2018 Buick Envision

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MSRP: $33,995 - 44,960

2018 Buick Envision Review

The 2018 Buick Envision isn't as opulent as its classmates, and it isn't that fun to drive. That's why it finishes in the bottom third of our luxury compact SUV rankings.

7.9

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.9
Performance: 7.6
Interior: 7.8
Safety: 9.3
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Peppy optional turbocharged engine
  • Comfortable, roomy seats
  • Lots of tech features
  • Underwhelming base engine
  • Numb handling
  • Less interior opulence than luxury rivals

Is the Buick Envision a Good SUV?

Yes, the 2018 Envision is a good SUV. It has comfortable and spacious seats, adequate cargo space, lots of standard and available features, and good fuel economy. This Buick gives you all of that with one of the lowest starting prices in the class. It's not all good news, though. The Envision's base engine feels underpowered, and class rivals are more luxurious.

Should I Buy the Buick Envision?

The Envision has a comfortable, well-built interior and a robust features list. Its positioned between luxury and nonluxury compact SUVs, making it a worthwhile option for buyers. Still, a few thousand extra dollars gets you a more luxurious and sportier BMW or Mercedes-Benz. For a few thousand dollars less, you can find a comparable SUV with a Ford or Chevrolet logo on the hood. The Envision is worth a look, but consider nonluxury SUVs like the Chevy Equinox or Ford Edge as well.

Compare the Envision, Equinox, and Edge »

Should I Buy a New or Used Buick Envision?

The Envision debuted for the 2016 model year. For 2017, it added three new trims, a new base engine, and additional features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Teen Driver. There are no major changes for 2018, which means you can save yourself some money by shopping used, without sacrificing many features.

If you're interested in a used model, be sure to visit our overview of the 2017 Buick Envision. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2017 and 2018 Envision »

We Did the Research for You: 25 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 25 Buick Envision reviews to give you an idea of this SUV’s pros and cons. We’ve also included information on fuel economy, safety, and price to help you decide if the 2018 Envision is the right SUV for you.

This overview uses applicable research and reviews from all the model years of the current generation, which spans the 2016 through 2018 model years. 

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking the best vehicles since 2007, and our editorial staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. To keep our reviews impartial, we don't accept expensive trips or gifts from carmakers, and an external partner places and sells the ads on our site.

How Much Does the Buick Envision Cost?

Prices for the 2018 Envision start at $34,015 for the base model with front-wheel drive. That makes it one of the cheapest models in the luxury compact SUV class. A fully-loaded all-wheel-drive Premium II model costs $44,960, which is less than a base model BMW X4 or Porsche Macan. However, the Envision is more expensive than most mainline competitors from rivals like Ford and Chevrolet.

For a deeper look at the 2018 Envision’s trims, check out the "Which Buick Envision Model Is Right for Me?" section below. Looking to buy now? Use our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Buick dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Buick deals page.

Buick Envision Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Buick Envision or Chevrolet Equinox?

The Chevrolet Equinox is a better value than the Envision. It has a newer look and feel after its 2018 redesign. The new Equinox has a spacious interior, and the higher trims feel upscale. This Chevy and its Buick counterpart have similar features lists. However, the Equinox has a much lower starting price, more cargo space, and better fuel economy estimates than the Envision.

Which Is Better: Buick Envision or Ford Edge?

The Ford Edge provides a nice contrast with the Envision. Its sporty nature is one of this Ford's biggest selling points. It boasts a range of powerful engines, including a peppy standard four-cylinder and a particularly potent twin-turbo V6. The Edge feels athletic on winding roads, but it retains a smooth ride. Inside, the Envision is more upscale, but both SUVs have similar features. If you prefer a sportier ride and like saving money, go for the Edge. For a touch of extra luxury, you'll want the Envision.

Compare the Envision, Equinox, and Edge »

Envision Interior

How Many People Does the Envision Seat?

Standard comfort features in the five-seat Envision include cloth upholstery and heated, power-adjustable front seats. Available features include leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats. The driver and front passenger will enjoy comfortable and supportive seats with generous legroom. There's plenty of space for two adults in the back, and the seats can slide and recline. A standard noise cancellation system keeps the cabin quiet. Despite thick roof pillars, it's easy to see out of the SUV in all directions.

Envision and Car Seats

The outboard rear seats each have a full set of LATCH connectors, while the middle rear seat has an extra upper tether anchor that can be used with the inner lower anchors from the outboard seats.

Envision Interior Quality

The Envision's cabin looks and feels upscale, with contemporary and elegant styling fitted with primarily high-end materials. Still, pricier rivals have more upscale interior materials, while the Envision has some hard plastics.

Envision Cargo Space

The Envision has a typical amount of cargo space for a luxury compact SUV, with 26.9 cubic feet of room behind the rear seats and 57.3 cubic feet with the rears seats folded. Lower-priced rivals like the Ford Edge offer significantly more cargo space. The versatile rear seats can slide forward and backward to accommodate back-seat passengers or allow for more cargo.

The cargo area has a fairly low floor, so you won't have to lift your luggage very high to load it. All Envision models have a hands-free power liftgate that opens when you wave your foot under the rear bumper.

