As an all-SUV lineup, Buick has several options out there for buyers looking for more upscale models.
The 2023 Envision we recently tested is offered in three trims: Preferred, Essence and Avenir.
We drove the middle Essence trim, which has a starting price of $39,703. The options on our tester pushed the final bill to $47,683.
The add-ons include the panoramic sunroof ($1,795), Sport Touring Package ($1,495), 20-inch dark finish aluminum wheels and alloy sport pedals ($1,495) and the $2,995 Technology Package.
That includes surround vision, head up display, a Bose Premium 9-speaker audio system, and navigation.
Powertrain: The Envision is propelled by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine which delivers 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. While the numbers sound pretty good on paper, the vehicle is far from inspiring in terms of performance.
The engine is paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission, which does a good job.
Fuel efficiency is estimated at 9.5 litres per 100 kilometres, but my results were way off the mark at 11.8 L/100 km.
Exterior: The Essence tester had a much more appealing exterior appearance thanks to those dark finish alloy wheels – especially in nice contrast to the Summit White exterior.
If not for that, the SUV’s styling is far from standing out.
It has a few nice features for sure, like the headlight design, and some nice accent creases in the side panels, but is otherwise it’s quite run-of-the-mill in terms of looks – especially compared to the competition in this segment.
Interior: The Envisions cabin does redeem the model somewhat.
I especially liked how the centre console was angled toward the driver, putting all the essential controls closer at hand.
The black leather seats are nicely accented by red trim and white stitching. The front seats are pretty comfortable, and rear occupants enjoy good legroom.
Cargo space behind the second row is generous, and a 60/40 folding rear bench allows you to increase the usable space back there should you need it.
Infotainment: The Essence trim of the Envision has an upgraded 10.2-inch infotainment screen, which is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – both wirelessly compatible – standard in the SUV.
It features a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and satellite radio. Our tester had the upgraded Bose 9-speaker system, which is a good option.
The system itself is fairly simple to use with a responsive interface with little lag and clear menus.
Drive: The Envisions driving dynamics are not much to write home about as the vehicle was set up more for comfort than driving enjoyment.
While power delivery is acceptable, it never feels very exciting, but will still satisfy owners who are looking for a competent everyday driver.
Conclusion: The Envision, which slots into the middle of the Buick lineup, is definitely up against some tough and popular competition.
While it does a good job around the city, and offers efficient storage and passenger comfort, given the strong competition in the market, it has an uphill battle on its hands.
2023 Buick Envision Essence AWD
Price as tested: $47,683.00
Configuration: Front engine/All-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 2.0-litre turbo 4-cylinder/ 9-speed automatic
Power/torque: 228 horsepower/ 258 lb-ft of torque
Fuel (capacity): Regular (61 L)
Combined fuel economy ratings (L/100 km): 9.5 L/100 km
Observed fuel economy (L/100 km): 11.8 L/100 km
Warranties: 3-years/60,000 km (basic)
Competitors: Acura RDX, Audi Q5, Cadillac XT4, Lincoln Corsair, Lexus NX, Volvo XC60 Buick Canada