Buick Envision

The 2017 Buick Envision is offered in several trim levels. The Base Envision, Preferred and Essence trims are powered by a 2.5L 4-cylinder that makes 191 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. In these trims, front-wheel-drive is standard, though all-wheel-drive is optional, with power supplied through a 6-speed automatic transmission. Upper-tier Premium and Premium II trims come with a turbocharged 2.0L 4-cylinder, which produces 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque and powers all four wheels through a 6-speed auto. So equipped, the Envision boasts strong acceleration for its class, even if it's not sports car-quick.

The Base Envision and Preferred trims offer standard 18-inch alloy wheels, daytime running lights, a rear vision camera with parking assist, premium cloth seating surfaces with heated front seats, a hands-free power liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, Buick IntelliLink with phone integration, 4G WiFi hotspot capability, and more.

The Essence trim adds chrome roof rails, perforated leather seating with heated front and rear seats, 8-way power-adjustable front seats with a memory system for the driver's seat and mirrors, a heated leather steering wheel, tri-zone automatic climate control, and alerts for blind spots and lane changes.

In the Premium trim, buyers get standard all-wheel drive, 19-inch alloy wheels, HiPer Strut front suspension, rain-sensing wipers, a Bose 7-speaker sound system, an 8-inch color driver information display, forward collision alert and a lane departure warning with lane keep assist. Finally, the Premium II trim boasts articulating HID headlights with automatic dimming, automatic park assist, a cooled driver's seat, navigation and a head-up display.

Options on the Buick Envision include a power-sliding panoramic moonroof and adaptive cruise control.

Buick has paid particular attention to the safety features available on the Envision. Beyond the expected airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control and stability control, the Envision offers a strong set of safety enhancements across the range. Lane keep assist, blind spot warning, a rear cross traffic alert system, a rearview camera and what Buick is calling a "Safety Alert Seat" which will pulse to alert the driver of a possible crash are all standard. The Buick Envision is also available with a surround vision system which uses various cameras mounted around the vehicle to give the driver an unobstructed view of their surroundings.

Editors' Review

The first-generation Buick Envision was... fine, like how you might describe a movie you didn't really want to see. The 2021 Buick Envision changes that up, however. Through some careful nips and tucks, this midsize premium crossover is far more worthy of your time.

Style takes a big step forward in the 2021 Envision. The outgoing crossover had the wide eyes of a cat you snuck up on and a mishmash of forms on the side. The new generation is, by comparison, far fancier looking, with thinner headlights and taillights above more expressive bumpers, as well as a front grille that looks like it was designed in this decade and side lines that no longer compete with one another. A longer wheelbase and a lower, wider body give the Envision more adult proportions, too. That comes with a tradeoff, though -- the 25.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row is less than what came on the last generation, which beats the Volvo XC60 (17.8) but lags behind the Acura RDX (29.5) and the Lincoln Corsair (27.6).

The 2021 Envision's interior is vastly improved, and Old GM's myriad buttons are gone. The infotainment screen is nicely integrated into the dashboard, although it's tilted oddly skyward. The climate control buttons live in a swath of piano-black trim which, on my Avenir tester, continues rearward to the center console armrest. There are some decently fancy cues around, from the dimpled wood on the door panels to the diamond ventilation pattern on the leather seats. There's a little more vinyl-soft plastic than I'd prefer to see in a top-tier trim with an out-the-door price north of $45,000, but that's GM for you. On the whole, it's a spacious, attractive interior that's a quantum leap ahead of what came before.

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The Good ~ Attractive exterior design ~ Great infotainment tech ~ Smooth and quiet ride quality

The Bad ~ Lots of cheap interior bits ~ Middling fuel economy

The Bottom Line The 2021 Buick Envision is an all-around better product than its predecessor.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 6.5
  • Features 8
  • Design 8
  • Media 8.5

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