The Detroit Auto Show has finally kicked off, which means there are a number of new concepts and models to talk about. One such model is the 2016 Buick Envision. If the “Envision” name sounds familiar, it’s because it actually debuted in China, and went on sale on the Chinese market in late in 2014, as a 2015 model. It was initially designed as a global vehicle from the beginning, which means it didn’t take long for GM to get it ready for the U.S. Market.

As a compact crossover, the Envision will compete against the likes of vehicles like the Acura RDX, Lincoln MKC, and the Audi Q5. It is said to have a “whisper quiet” cabin and a smooth ride. As Chief Engineer, Judy Brennan, put it, “Our attention to detail yielded tremendous strength and stiffness of the platform, which is evident in exceptional ride and handling characteristics.”

So, will the plethora of standard and available safety features set the Envision apart from the rest? Will the interior prove to be more comfortable than others in the segment? Well, we can’t answer that last question until we actually get the chance to sit in one, but we can see how the Envision stacks up otherwise, so let’s take a deeper look and see just where the Envision stands.

Update 4/22/2016: Pricing information for the Buick Envision has been announced. The 2016 model will start out from $42,995 and the 2017 model will start out from $34,990. Check out the "Prices" section below for more information.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Buick Envision.

  • 2016 Buick Envision
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    six-speed automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    252
  • Torque @ RPM:
    260
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    6.5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    32000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    7.2/10

Exterior

2016 Buick Envision High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Buick Envision High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Buick Envision High Resolution Exterior
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Up front, the Envision takes on a rather refined design, with the most notable features being the chrome trim above the fog lights and the winged headlights. And let’s not forget the unmistakable Buick grille with the large Buick emblem. I should also note that the LED daytime running lights inside the headlight assemblies carry the same shape as the chrome tip above the fog lights.

The body line that runs over the front wheel arch swoops down toward the bottom of the doors and ties into the body line on the rear wheel arch.

To the sides, unobtrusive wheel arches keep things rather smooth for the front fenders and rear quarter panels. The body line that runs over the front wheel arch swoops down toward the bottom of the doors and ties into the body line on the rear wheel arch. Another body line travels from the front of the door, through the center of each door handle and back to the rear tail lights. The windows on the front door have an interesting look to them, with a glass separator in-line with the side view mirrors – oddly reminiscent of the rotating glass found in older conversion vans.

Out back, we can see that body line that runs in line with the door handles, actually runs through the wraparound taillights. A chrome Buick emblem sites just below the wiper on the rear hatch. The small overhang on the hatch has a small LED high-mount brake light. Down below, a reflector graces the rear fascia on each corner, and there is a single exhaust outlet on each side.

Interior

2016 Buick Envision High Resolution Interior Drivetrain
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2016 Buick Envision High Resolution Interior Drivetrain
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2016 Buick Envision High Resolution Interior Drivetrain
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On the inside, GM took passenger comfort to the next level with the visually appealing cabin. First, the wraparound dash fades into the doors almost seamlessly. The instrument cluster features what appears to be a digital speedometer with analog gauges on each side. In the center of the dash, you’ll find the eight-inch IntelliLink screen, which can be optioned with OnStar and a built-in 4G LTE hotspot. The infotainment system includes Bluetooth connectivity and supports SD cards and MP3 player connectivity. There are four USB ports, four 12-volt outlets, and a 120-volt outlet. The leather-wrapped steering wheel is a new design altogether, with toggle switches that allow the driver to control the infotainment system without taking his hands off of the wheel.

The leather-wrapped steering wheel is a new design altogether, with toggle switches that allow the driver to control the infotainment system without taking his hands off of the wheel.

As we move on to the doors, GM went out of its way to provide easy to access to the storage departments in the door – notice how they extend upward, almost level with the seat cushion? Moving to the center console, the gear shifter and cup holders are surrounded by the same wood-grain like trim as the dashboard, and the storage compartment in the center console has winged doors – allowing the driver and passenger to access the storage area individually without disturbing the other.

The front and rear seats are heated, as is the steering wheel. The front seats can be cooled if you select the appropriate option during the ordering process. The rear seats are capable of sliding, allowing the rear passengers to enjoy more legroom on demand. That rear seat, by the way, is a 60/40-split seat, allowing part or all of the seat to be folded even with the floor. In this configuration, the Envision is said to have more cargo space than the Acura RDX and Lincoln MKC. According to the EPA, it offers more passenger volume that the MKC, with more rear legroom and shoulder room in the front and rear. The coolest feature, I think, is that panoramic roof that provides a nearly unobstructed view of the sky – It sure is ideal for rear passengers on night time road trips.

