Buick Envision rear three-quarter view Buick is launching its new midsize Envision crossover in China at the Chengdu Motor Show, where it will slot between the subcompact Encore and larger Enclave. While it might be hard to muster too much excitement about a Chinese-market crossover, don't completely ignore this one. There's a very good chance it could be on sale in North America to fill the same hole in the brand's lineup over here, possibly as a 2016 model.

We recently spied the Envision completely undisguised as it was arriving at the Chengdu show for its debut. The CUV still looks like a stretched Encore from some front angles, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's got a similar oversized grille, hood vents (presumably faux) and large greenhouse as its little brother. Where the midsize CUV differs is its prominent crease running down the side and the different rear treatment, with wing-shaped trim cutting into the taillights.

The interior looks like a pretty nice place to spend time, too, with a predictable mix of leather, wood and metal, and it should be quiet in there with its active noise cancelation system. Infotainment is provided by an eight-inch touchscreen with a touchpad and voice controls.

In China, this CUV is propelled by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 256 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque with standard stop/start and a six-speed automatic. That setup lets it run to 62 miles per hour in a claimed 8.4 seconds. The Envision also gets a standard all-wheel drive system that can send 100-percent of the engine's power to the front or rear wheels as necessary and route power side-to-side at the back, too.

We tried to pin down Buick spokesperson Nick Richards about the Envision's chances here, but all we would tell us was, "Our current focus is on continuing the Encore launch and the successful sales growth of these models." We'd be shocked if it didn't come to the States, but for now, it looks like we just need to wait and see for official word. Scroll down to read all of he details about the new middle child in Buick's Chinese crossover family.
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Shanghai GM Launches Buick Envision

Marks brand's entrance into China's premium midsize SUV segment

2014-08-28
CHENGDU - Shanghai GM officially launched the Buick Envision premium midsize SUV today in Chengdu. Four variants are being offered – the AWD Elite, AWD Luxury, AWD Versatile Flagship and AWD Versatile Sporty Flagship.

All four variants have a stylish design, premium and comfortable interior, outstanding safety configuration, class-leading features, and smooth handling.

"The Envision is a versatile SUV and an important component of Shanghai GM's SUV strategy," said Wang Yongqing, President of Shanghai GM. "Designed for social elites, it offers an unmatched experience in the premium midsize SUV segment. It complements the Enclave and Encore in Buick's SUV portfolio."

Dynamic and Premium Design

The Envision carries forward the design essence of the Buick Envision concept vehicle, reflecting Buick's modern design language. The design is stylish and sporty. It comes with a new intelligent drag-reducing grille, wing-style front and rear lights with LED lamps inside, curved flank lines, 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels, an aluminum alloy luggage rack and a wing-shaped spoiler.

It is offered in five exterior colors: Snowy White, Glacier Silver, Pearl Black, Topaz Brown and Sky Purple.

The Envision adopts Buick's signature 360-degree integrated interior design. With its driver-friendly center console, all controls are within easy reach. Customers have a choice of a Burgundy or Swallowtail Black interior. Black piano accents create a premium effect. French-style dual stitching further accentuates the model's elegance.

The Envision measures 4,667 mm in length, 1,839 mm in width and 1,696 mm in height, and rides on a wheelbase of 2,750 mm. This gives it a roomy interior. Its split rear seats fold flat and can slide forward or backward to provide up to 1,550 liters of space for carrying cargo. In addition, there are 24 storage compartments.

Powerful and Efficient Powertrain

The Envision comes with GM's latest-generation 2.0T direct injection turbocharged engine. The engine was named one of Ward's 10 Best Engines for 2013. It generates maximum power of 191 kW at 5,500 rpm and peak torque of 353 Nm at 5,300 rpm, with power per liter reaching 95.5 kW/L. The capable powerplant takes the Envision from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.4 seconds.

The engine is mated to GM's all-new six-speed DSS intelligent transmission, which is smooth, responsive and efficient. The Envision is the only vehicle in its segment that comes with the engine start/stop system as standard across its lineup. It supports class-leading combined fuel economy of 8.8 L/100 km.

Buick Intelligent All-Wheel Drive

The Envision also comes with a new, intelligent all-wheel-drive system, which provides a variable front-to-rear torque split and a 0:100~100:0 rear torque split. Offered for the first time by GM, this system features two electronically controlled multi-plate clutches in the rear axle automatically distribute torque from the front to rear wheels and between the rear wheels as needed. This makes it more responsive, flexible and efficient, and provides a more exceptional driving experience with enhanced ride comfort and dynamics than conventional all-wheel-drive systems.

