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2021 Buick Envision First Look

An all-new Buick Envision has arrived for 2021. This compact premium crossover SUV, which continues to be built in China, has been improved in multiple ways.

The 2021 Buick Envision – about the same length as before but wider and lower – is available in three trim levels: Preferred, Essence, and Avenir. All are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with 230 horsepower and a healthy 258 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel-drive (FWD) and all-wheel-drive (AWD) models are available, and the one available transmission is a 9-speed automatic.

As a Buick, the Envision places a big emphasis on quiet luxury. As such, it competes with other premium compact 2-row 5-seat luxury SUVs like the Lincoln Corsair and the Cadillac XT4, with which it shares a chassis.

What’s New for 2021?

Everything about the 2021 Buick Envision is new except the engine. The turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is carryover. It puts out 230 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. See the 2021 Buick Envision models for sale near you

What We Like

  • It’s an all-new premium compact SUV
  • Turbocharged engine
  • Excellent safety suite
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
  • Avenir top model

What We Don’t

  • A hybrid model would be welcome
  • Power liftgate not standard on base model

How Much?

$31,800-$42,000 (plus a $1,195 destination fee)

Fuel Economy

With front-wheel drive (FWD), the 2021 Buick Envision has U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel-economy ratings of 24 miles per gallon city/31 mpg highway/26 mpg combined. With all-wheel drive (AWD), those figures drop a bit, to 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway/25 mpg combined. Premium fuel is recommended, not required.

For comparison, a 2021 Cadillac XT4 is rated at 24 mpg city/30 mpg highway/26 mpg combined with FWD, and 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway/24 mpg combined with AWD.

The Lincoln Corsair equipped with the 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder is rated by the EPA at 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway/25 mpg combined in FWD form, or 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway/24 mpg combined with AWD.

Standard Features & Options

The 2021 Buick Envision is offered in three levels of trim: Preferred, Essence, and Avenir.

As a Preferred ($31,800), the Envision is equipped with Bi-LED headlights, manual cloth-covered front seats, and an infotainment system featuring an 8-inch touchscreen, Sirius XM radio, and wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. It also comes with pushbutton ignition, a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot, cruise control and safety that includes blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, and automatic high-beam headlights.  AWD adds a reasonable $1,800.

The mid-grade Buick Envision is the Essence ($35,800). It adds welcome features such as perforated interior leather, heated, power-adjustable front seats, a heated steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 10-inch touchscreen, an 8-inch multicolor driver information center, and a power liftgate. The Essence also can be ordered with AWD.

Most luxurious is the Envision Avenir ($40,200). It ups the content and luxury quotient with diamond-perforated leather seating surfaces, premium Bose 9-speaker audio system, a cargo compartment cover, premium floormats, a head-up display, a 360-degree camera, a massaging driver’s seat, heated rear seats, and an infotainment system with greater memory. The Buick Envision Avenir also has front and rear park assist, plus larger wheels and tires (245/45R-20s versus 235/60R-18s on the other models).

In addition to a $1,450 optional moonroof, the 2021 Buick Envision Essence can be ordered with a $2,500 Technology Package I that includes front and rear park assist, HD surround vision, the 9-speaker Bose audio system, and a head-up display. The Essence and Avenir versions of the Envision also are available with a $1,965 Technology Package II. This includes enhanced versions of the automatic emergency braking and parking assist programs, plus adaptive cruise control, articulating headlamps, a video rearview mirror and active suspension with continuous damping.

Also noteworthy is the Buick Envision Sport Touring Edition. This $1,450 package, available on the Preferred and Essence models, includes dark-finish 20-in alloy wheels, a unique grille with mesh inserts, ST badging, black roof rails, bodycolor door handles, and revised wheel-arch moldings.


All 2021 Envision models are equipped with Buick Driver Confidence, a safety suite that includes automatic emergency braking (with pedestrian detection), a lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, a following-distance indicator and automatic high-beam headlights.

Buick Driver Confidence Plus, also standard on every 2021 Envision, includes a blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert.

Two other safety systems of note: Buckle to Drive, standard on all 2021 Buick Envision models, won’t let the vehicle be shifted out of Park until the driver’s seatbelt has been fastened.

Also standard is Teen Driver, which encourages safe driving habits in beginning drivers. Via a special key fob, Teen Driver can keep a tab on a variety of things, like how often the Envision has broken the speed limit or tailgated another car. It then issues a “report card” that parents can use to discuss these habits with their new driver.

Other SUVs to Consider

2021 Cadillac XT4 — The Cadillac XT4 is quite similar to the Envision, but it starts at a higher price: $35,795. It also has a better powertrain warranty that lasts 6 years or 70,000 miles, versus 5 years and 60,000 miles for the Buick.

2021 Lincoln Corsair — The Corsair starts at $35,945, and it’s available with a 2.0-liter or a 2.3-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. Also available as a fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid (PHEV) featuring a 2.5-liter gas engine and two electric motors.

2021 Lexus NX 300 — The NX 300 is a proven commodity when it comes to reliability, and it’s also available as the NX 300h hybrid. The NX starts at $37,510 and holds its value well.

2021 Audi Q5 – At $43,300, the Audi Q5 is priced quite a bit higher than the Envision, but it has Quattro AWD standard.  This Audi is elegant inside and out.

Used Buick Enclave – Do you love that quiet Buick luxury but need a little more space? You can find many examples of low-mile 2017 Buick Enclaves on Autotrader for less than $25,000. They have a V6, too.

Questions You May Ask

Where is the Buick Envision built?

Buick builds the 2021 Envision in China, though not at the same plant that built the original Envision.

How does the new Buick Envision compare in size to the 2020 model?

The 2021 Buck Envision is a 182.5-inch vehicle with a 109.4-inch wheelbase. The 2020 Envision is a 183.7-inch vehicle with a 108.3-inch wheelbase. At 74.1 inches, the new Envision is 1.6 inches wider than the 2020 model. Its roof, at 64.6 inches, is 2.2 inches lower than the 2020 Envision’s.

How much cargo room does the 2021 Buick Envision have?

The 2021 Buick Envision has 25.2 cubic feet of storage space behind its rear seat. The 2020 Envision was slightly more spacious in the back, with 26.9 cu ft.

Does Buick make a hybrid version of the Envision?

Although compact SUVs tend to work well as hybrids, Buick doesn’t make a hybrid version of the 2021 Envision.

What is the warranty on the 2021 Buick Envision?

The basic Buick bumper-to-bumper warranty lasts three years or 36,000 miles. The powertrain protection is good for five years or 60,000 miles.  

How much does the 2021 Buick Envision weigh?

The 2021 Buick Envision, in base FWD form, weighs 3,685 pounds. An AWD Avenir version of the Envision tips the scales at 3,759 pounds.

Autotrader’s Advice

Buick sells more cars in China than it does the U.S., and the Chinese-built Envision succeeds at bringing a healthy amount of luxury and content to the U.S. at an impressively low price. We’d opt for an AWD Envision Essence, because we like the larger 10-inch touchscreen and little luxuries like seat heat and a power rear hatch. Find a Buick Envision for sale



Andy Bornhop
Andy Bornhop
Andy Bornhop is an author specializing in the automotive world, primarily the new cars, trucks, crossovers, vans and SUVs that support our daily lives and provide us with such superb personal mobility. While all new vehicles are much more competent than they used to be, there remain some significant differences, and Andy enjoys sharing that info with anybody who’s interested. His first car? A... Read More about Andy Bornhop

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