Buick has totally redesigned the Envision SUV for 2021 with an eye-catching design that's far more appealing than the bland and modest-looking 2020 model. At an estimated price of $38,000 starting price to $50,000 when fully loaded, the 2021 model has become much pricier than the 2020 model with a starting price of $34, 695. Let’s take a closer look at how much Envision has changed to see how much the latest model is worth paying more.
Compared to other rivals the 2020 Buick Envision ranks near the bottom of the luxury compact SUV class. While it’s true that it has a lot of standard features, including an intuitive infotainment system, it still can’t compete with the luxuriousness or performance of its competitors. For the 2020 Envision Buick had saved the most desirable and luxurious features for its top-of-the-line trim, which hurt its value proposition. But for its newer model, Buick has truly made an effort to be seen as a premium brand, ready to take on its rivals like the Lincoln Corsair, Acura RDX, and the Infiniti QX50.
The revamped Envision looks more like a Volvo with its stately lines and long wheelbase. Compared to the 2020 model, the new Envision has more sculpted body sides and face. Its grille is stretched horizontally across the front, with the headlights on the corners. LED daytime running lights shape the headlights underneath. The 2021 Envision sports a wider grille with a more indistinct wing element running through the Buick badge. Along with the updated grille, the Envision's front end features sharper headlights, as well as bolder creases on its hood. The slimmer taillights will be the focal focus of a more streamlined rear-end design.
According to Molly Peck, who is the executive director of Buick Sales & Marketing at SAIC-GM, “The all-new Envision S will be a great fit for those who are keen on Buick’s stylish and authentic SUV design as well as the best-networked experience with our advanced connectivity technology. It will stand out from the crowded midsize SUV segment with both its dynamic ride and its premium appointments.”
The new model will arrive early next year in the U.S. with a more modern interior, more attractive exterior design and it will offer more standard safety features compared to the outgoing model. GM also revealed that it would bring out an upscale, luxurious Avenir trim like the one offered on the larger Enclave, and was said to be on par with the Cadillac XT4.
Avenir has a special grille with a shiny mesh design with new wheels that have never been seen before on the Envision. It has a plum exterior with body-color wheel arches that made the SUV even more becoming. It is particularly lower and wider compared to the outgoing model. The treatment overall is the same as the Avenir trim on the larger Enclave SUV. As seen on its Chinese-spec the 2021 Buick Envision Avenir wears a special grille and wheels, with plush leather seats with embroidered “Avenir.”
With all the changes the next-gen 2021 Buick Envision also comes with all-new dimensions for its exterior, interior, and cargo space, all of which compared to the previous model in the following GM Authority Dimensional Comparison.
2021 Envision sports a whole new sleek and stylish look with larger exterior dimensions compared to its predecessor. It has an extra 1.1 inches for the wheelbase and 1.8 inches for the overall length. It also has an added 1.7 inches for the overall width, and 1.3 inches for the front and rear track. The only exterior dimension that has become lower is the overall height. The new model is 2.2 inches lower than the 2020 model. The curb weight is also lower with the latest Envision cutting 70 to 151 pounds compared to the 2020 model.
The cabin dimension measurements have some measurements up but other measurements have also decreased with the latest model. The measurements that have increased for the 2021 model year include the rear headroom by 0.4 inches, rear legroom by 1.8 inches, and front hip room by 0.7 inches.
The measurements that have decreased include the front headroom by 0.4 inches, front legroom by 0.5 inches, front shoulder room by 0.3 inches, and its rear shoulder room by 0.7 inches. The greatest interior measurement change is for the rear hip room, which gets a significant 5.7-inch decrease compared to the previous model.
The cargo capacity has decreased for the 2021 Envision, both with the second row upright and the second row folded down. The new Envision offers 1.7 cubic-feet less room compared to the previous generation with the second row upright. It also offers 4.6 cubic-feet less room with the second row folded down, when compared to the 2020 Envision
Two different four-cylinder engines are being offered for the 2020 Envision.: For the base version, it has a 2.5-liter unit that generates 197 horsepower and drives either the front or all four wheels through a 6-speed automatic. For the other option, it has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 252 horsepower and pairs with a nine-speed automatic transmission. The turbocharged engine has quicker acceleration and a more sophisticated all-wheel-drive system that is exclusive to the Premium trim levels.
Five trim levels are offered for the 2020 Envision beginning with the base (1SV) Envision trim. It is only available with a front-wheel drive. As mentioned all-wheel drive can be added to the Preferred and Essence trims. The Premium and Premium II trims have all-wheel drive as standard.
