Consumer Reports’ Best Small Luxury SUV Is Not What You’d Expect

To some, it may be a surprise that it’s not a Lexus NX or a BMW X1 that is on top. Instead, it’s the Buick Envision that’s swept Consumer Reports and J.D. Power’s rankings. It beats others in its class, including the Audi Q3, the Mercedes GLC, the Cadillac XT5, and many others. Buick may not be the luxury brand that comes immediately to mind when you think of the best small luxury SUV of 2022. But the Envision packs a lot of value, style, and awards.

Could the Buick Envision be the best small luxury SUV you’ve forgotten about?

A blue Buick Envision parked in front of a mid-century home.
2022 Buick Envision

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The Envision was GM’s first Chinese-market vehicle that General Motors decided to import to the U.S. So, while it’s an American company, the Buick SUV is assembled in Shanghai, China. The Envision is a mid-sized SUV with two rows. It’s the Buick version of the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain, but being a Buick means that it can be optioned more like an Acura or Infiniti.

The first generation of the Envision came out in 2016, but it was completely redesigned in 2021. While automotive enthusiast magazines have never fallen in love with the Envision, in other practical rankings it comes off as one of the best small luxury SUVs you can find. For 2023, it’s basically a carry-over vehicle for Buick.

Is the Buick Envision a reliable SUV?

Consumer Reports isn’t the only ratings agency that likes the Envision. J.D. Power, too, ranks it highly, and owners report that it has great reliability. Early in the model’s lifespan, there were reports of transmission problems with the Envision but GM rectified those several years ago. Overall, the Envision has solid reliability scores.

But, while Subaru sold 10,600 CrossTrek SUVs last month, Buick sold just 10,900 Envisions this year, according to GodCarBadCar, which tracks vehicle sales. That’s kind of odd considering that it shares a lot with Chevy’s best-selling SUV, the Equinox, of which Chevy has sold nearly 117,000 this year.

What does the Buick Envision compare to?

A black Buick Envision parked in a home driveway.
2022 Buick Envison | Buick

The 2022 Envision is a small luxury SUV, and in that class, you can count the new Lexus NX, the Lincoln Corsair, the BMW X1, and the Acura RDX. The Envision, however, has a lower starting price of $31,500, yet packs a more powerful turbocharged four-cylinder motor than most of its competitors. Like those it, too, can be ordered in front- or all-wheel drive. It’s a bit larger than most of its competitors, which means more utility and cargo holding ability for your sport utility.

How much is a 2022 Buick Envision?

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The five-passenger 2022 Buick Envision starts at $31,500. The Preferred trim starts at $32,895, the Essence starts at $36,995 and the top-level Avenir trim is $41,245. They all have an ECOTEC four-cylinder and nine-speed automatic. It comes standard with eight-way seats, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, active noise cancellation, and Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

The higher-level trims add heated seats, extra tech packages, more (and larger) screens, and Buick’s Driver Confidence driver’s aids. The Avenir is almost as nice as an upmarket Cadillac XT5, but the Caddy isn’t rated as the best small luxury SUV of 2022.

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