Crossover & Midsize

Price Drop Alert: Is the 2021 Buick Envision Now a Value Buy?

Consumers often don’t know what to make of the Buick Envision, which has been stuck between luxury and standard classification. Is this model an affordable compact luxury SUV, or is it an overpriced Chevy Equinox? The 2021 Buick Envision might not answer the question, but it undoubtedly provides better value to anyone who buys it.

Experts have praised Buick for redesigning the Envision in an effort to attract a new market of buyers. Now, Buick is doing even more to help its cause, as Car and Driver reports the all-new 2021 Envision will cost less than its predecessor.

The 2021 Buick Envision has a starting MSRP of $32,995, which is $1,700 less than the 2020 model. Does this price drop help expand the potential market for the compact SUV, or is the Envision doomed to forever remain in no man’s land? Let’s take a look at what this redesigned vehicle has to offer.

Sophistication comes standard; extras don’t

A silver 2021 Buick Envision on display
The 2021 Buick Envision on display | Photo via Buick

Most compact SUVs have a starting price that hovers around $25,000, while luxury compact SUVs begin at $37,000 or higher. This makes it tough to place the 2021 Buick Envision, as it has an elegant design but doesn’t quite live up to the performance heights of its premium competitors.

That’s not to say the 2021 Envision doesn’t offer a lot to love. In fact, it presents a nice compromise for drivers who want an upscale vehicle without having to take out a second mortgage on their house.

Its alluring design, highlighted by sculpted lines and a low, wide stance, is decisively more athletic than the outgoing model. Inside, you’ll find cutting-edge technologies like an available advanced head-up display and a rear camera mirror. Meanwhile, its available 10-inch infotainment touchscreen display has built-in Amazon Alexa, and it’s compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Some drivers may flock to the top-of-the-line 2021 Buick Envision Avenir, priced at $41,395. However, at that cost, it’d be tough to pass up the critically-acclaimed BMW X3. That’s especially true when considering that adding optional all-wheel-drive, extra driver-assistance systems, and other goodies can elevate the Envision Avenir’s price above $47,000.

The 2021 Buick Envision isn’t all looks

Past Envisions had style but little substance. This doesn’t seem to be the case for the 2021 Buick Envision, which is set to arrive at dealerships early next year. The redesigned compact SUV comes with an all-new powertrain and a full slate of driver-assistance systems.

A 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine lies underneath the hood of the 2021 Buick Envision. This powerplant works in tandem with a nine-speed automatic transmission and a front-wheel-drive system to produce 230 hp. 

Drivers can expect to get pretty good gas mileage, as the EPA estimates the 2021 Envision achieves 26 MPG city/highway combined. Models equipped with AWD will dip by one MPG. Regardless, both setups outperform the 2020 model.

Buick is following the lead of other automakers who add more and more standard safety systems to every vehicle. The 2021 Buick Envision has eight standard driver-assistance technologies. Highlights include automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist with lane-departure warning, and rear park assist. Buyers can also add available extras like automatic parking assist and rear cross-traffic alert.

Is the 2021 Buick Envision a value buy?

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This question hinges on your budget. Buyers who are looking to spend just over $30,000 land in the sweet spot where 2021 Buick Envision resides. 

Other standard vehicles at this price will be well-equipped or fully-loaded, so the Envision will pale in comparison. However, it does have a more luxurious design that few standard models can compete with. In this sense, the 2021 Buick Envision isn’t necessarily a value buy. Instead, this model should be viewed as a low-end luxury vehicle that skimps on amenities and top-end performance.