2021 Buick Envision review: A much better second act

The new Visualize is two hundred% extra interesting than prior to.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The first-generation Buick Visualize was… wonderful, like how you could explain a movie you did not genuinely want to see. The 2021 Buick Visualize alterations that up, having said that. As a result of some cautious nips and tucks, this midsize top quality crossover is considerably extra deserving of your time.

Table of Contents


  • Attractive exterior design and style
  • Fantastic infotainment tech
  • Smooth and silent journey excellent

Never Like

  • Plenty of affordable inside bits
  • Middling fuel economic system

Fashion will take a significant step ahead in the 2021 Visualize. The outgoing crossover had the huge eyes of a cat you snuck up on and a mishmash of kinds on the aspect. The new generation is, by comparison, considerably fancier on the lookout, with thinner headlights and taillights higher than extra expressive bumpers, as properly as a front grille that appears to be like it was built in this ten years and aspect lines that no for a longer period contend with a single another. A for a longer period wheelbase and a lower, broader physique give the Visualize extra adult proportions, also. That arrives with a tradeoff, although — the twenty five.two cubic feet of cargo place driving the second row is less than what arrived on the previous generation, which beats the Volvo XC60 (17.eight) but lags driving the Acura RDX (29.five) and the Lincoln Corsair (27.6).

The 2021 Envision’s inside is vastly enhanced, and Outdated GM’s myriad buttons are absent. The infotainment display screen is properly built-in into the dashboard, despite the fact that it is really tilted oddly skyward. The climate handle buttons dwell in a swath of piano-black trim which, on my Avenir tester, continues rearward to the centre console armrest. There are some decently extravagant cues close to, from the dimpled wooden on the doorway panels to the diamond air flow sample on the leather-based seats. There is a minor extra vinyl-comfortable plastic than I might prefer to see in a top-tier trim with an out-the-doorway cost north of $45,000, but that is GM for you. On the total, it is really a spacious, interesting inside that is a quantum leap in advance of what arrived prior to.

Even although cargo place is a minor expensive, storage on the total is just not undesirable at all. There is a practical purse-sized tray concealed underneath the transmission controls, and the clamshell armrest is deep ample to keep a couple of clutches. If so equipped, there is also a wi-fi charging tray in advance of the cup holders that can double as extra junk storage. The doorway-panel cubbies are deep, but the opening is surprisingly smaller, so minor tchotchkes can wander rearward, requiring some complicated wrist acrobatics to retrieve.

Underneath the hood lies a compromise. The 2021 Visualize lineup utilizes just a single motor, a two.-liter turbocharged I4 fantastic for 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, which splits the change amongst the two engines made available on pre-2021 Envisions, a 197-hp two.five-liter I4 and a 252-hp two.-liter I4. Front-wheel generate variants are EPA-rated at 24 miles for every gallon city and 31 mpg highway, with optional AWD cutting down every single figure by two mpg. My practical experience will not rather match the EPA’s even with my AWD Visualize Avenir locked in FWD method, 27 mpg is the ideal I can muster on Michigan highways, when city mileage hovers closer to 20.

The inside is fantastic, but not great.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The remainder of the 2021 Envision’s driving practical experience is rather pleasant. The motor observe, uh, exists, but its mediocre muted growl fades into the background at the time something begins taking part in on the speakers. Acceleration is suitable, losing a large amount of the perkiness that the outgoing model’s optional turbo 4 packed, but it is really extra than ample for on-ramps and this kind of, and its 9-pace automatic swaps cogs so easily you can barely even detect. The steering is a minor overboosted, but it is really almost nothing most purchasers will detect or care about, and the pedals are dead easy to modulate easily. My tester wears Buick’s adaptive dampers, which can alter damping energy when driving to soak up awful bits in the highway. Though the journey is undoubtedly on the smoother aspect for compact crossovers, it is really practically also a lot so, major to a little bit of a floaty feeling. Wind and highway noise are pretty properly muted, also.

Oh, and the switch sign is no for a longer period loud ample to be mistaken for a cherry bomb. That is wonderful.

GM has in no way been shy about loading its latest autos with all manner of tech, equally common and optional, and that is nevertheless the tale with the 2021 Visualize. As the top trim on offer you, the Avenir sports a sufficiently big ten.two-inch infotainment touchscreen operating the latest Buick-skinned edition of GM’s corporate computer software. Like each other vehicle it is really in, this getup is charming, with menus that are rapid to load and quick to navigate. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Car are common throughout the board, which is a wonderful contact. The infotainment also packs a selection of crafted-in apps that function with the 4G LTE antenna, so you can use Alexa integration to handle your house’s lights or pay attention to the latest podcast or advice from Reese Witherspoon’s ebook club. If your telephone will not settle for wi-fi charging, there are equally USB-A and USB-C ports on offer you to juice up.

The Visualize is a single of Buick’s better offerings.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Buick and its household of adjacent models have occasionally scrimped on common basic safety options, but the 2021 Visualize has plenty of ’em. All Visualize trims include automatic unexpected emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-retaining assist, lane-departure warning, automatic significant beams and rear parking sensors. My tester’s $one,670 Engineering Offer II updates that package with a rear-digicam mirror, adaptive cruise handle, enhanced automatic unexpected emergency braking and automatic parking assist, so you can nevertheless have to shell out excess coin for some stuff that arrives common on other autos at this cost issue.

Now, you do not have to push toward $50,000 to rock a 2021 Buick Visualize. The foundation Preferred trim begins at $32,995 like desired destination for a front-wheel-generate model with an eight-inch touchscreen and surfaces lined in a mix of cloth and leatherette. The middle-boy or girl Essence raises the cost to $36,995, with the Avenir beginning at $41,395. All-wheel generate is a $one,800 choice no subject the trim, and compared with previous iterations, all 3 trims can be had with or without the need of it.

The outgoing Buick Visualize, which was crafted with the Chinese industry in mind from the get-go, in no way genuinely felt totally tuned to the US prospects, but that alterations with the 2021 model. It’s better on the lookout, it is really nevertheless wonderful to generate and it is really appointed with the options that purchasers in this segment are after.

Maria J. Danford

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