Drivetrain

2016 Buick Envision High Resolution Drivetrain
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Under the hood of the 2016 Envision sits a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder that kicks out 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque

Under the hood of the 2016 Envision sits a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder that kicks out 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque – that’s 32 horsepower and two pound-feet more than the base-model 2016 Audi Q5. The Envisions 2.0-liter engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The Envision can be optioned with GM’s first active Twin Clutch AWD system that works similar to GM’s previous automatic AWD system – it simply kicks in when you need it. To help keep down vibration, GM provided the engine and transmission assembly with an extra mount, as well.

GM really wanted the Envision to have a smooth ride, so it included its high-performance HiPer suspension system. This system doesn’t look any different than your conventional suspension setup, but as Buick puts it, it gives the Envision more responsive steering, improved cornering, reduced noise and is a “really, really fun ride.”

At this time, we are unaware of any additional engine options, but in the future, a V-6 may be thrown in the mix. It only makes sense considering other vehicles in the segment offer an available V-6 for better performance.

Safety

2016 Buick Envision High Resolution Drivetrain
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The Envision has a long list of standard safety features, which should keep it at least even with the competition. Included on the standard list are a total of 10 airbags – including front, side curtain, and knee airbags. Next on the list is Safety Alert Seat, which is a feature that causes the front seat to pulse to alert the driver of a potential crash. Front park assist, lane change alert, lane keep assist, rear cross traffic alert, following distance indicator, stability control, ABS, cornering brake assist, and electronic brake for distribution are also standard.

Available options include automatic park assist, surround vision camera (360-degree display of the area surrounding the car,) collision mitigation braking, and adaptive cruise control. When equipped with OnStar, additional safety features include OnStar’s Advanced Crash Response System. Needless to say, when the Envision is properly equipped, it is about as close as you can get to an autonomous vehicle (outside of Tesla, of course,) so at least it has that going for it.

Prices

The 2016 Buick Envision starts out at $42,995. For those who want more than the entry-level standard features, the Envision Premium II trim level calls for $45,635. For 2017, however, the Chinese-built Envision will be offered in even more trim levels with the base model and Premium II trim as the top tier offerings. In 2017, the base-model Envision will start out at $34,990. The next trim level up will be called the Envision Preferred, and it will set you back $36,795. The next level up is the Envision Essence that commands $38,645. The two upper trim levels should follow the same $42,995 and $45,635 pricing structure that we see for the 2016 model year. I don’t know about you, but that seems a little pricey for a Chinese-made vehicle from GM, but maybe it’s just me.

2016 Buick Envision Prices (available summer 2016)

2016 Buick Envision Premium I $42,995
2016 Buick Envision Premium II $45,635

2017 Buick Envision Prices (available fall 2016)

2017 Buick Envision $34,990
2017 Buick Envision Prefered $36,795
2017 Buick Envision Essence $38,645
2017 Buick Envision Premium $43,245
2017 Buick Envision Premium II $45,885

Competition

Acura RDX

2016 Acura RDX High Resolution Exterior
- image 616646

The Acura RDX was given a facelift for the 2016 model year, and like most other Acura models, it takes on some similarities to the TLX sedan. It features Acura’s trademark Jewel Eye headlights and 3-D grille. The biggest benefit of the RDX over the Envision is the 3.5-liter, i-VTEC, V-6 under the hood. It pushes out 279 horsepower (27 more than the Envision) and 252 pound-feet of twist, which is about eight pound-feet shy of the Envision. The 2016 model year can be had in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive models having rear-wheel bias to give it better driving dynamics and better performance in the cold white stuff. The 2016 RDX starts out at $35,270, but a fully equipped model – including all-wheel drive – will set you back to the tune of $43, 420.

Read our full review on the Acura RDX here.

Lincoln MKC

2015 - 2017 Lincoln MKC High Resolution Exterior
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The MKC is kind of the new kid on the block in Lincoln’s neighborhood. It came about in 2014 has Lincoln continued its push to prove that Lincoln is a worthy luxury brand. For the 2016 model year, the LKC comes standard with a 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine that pushes power to only the front wheels. The 2.0 puts out 240 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. That’s 12 horsepower less than the Envision, but ten pound-feet of torque more. In its base configuration, the MKC goes for $33,260. Moving up to all-wheel drive will set you back $35,755. Opting for the 2.3-liter with all-wheel drive increases the price to $40,725.