Envision Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The IntelliLink infotainment system comes standard in every Envision. It has an 8-inch touch screen, dual USB ports, Bluetooth, and smartphone integration via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The system is user-friendly, and smartphone integration means you can use some of your phone's apps right on the infotainment display. Pro tip: Use your phone's maps app instead of paying more for Buick's optional navigation system. Climate and audio settings are adjusted using physical buttons and knobs so you won't have to glance at the infotainment screen to turn up the volume or crank the AC.

Read more about interior »

Envision Performance

Envision Engine: Go Turbo, Go

Skip the Envision's underwhelming 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, and buy a model with the optional turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Models with the base engine feel sluggish and underpowered, but the turbocharged engine has more pep, which means acceleration is quicker, both at high speed and when pulling away from stops. A six-speed automatic transmission comes standard with both engines.

Envision Gas Mileage: Fuel-Sipping Base Engine

A base Envision with the 2.5-liter engine gets up to 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, which are among the best fuel economy ratings in the class. The turbocharged engine drops fuel economy estimates to 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.

Envision Ride and Handling: Smooth, Laid-Back Handling

If you want a comfortable cruiser that's easy to handle, the Envision will meet your needs. Its soft suspension easily smooths out rough roads, and the light steering makes it easy to steer into parking spaces. Drivers who prefer more engagement will likely find the Envision a bit too drab. Front-wheel drive comes standard, while all-wheel drive is available.

Read more about performance »

Envision Reliability

Is the Buick Envision Reliable?

The 2018 Envision has a predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power. That's a slightly above-average rating for the industry overall, but it's a typical rating for a luxury compact SUV.

Buick Envision Warranty

The 2018 Buick Envision is covered by a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty. Mainstream rivals like the Chevrolet Equinox and Ford Edge have three-year/36,000-mile limited warranties and five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranties.

Read more about reliability »

Envision Safety

Envision Crash Test Results

The Envision performed fairly well in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests, earning a five-out-of-five-star overall rating, with five stars in the side crash test and four stars in front crash and rollover tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2018 Envision a Top Safety Pick.

Envision Safety Features

Advanced safety features in the base Envision are limited to a rearview camera and rear parking sensors. Numerous features are available in higher trims, however. Available safety features include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, front parking sensors, parallel and perpendicular park assist, and a 360-degree camera. A safety alert seat, which functions alongside these safety features to vibrate and notify the driver of hazardous situations, is also available.

Read more about safety »

Which Buick Envision Model Is Right for Me?

Most drivers should step up to either the Premium or Premium II models to get the peppier turbocharged engine rather than the sluggish standard 2.5-liter engine. All-wheel drive is also standard in the upper trim levels, while it's optional in some lower trims. The Premium and Premium II trims are also luxuriously outfitted and have loads of advanced safety features. Still, the base model and its extensive features list represents a great bargain, if engine power isn’t that important to you.

Buick Envision

The base Buick Envision starts at $34,015 and comes standard with an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, satellite radio, six speakers, Bluetooth, two USB ports, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a power liftgate, cloth upholstery, heated front seats, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

Buick Envision Preferred

The Preferred trim is priced at $35,870 and adds no additional standard features. This is the first trim level available with all-wheel drive, which costs $1,850.

Buick Envision Essence

Starting at $37,720, the Essence model comes with leather upholstery, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, tri-zone automatic climate control, blind spot monitoring, lane change assist, and rear cross traffic alert. A panoramic moonroof is available for $1,495, and navigation is a $495 option.

Buick Envision Premium

The $42,320 Premium model comes standard with the turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive, as well as forward collision warning, front parking sensors, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, and the safety alert seat. A panoramic moonroof and navigation are also available in this trim.

Buick Envision Premium II

The range-topping Premium II trim is priced at $44,960. It comes with navigation, a head-up display, active park assist, and ventilated front seats. The panoramic moonroof is once again optional in this trim, and a Driver Confidence package, which adds adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and a 360-degree camera, is available for $1,545.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Buick dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Buick deals page.

See 2018 Buick Envision specs and trims »

The Final Call

With an upmarket interior, a cushioned ride, a long list of standard features, and a low starting price for a luxury compact SUV, the 2018 Envision is worth a look. However, while it's more upscale than mainstream, it’s not quite true luxury. The Envision has some lower rent interior materials than class leaders, and it's not exactly thrilling to drive. Many rivals also beat the Envision's crash test ratings.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "In total, there's nothing about the Envision that makes it truly stand out in this class, but it nonetheless covers the bases well enough to make it worth a look." -- Edmunds
  • "The new Buick Envision compact luxury SUV impresses with its comfortable ride and usable technology, but it's dragged down by a high price and an interior that, while nice, doesn't match up to the richness of the best in its class." -- Cars.com (2017)
  • "The Envision effectively ticks all the boxes for compact-crossover shoppers without standing out in any particular area save perhaps ride comfort. In the current crossover-mad marketplace, that's probably enough. Indeed, since the model's arrival in May, it's been the quickest-selling Buick. It's the right shape and the right size, and it needn't be anything more." -- Car and Driver (2017)
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