2023 Buick Envision

2 days ago 33

The Car Connection Expert Review

Likes

  • Clean style
  • Eager turbo-4
  • Spacious cabin
  • Avenir tips into luxury class
  • Easy infotainment

Dislikes

  • No hybrid option
  • Could use a sportier edge
  • $3,650 for AWD?
  • Expensive packages
  • Adaptive cruise control extra

Buying tip

To fit all-wheel drive on the base Preferred model, Buick charges more than double what it costs on the Essence and Avenir grades.

features & specs

AWD 4-Door Avenir

AWD 4-Door Essence

AWD 4-Door Preferred

The 2023 Buick Envision exceeds expectations with a clean style and a comfy ride.

What kind of car is the 2023 Buick Envision? What does it compare to?

The Envision compact crossover SUV has a similar footprint as the Chevy Equinox but is as roomy as the Cadillac XT4 in GM’s crossover family. It competes with premium compact crossovers such as the Volvo XC60, Lincoln Corsair, and Lexus NX. 

Is the 2023 Buick Envision a good car?

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The five-seat crossover SUV carries premium looks and a premium price. It’s mildly engaging to drive, has good standard features, and, aside from concept vehicles, it’s the most attractive of Buick’s three remaining vehicles. It lacks the efficient powertrain options of competitors, however, and can get expensive. The 2023 Buick Envision earns a TCC Rating of 7.0 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What’s new for the 2023 Buick Envision?

Nothing, except some new colors that, like every other color except white, cost at least $495 more. The Envision maintains its cosmopolitan appeal with an attractive profile and modest but alluring ends that stand out by not trying too hard to stand out. The cabin carries over this notion of letting the curves and lines hold the power instead of schlocking on ornamentation, even with the 10.2-inch touchscreen on all but the base model. 

The 228-hp turbo-4 holds some of the European feel as well, with eager bursts off the line and decent power at passing speeds. A 9-speed automatic sends power to the front wheels or available all-wheel drive smoothly, though the small engine’s strain at moving a heavy crossover can be heard in the cabin. A fully independent suspension delivers more comfort than sport, even with the available adaptive dampers and 20-inch wheels on the top Avenir trim.

The roomy cabin seats five, but rear passengers would prefer that middle seat left open. Cloth and synthetic leather front seats with power adjustments can be upgraded to lovely light-beige leather, as well as with heating and cooling, which is how to optimize the comfy, supportive seats. In proper crossover fashion, the rear seats can be folded flat to put some utility in the vehicle to haul 52.7 cubic feet of weekend projects. 

Buick equips the Envision with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, active lane control, and rear parking sensors and blind-spot monitors that help see beyond the thick rear pillars. Most models can be fitted with a head-up display and a surround-view camera system, but adaptive cruise control is an extra even on the Avenir grade. 

How much does the 2023 Buick Envision cost?

We expect the base Envision to cost less than $35,000 when 2023 pricing is announced. That price includes an 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, 18-inch wheels, and LED headlights. We’d pick an Essence with heated seats and a heated steering wheel, and even with all-wheel drive the price hovers below $40,000. The top Envision Avenir with all-wheel drive and options such as adaptive cruise control reaches $50,000, which takes the Envision out of our view.

Where is the 2023 Buick Envision made?

In China.

The best-looking Buick adopts European elegance.

Is the Buick Envision a good-looking car?

Even though it’s made in China, the 2023 Buick Envision wears GM’s premium brand’s style the best. Neither overwrought or understated, it has a European signature on its American proportions both inside and out. It’s an 8 for styling.

There’s no particular element that stands out, no garish grille overtaking the front fascia, no corners that’ll poke your eye out if you get too close. The LED headlights extend from the modest grille and sweep back over the fenders in a body line that fades then returns at the tail. The chrome surrounding the greenhouse resolves itself neatly at the rear, with no extra ornamentation over the C-pillars. A Sport Touring package blacks out some of the shiny elements, and the Avenir’s 20-inch wheel designs could be mistaken for Volvo items.

Inside, it’s easy to overlook the Envision’ s shortcomings of a slender steering wheel and a canted touchscreen that’s a bit of a reach for the driver. The lack of ostentation creates a welcome environment padded with soft-touch materials contrasted with metallic bands popping out of black-gloss plastic. The Avenir deviates from this formula with an ashy wood trim with a dimpled texture that gives away its synthetic status.

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Spry but comfy, the Envision covers the bases with its sole powertrain.

Every Envision runs on a 2.0-liter turbo-4 and 9-speed automatic transmission that’s smoother than it is quick, while available all-wheel drive and adaptive dampers give it more poise. It’s a 7 for its acceleration and handling. 

Is the Buick Envision 4WD?

Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is an expensive $3,650 option on the base model. On Essence and Avenir trims, it’s only an $1,800 upgrade. 

How fast is the Buick Envision?

