2024 Buick Envista: Small, Affordable, and Hateful
As T.S. Eliot wrote in his 1925 poem The Hollow Men, “This is the way the world ends; not with a bang but with a whimper.” The final gas-powered Buick SUV is less than stellar and doesn’t remind us of the Buick quality we love. The 2024 Buick Envista is small, affordable, and hateful for those that expected much more from this premium SUV.
What is the 2024 Buick Envista?
This new Buick SUV is a subcompact crossover with a coupe-like shape and lower profile than the Encore GX. A pretty good starting point, right? Sure, but once you get past the looks and into the heart of this SUV, you’ll find the hateful parts.
The Envista is attractive and stylish while offering more interior room for passengers than the Encore GX. It also comes at a lower starting price, with the top trim level under $30,000. Although these qualities check off a few boxes for some people, there’s a lot to be desired with this final Buick gas-powered SUV.
What makes us hate this Buick SUV so much?
The term SUV stands for Sport Utility Vehicle. In our modern automotive world, we expect at least two of these three words to mean something in every SUV. Is the vehicle sporty? Does it provide a good amount of utility? Is it a good vehicle to drive? The new Buick Envista can only check off one of these boxes.
The Envista left its sporty side at home
Although attractive, this new subcompact crossover Buick SUV isn’t sporty at all. Power for the Envista comes from a tiny 1.2-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine that sends 136 horsepower to the front wheels. There aren’t any powertrain upgrades or an option for AWD. Compare this to the 155-horsepower of the plodding and slow Encore GX, and you can see why it might take a while for the Envista to get where you want to go.
Forget utility; it’s not part of the 2024 Buick Envista formula
This new Buick SUV is longer than the Encore GX. In fact, it has 4.1 inches more in the wheelbase and 11.2 inches of additional length than the Encore GX. Somehow, this added length doesn’t translate into cargo room. These subcompact crossovers already suffer from being too small but cutting the cargo room to only 20.7 cubic feet is terrible. The interior space is only 42.0 cubic feet even when the rear seats are folded. The Encore GX offers 2.8 and 8.2 cubes more, respectively, leaving the Envista in the dust.
This new Buick SUV could offer a good drive
You’ll find a starting price of $23,495 for the base Preferred model and $29,695 for the top-level Avenir trim. Car and Driver tells us the Avenir rides on 19-inch wheels and has a Watt’s-link rear suspension, making the drive more enjoyable.
The 2024 Buick Envista has a coupe-like shape making it longer, lower, and more attractive than the upright Encore GX. This could be a good vehicle to drive, but it lacks the sportiness or utility we expect in most SUVs.
GM could have left the Buick Envista on the drawing board
The whimper is real, and Buick brings a final gas-powered SUV that leaves much to be desired. GM should have taken a page from the Dodge book and put some real effort into this final model like Dodge did with the Last Call Charger and Challenger models.
Unfortunately, the 2024 Buick Envista is real. This subcompact crossover SUV is small and affordable, but it’s among the most hateful new models we’ve ever seen.