2017 Buick Envision Premium II AWD

Overview

We are living in the era of SUV’s and crossovers. And how would a legendary automobile manufacturer like Buick escape this reality? And especially in the red-hot compact SUV  segment? With the “new” Buick Envision, the compact-sized, model fitting between the subcompact Encore and the full-sized Enclave, Buick can now claim that it offers a complete model range of SUV’s and crossovers. With this model produced in China, the country Buick owns its survival to, it will compete in the small luxury segment against the more established players such as Audi Q5, Acura RDX, Lexus NX, Lincoln MKC and even Cadillac XT5 from the same house

Engine

Our test vehicle had a 252-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, offered exclusively in Canada with all-wheel drive and mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

The twin-scroll unit delivers 260 pound-feet of torque, of which 90 per cent is available starting at 1,800 rpm, with the full load coming on-board from 3,000 to 4,000 rpm.

Driving Impressions

The boosted four is now only quiet, but you also enjoy the wide torque band as you you drive a bigger engine with at least six cylinders. Even if we may live in the last times (as some experts argue) of the internal combustion engine, the turbo technology has its golden times, in my subjective opinion. The engine is designed with balance shafts and sound-attenuating components, and is isolated on a hydraulically damped substructure that helps quell noise and vibration. Four powertrain mounts are used, says Buick, rather than the conventional three. All these features offer a quiet and refined driving as you would expect from a premium brand.
Handling light years away from the street  cruisers of earlier decades. It is still a buick of modern times. Roadholding, steering and braking are softer and more indirect than a BMW X3, but you always feel secure in sharp corners or during acceleration in the curves. The interior is well-finished. The material quality is less than premium in more “remote” corners of the dashboard. The rear seat is very roomy for this class and here we have to give some credit to the tasted of buyers in China, Buick’s biggest market. In this country, a roomy rear seat for the “boss” is so important that longer versions of even compact luxury cars like BMW 3 Series may be offered. The list of active safety equipment includes forward-collision warning and lane-departure mitigation systems, as well as automatic braking.
Conclusion:
For Buick, it is the right thing to do to fill this important gap in its model range. It remains to be seen how well the Envision will perform in this hyper-competitive market segment. The chances look good, even if we should not expect a sales leader in its category.

Type of vehicle: Compact SUV
Engine: 2.0L DOHC DI I4 Turbo/W/VVT
Transmission: 6-speed, automatic
Price (base/as tested): $49,565 / $55,530
Destination charge: CAD 1,700
Natural Resources Canada fuel economy (L/100 km): 11.8 city; 9.1 highway

Optional features

Driver confidence package: $1,975 (adaptive cruise control, front automatic braking, surround vision)

Power Moonroof: $1,695

Midnight Amethyst Metallic: $495

Total Price as Tested: $55,530

Article: Varol McKars

Pictures: Varol McKars, Basak McKars

Test vehicle was provided by Buick Canada (via BHG Media Fleet)

For the most up-to-date and more detailed information, visit:

www.buick.ca

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