The Car Connection Buick Envision Overview
The Buick Envision is a five-seat mid-size crossover SUV that slots between the bigger Enclave and the smaller Encore GX. It's the first Chinese-built vehicle to be sold by an American brand in the U.S.
The Envision fills a void in the Buick lineup and suits up to take on some important and successful rivals such as the Audi Q5, the Acura RDX, and the Lincoln Corsair.
The new Buick Envision
The Envision enters its second generation with the 2021 model year, wearing a handsomely sculpted new body. The interior's revamped as well, with wide touchscreens, a curved dash, and more room than in the first-generation Envision.
MORE: Read our 2021 Buick Envision review
The Envision sports a 228-hp turbo-4 and a 9-speed automatic, with an available all-wheel-drive system; the standard configuration offers front-wheel drive. A standard multi-link suspension may be upgraded in the Avenir model with adaptive dampers; wheel sizes range from 18 to 20 inches.
Up to five passengers fit in the new Envision. The seats are covered in synthetic upholstery that can be upgraded to leather. Buick fits the Envision cockpit with plenty of small-item storage and USB ports. The rear seat folds flat to boost storage space to 52.7 cubic feet, and a power tailgate’s standard on the top two trims.
All Envisions get automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, parking sensors, and active lane control. Options include a head-up display, a surround-view camera system, and front parking sensors.
Prices for the new Envision start below $35,000, for a crossover with an 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 18-inch wheels, and LED headlights. The Envision Avenir starts in the low $40,000s and has 20-inch wheels, a surround-view camera system, and navigation.
Buick Envision history
New in the 2016 model year, the first Envision wore a small Buick grille and other luxury-car cues without any truck-like SUV lines. The cabin had 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 2.0-liter turbo-4 rated at 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. A 6-speed automatic was the only transmission paired with the turbo-4. This Envision was sold in both front- and all-wheel-drive form; the all-wheel-drive system was a new twin-clutch system.
For the 2017 model year, an inline-4 joined the lineup. A mid-cycle update for 2019 swapped in a 9-speed automatic and boosted torque to 295 lb-ft on the turbo-4 version only.
Other mechanical details included electric power assist that factors in counter-steering measures to mitigate crosswinds and road surface variations, and front and rear disc brakes. The suspension paired front struts isolated with hydraulic bushings, and a four-link independent rear.
The first-generation Envision was 183.7 inches long, with a wheelbase of 107.9 inches. It offered a sliding second-row seat that allowed more flexibility when carrying passengers and cargo. Behind the rear seat, the Envision could carry 26.9 cubic feet of cargo.
Standard equipment included a rearview camera and active lane control; power heated front seats; automatic climate control; Bose audio; an infotainment system controlled via an 8.0-inch touchscreen; and remote start.
Major options included remote keyless ignition; cooled front seats; a surround-view camera system; a hands-free power tailgate; automatic parking assistance; OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity and an in-car wireless hotspot; and a panoramic sunroof.
The 2019 Envision also received new headlights and bumpers. For 2020, Buick reskinned the Envision's infotainment interface.