What Is It?
The 2016 Buick Envision is a premium compact crossover sourced from the brand’s Chinese arm. While it’s built in China, it should be a hit in the U.S., as it joins one of the hottest segments in the market, the premium compact crossover segment, slotting between the brand’s subcompact Encore and the larger Enclave.
On the outside, the Encore offers docile, predictable styling, including Buick’s corporate grille and slightly exaggerated wheel arches and lines to help distinguish it from other luxury SUV rivals. It’s 183 inches long, which makes it about the same size as rivals, like the Acura RDX at 184.4 inches and the Lincoln MKC at 179.2 inches. The interior is surprisingly stylish, touting a boldly shaped dashboard, upscale materials and a large center console. Unlike Buick’s larger Enclave SUV, which offers seven seats and three rows, the Envision is strictly a 2-row 5-seater.
Under the hood, the Envision offers a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, which makes 252 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. The Envision uses a standard 6-speed automatic transmission and offers front- or all-wheel drive. High-tech gadgets include an 8-in center touchscreen, adaptive cruise control, a lane-keep assist system and automated parking assistance.
Although Buick has not yet announced pricing, we suspect the Envision will slot somewhere between the subcompact Encore (which starts around $25,000 with shipping) and the larger Enclave (which starts around $40,000 with destination).
When Can You Get It?
Add It to Your Shopping List Because …
Buick has already proven it’s capable of creating well-designed, well-built cars, thanks to a rapidly expanding lineup that includes excellent new models, like the Regal, Encore and Enclave. The 2016 Buick Envision looks to add to the stable, boasting a lot of the traits shoppers love about compact luxury SUVs, from a wide range of equipment to a high-end interior and easily manageable dimensions.
Other Cars to Consider
2016 Acura RDX — The RDX is among the Envision’s closest competitors, offering a wide array of equipment, a smooth ride and well-known reliability. The RDX is also among the most popular compact luxury SUVs.
2016 BMW X3 — Drivers who want a little extra performance than the Envision will likely offer should check out the X3. Prices will be higher than the Envision’s starting price, but handling will be sharper, and with up to 300 hp, the X3 will likely be quicker, too.
2016 Lincoln MKC — The MKC is one of our favorite compact luxury crossovers, offering handsome styling, a lot of equipment and a wide range of high-tech gadgets and features. Like the Envision, it also boasts turbocharged 4-cylinder power.
Used Buick Enclave — If you like the Envision but need more space, consider Buick’s larger Enclave. It offers 3-row seating and standard V6 power, making it perfect for drivers who need more room. The only drawback is that the prices are higher, so you may need to consider a used model.