September 19, 2021

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2021 Buick Envision preview

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What kind of vehicle is the 2021 Buick Envision? What does it compare to?

The redesigned 2021 Buick Envision is a five-seat crossover SUV that slots between the smaller Buick Encore GX and the largest Buick in the Enclave three-row crossover SUV. It competes in a crowded premium segment with the Lincoln Corsair, Cadillac XT4, Lexus NX, Acura RDX, and Volvo XC60. 

Is the 2021 Buick Envision a good SUV?

Review continues below

This section will be updated once driving impressions are recorded on the second-generation Envision. It should improve on the middling rating of the outgoing model that earned a 5.2 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What’s new for the 2021 Buick Envision?

Most everything is new on the second-generation Envision. It rides on a new platform and features a stylish new exterior, more standard safety features, a new turbo-4 engine, and the brand’s top Avenir trim for the first time.

The redesigned Envision looks more like a Volvo with its stately lines and wheelbase that stretched by an inch. The new platform shared with the Cadillac XT4 pushes the wheels to the corners and widens by 1.7 inches but lowers 2.1 inches for a more athletic look compared to the outgoing model. Available 20-inch wheels flex that profile even more. 

Its grille is stretched horizontally across the front and bisected by a horizontal bar. That bar extends toward LED daytime running lights that underscore narrower LED headlights. Down low, diamond-shaped air intakes frame the lower bumper and skid plate. The belt line rises to the rear into turn indicators that swipe toward the intended direction. 

Buick streamlined the trim levels to Preferred, Essence, and Avenir. Offered for the first time on the Envision, the top Avenir trim comes with a distinct mesh grille design, 20-inch wheels, diamond-pattern quilted leather seats, and textured wood interior trim. 

A new Sport Touring package available on Preferred and Essence trims adds 20-inch black wheels, body-color door handles, and black gloss wheel arches, door rockers, and roof rails. It costs $1,325. 

One powertrain pilots the 2021 Envision, a 228-hp 2.0-liter turbo-4 that generates 258 lb-ft of torque. A 9-speed automatic transmission sends power to the front wheels or, for an additional $1,800, all-wheel drive. Front-drive models have three drive modes while AWD models have five. Power to the rear axle disconnects to improve fuel economy on all-wheel-drive models, which get an EPA-rated 22 mpg city, 29 highway, 25 combined. Front-drive models get 24/31/26 mpg. 

The new platform also provides a structure that’s 30% stiffer than the previous generation, Buick says. The rear suspension improves from a four-link to five-link setup that cuts down road noise and vehicle vibration. For an even softer ride, adaptive damping is offered on the Avenir trim. Buick promises smoother handling and good body control, but we’ll wait to confirm it until we drive it. 

Comfort, safety, and features

Inside, the five-seat crossover expands with nearly two inches more leg room in back, but the narrower hip room might pinch the middle rider. The longer leg room eats into cargo volume, as does the lower height, with the 2021 Envision losing about 5.0 cubic feet down to 52.7 cubic feet  with the 60/40-split seats folded down. With the seats up, there’s 25.2 cubic feet of space in the rear. 

The interior gets spruced up as well, with a butterfly storage console and an available 10.2-inch touchscreen canted toward the driver. An 8.0-inch touchscreen comes standard with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. A new electronic gear shifter replaces the mechanical shifter, but its lined up on the center console beside the cupholders. The buttons seem susceptible to spills. The design frees up more space, such as for a recessed wireless smartphone charging hold with USB-A and USB-C ports. 

Standard safety equipment includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, active lane control, blind-spot monitors, automatic high beams, and parking assistance. Options include a surround-view camera system, head-up display, and more. 

How much does the 2021 Buick Envision cost?

The 2021 Envision costs $32,995, including destination. The top Avenir trim costs $43,195, and any paint other than white adds $495. It adds heated and cooled front seats, diamond-perforated quilted leather seats, massaging driver’s seat, heated rear outboard seats, navigation, and wireless smartphone charging. 

Where is the 2021 Buick Envision made?

In China. 

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