2021 Buick Envision: When Complexity Kicks In to Simplify Your Life

Buick Envision 2021 21 photos
Photo: Buick
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It is always possible to ask for more, but it won’t be easy to do so after having a comprehensive look at a modern, well-equipped SUV. Take the 2021 Buick Envision, for instance. Its concept seamlessly integrates a wide range of solutions dedicated to the comfort, safety, and efficiency of your trips.
Just a couple of decades ago, they used to call SUVs “multi-purpose vehicles.” Not nice looking, not comfy, not easy to handle, just "multi-purpose." Got the idea? They were seen as a kind of survival tool fit to solve whatever may come your way, including extreme situations, not something like a natural part of your everyday life in a modern, more or less urban context.

Undeniably, the 2021 Buick Envision is an SUV, and it could also be called a “multi-purpose vehicle” according to the 2021 way of life. It’s good looking, comfortable, well equipped, and easy to handle. Look how far we’ve come!


The first generation of the Buick Envision had its premiere in 2014 in China, and America saw it for the first time at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Does that sound a bit weird? We believe things went this way because America was still seeing SUVs in a conservative way, while this kind of vehicle was going through an extensive transformation in Asia and in Europe.

2021 Buick Envision
Photo: Buick
So, the first generation of the Buick Envision was trying to keep up with the segment's international developments with the risk of becoming a misunderstood cutting-edge product in the company's home country. Here, we are looking at the second generation of the series, which is discretely lower and wider than its predecessor. The public from North America is now completely synchronized to the expansion of the modern SUV, and the 2021 Buick Envision foresaw it coming.


No matter the trim level, the interior has a premium aspect, thanks to the advanced design and nice fit and finish. The cockpit’s layout is driver-oriented, and the shape of the air vents is perfectly integrated into the complex yet fluidly-shaped ensemble of the dashboard. On the center console there's Buick's first available 10.2-inch-diagonal touchscreen infotainment system, offering a wide range of applications. Wireless charging, wireless Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto are also available.

Here's an advanced detail: there is no transmission lever; conservative detail: the instruments cluster features analog dials. We would say the cockpit's functional concept is modern, but without getting the user puzzled by any gratuitously fancy sci-fi-like devices. Good point! In fact, sitting behind the wheel, you might feel a bit like an airliner captain.

2021 Buick Envision
Photo: Buick
How about the others on board? The interior is large and airy. Although the Envision is not the biggest type of SUV (it's 182.5-in/4,635-mm long and 74.1-in/1,882-mm wide), there is no risk of claustrophobic sensation inside of it as long as no more than four people are getting in. No complaints are expected regarding the trunk volume either. The Envision has 52.7 cubic feet (1,492 liters) of cargo space behind the first-row seats and 25.2 cubic feet (713 liters) behind the second-row seats.

The 2021 Buick Envision may be configured according to three trim levels: Preferred, Essence, and Avenir. Each of them incorporates specific design features. The Preferred and Essence trims may be embellished with the Sport Touring package that embodies a sporty appearance (darkened exterior accents and 20-inch wheels with a dark finish), while Avenir is all about a premium perception.


As expected from a contemporary family vehicle, the engine is transversely mounted in front. It is a 4-cylinder 2.0L Turbo Ecotec able to develop 228 hp at 5,000 rpm. Thanks to a very good torque characteristic (258 lb-ft/350 Nm available from 1,500 up to 4,000 rpm), an effortless response at the push of the pedal is expected.

2021 Buick Envision
Photo: Buick
This brings us back to the idea of a multi-purpose vehicle: it would be a pity not to configure the car with all-wheel-drive, since it is available and it offers the possibility to fully exploit the car’s dynamic potential through the included driving modes: Tour, AWD, Sport and Off Road. The 9-speed automatic transmission is standard for all the versions of the Envision.

Price tag

The base price for a Buick Envision Preferred is $34,795. Standard features include the QuietTuning technology with Active Noise Cancellation and the Driver Confidence Plus Package. Precisely, this package is something representative of an automobile of the year 2021. It includes a consistent bunch of driving assistance functions: Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Following Distance Indicator, Forward Collision Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, IntelliBeam auto high beam assist, Front Pedestrian Braking, Rear Park Assist, and Automatic Emergency Braking.

The all-wheel-drive system, keyless start, 8-inch multimedia touchscreen, 6-speaker audio system, LED headlamps, 18-inch aluminum wheels with all-season tires, and StabiliTrak electronic stability control are also included. Not bad for an SUV that doesn’t go over the $35,000 threshold.

2021 Buick Envision
Photo: Buick
The price range for the Essence trim level starts at $38,995, and it includes almost everything you could think of in terms of advanced safety and comfort. The 10.2-inch touchscreen is also aboard.

The refined ambiance and features of the Avenir trim come with a correspondingly high price tag: $43,395. We are talking about a pronounced luxury touch here (adaptive suspension is also on the list) and many additional assistance devices—so many that the car becomes a technological showcase rather than a practical thing.

For a comfortable family life, we would stick to a carefully configured Envision Preferred. The price we mentioned earlier could be diminished by dropping the AWD, resulting in the figure of $32,590 and a slightly lower fuel consumption. Incidentally, driving beyond the tarmac limits may prove not that good an idea.


Other modern SUVs in this segment also need to be considered, and the list is very long. It includes the Acura RDX, Alfa Romeo Stelvio, BMW X3, Audi Q5 (the Q3 would be the logic choice yet it is a bit too small), Chevrolet Blazer (a bit bigger), Infiniti QX50, Jaguar F-Pace, Land Rover Discovery Sport, Lexus NX, Mercedes GLB, Porsche Macan, Range Rover Velar, Toyota RAV4, VW Tiguan, and Volvo XC60. The Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, and Jeep Compass are a bit smaller.

Some of those competitors offer wider engine ranges, but it won’t be easy to find a better blend of wellbeing, style, and rich equipment than Buick’s. Also, European imports are significantly more expensive.
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