The Envision received a mild exterior refresh for the latest model year, along with a new transmission, a bump in torque and a new toggle button for the auto-stop/start feature.
The Envision is the first Buick sold in the United States to carry a "made in China" label. Built on a brand-new platform, it stretches 183 inches long, 72 inches wide, and 66 inches tall, dimensions that make it roughly the same size as a BMW X3.
The crossover wears a familiar front end that falls in line with Buick's latest design language thanks to a large waterfall grille with horizontal slats and elongated headlights.
The Envision boasts a well-appointed cockpit available with several dashboard trim materials, including real wood.
An eight-inch touch screen runs Buick's IntelliLink infotainment system, and buyers can select a host of high-tech driving aids including lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera, and automatic parking assistance.
Buyers can also order the Envision with a Teen Driver feature. The function lets concerned parents keep track of the distance driven, the maximum speed traveled, how often the driver went above the speed limit, and the number of times the various driving aids (such as forward collision alert) turned on. They can also set a maximum speed.
Trunk space checks in at 26.9 cubic feet with five adults on board and 57.3 cubes with the rear bench folded flat.
Under the hood
New for the latest model year, the base engine is a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder that makes 197 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 192 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm. Fuel economy checks in at 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway with front-wheel drive. Selecting all-wheel drive lowers both figures by 1 mpg.
Buyers after more power can step up to a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It produces 252 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque at just 2,000 rpm. It's rated at 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.
Both engines shift through automatic gearboxes. The 2.5L is matched to a six-speed; turbo buyers get an eight-speed. Buyers who opt for the 2.5-liter get front-wheel drive, and they can order all-wheel drive at an extra cost provided they don't select the base model. The 2.0-liter exclusively ships with all-wheel drive.
Trim level breakdown
The Envision is offered in five trim levels named base, Preferred, Essence, Premium I, and Premium II, respectively.
The base model comes generously equipped with dual-zone A/C, an eight-inch touch screen, Bluetooth connectivity, a six-speaker sound system, a three-month subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio, cruise control, a 4.2-inch information screen in the instrument cluster, keyless entry, a push-button ignition, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, ambient lighting, a remote vehicle starter, a rear-view camera, eight-way power front seats, heated front seats, leather upholstery on the steering wheel and on the shift knob, a multi-function steering wheel, automatic headlights, a power liftgate, rear parking sensors, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a compact spare tire.
Next up is the Preferred trim. It packs the same features as the base model but it can be upgraded with all-wheel drive at an extra cost.
The Essence trim adds tri-zone A/C, rear cross-traffic alert, a blind spot detection system, a memory function for the driver's seat and the mirrors, leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, a luggage rack, and trim-specific 18-inch wheels.
Stepping up to the Premium I trim adds seven-speaker Bose sound system, an enhanced information screen in the instrument cluster, a following distance indicator, a 120-volt power outlet, front parking sensors, 19-inch alloy wheels, bigger rear brakes, dual exhaust tips, and Buick's HiPer strut front suspension. The Premium I model also brings forward collision warning and lane-keeping assist.
Finally, the Premium II trim brings navigation, a heads-up display, ventilated and cooled front seats, automatic high beams, and HID headlights.
Navigation is available as a standalone option on the Essence and Premium I models.
All Envision models regardless of trim level come standard with front, knee, side, and curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems.
In the market for an Envision? Other options worth checking out include the Acura MDX, the Lincoln MKC, the Lexus NX, and the Audi Q5.