2021 Buick Envision review: A much better second act

The new Visualize is 200% far more attractive than ahead of.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The very first-technology Buick Visualize was… fantastic, like how you may possibly describe a movie you didn’t truly want to see. The 2021 Buick Visualize changes that up, however. Through some careful nips and tucks, this midsize premium crossover is far far more deserving of your time.


  • Interesting exterior layout
  • Excellent infotainment tech
  • Easy and tranquil trip high quality

Don’t Like

  • Heaps of affordable interior bits
  • Middling gas economic system

Design and style can take a large action ahead in the 2021 Visualize. The outgoing crossover experienced the large eyes of a cat you snuck up on and a mishmash of forms on the facet. The new technology is, by comparison, far fancier searching, with thinner headlights and taillights above far more expressive bumpers, as perfectly as a front grille that seems to be like it was built in this ten years and facet traces that no for a longer time compete with one one more. A for a longer time wheelbase and a reduced, broader system give the Visualize far more grownup proportions, way too. That comes with a tradeoff, while — the 25.two cubic toes of cargo house at the rear of the 2nd row is a lot less than what arrived on the very last technology, which beats the Volvo XC60 (seventeen.8) but lags at the rear of the Acura RDX (29.five) and the Lincoln Corsair (27.6).

The 2021 Envision’s interior is vastly improved, and Aged GM’s myriad buttons are absent. The infotainment monitor is properly integrated into the dashboard, whilst it really is tilted oddly skyward. The local climate management buttons are living in a swath of piano-black trim which, on my Avenir tester, proceeds rearward to the centre console armrest. There are some decently fancy cues all around, from the dimpled wooden on the door panels to the diamond air flow pattern on the leather-based seats. There is a small far more vinyl-soft plastic than I’d desire to see in a prime-tier trim with an out-the-door price tag north of $45,000, but which is GM for you. On the full, it really is a roomy, attractive interior which is a quantum leap ahead of what arrived ahead of.

Even while cargo house is a small pricey, storage on the full just isn’t terrible at all. There is a handy purse-sized tray concealed beneath the transmission controls, and the clamshell armrest is deep plenty of to keep a pair of clutches. If so outfitted, there is certainly also a wi-fi charging tray ahead of the cup holders that can double as far more junk storage. The door-panel cubbies are deep, but the opening is astonishingly modest, so small tchotchkes can wander rearward, requiring some complicated wrist acrobatics to retrieve.

Below the hood lies a compromise. The 2021 Visualize lineup utilizes just one motor, a two.-liter turbocharged I4 excellent for 228 horsepower and 258 pound-toes of torque, which splits the change in between the two engines offered on pre-2021 Envisions, a 197-hp two.five-liter I4 and a 252-hp two.-liter I4. Entrance-wheel travel variants are EPA-rated at 24 miles for each gallon metropolis and 31 mpg highway, with optional AWD minimizing every single determine by two mpg. My working experience isn’t going to fairly match the EPA’s even with my AWD Visualize Avenir locked in FWD method, 27 mpg is the greatest I can muster on Michigan highways, while metropolis mileage hovers nearer to 20.

The interior is excellent, but not good.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The remainder of the 2021 Envision’s driving working experience is fairly nice. The motor notice, uh, exists, but its mediocre muted growl fades into the background after everything starts playing on the speakers. Acceleration is satisfactory, getting rid of a lot of the perkiness that the outgoing model’s optional turbo four packed, but it really is far more than plenty of for on-ramps and this kind of, and its nine-speed automated swaps cogs so smoothly you are going to scarcely even recognize. The steering is a small overboosted, but it really is almost nothing most purchasers will recognize or treatment about, and the pedals are lifeless uncomplicated to modulate smoothly. My tester wears Buick’s adaptive dampers, which can improve damping strength while driving to soak up horrible bits in the street. Even though the trip is certainly on the smoother facet for compact crossovers, it really is almost way too significantly so, primary to a little bit of a floaty emotion. Wind and street sounds are really perfectly muted, way too.

Oh, and the change sign is no for a longer time loud plenty of to be mistaken for a cherry bomb. That’s wonderful.

GM has in no way been shy about loading its most current automobiles with all way of tech, both equally common and optional, and which is even now the story with the 2021 Visualize. As the prime trim on present, the Avenir sports activities a sufficiently substantial 10.two-inch infotainment touchscreen working the most current Buick-skinned version of GM’s corporate software. Like each and every other auto it really is in, this getup is pretty, with menus that are brief to load and simple to navigate. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile are common across the board, which is a wonderful touch. The infotainment also packs a amount of designed-in apps that perform with the 4G LTE antenna, so you can use Alexa integration to management your house’s lights or pay attention to the most current podcast or advice from Reese Witherspoon’s reserve club. If your mobile phone isn’t going to take wi-fi charging, there are both equally USB-A and USB-C ports on present to juice up.

The Visualize is one of Buick’s improved offerings.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Buick and its relatives of adjacent makes have in some cases scrimped on common protection functions, but the 2021 Visualize has loads of ’em. All Visualize trims contain automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-trying to keep support, lane-departure warning, automated higher beams and rear parking sensors. My tester’s $one,670 Technology Package deal II upgrades that package with a rear-camera mirror, adaptive cruise management, improved automated emergency braking and automated parking support, so you are going to even now have to shell out additional coin for some things that comes common on other automobiles at this price tag position.

Now, you you should not have to force towards $fifty,000 to rock a 2021 Buick Visualize. The base Favored trim starts at $32,995 such as desired destination for a front-wheel-travel model with an 8-inch touchscreen and surfaces coated in a blend of fabric and leatherette. The middle-kid Essence raises the price tag to $36,995, with the Avenir starting at $41,395. All-wheel travel is a $one,800 alternative no subject the trim, and unlike former iterations, all a few trims can be experienced with or without the need of it.

The outgoing Buick Visualize, which was designed with the Chinese industry in head from the get-go, in no way truly felt fully tuned to the US shoppers, but that changes with the 2021 model. It really is improved searching, it really is even now wonderful to travel and it really is appointed with the functions that purchasers in this segment are soon after.