Read our full review on the Lincoln MKC here.

Conclusion

2016 Buick Envision High Resolution Exterior
- image 661270

The Envision looks like a Buick, and will certainly fit in Buick’s U.S. lineup, but I – like a lot of others – have a major concern about it. See, the Envision isn’t built here in the U.S. The Envision is built in China, where it originally debuted, and is shipped here to the U.S. That’s right, that Honda in your neighbor’s driveway is actually more American than the Buick Envision. Not that I think the Envision will be subpar compared to other vehicles made here in the U.S., but it’s not built in American factories. I guess you could say I’m old school to that effect. I would prefer to buy something made in America over something made on the other side of the drink in China. Outside of where it is built, I think the Envision is promising as far as comfort and Luxury goes, and I think it will be a stiff competitor for the RDX, MKC, and even the Audi Q5. I’m curious to see how sales stack up once the model hits showrooms here in the U.S.

  • Leave it
    • Built in China
    • No V-6 option
    • 1,500 pound towing capacity

Press Release

The 2016 Envision is an all-new luxury compact crossover with segment-challenging driving dynamics, advanced technology, connectivity and Buick’s trademark interior acoustics. It is a global vehicle, designed from the ground up as a Buick luxury compact crossover. It goes on sale in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2016.

2016 Buick Envision High Resolution Exterior
- image 661270

“The all-new Buick Envision is a modern, confident and responsive luxury compact crossover that combines the brand’s core characteristics with great performance features like our HiPer strut suspension,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick. “That dynamic experience behind the wheel is complemented by Buick’s signature luxury, whisper-quiet cabin and connectivity features to benefit drivers and passengers alike.”

Vehicle highlights include:

252-horsepower (186 kW) 2.0L turbo engine with stop/start technology, Buick’s first crossover vehicle application of HiPer Strut front suspension and Buick’s first active Twin Clutch AWD system
LED daytime running lamps and rear LED accent lights
Efficiency-enhancing features including active grille shutters and a structure incorporating mass-reducing high-strength steel, and an aluminum hood
Standard heated front seats, rear seats, and steering wheel; available cooled front seats
Sliding, 60/40-split rear seat, offering the flexibility of more legroom for second-row passengers
Standard eight-way power-adjustable front seats and four-way-adjustable lumbar
Kneeling cushions in the second-row seat enable a flatter load floor when the seat is folded
Standard tri-zone climate control with rear-seat controls
Programmable power liftgate with hands-free operation
Active noise cancelation

2016 Buick Envision High Resolution Exterior
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· Standard nineteen-inch aluminum wheels

Passive entry and push-button start with standard remote start
Standard Bose premium sound system
Available panoramic moonroof.

The Envision is also designed to carry more than its competitors, with more rear cargo space than the Acura RDX and the Lincoln MKC. It’s also roomier for passengers, with more rear legroom, front and rear shoulder room, and overall Environmental Protection Agency-rated passenger volume than the MKC.

Design rewards with attention to detail
Designers and engineers were given a clean slate to develop the Envision and they employed supercomputer technologies to help make the most of the architecture for strength, stiffness and quietness. Every aspect of the vehicle’s design and its effect on refinement was taken into consideration – even the available panoramic moonroof was designed for lower wind noise when open.

“The Envision represents a compromise-free design that enabled the development team to do the things luxury customers appreciate,” said Judy Brennan, chief engineer. “Our attention to detail yielded tremendous strength and stiffness of the platform, which is evident in exceptional ride and handling characteristics.”

The clean-sheet design and stiff structure helped eliminate an estimated 22 pounds (10 kg) of add-on material to create whisper-quiet interior acoustics.

And while those attributes lie beneath the Envision’s skin, the skin itself is instantly recognizable as a Buick crossover with contemporary proportions, flowing lines and detailed surface features.

“There is tension in the Envision’s design that reflects elegant athleticism, rendering a planted stance that enhances driver confidence,” says Bryan Nesbitt, global executive director, Buick design. “It’s dynamic and youthful, with features that support the vehicle’s technologically advanced ambience.”

