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2019 Buick Envision Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 7.8

The 2019 Buick Envision delivers a comfortable, laid-back driving experience, but this isn't a vehicle for people who want to have fun behind the wheel. The base engine feels weak at times, though the available turbocharged engine delivers ample power and acceleration.

  • "Beyond the quicker pickup, the driving experience stays largely the same. The steering is sedate, … but that's fine because if you corner too hard, you'll slip right off its cushy leather chairs. If a spirited driving experience is what you want in a crossover, the Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring maxes out at just $32,610. The Envision's braking now requires less pedal pressure, thanks to a single-rate brake booster, but braking performance doesn't change." -- Autoblog
  • "There are two things that immediately impress about the 2019 Buick Envision. First is its on-road quiet. Buick's 'Quiet Tuning' … does an admirable job of isolating occupants from the harsh outside world, even at highway speeds; the comfortably controlled suspension helps. The other is the sharp steering. While it's no Porsche 911, the Envision's steering was nicely communicative over all sorts of surfaces." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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

The Envision comes standard with a 197-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. This engine feels underpowered at times, particularly on the highway or when climbing hills.

The available 252-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter engine (only offered in all-wheel-drive models) provides more power for highway passing and merging, along with quicker acceleration, making the zero-to-60-mph dash a half-second faster than the outgoing model. The turbo-four engine also gets a torque boost for 2019. In previous years, it had 260 pound-feet of torque, but the 2019 model puts out 295 pound-feet. It's mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission, which is also new for 2019 (previously, it paired with a six-speed automatic).

With its base engine, the Envision gets an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. That's excellent for the class. With the turbo-four, ratings drop to 20 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

  • "I'm happy to report that, as with the original turbo Envision, the updated one offers plenty of muscle for a vehicle of its size, and its willingness to ascend the lesser peaks of the Appalachians proved to me that, even loaded down with cargo and passengers, it would be capable of keeping up with traffic around it." -- New York Daily News
  • "If you skip the standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder and head straight for the turbo, you'll be rewarded with an additional 35 lb-ft of torque. Coupled with the new 9-speed automatic, the turbo is about a half-second quicker from 0-60 mph than before; still not a rocket ship, but noteworthy nonetheless. The 9-speed is a champ, too, with smooth shifts and seamless operation." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "We didn't get a chance to sample the 2.5-liter Envision, but the upgraded turbocharged four-cylinder and new nine-speed automatic are excellent. Acceleration is brisk and would certainly break the front tires into a haze of smoke if it weren't for the all-wheel-drive system. Buick says the powertrain modifications drop almost a half-second from the 0-60-mph times." -- Autoweek

Handling and Braking

The Envision delivers a smooth ride befitting a luxury SUV, but it doesn’t feel as athletic as many competitors, nor does it feel as buttoned down as many rivals when tackling corners. Additionally, its steering is a bit light. If you're looking for a fun-to-drive vehicle, this Buick isn't the right choice. Front-wheel drive comes standard in the Envision, and all-wheel drive is available. Only AWD models are available with the turbocharged engine.

  • "Handling was also acceptable for a relatively tall-riding people mover like this one." -- New York Daily News
  • "The suspension ably soaks up bumps in the road." -- Edmunds (2018)
  • "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)
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