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Top Features of Base Model
- Comfortable, quiet ride
- Choice of engines
- Available all-wheel drive
- Easy-to-use infotainment system
- Competitive base price
Buick Envision: Everything You Need to Know
About the Buick Envision:
The 2019 Buick Envision is a compact crossover utility vehicle that competes against other premium SUVs. It’s nicer than most of the mass-market models, but it’s not a true luxury car. Like many such vehicles, the Envision offers a choice of engines and can be ordered with front- or all-wheel drive. It’s the first GM vehicle to be made in China and imported into the U.S.
What’s New in the 2019 Buick Envision?
Buick has made some minor changes to the Envision for 2019. Updates include:
- Refreshed front and rear styling
- Turbo four now paired with a new nine-speed automatic transmission
- The turbocharged engine has received an increase in torque
Some prices lowered, depending on trim level
The Envision’s base engine is a 197-horsepower, 2.5-liter four producing 192 pound-feet of torque. It comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The optional engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four that puts out 252 horsepower and 295 pound-feet torque. That powerplant gets the new nine-speed automatic.
EPA fuel economy for the base 2.5-liter engine is rated at 25 mpg in combined city and highway driving. The optional turbocharged 2.0-liter engine gets a rating of 22 mpg, combined.
What Does the Buick Envision Compete With?
Competitors for the Buick Envision are diverse. Compact crossovers abound, but few are from U.S. premium brands. European luxury-brand shoppers may not consider a Buick, and the same goes for those looking for models like the sportier Acura and Jaguar SUVs. The closest match may be the Japanese premium brands, including Acura, Infiniti, and Lexus.
The Envision is often cross-shopped with vehicles that include:
- Acura RDX
- Audi Q5
- BMW X3
- Infiniti Q50
- Jaguar F-Pace
- Lexus NX
- Volvo XC60
Envision shoppers are often previous Buick owners. They could be moving up from the smaller Encore or down from a midsize Enclave. They could also include Chevrolet buyers looking for a little more luxury in their crossover.
Exterior Design of the 2019 Buick Envision
The 2019 Buick Envision follows the familiar crossover SUV profile: a high-riding vehicle with a station-wagon back end. However, looked at head-on, it’s obvious that the Envision is slightly narrower than competitors.
For 2019, the grille has been updated to match the latest Buick family design. The sides remain sculpted, with the front wheel arches more exaggerated than the rear. This year, high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights have become standard. LED lights are an option on pricier models. Alloy wheel designs were updated too. Overall, the styling is inoffensive but unremarkable.
Interior Style in the 2019 Buick Envision
The 2019 Buick Envision has comfortable front seats with eight-way power adjustment. Higher-trim models add features like seat cooling and extendable thigh supports. The rear seat is high and its backrest reclines, but the car is simply too narrow for three adults to sit comfortably. Cargo space is about average for the class, and the Envision has the requisite assortment of cupholders, trays, and bins.
Interior materials are varied, with a mix of hard- and soft-touch plastics. The two-tone trim option is considerably more pleasant than the all-black default. The “wood” on some models looks particularly fake. And we’d have preferred rotary knobs, rather than rocker switches, to adjust the climate control.
After leaving an Envision in the hot sun for several hours, we were startled to find the interior emitting an intense “new-car smell,” something we hadn’t experienced since the 1990s. It reminded us that materials in Chinese-built vehicles can differ from those used in North American and European-built cars.
What Technology Comes in the 2019 Buick Envision?
Buick isn’t necessarily known for advanced technologies, and the Envision has little to set it apart from other vehicles. Its main gauges each have needles rotating in separate housings, even though European and Asian luxury makers have moved to simulated gauges in fully digital dashboards.
Buick gets points, though, for a clean, crisp, and fairly intuitive interface for the central touchscreen display. It controls audio, navigation, phone pairing, and other vehicle functions. Similar to those used in many GM vehicles, it’s easy to understand and requires relatively few touches, taps, and commands to accomplish frequent tasks.
Every Envision comes standard with an 8.0-inch touchscreen, integrated Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, keyless ignition, and heated power-adjustable front seats. But it costs almost $6,000 more to get features like blind-spot monitors, driver’s seat memory, a heated steering wheel, leather upholstery, and rear-seat climate controls.
What Kind of Safety Features are in the 2019 Buick Envision?
The 2019 Buick Envision gets the top rating of five stars from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), with a mix of four- and five-star ratings on individual tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives it “Good” ratings, its top score, on all crash tests. But the Envision’s optional active-safety features get middling scores, and the ease of use of its LATCH child-seat mountings is rated “Marginal.”
Unlike many brands that are making active-safety systems standard across the board, Buick charges extra for most of these features. Blind-spot monitors are available on most trims, but if you want adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking, you have to add a $1,600 option package to the highest trim level. If you want forward-collision alerts and active lane control, those come only with the more powerful turbo engine.
What is the 2019 Buick Envision Like to drive?
