2021 Buick Envision AWD Avenir. Understated Luxury

2021 Buick Envision AWD Avenir: Overview

2021 Buick Envision AWD Avenir

Buick has brought a better, more elegant and refined vehicle with the second-generation Envision. The China-built vehicle is a comfortable, premium and relatively affordable option in the compact luxury segment. Envision is critically important for the Buick brand. The current Buick model family consists of SUVs only and this is becoming the norm for many brands. Buick has been successful in China and in fact, owes its existence today to its success in the world’s biggest car market.
The current model drives better looks better and feels more comfortable and luxurious.

2021 Buick Envision AWD Avenir: Engine and Powertrain

the 2.0L, 4-cylinder Ecotec Turbo engine is the only option for the Envision

The only available engine for the Envision is (both for the front- or all-wheel drive versions) is a 228-horsepower, 2.0L Ecotec Turbo, 4-cylinder mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. It delivers 258 lb-ft of torque which is more than sufficient for a smooth ride in the city and on the highway. We are happy to see that General Motors did not opt for CVT (continuously variable transmission), an option we find also in the premium segment.

2021 Buick Envision AWD Avenir: Interior and Exterior Design

The well-designed and executed dashboard with a classical instrument cluster is very functional too

Envision’s interior provides a pleasant atmosphere. The comfortable, easily adjustable, perforated leather (in the Avenir trim) -appointed seats with nice stitches stand out and provide a luxury ambiance. The rest of the cabin in grey looks humbler but also functional since this colour is less reflective. Buick’s compact SUV is also a good example that vehicles built in China can be as good as in other places when it comes to assembly quality. Tablet-style infotainment screens protruding from the dashboard are becoming the norm. Buick chose the other way: The 10.2″ screen is smartly integrated and immersed into the dashboard and angled to the driver.

The spacious and bright cabin has enough headroom even with the optional panoramic moonroof 

Buick also preferred to use shift buttons, instead of a more traditional shift lever. It not only saves space in the centre console but facilitates the use of cupholders.  For sure not everybody will like to shift that way, but it is easy to get used to these shift buttons. There is also an actual button for the home screen, which makes the controls easier. Also, the capacitive touch buttons on the screen work well. One feature that could be better is the HVAC system: The ventilation channels are too small and cannot blast enough air into the cabin. Especially the centre vents are noticeably small and give the impression that Buick did not care much about this important function. The supplementary vent on the dash seems to be an excuse but cannot eliminate this shortcoming.

The rear seats are comfortable with decent leg and headroom. Reasonable space exists for the third passenger

The list of modern active safety features is long and includes (among others) Enhanced Automatic Emergency Braking, Enhanced Automatic Parking Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control.

The cargo volume behind the first row is 1492 litres and 713 litres behind the second row and thus reasonable for the compact SUV class.

The Envision offers 1,492 litres of cargo room behind the first row, which is significant for this class

The exterior design is much more attractive than the previous generation. The LED lights in front and rear make a very elegant light signature. With sleeker head-and taillights, the vehicle looks lower and more dynamic.

2021 Buick Envision AWD Avenir: Driving Impressions

For drivers at my age, Buick vehicles from the last century mean American luxury with a smooth drive. And this new 2021 Buick does not disappoint. The ride is very smooth, and on the side of comfort even in the sport mode. The so-called, Continuous Damping Control (CDC) is an advanced chassis suspension technology of General Motors with sensors sending driving input to the ECU for optimum ride comfort. And the ride quality of Envision benefiting from this technology was noticeable.

To learn more about CDC please visit: 

https://gmauthority.com/blog/gm/general-motors-technology/gm-chassis-suspension-technology/gm-continuous-damping-control-technology/

I also believe that Buick made a wise choice with Continental, P245/45R20 ProContact tires. These Contis are known as very good in terms of ride comfort and noise level.

Continental ProContact P245/45R20 sized tires contribute to the smooth and pothole-absorbing drive

With the acoustic noise cancellation system, the cabin is very quiet even at highway speeds with one exception: It is worth thinking if the design team could come up with more aerodynamic and probably smaller side view mirrors. Even with the good sound isolation in the cabin, the wind noise is noticeable at 110 km/h and higher.

Pricing and Equipment

For details of the pricing and equipment of our tester, please see the window sticker below:

The total price is $47,388, excluding $100 of tax and $1,900 of destination charge.

With these items added, the range-topping Avenir AWD has an MSRP of $49,388.

This is a fair price for a premium compact SUV.

2021 Buick Envision AWD Avenir: Conclusion

We as car guys wish to have as many brands as possible rolling on the streets of this world. Buick has a respectable place in automotive history.  Even if the days of large sedans are gone, it is nice to see a comfortable, well-made, functional and relatively affordable vehicle with the Tri-Shield logo.

Buick consistently ranks among the top brands in the last decade or so at J.D. Power quality rankings, a very reliable source of quality assessment based on tens of thousands of independent and verified car owners.

The arguably only element missing for the total success of the brand is a closer, deeper connection to the younger generation.

As per http://www.carfigures.com Buick sold 15,789 vehicles in Canada in 2020. An iconic brand with high-quality ratings deserves significantly better sales performance.

For more information please visit http://www.buick.ca