Buick Envision: test drive…
The second-generation Buick Envision looks much better than its predecessor.
I think it is one of the best SUV designs out there and looks great from pretty much any angle.
It has a very nice and friendly personality. Nothing too aggressive like so many designs these days.
Same thing inside. It is a truly very modern-looking interior. With high-quality materials everywhere and nice design touches. I do like the “wood-looking” trim on the doors. (Not sure if that is real wood or not). And the satin metal trim everywhere in the car looks great.
There are a couple of things that aren’t working for me though. Like the angle of the screen. It is sharply tilted towards the driver, which can be odd for the front passenger. And it is a bit flatter than usual and can catch some more sunlight than other setups.
The most annoying thing is the volume knob placement. Which is almost right behind the steering wheel, and again, much too far from the passenger.
The Bose stereo in my top-of-the-line Avenir test car sounded very good. But, not as great as the system in the similarly priced Acura RDX.
And, while the seats are very comfortable, the headrests only have the usual 2-way adjustments. (GM used to offer 4-way adjusting headrests in almost everything just a few years ago).
So they are usually positioned too far back no matter what…
The Envision is very roomy. The cargo area is well finished and the real seats ford completely flat.
The first thing I noticed when starting up the car is the small engine “4 cylinder buzz”. It is always there at idle. Although it is quiet and the engine refined, older 2.0 Liter Turbos from GM used to be totally quiet when idling. I have been noticing this in the past couple of years.
Otherwise, the engine is quiet and smooth, with plenty of power all the time.
When pushed harder, I did feel a little bit of torque steer. Very little, and very manageable.
(My test car was a FWD model)
The 2nd thing I noticed was how super smooth the ride is. Even with 20-inch wheels. The “continuous damping control” system (part of the $1995 Tech package) is fantastic.
The sports mode firms up things a little bit, but there isn’t much difference.
It is just super comfortable all the time, no matter how bad the road gets.
The stop/start system is also very smooth, and I left it on most of the time. Which is unusual.
The 9-speed automatic is very smooth and willing to downshift whenever you need it to.
The Avenir is rated at 24/31 MPG.
Not sure on what planet it is supposed to be getting 24MPG around town, but here on earth, I was never able to get over 20. Which is still OK.
I got a bit over 32 on the freeway.
The new Buick Avenir is a fantastic choice in a crowded segment.
I cannot compare it to the new Lexus NX, but the Lexus seems to be more expensive. And desperately wants to be “sporty”…
I still like the Envision design better. It is quick and doesn’t try to be overly sporty like almost everything else. It just wants to be comfortable and it is.
Compared to a loaded FWD Acura RDX, the Avenir version is a few thousand cheaper. (The Acura is about $49 000 but includes AWD on the Advance version.
While the RDX is very comfortable, it isn’t as smooth as the Buick (Although I hear some changes were made for 2022)
But the ELS Studio sound system on the RDX is unbeatable.
No matter what, the Envision would be a great choice. (It also starts at a bit above $32 000!
Basically competing with a RAV-4 or CR-V…)