On the road, the 2019 Buick Envision is clearly a highway cruiser rather than a sporty crossover. Like Buicks of bygone days, it’s smooth and quiet at speed on straight and level roads. It handles well enough but doesn’t make drivers want to push the limits for fun on curvy roads.
Performance from the base 2.5-liter engine is acceptable, but nothing more. It vibrates at rest and is noisier than you’d expect under hard acceleration. The optional turbo four is punchier, though buyers who want that engine without all-wheel drive are out of luck. One tip: Avoid the optional 19-inch wheels. They look good, but the low-profile tires deliver a much harsher ride than the taller sidewalls on the standard 18-inch tire-wheel combination.
Should I Buy a New 2019 Buick Envision?
The 2019 Envision may be a logical purchase, especially if you’re already a Buick owner. It’s not a bad vehicle, but it gets expensive quickly. A base Envision costs the same as a nicely equipped Hyundai Santa Fe, for instance. But equip the Buick to match the features on that Santa Fe and you’re well into the $40,000s. At that price point, it’s hard to make a case that the Envision is the best choice among the many available compact crossovers.
Should I buy a Used Buick Envision? Are There Any I Should Avoid?
The Buick Envision has been on sale in the U.S. since 2016, so there will be more used models coming onto dealer lots as three-year leases expire. Each model year had some updates and changes, but the newly restyled 2019 version isn’t likely to show up as a used car for a while.
Envisions were expensive in their early years, so shop around to ensure you really want one as you compare it against used competitors of similar vintage and miles. And try to test-drive examples with both engines. You’ll likely find the optional turbo variant more satisfying than the dull base version.
How Much Does the 2019 Buick Envision Cost?
After comprehensive reductions in its pricing for 2019, the Buick Envision starts at $33,190 including the mandatory delivery fee of $1,195. But that’s deceptive, because the base model is offered only in white. If you want any other color, you have to move up to the Preferred trim, which costs a stunning $3,300 extra and adds no other features.
However, Preferred and higher trims do allow you to add options that aren’t available on the base mode. But the cost of those options does add up quickly. The turbocharged Envision Premium II with all-wheel drive comes in at almost $45,000. For many buyers that may not be a particularly compelling value.
Pros and Cons of the 2020 Buick Envision
- Powerful optional turbo engine
- Quiet ride
- Comfortable interior
- Good infotainment system
- Narrow cabin
- Underwhelming standard engine
- Base model only available in white
- Active-safety features only for priciest versions
- Gets expensive quickly
- Chinese manufacture could matter to some buyers
The History of the Buick Envision: Five years of Envision
The Buick Envision was originally designed for the Chinese market and made its debut in China in 2014. Buick has a history as a prestige brand in that country that dates back to the early part of the 20th century. Now, GM sells about five times as many Buicks in China as it does in the U.S.
The Buick Envision was launched in the North American market for the 2016 model year, making it the first Chinese-made GM vehicle to be imported into the U.S. Since that time, the Envision has received minor updates to features, trim, and performance. It was lightly restyled for 2019, its fourth model year in the U.S. Details of any changes for 2020 have not yet been released.
Specs & Key Features of the 2020 Buick Envision
- Body Style
- Sport Utility Vehicle
- 2.5L DOHC 4-cylinder SIDI with Variable Valve Timing (VVT) (197 hp [147 kW] @ 6300 rpm, 192 lb-ft of torque [260 N-m] @ 4400 rpm)
- 197 hp
- 6-speed automatic
- Passenger Doors
- Passenger Seating
- Front Wheel Drive
- City MPG
- Hwy MPG
- Air Conditioning
- Android Auto
- Apple CarPlay
- Cruise Control
- Heated Seats
- Leather Steering Wheel
- Tinted Glass
- Engine, 2.5L DOHC 4-cylinder SIDI with Variable Valve Timing (VVT) (197 hp [147 kW] @ 6300 rpm, 192 lb-ft of torque [260 N-m] @ 4400 rpm)
- Transmission, 6-speed automatic, electronically-controlled with Driver Shift Control
- Axle, 3.50 final drive ratio
- Engine control, stop/start system
- Engine control, stop/start system override
- Driver shift control
- Drivetrain, front-wheel drive
- Recovery hooks, front
- GVWR, 5070 lbs (2300 kg)
- Suspension, front MacPherson strut
- Suspension, rear 4-link
- Brakes, 4-wheel antilock, 4-wheel disc, 17" front and rear
- Brake, parking, electronic
- Brake lining, high-performance
- Exhaust, turned down, hidden
- Jack, mechanical
- Wheels, 18" (45.7 cm) 10-spoke painted aluminum
- Tires, P225/60R18 all-season blackwall
- Wheel, 17" (43.2 cm) steel spare
- Tire, spare T145/70R17 SL blackwall
- Mirrors, outside heated power-adjustable, body-color, manual-folding with turn signal indicators and driver side auto-dimming
- Headlamps, automatic delay
- Headlamps, projector beam, high intensity discharge (HID)
- Headlamp control, automatic on and off
- Fog lamps, front
- Taillamps, LED with low-profile design
- Glass, acoustic, laminated windshield
- Glass, deep-tinted
- Glass, laminated front doors
- Wiper, rear intermittent
- License plate front mounting package
- Door handles, body-color with chrome strip
- Liftgate, power, hands free open and close, programmable
- Audio system, Buick Infotainment System, AM/FM stereo, SiriusXM with 8" diagonal Color Touch Screen, includes 2 USB ports, Bluetooth streaming for audio and select phones and Phone Integration for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability for compatible phone
- Audio system feature, 6-speaker system
- Audio system feature, USB ports, dual with single auxiliary input jack
- SiriusXM Radio enjoy an All Access trial subscription with over 150 channels including commercial-free music, plus sports, news and entertainment. Plus listening on the SiriusXM app, online and at home on compatible connected devices is included, so you'll hear the best SiriusXM has to offer, anywhere life takes you. Welcome to the world of SiriusXM. (IMPORTANT: The SiriusXM radio trial package is not provided on vehicles that are ordered for Fleet Daily Rental ("FDR") use. If you decide to continue service after your trial, the subscription plan you choose will automatically renew thereafter and you will be charged according to your chosen payment method at then-current rates. Fees and taxes apply. See the SiriusXM Customer Agreement at www.siriusxm.com for complete terms and how to cancel. All fees, content, features, and availability are subject to change.)
