2018 Envision New Car Test Drive
The Buick Envision is a midsize/compact crossover, bigger than the popular Encore hatchback, smaller than the three-row Enclave wagon. Envision is narrow for its class and a couple of inches shorter than its front-wheel-drive crossover cousins, the Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain.
Envision is built in China and the vast majority of them are sold there.
It's well-assembled and has a sweet ride, but the driving dynamics are average. It lacks features seen on the Lexus RX, Acura RDX, and Nissan Murano. It weighs 3800 pounds and can tow 1500 pounds when properly equipped.
All-wheel drive is available. Front-wheel drive is standard.
The base engine is a 2.5-liter four cylinder making 197 horsepower. The fun and confident engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four making 252 horsepower, all-wheel-drive only. Both engines are mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The all-wheel drive is a twin-clutch system that splits power between the rear wheels, called torque vectoring, for better control in corners, not for better traction in mud or snow. The 2.0 turbo also uses Buick's sophisticated HiPer strut front suspension that counters torque steer, mainly on front-wheel-drive models.
The 2.5-liter engine's available all-wheel drive is a basic system.
The 2.5-liter with front-wheel drive gets an EPA-rated 22 miles per gallon City, 29 Highway, and 25 Combined, nothing to brag about. The 2.0 turbo with all-wheel drive gets 20/26/22 mpg.
In crash testing, the Envision gets five stars from NHTSA. It gets all top scores from the IIHS, and with the optional automatic emergency braking system, gets Top Safety Pick+. By then you're pushing $50k.
The 2018 Buick Envision ($34,015) comes standard with power and heated cloth seats and rearview camera. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.) The 2.5-liter engine comes on base, Preferred ($35,870) and Essence ($37,720) models. Front-wheel drive is standard, all-wheel drive is available.
The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with twin-clutch torque-vectoring all-wheel drive comes as Preferred ($37,720), Essence ($39,570), Premium ($42,320) and Premium II ($44,960). Premium versions get air conditioned leather seats, automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control. The Driver Confidence Package, with automatic braking and adaptive cruise control, is available only on the Premium II.