2017 Buick Envision Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Buick Envision was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 7.7

The 2017 Buick Envision gives you a choice of two engines, though the available turbocharged engine makes for the better driving experience. The Envision is poised when cornering and has solid road grip. It delivers one of the smoothest rides in the class, and it also has above-average fuel economy.

  • "Overall, the Envision is easy to drive and is as capable and comfortable as any of its competitors." -- Edmunds
  • … the Envision is immediately comfortable and capable." -- Autoblog
  • "That said, with so little relative power driving the 3,700-pound crossover, the engine is often working pretty hard to keep the Envision moving. It feels it, too; noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) control is severely lacking. The four-banger is coarse and loud on throttle and unrefined off throttle, vibrating the driver's seat." -- Motor Trend

Acceleration and Power

The Envision features a 2.5-liter four-cylinder base engine that puts out 197 horsepower. This engine is less powerful than many rivals’ base engines, and it shows. The Envision has enough power to get around town, but it feels sluggish. With the base engine, the Envision gets an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, which are among the best ratings in the class.

The available 2.0-liter turbo-four provides a better driving experience than the base engine. It produces 252 horsepower, and the turbo lag is hardly noticeable. It has ample power for merging and passing on the highway, and it holds up better against class competitors. Be aware that the increased power does negatively affect your gas mileage. Fuel economy drops to 20 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway if you opt for the turbocharged engine.

Both engines are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

  • Nor is the 2.5-liter inline-four particularly high-energy. Its 197 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque are low for the segment, and acceleration is leisurely. The engine's 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway ratings (with front-wheel drive), however, top those of the aforementioned competition—save for the XC60, which manages 23 mpg city and 30 mpg highway in the EPA's testing." -- Car and Driver
  • "We spent a day driving the 2017 Buick Envision with the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and were pleased with its linear power delivery that had no detectable turbo lag. There is enough power to confidently merge onto the highway and pass slower traffic. In the absence of testing results, we consider the acceleration adequate but not impressive." -- Edmunds
  • Okay, it's not going to be the quickest in its segment, but the Premium models certainly won't be the slowest, either." -- Kelley Blue Book

Handling and Braking

Front-wheel drive is standard in the Envision, and all-wheel drive is available. If you want a quiet, composed ride, then the Envision may be right for you. It has a smooth ride no matter the quality of pavement.

However, performance enthusiasts may want to consider other SUVs. The Envision has solid grip on winding roads, but it doesn’t have an athletic feel to it. The steering is more lazy than sharp, and the handling is more complacent around turns than aggressive.

  • Underway, the immediate first impression is of quietness and smoothness. Ride quality is unusually good, and bumps barely register. The 18-inch wheels wear 60-series tires, and those tall sidewalls no doubt add to the cushioning effect. Out on some twisty roads in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, however, the Envision clearly didn't want to be hurried, and the low-effort steering is rather lifeless." -- Car and Driver
  • The steering of the higher-spec Premium models we tested with both front- and all-wheel drive was fluid and linear, the ride erring slightly more toward feeling placid rather than sporty." -- Autoblog
  • "The word planted constantly came to mind while we drove the Envision on numerous laps over different road surfaces on GM's test track. The new, stiffer architecture, combined with a suspension system borrowed from the sporty Buick Regal GS, helps the Envision remain firm and controlled around sweeping bends and over railroad tracks and rough pavement." -- Autotrader (2016)

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