The Forgotten Buick SUV with a 5-Star Reliability Rating
Could the Buick Envision suffer from Goldilocks syndrome? The forgotten-about Envision is overshadowed by its bigger brother the Enclave, which is a large three-row SUV. It’s also overshadowed by the smaller and comparatively inexpensive Encore, which also seats five. But the Envision is a good value on the used market, at least where reliability is concerned.
The 2016 to 2020 Envision gets a five-out-of-five reliability rating from Consumer Reports. In fact, according to Consumer Reports, Buick is the most reliable domestic automaker.
Though the Envision doesn’t have great resale value from new, that makes it a good used bargain to consider.
What makes a Buick Envision different?
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 Envision went on sale as a 2016 model. It saw a facelift in 2019 and a major revision for 2021 that was a huge improvement.
The first generation 2016-2020 models were powered by a standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder. But the one that’s you want has the optional 2-liter turbocharged four cylinder that was hooked up to GMs smooth shifting nine-speed automatic.
The Envision never lit up reviewers, however. The mid-size Buick has noticeable body roll, a disappointing interior, and it’s slightly smaller inside than competitors. But it does feel nicer than its corporate cousins on the inside.
Envisions can be ordered in basic to ultra-lux
Over the years Buick has created several different trim levels for the Envision. The first generation Envisions had five trim levels, from the basic 1SV to the Premium II. Front-wheel-drive was standard, but all-wheel-drive was optional. The Preferred option package added Apple CarPlay, a better stereo, a larger touchscreen and a hands-free power liftgate. The Premium II offered automatic parking and a surround-view camera. Some options added 19-inch rims, but reviewers said the larger tires compromised handling.
The new 2022 Envision can be ordered in the Avenir package that comes with most of the options you’d expect in the class, such as heated rear seats, navigation, and a massaging driver’s seat. The 2022 Envision also offers a full site of driver safety aids and is based on the updated Cadillac XT4. The base price is $31,500.
Buick SUV competition is up-market
Buick targeted the Acura RDX, QX50 and Lincoln Corsair when it designed the Envision. The Acura RDX starts at about $10,000 more, but has much more luxurious and modern interior, as well as a more powerful turbo four-cylinder motor. The Infiniti QX50 starts at about $40,00, too, but comes standard with several of the options that are extra-cost on the Buick. The Corsair starts at about $38,000 and has optional engines that make it quicker than the Buick and it offers slightly more cargo volume.
Compared to its rivals, it may come down to a styling choice. However, the Buick’s pricing, powerful engines, and practicality make it a compelling value, especially if you’re looking for a reliable used five-passenger SUV with a luxurious interior.
Related: Is Buick a Luxury Car Brand?