2021 Subaru Forester vs. 2021 Buick Envision: Which Compact SUV Is the Better Buy?

Shopping for a compact SUV? Chances are, you’re overwhelmed with options. After all, there are several compact SUVs on the market today. Though, maybe you’ve whittled your choices down to two options. And, say those options include the 2021 Subaru Forester and 2021 Buick Envision. While both are compact SUVs, we have to admit, one is undoubtedly a better choice than the other. 

The 2021 Subaru Forester is standard with all-wheel drive

If it’s a capable vehicle that you’re after, you really can’t go wrong with the 2021 Subaru Forester. Not only do all Forester models come standard with all-wheel drive, but this year’s model also boasts 8.7-inches of ground clearance. According to Kelley Blue Book, it can even handle some light off-roading.

As for the 2021 Buick Envision? This year’s model comes standard with front-wheel drive. Although it is available with all-wheel drive, you’ll be spending an extra $1,800 to get it. 

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It may be a compact SUV but the 2021 Subaru Forester is spacious

The 2021 Subaru Forester isn’t just capable either. For a compact SUV, it’s also extremely spacious, especially when compared to the 2021 Buick Envision. In fact, the Subaru Forester offers more headroom for both front and rear-seat passengers. It also boasts significantly more legroom for front-seat passengers, along with more shoulder room for all passengers in the vehicle. Unfortunately for the Buick Envision, the 2021 Subaru Forester has the edge when it comes to cargo space too.

2021 Subaru Forester parked in front of a mountain home
2021 Subaru Forester | Subaru

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The 2021 Buick Envision isn’t as reliable as the Subaru Forester

If you value reliability, you might want to steer clear of the 2021 Buick Envision. According to Consumer Reports, this year’s model earned a three out of five predicted reliability rating. While that’s not the lowest score it could have obtained, it’s definitely not worth writing home about. Fortunately, according to Consumer Reports, you can count on the Subaru Forester to be slightly more reliable.  

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Choosing the 2021 Buick Envision might just break the bank

Buying a compact SUV doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. That is, unless, you wind up with a more luxurious compact SUV, like the 2021 Buick Envision. This year’s model starts at $32,995 and really only gets more expensive from there. Upgrade to the Buick Envision Essence model, and you’ll be spending nearly $37,000. And if you’re looking to treat yourself? A fully-loaded Envision will have you spending $41,395.

Fortunately, the Subaru Forester makes for an affordable alternative to the Buick Envision. While a base model will cost you approximately $24,795, upgrading to the Forester Premium will only have you spending $27,795. Even at its most expensive, the Subaru Forester is less expensive than this year’s Envision.

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It’s clear which compact SUV is the better choice here

There’s really no denying that when it comes to comparing these two compact SUVs, the 2021 Subaru Forester makes for the better buy. Not only is it standard with all-wheel drive, but it’s also spacious, reliable, and affordable. That’s a pretty hard combination to argue with.