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- Highs Nicely sculpted exterior, value pricing, comfortable ride.
- Lows Acceleration is merely adequate, driving dynamics lack excitement, interior isn't as refined as the leading rival SUVs.
- Verdict A step up from mainstream offerings, the Envision's luxury-class intentions aren't fully fleshed out—leaving it in a gray area between the two segments.
If rival SUVs from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz represent First Class among compact crossovers, the 2022 Buick Envision is Premium Economy. It's nicer and better-equipped than its country cousin, the Chevrolet Equinox, but its luxury quotient keeps it just out of reach of segment leaders. It's not alone in this gray area between classes, which it shares with other premium-branded SUVs such as the Acura RDX, the Infiniti QX50, and the Lincoln Corsair. Its exterior styling is upscale and attractive and its comfortable cabin is dotted with convenience features. All models come with a 228-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a nine-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive is optional, otherwise the Envision is a front-wheel drive SUV. Buick offers a comprehensive list of standard driver-assistance and safety features on all models, but to unlock all of the high-end comfort and technology features—including a massaging driver's seat and wireless smartphone charging—you'll need to go with the most expensive Avenir trim.
Where This Vehicle Ranks
What's New for 2022?
After undergoing a full redesign last year, the Envision rolls into 2022 with few changes. The Sport Touring package on Preferred and Essence models now includes alloy pedal covers, plus headrests and floormats with embroidered "ST" logos. Essence models equipped with the Sport Touring package also receive contrasting red stitching for the seats. Sapphire Metallic is a new optional exterior color.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The mid-range Essence trim will satisfy most customers. For the $4000 upgrade over the base Preferred model, buyers of the Envision Essence will enjoy amenities such as trim-specific 18-inch wheels, a power-operated rear liftgate, heated front seats, and a 10.2-inch infotainment display. We'd also suggest the optional Sport Touring package, which adds 20-inch wheels and darkened exterior trim. Those seeking a luxury ride with all the trimmings should turn their attention to the top-flight Avenir.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Buick offers only one engine under the 2022 Envision's shapely hood. It's a 228-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. It pairs to a nine-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive is standard. Buyers can option all-wheel drive on any of the three trim levels, though. While the Envision feels perky around town, it never manages to feel particularly quick, especially when compared with key rivals such as the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. At our test track, it delivered an uninspired 7.3-second zero-to-60-mph run; its subjective performance on the road, however, will be perfectly fine for the majority of drivers. We wish that Buick had dialed in some additional athleticism when redesigning the Envision, but instead the suspension is set up to maximize ride comfort and has abandoned much of the handling poise that made the previous generation model charming.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
By the EPA's yardstick, the front-wheel-drive Envision is good for 24 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Going with an all-wheel-drive model drops those numbers to 22 and 29 mpg, respectively. When we get a chance to put the new Envision through our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, we'll update this story with results. For more information about the Envision's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Envision's interior design looks quite snazzy and of the three trim levels, the Avenir is the one that best competes with rivals such as the Q5, X3, and Mercedes-Benz GLC-class. Although the Preferred and Essence models offer plenty of standard features, the Avenir brings luxuries such as quilted leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, and a massaging driver's seat. The cabin to offer similar amounts of passenger space as the outgoing model, but the Envision's slightly shorter length means it has a little less cargo space than before. While the old model held a maximum of 26 carry-on suitcases with its rear seat folded flat, the new one held only 21.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The base trim, called Preferred, has an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, but Essence and Avenir models get a 10.2-inch unit. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration—both with wireless connectivity—are standard across the range. Buick provides a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot as standard equipment, too, along with SiriusXM satellite radio, a six-speaker stereo, and an active noise-cancellation system. Buyers of the Essence trim receive a seven-speaker stereo but can upgrade to a nine-speaker Bose setup by selecting the Technology package, which also adds in-dash navigation; both of those features are standard on the Avenir.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)
Buick offers plenty of driver-assistance features as standard and more advanced features are optional. For more information about the Envision's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Buick's standard warranty package offers more generous powertrain coverage than many of the Envision's key rivals, but the ute's one included service visit pales in comparison with the plans of the BMW X3 and the Jaguar F-Pace, both of which provide far lengthier terms for complimentary scheduled maintenance.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers six years or 70,000 miles
- Complimentary scheduled maintenance is covered for the first visit
2021 Buick Envision Avenir AWD
front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
PRICE AS TESTED
$47,105 (base price: $43,195)
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
122 in3, 1998 cm3
228 hp @ 5000 rpm
258 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm
Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 12.3-in vented disc/12.4-in disc
Tires: Continental ProContact TX, 245/45R-20 99H M+S TPC SPEC 3105 MS
Wheelbase: 109.4 in
Length: 182.5 in
Width: 74.1 in
Height: 64.6 in
Passenger volume: 100 ft3
Cargo volume: 25 ft3
Curb weight: 4005 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 7.3 sec
100 mph: 20.8 sec
120 mph: 36.2 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 7.7 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.6 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 7.8 sec
1/4 mile: 15.7 sec @ 90 mph
Top speed (C/D est): 130 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 162 ft
Standing-start accel times omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 18 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 25/22/29 mpg