2021 Buick Envision overview: A a lot better second act

The brand new Envision is 200% extra engaging than earlier than.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The primary-generation Buick Envision was… effective, like the way you may describe a film you did not actually wish to see. The 2021 Buick Envision modifications that up, nonetheless. By way of some cautious nips and tucks, this midsize premium crossover is much extra worthy of your time.

LikeAttractive exterior designGreat infotainment techSmooth and quiet journey high quality

Do not LikeLots of low-cost inside bitsMiddling gas financial system

Fashion takes an enormous step ahead within the 2021 Envision. The outgoing crossover had the large eyes of a cat you snuck up on and a mishmash of varieties on the aspect. The brand new era is, by comparability, far fancier trying, with thinner headlights and taillights above extra expressive bumpers, in addition to a entrance grille that appears prefer it was designed on this decade and aspect strains that now not compete with each other. An extended wheelbase and a decrease, wider physique give the Envision extra grownup proportions, too. That comes with a tradeoff, although — the 25.2 cubic ft of cargo area behind the second row is lower than what got here on the final era, which beats the Volvo XC60 (17.8) however lags behind the Acura RDX (29.5) and the Lincoln Corsair (27.6).

The 2021 Envision’s inside is vastly improved, and Previous GM’s myriad buttons are gone. The infotainment display screen is properly built-in into the dashboard, though it is tilted oddly skyward. The local weather management buttons dwell in a swath of piano-black trim which, on my Avenir tester, continues rearward to the middle console armrest. There are some decently fancy cues round, from the dimpled wooden on the door panels to the diamond air flow sample on the leather-based seats. There’s just a little extra vinyl-soft plastic than I might desire to see in a top-tier trim with an out-the-door value north of $45,000, however that is GM for you. On the entire, it is a spacious, engaging inside that is a quantum leap forward of what got here earlier than.

Although cargo area is just a little pricey, storage on the entire is not dangerous in any respect. There is a handy purse-sized tray hidden beneath the transmission controls, and the clamshell armrest is deep sufficient to carry a few clutches. If that’s the case geared up, there’s additionally a wi-fi charging tray forward of the cup holders that may double as extra junk storage. The door-panel cubbies are deep, however the opening is surprisingly small, so little tchotchkes can wander rearward, requiring some difficult wrist acrobatics to retrieve.

Underneath the hood lies a compromise. The 2021 Envision lineup makes use of only one engine, a 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 good for 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, which splits the distinction between the 2 engines provided on pre-2021 Envisions, a 197-hp 2.5-liter I4 and a 252-hp 2.0-liter I4. Entrance-wheel drive variants are EPA-rated at 24 miles per gallon metropolis and 31 mpg freeway, with optionally available AWD lowering every determine by 2 mpg. My expertise does not fairly match the EPA’s; even with my AWD Envision Avenir locked in FWD mode, 27 mpg is the very best I can muster on Michigan highways, whereas metropolis mileage hovers nearer to 20.

The inside is nice, however not nice.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The rest of the 2021 Envision’s driving expertise is sort of nice. The engine observe, uh, exists, however its mediocre muted growl fades into the background as soon as something begins enjoying on the audio system. Acceleration is enough, shedding lots of the perkiness that the outgoing mannequin’s optionally available turbo 4 packed, however it’s greater than sufficient for on-ramps and such, and its nine-speed computerized swaps cogs so easily you may barely even discover. The steering is just a little overboosted, however it’s nothing most patrons will discover or care about, and the pedals are useless easy to modulate easily. My tester wears Buick’s adaptive dampers, which might change damping power whereas driving to take in nasty bits within the street. Whereas the journey is unquestionably on the smoother aspect for compact crossovers, it is virtually an excessive amount of so, resulting in a little bit of a floaty feeling. Wind and street noise are fairly nicely muted, too.

Oh, and the flip sign is now not loud sufficient to be mistaken for a cherry bomb. That is good.

GM has by no means been shy about loading its newest autos with all method of tech, each commonplace and optionally available, and that is nonetheless the story with the 2021 Envision. As the highest trim on provide, the Avenir sports activities a sufficiently massive 10.2-inch infotainment touchscreen working the most recent Buick-skinned model of GM’s company software program. Like each different automobile it is in, this getup is beautiful, with menus which can be fast to load and straightforward to navigate. Wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are commonplace throughout the board, which is a pleasant contact. The infotainment additionally packs plenty of built-in apps that work with the 4G LTE antenna, so you need to use Alexa integration to regulate your own home’s lights or take heed to the most recent podcast or suggestion from Reese Witherspoon’s e book membership. In case your telephone does not settle for wi-fi charging, there are each USB-A and USB-C ports on provide to juice up.

The Envision is one in all Buick’s higher choices.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Buick and its household of adjoining manufacturers have typically scrimped on commonplace security options, however the 2021 Envision has loads of ’em. All Envision trims embrace computerized emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping help, lane-departure warning, computerized excessive beams and rear parking sensors. My tester’s $1,670 Expertise Bundle II upgrades that package with a rear-camera mirror, adaptive cruise management, improved computerized emergency braking and computerized parking help, so you may nonetheless must shell out additional coin for some stuff that comes commonplace on different autos at this value level.

Now, you do not have to push towards $50,000 to rock a 2021 Buick Envision. The bottom Most popular trim begins at $32,995 together with vacation spot for a front-wheel-drive mannequin with an 8-inch touchscreen and surfaces lined in a mixture of fabric and leatherette. The center-child Essence raises the worth to $36,995, with the Avenir beginning at $41,395. All-wheel drive is a $1,800 possibility regardless of the trim, and in contrast to earlier iterations, all three trims might be had with or with out it.

The outgoing Buick Envision, which was constructed with the Chinese language market in thoughts from the get-go, by no means actually felt totally tuned to the US prospects, however that modifications with the 2021 mannequin. It is higher trying, it is nonetheless good to drive and it is appointed with the options that patrons on this phase are after.

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