2016 Buick Envision High Resolution Exterior
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Envision features Buick’s signature winged headlamps and standard heated outside mirrors with LED turn signal indicators. Articulating Xenon high-intensity discharge headlamps are available.

Dynamic passenger environment
The Envision’s interior features a “floating,” wraparound instrument panel sweeps into the door panels, for a flowing, organic and inviting appearance that complements the exterior.

“To put it simply, the Envision’s cabin combines beauty with innovation,” said Nesbitt. “It telegraphs dynamism like nothing else in the segment. Everywhere you touch is a stitched, soft surface. Everything you touch is designed for intuitive, effortless functionality.”

The large center console storage bin features damped dual wing-type doors that provide easier, less-obstructed access and allow the driver or passengers – even those in the rear – to access the storage bin without disturbing the other.

Technology and connectivity
The new Envision offers a standard 8-inch Buick IntelliLink screen, as well as available OnStar with 4G LTE with a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot.

IntelliLink is the contact point for much of the Envision’s technology and connectivity. It provides intuitive operation of basic functions, yet is capable of linking up Bluetooth devices such as smartphones, as well as SD cards and MP3 players. Four USB ports, four 12-volt outlets and a 120-volt outlet are included.

A new steering wheel for Buick debuts in the Envision, featuring thumb-operated toggle switches that make it easy to scroll through the IntelliLink menus and vehicle features in the driver information center.

Powertrain and performance
The 2016 Envision features a standard 2.0L turbo engine SAE certified at 252 horsepower (186 kW) and 260 lb-ft of torque (353 Nm), which is more standard horsepower and torque than an Audi Q5. It is paired with a third-generation six-speed automatic transmission.

Performance and efficiency is enhanced with Stop/Start technology – Buick’s first application on the 2.0L turbo engine. It seamlessly shuts down the engine when the Envision comes to a stop under certain driving conditions, such as a stoplight. The engine automatically restarts when the driver takes his or her foot off the brake.

The 2.0L turbo engine is offered exclusively with AWD, giving the Envision performance consistent with vehicle’s ride and handling capabilities. The turbocharger features a twin-scroll design that helps the engine deliver a broad torque band, for a greater feeling of power on demand. Ninety percent of peak torque is available from 1,800 rpm to 5,500 rpm and the full 260 lb-ft of peak torque from 3,000 to 4,000 rpm.

2016 Buick Envision High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 661273

The engine is designed with refinement-enhancing features such as balance shafts and sound-attenuating components; and is isolated on a hydraulically damped substructure that helps quell noise and vibration. Four powertrain mounts are used rather than the conventional three.

Ride and handling
The Envision’s robust structure is the foundation for a balanced and confident driving experience. Buick’s HiPer Strut front suspension reduces torque steer and benefits steering feel. It’s a feature inspired by the athletic Regal GS sedan and that is not currently offered on any crossover vehicle, including competitors such as the Audi Q5.

The Envision features Buick’s first active Twin Clutch AWD system designed to make the most of handling and stability in all driving conditions. It is a fully automatic, on-demand system engineered to deliver sure-footed handling in low-grip conditions, while also contributing to a quieter and smoother ride with minimal torque transferred to the rear wheels when all-wheel-drive traction isn’t needed.

Safety features
The Envision offers 360 degrees of available passive and active safety technology, including 10 standard air bags, available Automatic Park Assist, available Surround Vision camera system and Buick’s first use of Lane Keep Assist, which is standard.

Automatic Park Assist measures a suitable parallel or perpendicular parking spot and steers the vehicle into it, while Lane Keep Assist helps the driver keep the vehicle in the lane with an automatic steering adjustment when an inadvertent lane departure is detected.

A rearview camera is standard, while the available Surround Vision provides an overhead view of the Envision that enhances the driver’s vision at low speeds, such as parking and reversing.

Additional 2016 model year standard and available safety features include:

Standard side-curtain and knee air bags
Standard Safety Alert Seat, which pulses to alert the driver about a possible crash
Standard Front Park Assist, Lane Change Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert
Standard Following Distance Indicator
Standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control
Standard four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with electronic brake force distribution
Standard cornering brake control and brake assist
Available Full Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control
Available Collision Mitigation Braking.

2016 Buick Envision High Resolution Exterior
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Safety and security features also include OnStar technology with Advanced Crash Response System, emergency assistance and more.

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