The Envision's chassis consists of a MacPherson strut front suspension, an optimized and fully independent four-link rear suspension, and a full front subframe. This gives the SUV exceptional rigidity and precise handling. The class-leading FlexRide system provides four selectable driving modes – Normal, Tour, Sport and Off-Road – for a personalized driving experience.

High-Strength Structure and All-New Intelligent Safety System

In line with Buick's focus on safety, 75 percent of the Envision's body is made of high-strength steel, with 13 percent made of ultra-high-strength steel. Key areas such as the A-pillar, B-pillar, roof and driver's foot fender are made of ultra-high-strength hot-pressed steel. Door plates are four times stronger than those made of ordinary steel.

The Envision comes with Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane-Keeping Assist, Following Distance Indicator, Forward Collision Alert, Collision Mitigation Braking, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and intelligent headlights.

It also comes with anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, electronic stability control, a traction control system and Hill Start Assist as standard across the line. Options include Hill Descent Control, OnStar and the Automatic Parking Assist system.

Cutting-Edge Technology and Customer-Friendly Amenities

The Envision is equipped with an advanced connectivity system, which is a human-computer interactive platform specifically designed for Buick. The system connects the vehicle with people and their smartphones. It includes an eight-inch high-definition touchscreen, multifunctional buttons on the steering wheel, a touchpad and voice control.

The Envision is the first vehicle in its segment in China to come standard with Active Noise Cancellation technology, which reads sound waves through microphones inside the vehicle and produces an opposite sound wave from speakers to counteract it. The vehicle also employs Buick's state-of-the-art Quiet-Tuning® technology, which reduces, blocks or absorbs noise. These technologies include the use of liquid applied sound dampers (LASD). Compared with traditional sound insulating pads, LASD are not only lighter and greener, but also deliver better sound-proofing and shock-absorbing performance.

High-tech elements can also be seen in the Envision's amenities and functions. For example, the all-new intelligent drag-reducing intake grille shuts automatically to lower wind drag and reduce fuel consumption when the vehicle starts or operates at high speeds. The rear power liftgate can be completely or partially opened by adjusting the opening height in three levels. The top-of-the-line Envision variant features a foot-sensing function to allow hands-free opening of the liftgate.

Other amenities include a standard large panoramic sunroof; front power seats with heating, cooling and ventilation functions; and a heated sport steering wheel.

General Motors traces its roots back to 1908. GM has 10 joint ventures, two wholly owned foreign enterprises and more than 58,000 employees in China. GM and its joint ventures offer the broadest lineup of vehicles and brands among automakers in China. Passenger cars and commercial vehicles are sold under the Baojun, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Jiefang, Opel and Wuling brands. In 2013, GM sold nearly 3.2 million vehicles in China. More information on General Motors in China can be found at GM Media Online.

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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 36 Comments
      speterjr
      • 3 Months Ago

      Has America ever met a crossover it DIDN'T like???

      Ash Ayman Shairzay
      • 3 Months Ago

      That is a fine-looking automobile.

      jbm0866
      • 3 Months Ago

      I'm really not an SUV guy, but I must admit this looks pretty good to me...better than most SUV/CUV's to my eyes. The interior is pretty swanky as well, but I'll never in a million years understand fake wood trim. Most of the time even real wood trim looks fake, and the same for carbon fiber.

      Dfelix70
      • 3 Months Ago

      Typical gawdy American design.  Not a clean line on it, inside or out.  And looks like an X5 and an Enclave had sex.

      Dan
      • 3 Months Ago

      Get rid of the horrible wood trim inside, and I would buy one.

      normc32
      • 3 Months Ago

      I'd be interested in this as the lease is  up on the shitty 2012 Forester. Can not wait to dump this hunk of crap and it's coolant and oil consumption with misfires and check engine lights. 

      Adding ecu tune to Envision's 2.0T should help witth 300 hp mark and almost 380 lbs-ft of torque. Just as long as it can tow close to 4,000 lbs.

        thumerzs
        • 3 Months Ago
        @normc32

        I was all settled in and excited to have decided on buying a Forester for my next car. I love the big windows which provide great visibility and the panoramic roof to let the sunlight/starlight in.

        And then I find out the engines are junk. Thanks for confirming my fears. If only GM can get close to the MPG's of the Subies, I'll take a look. Those hideous colors of the show car interior notwithstanding.

          normc32
          • 3 Months Ago
          @thumerzs

          Class action suit againist Subaru for thenonly two motors they make the 2.0 + 2.5. Yhe GF like hers for the visibility but it has no low oil warning light and went almost 2 quarts low. Nownit smokes on cold start up and has sevrve piston slap.

