2018 Envision New Car Test Drive
Envision is eye-pleasing but not double-taking. A deep shoulder line and rear roof pillar are vaguely European, with a line of thin chrome trim around the windows that's suggestive of the BMW 3. At the front, a petite waterfall grille is flanked by LED daytime running lamps that flow upward into fenders with iconic faux portholes.
The rear taillamps are like blobs floating in space. LED accent lights are connected by a wide metallic bar studded with a Buick logo. It's inoffensive but uninteresting.
The instrument panel is a dramatic asymmetric sweep of controls, and a mish-mash of GM-generic switchgear. The sporty three-spoke steering wheel looks cool, too bad the handling doesn't back it up. Fabric upholstery comes on the two lower models, with faux wood trim, while the others get leather in brown, black or tan, which doesn't feel particularly nice. Big swaths of real wood trim and ambient lighting beautify the cabin on the Premium models. A climate control panel uses capacitive touch switches.
The 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, with busy graphics, sits high on the dash. Buick's IntelliLink is one of our favorite systems, for its simple menus and plug-and-go Apple CarPlay.
The Envision is a bit narrow, which you can feel in the rear seat. The rear seat slides on a track for legroom. The rear seat will hold three adults, squeezed but with good headroom, and reclining.
There's an excellent 26.9 cubic feet of space behind the rear seat, and 57.3 cubic feet with the rear seat folded, numbers that belie its exterior size.
It's very quiet inside. We pushed it over some of the worst asphalt we've seen in a while, and didn't hear one creak or rattle. Its doors slammed with the solid thunk we've come to expect from GM.