• First Look 2021 Buick Envision

First Look: 2021 Buick Envision

Buick’s compact SUV enters its second-generation

Lee Bailie By: Lee Bailie January 25, 2021

The next-gen Buick Envision promises to deliver more style, luxury and technology when it begins to arrive in Canadian dealerships near the end of the first quarter.

The compact five-passenger SUV, which originally went on sale in the summer of 2016, is all-new for 2021 and sports a fresh design, a new powertrain and new trim options aimed to attract more buyers to the brand.

Speaking of new buyers, Buick has become a reliable conquest marque for GM. For example, 61 percent of those who purchased the Encore GX in Canada, an all-new subcompact crossover that went on sale last year, are new to the Buick brand and 29 percent are new to GM.

As for the Envision, it sports a sleeker, sculpted and more expressive design with a wider stance versus the outgoing model. Full LED lighting and a new welcome and walkaway animation are notable exterior features. Three trims – Preferred, Essence and Avenir (the latter a first for Envision) – are available, along with a Sport Touring package (for Preferred and Essence) which includes darker trim accents and 20-inch dark finish alloy wheels.

Structurally, the 2021 Envision moves from a platform shared with the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain (D2), to one that also underpins the Cadillac XT4 (E2). Unlike the outgoing model, just one powertrain is available: a 2.0-litre twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder engine (228 hp / 258 lb-ft) paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission.

Of note, the 2.0-litre turbo four is a different unit than the one offered in the previous Envision. The new engine is its successor within GM’s EcoTec four-cylinder line. The ’21 Envision marks its first appearance in a Buick vehicle in North America, but it is also used in the Chinese-market model.

First Look 2021 Buick Envision

All-wheel drive is standard on all models above the base Preferred, which is also offered with front-wheel drive. The AWD system utilizes an electronic twin-clutch setup that allows for a variable torque split to each wheel based on road conditions. It also comes with a disconnect feature for improved fuel consumption. The Preferred FWD trim has three drive modes (tour, snow/ice and sport), while AWD models have four (tour, AWD, snow/ice and sport).

Standard features for Canadian-market Envisions will include a 10.2-inch infotainment display, heated steering wheel, heated front seats, air ionizer, Apple CarPlay / Android Auto, hands-free programmable liftgate, 18-inch wheels and more. All trims are also equipped with Buick’s QuietTuning sound insulation, which includes active noise cancellation.

Like an increasing number of new vehicles, the new Envision will ditch a traditional shifter in favour of electronic push / pull buttons to operate its automatic transmission. Other centre console features include a dual-wing centre armrest and a covered storage compartment located below the centre stack. This compartment also houses USB charge ports and an available wireless charge pad.

First Look 2021 Buick Envision

In terms of space, the 40/60-split folding second creates a maximum 1,492.5 litres of cargo volume. Maximum towing is rated at 680 kg (1,500 pounds).

During the product presentation, GM also revealed the refreshed 2022 Buick Enclave seven-passenger SUV, due to arrive this fall. GM Canada has indicated more information for the Enclave will be revealed in the coming months.

2021 Buick Envision pricing

Preferred FWD $37,598
Preferred AWD $39,998
Essence AWD $41,298
Avenir AWD $46,298

All prices include freight