2023 Buick Envision
Is there such a thing as an “affordable” compact luxury SUV anymore?
If you passed by your local Buick dealer, then you might not be fully aware of the Envision SUV. It is sized for today’s upwardly mobile starter family or up-and-coming executive looking for something special that will make you stand out among the crowd.
We tested a 2023 Envision Avenir to find out whether this is the right upwardly mobile compact SUV for you.
It starts with a very smart exterior design. A prominent grille with the tri-shield badge dominates the front end. Slim headlamp units complete the welcoming look with a functional lower front fascia for airflow management. The profile is simple, with the absence of a C-pillar glass. It flows down to a liftgate area flanked by horizontal taillights and Buick’s logo,
Our Avenir tester offers some trim upgrades with more chrome and a neutral-lens taillight treatment. Twenty-inch alloy wheels in a pearl nickel finish and the Avenir badges remind you that you are getting the top-of-the-line among all Envision models.
Stepping inside the Envision Avenir and you are reminded by the level of luxury you expect in a Buick. Gone are the days of cushy seats and tufted door cards. Instead, you get a contemporary cabin that is also future-forward. The transmission controls on the console are a series of buttons and toggles. The instrument cluster is a mix of analog and digital information that is large enough for everyone’s eyes. A head-up display completes the driver’s information suite.
The infotainment system’s touchscreen is accessible easily, but it is augmented with essential controls on the back of the steering wheel. Everything else is what you expect in a Buick of this size, including the tactile climate controls in the lower center stack.
It seats up to five, though two adults will be fine in the rear seat area. Front seats offer plenty of support, but the seatbacks do feel a bit firm in the upper back area. You do get a set of nicely upholstered leather seats with contrast quilt-like stitching. Cargo space looks spacious. You do get 25.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats. With the rear seats folded down, you get 52.7 cubic feet of overall cargo space.
All Envision models are powered by a 228-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, also putting down 258 pound-feet of torque. It is connected to a nine-speed automatic transmission sending power to the front wheels. All-wheel drive is available.
The performance comes on smoothly. There is no hesitation to get up to speed and it loves to cruise. We found shifts to be equally smooth. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the FWD Envision can turn in a fuel consumption average of 26 MPG.
Ride is very smooth. It handled a lor of roads with ease. Handling's pretty good, pretty well-behaved. Maneuverability is easy and well managed.
The steering system turns quite well with a decent turning radius. On-center feel felt solid when keeping in lane. Even though the Envision has a brake-by-wire system, it is really a solid system. That is reflected on the overall pedal feel. We experienced pretty decent stops in normal and panic situations.
The 2023 Buick Envision lineup starts at $33,400 with a choice of three trims, plus a Sports Touring Model. Our Avenir FWD tester came with a sticker price of $46,705.
As you move upmarket in this class, you will encounter a lot of choices close to the Envision’s price point. Consumers have a wide choice of models, including the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Jaguar E-Pace, Audi Q5, Volvo XC60, Land Rover Discovery Sport, Range Rover Evoque, Acura RDX, Lexus NX, Infiniti QX50, Genesis CV70, Cadillac XT4, and Lincoln Corsair.
However, if Buick’s kind of luxury is what you rather have, the Envision is a solid fit to fulfill that want.
Credits: CarSoup Editors