Buick’s Chinese-built Envision luxury crossover receives a series of updates for the 2017 model year. There are now more affordable trim levels for consumers to choose from. The 2016 Envision came with two trim level choices. The 2017 model has five. The three new additions are the Base, Preferred and Essence models. The additions help reduce the base price of the Envision from $42,995 to $34,990.
The three new trims receive a different engine than the top two models, which carry on with the same unit they had for 2016. The 2017 model also receives some technology upgrades and safety features that are sure to impress consumers.
The five-seater 2017 Envision is slightly larger than Buick’s Encore and slightly smaller than the Enclave. It doesn’t particularly stand out at first glance. While pleasant to look at, its exterior styling is a bit lackluster. Buick, however, says its assertive design embodies style that deserves a longer look.
“Its bold athletic exterior combines dynamic lines with head-turning elegance to elevate expectations of what a luxury SUV can be,” writes the company on its website.
The 2017 Envision features a signature waterfall grille and chrome accents. The three bottom trims come with 18-inch wheels while the two top trims receive 19-inch premium Manoogian silver finish wheels.
In the rear, there are high-tech LED-accented taillights and a distinct rear spoiler. The company says the unique shape of the spoiler integrates seamlessly into the exterior design to elevate the vehicle’s aerodynamic form and function. All you have to do to open the liftgate is wave your foot under the rear bumper. It’s feature that definitely comes in handy when you’re trying to load bulky items into the cargo area.
Buick says the Envision’s beautifully modern interior is bound to be a conversation starter. It’s more spacious than the Encore and features a welcoming design.
The company says the streamlined design of the center stack puts what you need, where you need it most. All trims come with an 8-inch full-color touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The Buick IntelliLink system also features voice recognition. The highest trim level receives added navigation as standard. It provides access to real-time maps, driving directions, traffic information and more. For consumers who want to be even more connected, a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot is available.
As for the center console, it features dual-winged doors. It allows the driver and passenger to access console storage without disturbing the other person. Leather seats and a leather heated steering wheel come standard with the Essence, Premium and Premium II trims. Those trims also receive heated rear seats and tri-zone automatic climate control. When it comes to music, the two top trims receive a Bose premium 7-speaker audio system, while the other trims come with a 6-speaker system.
Speaking of sound, the 2017 Envision features technology that helps keep outside noise out. With active noise cancellation and sound absorption technology through the vehicle, noise from the road, wind and from other vehicles is kept to a minimum.
New for the 2017 Envision is the standard 2.5-liter DOHC 4-cylinder SIDI engine. It comes with the Base, Preferred and Essence models. It packs 197 horsepower and 192 lb.-ft. of torque. While the Base trim only comes with front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive is available on Preferred and Essence models.
The two top trims, the Premium and Premium II, receive the same sporty engine they did in the past. That’s the 2.0-liter EcoTec Turbo engine. It churns out 252 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. All-wheel drive with active twin clutch comes exclusively on these models.
Both engines are paired to a six-speed automatic transmission and feature start/stop technology that helps improve fuel efficiency by shutting down the engine at stoplights and automatically restarting it when the driver takes their foot off the brake.
The 2017 Envision features ten standard air bags with new Adaptive Active Venting. The airbags feature sensors that are able to measure the severity of a crash and adjust air bag inflation accordingly. All trims receive a rear vision camera with rear park assist. Additional cameras are available to give you a 360-degree view of what’s around you.
Other available safety technologies include rear-cross traffic alert, side blind zone alert and lane departure warning. When those technologies trigger an alert, a safety alert seat is available to issue a warning of its own. The driver seat bolster gently vibrates to signal an approaching hazard. It helps the driver keep their eyes on the roads.
The 2017 Envision also receives a new teen driver feature. It lets parents set a maximum speed for their child. It also lets parents keep track of how far their child drives, the speed at which they drive, how many times they go over the speed limit and the number of times the vehicle’s safety alerts go off. The safety feature even silences the audio system until those in the front seat have put on their seat belts. Talk about peace of mind for parents! Especially because we all know teens don’t particularly like to follow the rules.
Buick is clearly looking to attract more crossover shoppers with the additional trim options it’s offering with the 2017 Envision. By slashing the base cost of the small luxury SUV by almost $10,000, the company hopes to draw more people into showrooms. The Base trim starts at $34,990. The highest level trim, the Premium II, starts at $45,885. The 2017 Envision will compete with the Lincoln MKC, Lexus NX and Audi Q5. It will likely arrive in showrooms in the next few weeks.