We Got Our Hands On Buick’s New 2017 Envision; What Do You Want To Know?

The Buick Envision is a genuinely nice car, and that’s the biggest impression it leaves.

Memorable, not so much, but Buick does best when it builds cars that are just… nice. Of course, this impression is attached to one of the most controversial cars to land in the U.S. (for point of assembly reasons I’ll mention later), so the Envision is actually a lot of other things than nice. Have I used my “nice” quota for the year?

I’ve been driving the 2017 Buick Envision. Here are some initial thoughts.

So good looking you’ll miss it
As in, miss it in a parking lot. The Envision looks like a good mix of Enclave cues on a smaller body, but escaping the oddness that encompasses the little Encore. But at first glance, you’ll honestly walk past it without noticing – or thinking it’s a Nissan Rogue, as many people thought it was.

Rightsized
Compact SUVs have evolved into being pretty much the perfect size for most people, so it’s little surprise this compact Buick SUV is pretty well-packaged. In addition to a nicely shaped and finished cargo area, the rear seat slides and reclines, as well as boasts a flat floor – something a lot of rivals aren’t able to manage.

Detail downfalls
Most materials and fits are very nice in this Buick, right up there with other premium-ish compact SUVs.

Still, there are more than a few curiosities. Why is there a huge slab of obviously fake “wood” in front of the passenger? Why are both of the clocks facing the front passenger? Why is the sound the turn signal makes so damn loud? Pretty much everyone who rode with me in the Envision brought at least one of these things up.

The non-turbo turbo
The more robust of the two four-cylinders offered on the Envision, the 2.0-liter turbo with 252 horsepower is very, very nice. Mated to a six-speed automatic and a slick stop-start system, you often forget the engine up front is boosted, which is a departure from the last turbo’d Buick Regal I drove.

And being a Buick, it’s amazingly quiet inside. The only way you know a downshift just happened is by watching the tach.

Fall into place
This Envision Premium all-wheel drive, the least expensive way to get the 2.0T engine, goes for $43,640. Add $495 for navigation and $1,500 for a sunroof, which I’d likely go for. At $45,500-ish, it’s right on the money with an Acura RDX or Volvo XC60 of similar equipment – and well below the marks set by the Audi Q5 and BMW X3.

But I can’t help but remember the 2017 Honda CR-V Touring I drove a month ago and how that, at less than $37,000 all in, feels nearly as good as this Envision. And it’s also the perfect size. And is built in North America, unlike this Buick that is built in China. Yes, I waited until now to bring that up.

What else would you like to know about the Buick Envision? Sound off in the comments.

Photos: Zac Estrada/Carscoops

Photos

  • Althea Later

    Are the seats in the 2017 CR-V as comfortable as in the Envision? I found the seats in the Envision to be very nice. I never sat in a CR-V and said “wow – this is comfortable”… more like.. “meh..it’s ok”. Maybe the 2017 CR-V is an improvement…. but I doubt by much.

    • The Buick’s might be nicer. The leather is probably higher quality, too.

  • Much Better Available

    Midrange $40K for this? Really?!

  • mb4design

    What do I want to know? Can you make it look less like a Buick?

    • Sure. It’ll probably be an Opel soon

      • mb4design

        Wouldn’t fix proportion issues, but that would help the clunky ends a little.

  • BlackPegasus

    What other GM variants are using this platform? Or is this from the China market?

    • ChrisInIL

      Chevy Cruze, Volt, and Equinox/GMC Terrain/Opel Astra K and Antara B (depending on model year)

  • WG

    Is the build quality any good. Since this is one of the first vehicles sold in the US to be built in China.

  • Scott

    Is that dash clock for real? It just look cheap and fake especially since it is right next to the nav screen with a clock. Same goes for the hood vents that looks like they came from Pep Boys. The side view of the car is the most attractive part of the car, but if it reminds you of a Nissan Rogue or Acura RDX, then why not buy one of those?

  • kachuks

    Agree with the looks comment. I think it’s good looking like a good suit from Sears. Easily overlooked.

  • Donovan Hopkins

    Is it usual to Buick been so cheap? I think it’s a step down from the already lame Cruze interior quality and looks.

  • Can’t pay $45K for this…$35K is more in line with what this has to offer…there is absolutely no wow factor that would warrant the asking price…good vehicle but no wow…

  • nauticalone

    Spend marginally more and go with the upcoming new XC60.

  • TheBelltower

    Anyone who would take this over a comparable XC60, RDX or Q5, must be sniffing glue. It’s invisible, it’s a Buick, it looks cheaply made, and it’s Chinese. Any one of those things would make it a non-starter for me.

    • You’ll only know it’s built in China by looking at the window sticker. Which is why I probably didn’t even need to mention it at all in this piece.

      • TheBelltower

        Or, until unsuspecting consumers buy them, and the toxins that are in the plastics and leather leach their way into your skin and you die a slow and painful death. I’m not saying that the Chinese have worse ethics than other developed countries, but the Chinese have worse ethics than other developed countries.