With sedans largely gone, the Envision brings a winning crossover formula to the Buick brand.
We’ve loved our Buicks for more than a century. GM’s premium brand comes paired with GMC and bookended by Chevrolet and Cadillac. Gone are the stylish Riviera and Roadmaster sedans that once defined this marque. Today, Buick’s best-sellers are utility vehicles, with the soon-to-be-retired LaCrosse its last sedan.
The middle of three Buick SUVs is the Envision, a compact model with room for five. Available in five trims, with prices ranging from $33,190 to $45,290, the Envision offers two engine choices along with available all-wheel drive. Competing models include the Lincoln Corsair and Volvo XC60.
What’s New This Year
Now in its fourth year, the refreshed 2019 Envision has new front and rear fascias, including a new grille design. Other changes include a new 9-speed automatic transmission with the turbocharged engine, standard LED tail lamps, and new wheel designs. The Envision is assembled in China and rolled out stateside for the 2016 model year.
Exterior & Interior Highlights
The Envision wears Buick’s waterfall grille well, which punctuates an elegant front fascia. Teardrop-shaped headlamps, pronounced body sculpting, a rising beltline, and a clamshell liftgate are among the exterior highlights. Most models wear 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels and include LED lighting.
Inside, the Envision comes with cloth seats, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. A layered dashboard, sculpted door panels, and a wide center console decorate the interior.
Supportive bucket seats up front and a 60/40 split fold-down bench seat in the rear are standard. Notably, we found the front seats were all-day comfortable. As for the rear seats they are best for two adults or for three in a pinch.
Upgrades include a heated steering wheel, leather seating surfaces, and heated outboard rear seats. An available panoramic moonroof supplies the cabin with an airy feel.
The Envision has 26.9 cubic feet of standard cargo space and 57.3 cubic feet with the second-row seat folded. This model may pull up to 1,500 pounds.
Technology & Safety
Buick does technology right, offering a standard six-speaker audio system, an 8-inch color touchscreen display, two USB ports, OnStar connectivity, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility. Upgrades include a Bose audio package, wireless charging, and navigation.
On the safety front, most of the advanced driver-assist features, including adaptive cruise control and forward automatic braking come bundled with a surround vision camera within a Driver Confidence Package ($1,545). Rear cross-traffic alert and side blind zone alert with lane change alert are standard with the middle Essence trim.
On the Road
Buick equips the Envision with a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. This one makes 197 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. Only the top Premium I and Premium II trims have the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which requires all-wheel drive. This one has a robust output of 252 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The fuel economy difference between the two engines is negligible — 24 mpg versus 22 mpg.
Our well-equipped Premium II model delivered V6-equivalent power, with stellar off-the-mark acceleration and passing power. The steering is crisp and weighted. The brakes are firm, the ride is comfortable, and the cabin lives up to Buick’s reputation for effectively insulating road noise.
You must opt for the top trims to gain the advanced driver-assist features that Buick should have made available everywhere. Typically, you’ll find steeper discounts the further up the model range you explore. In all, the Buick Envision delivers a premium model to the mainstream segment for a decent price. But be careful: price creep through package up trim upgrades can cause this Buick to bleed into luxury territory price-wise.
2019 Buick Envision Specifications
|Price Range||$31,995 to $43,600|
|Engine No. 1||2.5-liter, I4|
|Horsepower||197 @ 6,300 rpm|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||192 @ 4,400 rpm|
|Engine No. 2||2.0-liter, Turbo I4|
|Horsepower||252 @ 5,500|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||295 @ 3,000|
|Curb Weight (pounds)||3,755 to 4,083|
|Headroom (f,r…inches)||40.0, 38.5|
|Legroom (f,r…inches)||40.9, 38.5|
|Shoulder room (f,r…inches)||57.0, 55.8|
|Hip room (f,r…inches)||54.4, 53.1|
|Storage (bed length)||26.9/57.3|
|Gross vehicle weight (pounds)||NR|
|Fuel Tank (gallons)||17.3|
|EPA Fuel MPG (city/highway/combined)||22/29/25 (FWD); 20/25/22 (Turbo)|
|Manufacturing Plant||Shanghai, China|
Specifications supplied by the manufacturer. Data compiled by Tom Keegan.
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