You can’t fault the Buick Envision for trying. The automaker’s 2-row/5-passenger compact SUV was its only model to post a sales gain in the challenging year that was 2020. Buoyed in part by especially good lease and financing deals, the Envision clawed its way into nearly 35,000 garages and driveways last year.
Now, Buick dealers have a better reason than a bargain deal to put drivers behind the wheel of the Envision. The reworked 2021 Envision is a looker, with muscular design and a low, wide stance that give it real presence. Inside, it’s way more sophisticated than last year’s model with an optional 10.2-inch touchscreen that houses Amazon Alexa plus wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. On the safety front, the 2021 Envision tosses in a slew of collision avoidance features as standard fare — that potentially lifesaving tech was a costly option in 2020.
Buick Envision’s premium appeal
The Envision is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 rated at 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, figures on par with base engines offered in the Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class. Of course, those German rivals cost quite a bit more than the $31,800 (plus $1,195 destination charge) Buick charges for a base Envision. All-wheel drive adds $1,800, while the mid-level Essence trim that includes leather seats that are heated up front , a power tailgate, and upsized 18-inch wheels runs $35,800.
As part of its push upmarket, the Envision is also newly available in high-zoot Avenir trim, which tosses in 20-inch wheels, a surround-view camera, and a few other niceties. All in, a loaded-up Envision Avenir will can reach over $47,000.
The 2021 Envision is in dealers now, alongside plenty of unsold 2020 models. But when seeing the two side by side, your eyes and senses will probably want to skip over the outgoing model.