Following its recent global success, Buick is plugging the holes in its lineup. The LaCrosse has emerged as a real premium sedan, and now between the small Encore and big Enclave comes the new just-right-sized Envision crossover.
The thing is, there are already a lot of premium crossovers
, and many of them are extremely popular. Buick knows this and made a number of key decisions in designing the Envision so the small compact crossover has a serious chance of earning your money.
It starts mostly with the exterior of the Envision, which is handsome and approachable. There are no sharp angles or polarizing lines. Instead, it’s smooth and bubbly, with subtle chrome accents that act like accessory jewelry on a clean suit or dress. The only part that feels out of place is on the hood — the Envision can definitely do without the outdated looking chrome port holes
. Standard exterior equipment on the Envision includes 18-inch wheels
, halogen headlamps and LED daytime running lights. Mid-trim models get roof racks and models equipped with the turbocharged engine feature chrome dual exhaust exits.
Under the hood of base models is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, making just around 200 horsepower. This engine is found on the lower three trim levels of the car, while the two higher trim levels of the car feature a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. In the U.S., the 2.5-liter engine can be equipped with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, while the turbocharged engine is only available with all-wheel drive. In Canada, the Envision is only available with all-wheel drive. All models use a six-speed automatic transmission
. On hand to test were all-wheel-drive Premium turbocharged models.