The new trims have been revealed as Base, Preferred, Essence, and Avenir for the 2021 Envision lineup. The standard engine for the 2021 Envision is a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four that yields 230 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. A nine-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive come in as standard. All-wheel drive is available as an option for all but the base model, meaning the new Envision is less powerful the outgoing, which offers an optional turbo 2.0-liter four that yields 252 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The 2020 model’s base 193-hp naturally aspirated 2.5-liter inline-four has been dropped for the 2021 model.
The EPA is yet to release the fuel-economy ratings for the 2021 Envision, but a slight improvement is to be expected over the estimates of the current model. With the turbocharged engine, the 2020 Envision has ratings of 20 mpg in the city, 25 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined.
Edmunds reported that with the 2.0-liter turbo engine, the Envision's EPA fuel economy estimates fall below competitors that also happen to deliver more power, The base engine with FWD is however a little better. On Edmunds highway-heavy testing loop, the Envision 2020 also fell short of expectations, coming in at just 18.3 mpg. There is an option for a less powerful engine but its performance and character aren't actually befitting of a luxury SUV. The inefficiency of the 2.0-liter turbo is made even more obvious when compared against more efficient competitors such as the Audi Q5 and Lexus NX 300.
Interior Quality and Comfortability
There's plenty of room for four adults with the 2020 Envision and its reasonably well-equipped but not quite as nicely finished as its rival cars, Audi and BMW. Although every trim has a quiet and comfortable cabin, there are some questionable interior materials and interior design is quite uninspired with heavy use of plastic panels in the interior. Visibility is also hindered by thick roof pillars that annoyingly create blind spots in both the front and rear.
The more expensive models, however, offer leather seats with available heat and ventilation system, a partially digital gauge cluster and a head-up display. It also has leather-wrapped steering wheel and heated, eight-way power-adjustable seats as its standard features. However, its interior cubby storage is disappointing with only a few places to tuck in small items as it is quite shallow. The usable cargo area is 26.9 cubic feet. But the easy-access anchors and incredible rear legroom of the front seat make this an easy SUV to deal with.
With the new model’s interior already revealed it was found out that the interior is just as beautiful as the exterior. Fortunately, Buick has stepped up when it comes to the interior for their 2021 model for a more modern look — with cabin swathed in contrast-stitched leather, coming in standard with two-tone brown and black, with laser-engraved piano lacquer trim accents, capped by an oversized panoramic glass roof. Set to amaze the market further is the Avenir model with its more sophisticated interiors that includes Ivory White and Jazz Black hues, with diamond-stitched seats.
The new steering wheel for the 2021 model picks up more tangible spokes designed with linear buttons instead of the old circular pads. Its center cap is also wider and no longer resembles an alien face. Even the cupholders are to be desired.
Interior Features Comparison
The modestly designed interior of the current Envision with small infotainment screen and Rorschach-blot button placement is finally replaced for the 2021 model. The tacky curves and textures on the old instrument panel gave way to a simple, split-level, bi-color form dashboard that visually split both horizontally and vertically. It now has a more driver-centric layout commonly seen in sports cars with its 10.0-inch touchscreen canted 18 degrees to port.
It promises to be more tech-happy than its relatively modest predecessor. Among the upgrades anticipated for is an available 10-inch touchscreen compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as the old model came exclusively with only an 8.0-inch unit.
The infotainment system is visually divided by HVAC vents below from its center console and shift knobs replaced by push buttons, with more of the auxiliary controls moved to the screen for a more polished look.
With the 2020 model, you can find four USB ports and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto as standard features. Between the Premium and Premium II trims, the Premium II is more to be desired because of its available adaptive cruise control, navigation, head-up display, standard upgraded audio system, and wireless charging pad. The infotainment system also features an easy-to-use navigation system, enough USB ports for four devices, a good assortment of mobile charge options, reliable voice controls and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. While on the current model you will also find Bose surround sound system, wireless Apple CarPlay capability, negative ion air purification and ventilated seats. An in-dash navigation and SiriusXM satellite radio may likely be available for the more expensive models.
Safety Features Comparison
The 2020 Buick Envision has the following safety features: Safety Alert Seat that vibrates on both the left or right side to alert the driver of a possible hazard. Side Blind Zone and Rear Cross-Traffic Alerts to alert the driver if another car is behind a blind spot or if one is approaching from the side while driver is backing up, and Rear Seat Reminder to remind passengers to check the rearseat for valuables, especially check for children before exiting.
The 2021 model is set to add more safety features with its Advanced standard safety and driver-assistance features in Buick Driver Confidence. Buick will be making plenty of driver-assistance features as standard equipment. The more advanced features will also be available as options. The key safety features are anticipated to include: standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control and an automatic parking feature. The automated emergency braking and lane-keep assist are now coming in as standard features for the new model. Other standard technologies on the 2021 Buick Envision include rear parking sensors. For extra coin, you can get upgraded blind-spot monitoring, a head-up display, and a 360-degree camera.