New Arrival: 2016 Buick Envision SUV

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made quite some noise for itself just ahead of the start of the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The brand introduced the Avista sport coupe concept, as well as the 2016 Buick Envision. The latter is an all-new model that fills an important gap in Buick’s product line.

Make That Three Buick SUVs

The new Buick Envision is an all-wheel drive compact SUV that seats five, effectively filling the gap between the subcompact Encore and the midsize Enclave.

This SUV is not entirely new to GM. Introduced in early 2015 in China, its U.S. arrival is set for this spring. The Buick Envision is also the first made-in-China model from GM. It follows the Volvo S60 Inscription as another vehicle manufactured in China and sold in the U.S.

2016 Buick Envision Rear 3/4

(General Motors)

Buick has positioned the Envision to compete with other upscale models, including the Acura RDX, Audi Q5 and Lincoln MKC. The marque claims that the Envision has more rear cargo space than its competitors. Its passenger volume is also larger than the MKC, providing more rear legroom as well as superior front and rear shoulder room.

“The all-new Buick Envision is a modern, confident and responsive luxury compact crossover that combines the brand’s core characteristics with great performance features like our HiPer strut suspension,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick. “That dynamic experience behind the wheel is complemented by Buick’s signature luxury, whisper-quiet cabin and connectivity features to benefit drivers and passengers alike.”

A Recognizable, Upscale Look

The Envision’s face is an entirely familiar one, with Buick’s tri-shield insignia punctuating its broad grille. Large, wraparound lighting assemblies containing LED daytime running lights are present. A narrow lower grille opening is hemmed in by incisions housing the available fog lamps.

This SUV has firm shoulders, a sloping roofline, a rising beltline, upper character lines along its profile and distinctive body sculpting. Contributing to the Envision’s upscale demeanor are standard 19-inch aluminum wheels shod within all-season tires. At the rear, wraparound combination assemblies with LED accent lights are on hand. The Envision also has a distinctive liftgate spoiler, rear reflectors, chrome embellishments and dual exhaust finishers.

Luxurious Cabin and Generous Amenities

The Envision’s cabin features luxuriant power-operated bucket seats up front and a 60-40 split-folding seat in the rear. Notably, Buick has included kneeling cushions in the second-row seat to provide a flatter load floor when the seat is folded. Thus, cargo space can quickly be expanded from 26.9 cubic feet to 57.3 cubic feet with the rear seat folded.

2016 Buick Envision Dashboard

(General Motors)

Buick makes generous use of high quality materials throughout the Envision’s cabin, including French-style dual-stitching. Heated front and rear seats and a heated steering wheel are standard, while cooled front seats are available.

The dash features a three-analog instrument cluster and a wraparound instrument panel that flows into the door panels. The cluster sits behind a newly designed steering wheel that is outfitted with thumb-operated toggle switches, making it easier to scroll through the Envision’s IntelliLink infotainment system.

The center stack is neatly arranged and highlighted by an 8-inch color display serving as the nerve center for infotainment. IntelliLink provides full technology connectivity, including Bluetooth, navigation, and audio. The Envision also has an OnStar telematics system that can serve as a Wi-Fi hot spot and comes with four USB ports, four 12-volt outlets and a 120-volt outlet.

2016 Buick Envision Dual-Wing Console Doors

(General Motors)

Ample storage space is also included. A large, dual-wing console storage bin between the front seats is easily accessible by the driver and the front passenger, as well the rear-seat passengers. In-door storage pockets with drink holders and a sensibly sized glove box are also on deck.

Other features include a standard Bose audio system, three-zone climate control and an available panoramic moonroof.

One Powertrain Choice

Under the hood, Buick offers one powertrain combination. All models receive a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. It’s the same engine powering the Buick Regal GS, but it’s specially tuned for the Envision. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard.

Low-end torque is plentiful in the Envision, with 90 percent of its power achieved from 1,800 rpm. Steering comes from an electric rack-and-pinion system with HiPer Strut front suspension employed to mitigate torque steer while enhancing the steering experience. The rear suspension is composed of a four-link independent arrangement along with a hollow stabilizer bar.

Buick Envision Safety Features

Buick Envision Safety

(General Motors)

On the safety front, the Buick Envision has 10 standard air bags. A rearview camera is included, while an available Surround Vision system provides a 360-degree view around the vehicle. Notably, this system works at low speeds and is especially useful when parking and reversing.

Additional standard safety features include front park sensors, rear cross traffic alert and lane keeping assist. GM’s Safety Alert Seat is also standard, which vibrates to warn the driver if there’s a crash risk.

Also available is adaptive cruise control and collision mitigating braking. As with all Buick vehicles, the Envision is equipped with OnStar technology featuring an advanced crash response system along with emergency assistance.

The Bottom Line

2016 Buick Envision Driving Side

(General Motors)

The Buick Envision provides a natural succession for customers seeking to step up from the Encore without immediately jumping to the Buick Enclave. Given that nearly all Buick and GMC dealerships are united under one roof, the slightly larger GMC Terrain provides another choice for consumers. All the same, Buick has stamped its own signature on the Envision, providing yet another new product for the tri-shield brand.

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By | 2018-06-19T15:50:47+00:00 January 13th, 2016|Auto Shows|4 Comments


  1. Chemesunde January 23, 2016 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    I like that but I have a complaint though. Not with this car but one that the report gave a high number. Once purchased, its been nothing but one repair after another…:-(. I know you don’t responsibility and that we should have done our research. We did and liked that car and the good points and all, but it had underlying issues which in my opinion should have been taken care of before the car was put out in the lot for consumers. That’s all.

  2. Ronald Johannsen March 12, 2016 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    When and where can a person buy a Buick Envision, asked our local dealership and they have not heard of it yet? What is up with this new Buick SUV?

  3. NormT June 8, 2017 at 10:02 am - Reply

    Coming from a 2013 and 2014 Cadillac, both of which I still have, the Buick is refreshingly solid and comforting in both riding and driving. We got a used 2016 Premium ll with roof and Driver Confidence. Plenty of head room with the roof in all seating positions. The Adaptive Cruise Control along with the self parking feature and lane assist are really neat features. The parking is neat show off feature that this car is very easy to park and see out of. The lane assist will have you bouncing off each side of the lane for miles, which is a little scary at first. The ride quality is refined compared to the stiffer, performance oriented Cadillac. The handling does not take a back seat to the softer suspension that this tracks and takes input better than a rental 2017 Escape.

  4. NormT June 9, 2017 at 7:05 am - Reply

    The 2016’S are the best deal unless you need Android Auto offered on the 2017 models. The ’16 is Premium l or ll with 2.0T, AWD with torque vectoring. New or used they will be the less expensive to purchase unless you need to lease a 2017.

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