The 2.0-liter turbo-4 is a European mainstay adopted in the Envision to pleasant effect. It makes 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, and comes on full at 1,500 rpm for bursts of power from a stop and at highway passing speeds. It will reach 60 mph in just above seven seconds, and FWD versions might spit some gravel from a stop, but it feels eager enough to dart out of crowds around town and at speed. When pushed, the active noise cancellation can’t cancel the engine noise, which is understandable for an engine tasked with hustling a crossover that can weigh more than 3,900 lb with AWD. 

The 9-speed automatic provides smooth shifts in most cases, but can judder between the lower gears under inconsistent pedal pressure. The driver can override it with paddle shifters, but in our testing we didn’t use it much. Drive modes range from Touring to Sport to Snow/Ice, but like the paddle shifters, they don’t change the dynamics enough to fiddle with it more than as an exercise. An Off-Road mode should not convince drivers to exercise it, since the Envision only has 6.7 inches of ground clearance and rides on all-season tires. It can only tow 1,500 lb.

The Envision shows off its strength on the highway, with a front-strut, multi-link rear suspension that absorbs ruts and whats! from the cabin. The Avenir edition with 20-inch wheels and available adaptive dampers don’t justify the upcharge alone, since the constantly adjusting shocks can still leave the Envision skittering over big bumps.

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The Envision fits four adults in comfort.

One of the larger compact crossovers, the Buick Envision opens up to a roomy cabin with seats for five and their gear. Make it an even foursome for the best fit, golf clubs optional. It earns an 8 for its 25.2 cubic feet of cargo room, good rear leg room, and comfy front seats. 

Sized like the Chevy Equinox but with a roomier cabin, the Envision has more space than the rival Lexus NX but can’t quite match the quality of the Volvo XC60. The front seats support larger frames in equal comfort as smaller ones, and power front seats covered in cloth and synthetic leather ease long distance treks. Options include leather seats with heating and cooling, and rear riders don’t get shortchanged with available heated seats. 

Rear leg room stretches out to nearly 40 inches, but even with extra space back there the middle seat is best as a divider. The 60/40-split seat folds down to open up 52.7 cubic feet of space, and good small-items storage space abounds, such as in the armrest storage bin.

The Envision’s cabin is softly padded and quieted with thicker materials and active noise cancellation for the engine. With the lighter hued interior, it pings Volvo’s radar in the right ways.

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Good driver-assist features and a five-star NHTSA rating bolster the Envision’s safety.

How safe is the Buick Envision?

The Buick Envision earned a five-star crash-test rating from the NHTSA, acing every test except for a four-star mark in rollover tests. The IIHS still hasn’t tested the import, but we give it an 8 for its standard and available safety features, and five-star NHTSA rating. 

Standard safety tech includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear parking sensors, active lane control, automatic high beams, and blind-spot monitors, which help alert what’s beyond the thick rear roof pillars. Optional on other grades are adaptive cruise control and a surround-view camera system.

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The 2023 Envision scores with a good infotainment system.

Buick equips the Envision with standard convenience features that align with the premium segment. For about $33,000, the base Preferred comes with an 8-way power front seats, LED headlights and running lights, 18-inch wheels, cloth and synthetic leather seats, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa. The relative value, intuitive and uncluttered infotainment system, and luxury-leaning options qualify for an 8. 

But there’s a catch: Buick charges a whopping $3,650 for AWD on base models, and at least $495 for any paint color that’s not white. Its basic 3-year/36,000-mile warranty with no complimentary maintenance lags rivals in the mainstream and luxury classes. 

An $1,850 comfort package adds a 10.2-inch touchscreen and a hands-free liftgate, but heated front seats and a heated steering wheel are no longer part of the package. Thanks, pandemic. A Sport Touring package factors in 20-inch wheels and dark body trim on Preferred and Essence trims. 

Which Buick Envision should I buy?

For less than $38,000, the Envision Essence with front-wheel drive makes the most sense for most budgets. Tech upgrades include an 8.0-inch digital instrument cluster, the larger touchscreen, a better sound system, remote start, and more options. Convenience enhancements include heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, theirs and theirs climate control, and leather upholstery.

How much is a fully loaded Buick Envision?

The $43,000 Envision Avenir tops the lineup with 20-inch wheels, navigation, 9-speaker Bose audio, a head-up display, heated rear seats, and a surround-view camera system. For about $2,000 more, it’s topped off with adaptive dampers, automatic parking, a rear camera mirror with a washer, and adaptive cruise control.

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The Envision’s turbo-4 has average efficiency.

Is the Buick Envision good on gas?

The 2023 Buick Envision has an EPA rating of 23 mpg city, 31 highway, 26 combined with front-wheel drive. That’s a 3. The all-wheel-drive model rates at 22/29/25 mpg. Unlike Lexus, Volvo, and Lincoln rivals, the Envision lacks hybrid or plug-in options.

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