Buick is one of the brands that has made, without too much of a fuss, the transition from offering customers are range sedans to offering them instead a range of crossover utility vehicles.
It managed to develop a fleet of utility vehicles capable of pleasing customers both in urban China and suburban United States and the 2021 Envision Essence AWD is one of the proof points.
The Envision is a vehicle with a lengthy list of features and technology that is both comfortable and versatile, offering ample room for passengers and luggage. It has a capable powertrain with enough power for everyday use and even some extra in reserve.
It is also nicely furnished with quality materials to ensure it delivers a premium vehicle to buyers purchasing a Buick, which is one of the oldest and most storied brands in automotive industry.
The Envision also is a product of the 21st century auto industry since it’s built in China and exported to North America, and the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, at $41,790, is roughly the average price for a new vehicle sold in the United States.
The exterior design of the 2021 Buick Envision follows the brand’s traditional design precepts of solidity, which, while it isn’t flashy, carries a sense of character and competence. The basic shape of any utility vehicles is next to impossible to hide but the Envision presents a nice upright face to the world.
The details, including the grille and insignia on the front, the light fixtures, the arc of the hood, the design of the rear liftgate and 18-inch machined wheels also underscore the attention detail of the final exterior design. The exterior of the Envision might not be exactly memorable but it certainly looks steady and reliable standing still at a stop light, parked in a driveway or by the curb.
The 2021 Buick Envision benefits from the broad scope and expertise of General Motors’ global design staff. Buick sets the standard for its interiors. The Envision certainly meets the measure both in the clean design of the interior layout, which helps make the vehicle easy to drive, and overall quality of the material used throughout the cabin.
Leather is used throughout, wrapping the dashboard and storage bin between the two front seats as well as the steering wheel. The stitching used on the leather components is neatly done and the interior also features piano black and nickel accents. The entertainment system is first rate and the lighting system used throughout the cabin after dark is also nicely compatible with the demands of nighttime driving. The interior also includes ample storage for small items and the visibility from the driver’s seat is very good.
The 2021 Envision Essence AWD is equipped with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, 4-cylinder engine with a 9-speed automatic transmission as well as stop-start system to save fuel and an intelligent, all-wheel drive system. The powertrain, which produces 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, also has multiple modes from which drivers can select.
The Envision has a combined fuel-economy rating of 25 miles per gallon from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, including 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg out on the highway. Unlike in other vehicles where elements of the powertrain come for different places, all the pieces of the Envision’s powertrain are made in China.
Safety and Technology
The Envision is equipped with is equipped with Buick Driver Confidence Plus, which includes front-pedestrian braking, forward collision alert, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist and lane-departure warning, blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert and rear-park assistance.
It is also equipped with high-definition surround vision, head-up display, a nine-speaker premium audio system from Bose, Buick Infotainment with navigation with 10-inch screen display, voice recognition, Bluetooth audio streaming, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and HD Radio and OnStar as well as multiple air bags for frontal and side-impact crashes.
The 2021 Envision Essence does not pretend to be a performance vehicle but it has more than enough power and set for smooth shifts between the nine different gears. The ride was smooth and comfortable, which is certainly a long-standing Buick tradition. But, more importantly, the ride, while it wasn’t harsh, wasn’t too soft either.
The Envision’s driving dynamics were also very good with responsive steering and good, solid brakes. The vehicle I drove also was equipped with GM’s Stabilitrak system, which enhanced the on-road ride quality and made it easier for the vehicle to handle large bumps.
2021 Buick Envision Essence AWD specifications:
|Dimension||L: 182.5 inches/W: 74.1 inches/H: 64.6 inches/Wheelbase: 109.4 inches|
|Powertrain||2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine; 9-speed automatic transmission|
|Fuel Economy||22 mpg city/29 mpg highway/25 mpg combined|
|Performance Specs||228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||As tested: $41,790 including $1,195 destination and delivery charge|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
I found several things to like on the Envision, such as the nicely furnished interior, the smooth operation of the powertrain and the long list of features, which were augmented in the test vehicle by an optional “technology package,” which cost $2,500.
However, even with the technology package and a $495 charge for the “Satin Steel Metallic” paint on the vehicle, the price tag of $41,790 is very close to the average price of a new vehicle sold in the U.S. In addition, we don’t get to drive vehicles built in China very often and judging by the overall fit and finish of the Envision and its overall performance and range of features, cars made in China are prepared to compete in the global market.
2021 Buick Envision Essence AWD — Frequently Asked Questions
What are the ratings for the Buick Envision?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 Buick Envision and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 Envision 5.0 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars.
What are the different models of the Buick Envision?
Buick offers the Envision in five trim levels: 1SV, Preferred, Essence, Premium, and Premium II.
Is the Buick Envision made in China?
The redesigned 2021 Buick Envision, which is built in China, has reached dealer lots in the U.S. after its debut in mid-2020.