There are a lot of things to love about luxury cars: the ridiculously smooth ride, the extra features, and the turning heads as you drive by. Then there’s the price tag. Just because you can spend the money doesn’t always mean you should. After all, that trip to Bora Bora isn’t going to pay for itself. So when you’re looking for premium perks with a more reasonable monthly payment, you must consider the 2023 Buick Envision. The facelifted second generation of this compact crossover SUV has many features seen on luxury models and looks good while it comfortably and quietly gets you from point A to point B. Let’s take a closer look at why the Envision is so engaging.
First Things First
The 2023 Buick Envision will definitely turn heads and have people asking, “is that a Buick??” It has a wider and more aggressive stance than the original incarnation, and the lower, more athletic look can be surprising if the Buick name still reminds you of, say, the boxy 1996 Skylark your aunt drove. All three trims––the Preferred, Essence, and Avenir––come in six exterior colors; the Avenir’s options list swaps out a clean white for a rich garnet. No matter which color you choose, starting from the unique wing shape around the headlamps, modern, aerodynamic lines draw the eye along the body and add to the stylish look. These lines also help to increase fuel efficiency and decrease cabin noise. More on the quiet and peaceful interior later; let’s talk about fuel efficiency and performance.
With the 2.0L turbo I-4 engine, you’ll find an EPA-estimated 24 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway with front-wheel drive. Choosing the all-wheel drive option changes that just slightly to 22 MPG in the city and 29 MPG on the highway. If you opt for all-wheel drive––available on all three trims––you’ll find it’s an intelligent system with an active twin clutch that improves traction by automatically adjusting the torque to each wheel. This can help to prevent slips and skids before they happen.
The turbo engine produces 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. While this isn’t the most powerful output on the market, it’s certainly plenty for drivers who are more focused on comfortably hauling passengers than on hauling heavy loads or heading off-road. What the Envision does bring to the table is that comfortability. Continuous damping control––a specialty of Buick’s parent company, General Motors––utilizes sensors at each wheel to determine wheel-to-body positioning, other sensors that detect vehicle pitch and body roll motion, and active dampers to create a smooth ride with handling that makes you feel fully in control.
Moving out of or into park has never felt more futuristic than with the electronic precision shift. Not only is it more efficient for the turbo engine and nine-speed automatic transmission, but it also looks cool and allows for extra storage in the cockpit. You can also select different driving modes––touring for every day, snow/ice for enhanced traction, and sport for more spirited driving. All-wheel drive vehicles also have an off-road mode for light off-roading on unpaved surfaces.
Not Just a Pretty Face
One reason people like luxury vehicles is for the extra level of comfort. Even the base model of the 2023 Envision, the Preferred, has the option to add not just heated seats but also a heated steering wheel. These welcome warmers are standard on the Essence and Avenir trims. There’s also an option to have those seats ventilated when it’s warm outside. Thoughtful details inside the cabin also include an intuitive center console that you can access even if your passenger is using it as an armrest, thanks to its dual-wing design. There is also an available massaging driver’s seat. It does not get much more luxurious than that.
The interior of the 2023 Buick Envision is truly driver-centered. The instrument panel and the infotainment touchscreen are both angled toward the driver, making them both remarkably easy to use, like when you want to turn on those heated seats. The smallest touch screen you’ll find in an Envision is eight inches, and the upper trims expand that by over two inches. The Essence and Avenir also come with an eight-inch driver information center directly behind the steering wheel. You can customize this screen to show not just your speed and fuel level but also how far you are from the vehicle in front of you. There’s also an available head-up display to project stats like speed directly onto the windshield.
With the touchscreen and the latest Buick Infotainment System, you’ll have full access to your smartphone’s favorite mapping and music apps thanks to wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. There’s also the option to have Amazon Alexa Built-In, which means you can add items to your shopping list when they come up in conversation with your passengers. Wireless charging is an additional optional feature, as is a wi-fi hotspot.
Speaking of conversations with your passengers, they’re as easy to hear as can be with Buick’s exceptional QuietTuning technology. The laminated windshield, front side glass, and triple door seals are where the quiet starts, helping to keep out noise from the road. Thanks to improved body stiffness and an isolated rear suspension, engine noise is reduced, as well. On top of that, the 2023 Buick Envision has active noise cancellation, which is a technology where even if you don’t have the audio system playing anything, microphones will register the noise coming from inside and outside the vehicle, then the speakers will output a frequency that balances the extraneous noise so all you have a pleasantly quiet drive. This technology is most often seen in high-priced luxury cars, but Buick has made it a hallmark of its brand, bringing peace and quiet to more mainstream vehicles.
Safe and Secure
It’s often noted that luxury cars aren’t just stylish and comfortable but also lead the pack when it comes to safety features. The 2023 Buick Envision lives up to that reputation with the Enhanced Buick Driver Confidence package that is standard across all three trims. The Enhanced Buick Driver Confidence package includes a forward collision alert along with both automatic emergency braking and front pedestrian braking, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, a lane change alert with side blind zone alert, and rear cross traffic alert. There’s also IntelliBeam automatically adjusting the high beams at night and a following distance indicator to let you know just how close you are to the vehicle in front of you. Rear park assist is also part of this standard package.
The upper Essence and Avenir trims take safety even further with an available tech package providing an upgrade to the automatic emergency braking, automatic parking assist, and LED headlamps. This package also includes adaptive cruise control, keeping you not just at a certain speed but also a certain distance from the vehicle in front of you, and a rearview mirror with a full camera and a rear camera mirror washer. A rear camera mirror washer may not be the sexiest, most glamorous feature, but it’s one of those luxury touches that you’ll soon wonder how you lived without, as you have a crystal clear picture of what’s behind you when backing up.
When you buy a brand new Buick Envision, you’re buying into the history of the Buick name. One of the first American automobile manufacturers, David Dunbar Buick started the company in 1899, leading to the creation of General Motors in 1908. Since the 1930s, Buick has been known as a comfortable middle ground between mainstream and luxury automobiles, and all that experience and know-how has been concentrated into the 2023 Buick Envision, which offers a bevy of luxury features for a starting price of just $33,400. From the attractive external styling to the quiet, comfortable ride and standard advanced safety features, the 2023 Buick Envision is more than meets the price tag.