- 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot capable (Terms and limitations apply. See onstar.com or dealer for details.)
- Noise control system, active noise cancellation
- Seats, front bucket
- Seat trim, leatherette seating
- Head restraints, 4-way adjustable, front, up/down, fore/aft
- Head restraints, rear, outboard seats, adjustable (up/down)
- Seat adjuster, driver 8-way power with power lumbar
- Seat adjuster, front passenger 8-way power with power lumbar
- Seat, rear 60-40 split-folding, reclining and sliding
- Seat, rear, 1-touch flat-folding, manual levers located in cargo area
- Seats, heated driver and front passenger
- Cup holders, 2 in front console, 2 in rear armrest
- Power outlets, 3 auxiliary with covers, 12-volt includes 1 inside console, 1 rear seat and 1 rear cargo area (Also includes 1 front power outlet.)
- Map pocket, driver seatback
- Map pocket, front passenger seatback
- Audio system feature, USB charging-only ports, dual located in the rear of the center console
- Retained accessory power power windows, audio system and moonroof remain operational after ignition is switched off for 10 minutes or until a door is opened
- Floor mats, carpeted front
- Floor mats, carpeted rear
- Steering wheel, leather-wrapped 3-spoke
- Steering wheel controls audio, phone interface, Driver Information Center and vehicle controls
- Window, power with driver Express-Up and Down
- Window, power with front passenger Express-Down
- Windows, power, rear with Express-Down
- Universal Home Remote includes garage door opener, 3-channel programmable
- Cruise control, electronic with set and resume speed
- Driver Information Center, enhanced, 4.2" multi-color display includes tachometer, speedometer, trip odometer, fuel level, coolant temperature, oil life monitor, battery and compass
- Door locks, power programmable with lockout protection
- Keyless Open includes extended range with (BTM) keyless start and automatic door lock/unlock features.
- Keyless start, push button
- Remote vehicle starter system
- Remote panic alarm
- Air conditioning, dual-zone automatic climate control with individual climate settings for driver and front passenger
- Air vents, rear console
- Theft-deterrent system, electrical, unauthorized entry
- Defogger, rear-window electric
- Mirror, inside rearview auto-dimming
- QuietTuning Buick unique process to reduce, block and absorb noise and vibration to create a quiet interior cabin
- Sunglass storage, overhead
- Lighting, interior ambient located on instrument panel and front door trim
- Shift knob, leather-wrapped
- Buick Connected Access capable (Subject to terms. See onstar.com or dealer for details.)
- StabiliTrak, stability control system with Traction Control
- Daytime Running Lamps, LED signature lighting
- Airbags, single-stage driver and dual-stage front passenger frontal, driver and front passenger knee, front and rear seat-mounted side impact and roof-rail for outboard seating positions (Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner's Manual for more information.)
- Airbag, Passenger Sensing System sensor indicator inflatable restraint, front passenger/child presence detector
- OnStar and Buick connected services capable (Terms and limitations apply. See onstar.com or dealer for details.)
- Rear Vision Camera
- Rear Park Assist, Ultrasonic
- Seat belts, 3-point, driver and front passenger height-adjustable, includes pretensioners and load limiters
- Teen Driver a configurable feature that lets you activate customizable vehicle settings associated with a key fob, to help encourage safe driving behavior. It can limit certain available vehicle features, and it prevents certain safety systems from being turned off. An in-vehicle report card gives you information on driving habits and helps you to continue to coach your new driver
- Door locks, child security, rear, electrical
- LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) for child restraint seats
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System
- Tire Fill Alert
- Horn, dual-note