After a mega redesign for 2021, Buick’s Envision five-seat premium compact SUV has no major changes this year. There’s a new paint color called Sapphire Metallic, and the Sport Touring package now includes alloy sport pedals and ST logo embroidering on the front seat headrests and floor mats. On the mid-grade Essence model, the package also adds red seat stitching.
Envision’s assets include distinct exterior styling, comfortable seating, a peaceful ride on the highway, a capable engine and attractive pricing. Its interior, though not as fancy as some others in the premium segment, is upscale. Compact sizing and SUV configuration make it enjoyable to drive, and useful.
With Ebony Twilight Metallic paint, a fully black interior, and the Sport Touring package, my Envision Essence test vehicle was a genuine looker.
There are three models in the Envision lineup: Preferred ($32,895), Essence ($36,995), and Avenir ($41,245). Prices shown are for front-wheel drive and include a $1,395 destination charge. All-wheel drive is available on every model for an extra $1,800.
A turbocharged four-cylinder engine joined to a nine-speed automatic transmission is the sole Envision powertrain. It provides an energetic 228 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque, with some pretty good fuel economy for the premium compact SUV class: 24 mpg city and 31 mpg highway with front-wheel drive, and 22/29 mpg with all-wheel drive.
Envision’s cargo area behind the second-row seats has a 25.2 cubic-feet capacity, not as generous as some of its competitors, but still respectable. The area is enlarged to 52.7 cubic feet if those seats are folded.
The Preferred model doesn’t skimp on standard equipment, and the Avenir is loaded, but the Essence probably offers the best balance of features and price. Essence add-ons include eight-way power driver and front passenger seats with heat, dual-zone climate control, a heated steering wheel, air ionizer, and a hands-free power liftgate. A large assortment of optional packages and standalone features are available to embellish the Essence to whatever extent the budget allows.
For safety and security assurance, Buick’s Driver Confidence group of features is standard on the Envision. It includes front pedestrian braking, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, forward collision alert, automatic emergency braking, following distance indicator, and automatic high-beam headlight function.
2022 BUICK ENVISION ESSENCE AWD
Base price, including destination charge: $36,995
Price as driven: $41,990
Mary Lowry is a member of the Motor Press Guild and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. She lives in Snohomish County. Vehicles are provided by automotive manufacturers as a one-week loan for evaluation purposes only. Manufacturers do not control content of the reviews.
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