          The electronics are not that robust as you add one power up the others slow down! 


          She had a Legacy on leasen prior and they both had cracks in their windshields.  They are made with thin glass for fuel economy.

      mbukukanyau
      • 3 Months Ago

      you will notice that the people running buick north america come from GM failed brands. Like Mr. Nick Richards is from HUMMER.


      So if you are wondering why Adam, GTC or and OPC products are not here, you just need to look the resumes of the folks responsible.

      Its Time Mrs. Barra shook things at Buick and GMC. Too comfy over there. 

      IRONRINGED
      • 3 Months Ago

      It's interesting how similar some of the Chinese and American market cars are, even the engines, of course, not taking into account emissions standards.  Hopefully the American manufacturers exel there.

      GoSpeedRacerGo
      • 3 Months Ago

      Not bad looking, but why can't Buick stop using such awful looking fake wood in the interior? And the chrome bar on the tail looks awkward.

      Avinash Machado
      • 3 Months Ago

      Looks quite elegant.

      BillyM67
      • 3 Months Ago

      Looks like a big Ford Escape. The wood on the dash is hideous. If this is for China, why are all the labels inside the cabin in English?

      Rochester
      • 3 Months Ago *Edited*

      Please don't.

      Quite honestly, I'd be happy to see GM shed the Buick brand entirely as a China-only car. What's the average age of the typical Buick owner in America? 

      [edit] That would be 59. GM should continue shedding brands in the states until they get to a normal distribution of basic (Chevy), luxury (Caddy) and trucks (GMC).

        speterjr
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Rochester

        The auto industry recently conducted a survey which showed that the majority of new car purchases are made by senior citizens, as younger generations are mired in student loan debt, unemployment, and whatnot.  So, this is where they will concentrate their efforts.  We know nobody will be around forever, but we also know how short-sighted this industry is.  They will decide to refocus their marketing efforts to younger generations when it is almost too late, and they are facing bankruptcy.  For now, they will live for today...

          jason_golden
          • 3 Months Ago
          @speterjr

          @speterjr You make a great point regarding younger generations' automotive needs and desires. I consider their existing debt, their ability to incur more debt for a new car loan, their struggle to be homeowners... their struggle to "save up" for much of anything.  So, should more automakers be planning to unveil their competitors to the Mitsu Mirage?  Will anyone eventually design and sell loaded, attractive new cars for around $20K out-the-door?   Will the cheap offerings all have to look like clown cars (Chevy Spark, Xb, Cube, Fiesta) to instantly / visually separate the haves and have-nots?

        cpwallen
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Rochester

        59 beats Lincoln's 60!

        Will
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Rochester

        It was 70 a few years ago. If you don't like them, buy something else. Hard to argue they aren't changing their image, though.

        car-a-holic
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Rochester

        Quite honestly you shoulda kept that though unspoken lol.... Ps have you seen the Lexus demographics? Toyota should kill that off because the buyers are old and tgat would satisfy you??? 

        Humberto Yi
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Rochester

        I'm 36, we own 2 of them, a regal gs and a lacrosse, the two nicest vehicles I've ever owned without a single problem.  Enough power for us, and dead silence when riding down the interstate at 80mph.  

        normc32
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Rochester

        Average age of buyers s 52 years old. Lexus buyers are 56 years with Buick 4 years older and similar with Cadillac. Fords's Linckln has the oldest buyers and they are not going anywhere anytime soon.

          Rochester
          • 3 Months Ago
          @normc32

          Fair enough. I should have Googled it. So... nearest info I could find was from 2011, where Buick had the most elderly consumer of all car brands, at an average age of 59.  Being 50 myself, I certainly expect to reach 59. Here's the link:

          Average-Age-of-Car-Buyers-by-Brand

          And not for nothing, but the research backs up my opinion. I still think GM should ditch Buick here in the States.

          yonomo200
          • 3 Months Ago
          @normc32

          This article from 2013 says 57 in 2012. They didn't get there by selling to a bunch of 57 year olds. They got there by a mix of reasons, probably including selling Enclaves and Regals to 40ish year olds, as well as older buyers dying off. It's easy to interpret data however you want to fit your own agenda. But the fact remains, the average age has dropped, a LOT in the past five years (going on two decades worth of drop, from 72) while the average age of all new car buyers has increased. This is no small feat.

          http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2013/03/30/buick-lowers-average-age-of-buyer-but-its-higher-than-norm.html

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