Although it shares a segment with heavy hitters from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz, the 2021 Buick Envision occupies an odd space between mainstream and luxury. This puts the Envision in contention with other middle-grounders such as the Acura RDX, the Infiniti QX50, and the Lincoln Corsair. The Envision sports nicely tailored sheetmetal and an interior with popular standard features, but doesn’t quite deliver the driving characteristics or the careful attention to detail that we expect in the luxury realm. A 228-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter powers all models and comes mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. The list of standard features includes driver-assistance tech such as automatic high-beams, automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and lane-keeping assist. A high-end Avenir trim tops the lineup. Its luxurious cabin boasts diamond-quilted leather seats, wireless smartphone charging, and a driver’s seat with massage functionality.
What’s New for 2021?
Buick has redesigned the Envision SUV for 2021, imbuing it with an eye-catching design that’s far more handsome than what the bland 2020 model featured.
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 2021 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
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
More Features and Specs