2018 Buick Envision

Performance


$33,995 MSRP
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2018 Buick Envision Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 7.6

The 2018 Buick Envision is easy to drive, but it's certainly not sporty. The ride is smooth, and the laid-back steering makes maneuvering easy. Steep hills overwhelm the weak but fuel-efficient base engine. The optional turbocharged engine is more powerful.

  • "So the Envision is immediately comfortable and capable. Maybe not an autobahn ripper, but a little more compliance than is the Audi or BMW default is just right for a Buick buyer in China or the US." -- Autoblog (2017)
  • "Overall, the Envision is easy to drive and is as capable and comfortable as any of its competitors." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "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 (2017)

Acceleration and Power

A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 197 horsepower comes standard in the Envision. It is rather weak, so acceleration may feel sluggish when driving at high speeds or when heading up hills. The available 252-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter engine is better, with more power for highway driving and quicker acceleration at low speeds. Both engines come with a six-speed automatic transmission. The Envision gets up to 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway with the base engine. That's excellent for the class.

  • "With the turbo 2.0-liter engine, power is adequate. It's enough to merge onto highways without issue. Expect a more belabored experience with the base 2.5-liter engine." -- Edmunds
  • "Power from the turbo is more than adequate, if not segment-leading, with negligible lag and impressive torque available at a low rpm." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
  • "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 (2017)

Handling and Braking

The Envision is tuned for cushioned, laid-back cruising. The steering is light, which is good for maneuvering around parking lots but not when driving at speed on curvy roads. The suspension absorbs rough patches of pavement with ease. If you want to have some fun behind the wheel, you should consider a competitor with sportier handling. The Envision comes standard with front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is optional.

  • "The suspension ably soaks up bumps in the road." -- Edmunds
  • "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 (2017)
  • "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 (2017)
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