest MBP available from the Apple Refurbished Store, and with a great feature set to boot, but also because I expected that since it was still being manufactured after every 2013 and 2014 MBP had already been dropped from the catalog it would be supported software-wise for a good few upgrades.
Unfortunately, though, while it is
able to run Catalina, Big Sur is supported only for 2013 and later MBPs.
I think that not supporting a machine that was still being manufactured
for between 1 1/2 and 3 years
after some supported machines were discontinued is pretty shabby treatment by Apple!
(This may cast a new light on a discussion I recently had with joemike about Time Capsules, Base Stations, and Airport Utility in which I opined that Apple would surely maintain AU as long as the hardware that depended on it was still supported.