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Mar16

2019 Buick Envision First Drive Review

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2019 Buick Envision First Drive Review

ATLANTA – “We’re within the trend enterprise,” government chief engineer Rick Spina advised us as he launched the 2019 Buick Envision. “Besides with numerous know-how.” Spina was referring to the altering whims of latest-car consumers, which have prompted Buick to provide the compact Envision crossover its mid-generational replace early — simply 18 months into its lifecycle — and drop its costs throughout all trim ranges.

As with a lot of our consumer items, the Envision is made in China. That does not appear to have harm it out there, despite the fact that it wears the badge of some of the quintessentially American manufacturers on the market. It even aced the IIHS crash exams, placing it in league with Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus.

There’s excellent news and dangerous information about how the Envision is doing. It is now the third-best-promoting mannequin within the Buick portfolio, behind the three-row Enclave in second place and the shock hit Encore subcompact crossover in first. Sam Russell, Buick’s director of selling, reported seventy three % progress prior to now 9 months versus the primary half of its market life. A full 60 % of Envision consumers are new to the GM household, too, and Russell says that almost half of these are possible to purchase one other Buick SUV when the time involves commerce within the Envision.

And but, the Envision trails in luxurious compact-crossover gross sales, behind mainstays such because the Audi Q5 and Acura RDX, even amid crossover demand within the U.S. that has corporations like Nissan posting document gross sales numbers and Ford canceling a redesign of the Fusion.

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Our test of the 2017 Envision discovered it competent, however missing that “X issue” that might ship consumers of German and Japanese marques flocking. As an alternative, we in contrast it to the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, and deemed these each higher values.

Maybe Buick feels the identical, as a result of the bottom 2019 Envision now begins at $32,990, a $2,000 minimize from final yr. The Most popular trim degree sees a higher drop of $2,four hundred, to $34,495. Rounding out the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter grades, the Essence’s price falls $1,900 to $36,795. The turbocharged 2.zero-liter Premium and Premium II trims get a reduction of $1,600 and $1,four hundred, respectively.

With these costs come modifications that Buick hopes will make the Envision a extra compelling prospect. Outwardly, the Envision sports activities a brand new grille, a winged affair to exchange the 2018’s waterfall and convey it according to the remainder of Buick’s lineup. HID headlights at the moment are the default on all 2.5-liter fashions, whereas bifunctional HIDs are the standard for the highest two turbo 2.zero-liter trims. The decrease area of the entrance fascia has been repenned as nicely, with cleaner however much less sporty strains.

The rear sees the most important visible change, with a extra sculpted tailgate and slimmer taillights. Gone is the phrase “Buick,” a choice that spans the complete Buick line for 2019. With out the model lettering, observers should depend on the tri-defend emblem to determine the automobiles. Both that, or they will have decide by the form of the vehicle itself, and we’re not satisfied the design is distinctly Buick sufficient. If the Envision really is a style merchandise, it can want extra distinguishable styling.

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Maybe what’s beneath the hood will make it extra engaging. We thought the 2017 Envision’s six-velocity automated was superb, however famous that it paled towards the competitors’s eight-velocity transmissions. Buick has come again with its new fast-shifting 9-velocity automated, a unit we just lately sampled on the Regal GS and have been impressed with.

As icing on the cake, the brand new transmission allowed for a torque improve of 35 lb-ft to 295 lb-ft, enhancing the turbo Envision’s zero-to-60-mph time by simply lower than half a second. Horsepower stays the identical at 252 on the two.zero-liter turbo 4, and the two.5-liter engine stays mated to the six-velocity automated and retains its 197 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque.

Past the faster pickup, the driving expertise stays largely the identical. The steering is sedate, corresponding to an Infiniti QX60, however that is wonderful as a result of should you nook too onerous, you will slip proper off its comfortable leather-based chairs. If a spirited driving expertise is what you need in a crossover, the Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring maxes out at simply $32,610. The Envision’s braking now requires much less pedal strain, because of a single-price brake booster, however braking efficiency does not change.

It appears the aim was to make the mechanical features of the car as unobtrusive as potential. The Envision’s cease/begin perform is an ideal instance. Buick has refined it for 2019 to the purpose the place it is one of many quieter methods in its class. There’s even what engineers referred to as internally a “drive-via-window algorithm” to stop begin/cease jolts throughout crawls — after an preliminary cease, the engine won’t shut off once more till the car exceeds 6 mph or 7 mph. As a final resort, drivers now have the choice to show off cease/begin utterly by way of a button on the sprint, a perform Buick says was included as a result of Chinese language clients demanded it.

2019 Buick Envision

The cabin carries over from the 2018 mannequin, quiet and cozy as ever. Behind the curtains, Buick has made incremental enhancements. For instance, drivers can now change between adaptive and conventional cruise management. There’s an out there air ionizer that pumps recent air into the cabin and reduces funky smells. It has a tire fill alert that tells you when a tire has reached its correct strain.

Tech-clever, Buick presents a set of sophistication-main connectivity choices. For 2019, the Envision comes with subsequent-era wi-fi charging with improved wattage capability and iPhone8 and iPhoneX compatibility. As with 2018 fashions, each Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot is included.

The 2019 Envision’s enhancements are definitely welcome, however they register as a stroll when Buick actually wants a house run to attract consumers away from its benchmark, the Audi Q5, and crossovers of its ilk. Buick has the tech half down, and the updates and new pricing construction handle the gripes we had with the Envision’s transmission and worth, however these appear extra like calculated strikes moderately than a model-defining stand.

The truth is, the price drop truly pulls the Envision nearer to a pool that features the aforementioned Jeep Grand Cherokee and Mazda CX-5, each of which supply simply as many facilities, are higher wanting and have designs that make them recognizable as robust marques. The Envision continues to be lacking an “X issue,” that distinctive fashion and clear id to assist it stand out within the crossover crowd. For higher or for worse, in style, model and elegance nonetheless rely for lots.

– 2019 Buick Envision First Drive Review –

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