Buick Envision Research

The Car Connection Buick Envision Overview

The Buick Envision is a five-seat crossover SUV, the automaker's first offering in the fast-growing mid-size segment.

Introduced late in the 2016 model year with a limited lineup, the Envision range grew for 2017 to include a new base engine and a total of five trim levels and a choice of powertrains.

The Envision is the first Chinese-built vehicle to be sold by an American brand in the U.S., although a specific version of the Volvo S60 beat the Buick on the China-to-America boat. 

The Envision is not only an important political moment for General Motors, it's a big product addition for the Buick brand, which previously offered only the small Encore crossover hatchback and the big, three-row Enclave crossover SUV.

There are no changes to the Envision for the 2018 model year.

MORE: Read our 2018 Buick Envision review

The Envision fills a void in the Buick lineup and suits up to take on some important and successful rivals such as the Mercedes GLC-Class, the Audi Q5, the Acura RDX, and the Lincoln MKC.

Styling fits in the crossover-SUV mainstream, with a small Buick grille dressing a front end without any truck-like SUV lines. It's quite a car-like vehicle, with muscular fenders flowing into a sideview that's clearly influenced by the BMW X5. Inside, the Envision's cockpit has a curvaceous and dramatic look, with big swaths of woodgrain trim and ambient lighting on some versions.

The sole powertrain for the 2016 Envision was a turbocharged and direct-injected 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. It's rated at 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. A 6-speed automatic is the only transmission paired with the turbo-4. The Envision is sold in both front- and all-wheel-drive form; the all-wheel-drive system is a new twin-clutch system.

For the 2017 model year, a naturally aspirated 4-cylinder joined the lineup.

Other mechanical details include electric power assist that factors in counter-steering measures to mitigate crosswinds and road surface variations, and front and rear disc brakes. The suspension is designed for comfort, with front struts isolated with hydraulic bushings, and a four-link independent rear.

The Envision is somewhat smaller than GM's current compact to mid-size SUVs: the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain. It's about two inches shorter than those vehicles, at 183.7 inches long, and has a wheelbase about four inches shorter, at 107.9 inches. It shares a useful feature with Terrain and Equinox: a sliding second-row seat that allows more flexibility when carrying passengers and cargo. Behind the rear seat, the Envision can carry 26.9 cubic feet of cargo.

The IIHS calls the Envision a Top Safety Pick+ after it received top "Good" scores in testing and its front crash prevention systems earned an "Advanced" rating. The Envision comes standard with a rearview camera and active lane control. Other standard features include power heated front seats; automatic climate control; Bose audio; an infotainment system controlled via an 8.0-inch touchscreen; and remote start.

Major options include remote keyless ignition; ventilated front seats; surround-view cameras; a hands-free power tailgate; automatic parking assistance; OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity and an in-car wireless hotspot; and a panoramic sunroof.

Fuel economy figures are competitive, and the Envision comes with active grille shutters and stop-start to improve gas mileage. It also weighs in at about 4,000 pounds and is rated to tow up to 1,500 pounds.

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March 30, 2017
2017 Buick Envision AWD 4-Door Premium II

One smooth ride, inside and out.

  • Overall Rating
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  • Comfort and Quality
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Coming from a 2013 and 2014 Cadillac, both of which I still have, the Buick is refreshingly solid and comforting in both riding and driving. We got a used 2016 Premium ll with roof and Driver Confidence... + More »
people found this helpful.
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March 30, 2017
2016 Buick Envision AWD 4-Door Premium II

SMOOTH RIDE, INSIDE AND OUT.

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
Coming from a 2013 and 2014 Cadillac, both of which I still have, the Buick is refreshingly solid and comforting in both riding and driving. We got a used 2016 Premium ll with roof and Driver Confidence... + More »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
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