The Buick Envision turns five years old in 2021. The newest model finally brings the platform into modernity. Ditching the boxy frame for a more dynamic styling, the 2021 Envision refines the features found on past models to appeal to a wider audience. Whether this draws a younger crowd or not remains to be seen.
Buick slots the Envision between the smaller Encore and the larger Enclave. The compact Encore shines brightest in small spaces, whereas the Enclave is a minivan in SUV’s clothing. The Envision best suits those looking for a midsize SUV, since it brings the best of many worlds together in a versatile and capable platform.
Much of the 2021 Envision has been revealed, but some particulars still aren’t fleshed out yet. We’ve gathered everything the industry knows so far about the model so far. However, the best way to pin down features you might be interested in is to contact your local Buick dealership directly. In the meantime, peruse our guide below to see if the 2021 Buick Envision makes your shortlist.
The 2021 Envision is expected to have a singular powerplant, not unlike the one found in the 2020 model. With an estimated 252 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder mates to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Both front- and all-wheel drive are available.
It’s possible that the 2.5-liter four-cylinder turbo found in base 2020 models might carry over for 2021. On the 2020 Envision, this larger-displacement engine makes 197 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. Again, these are rough estimates as Buick hasn’t given official word on what powerplants will be available for 2021.
Trimlines and Pricing
Buick offers the 2021 Envision in three different trims. It’s a pretty different picture than the five different trims offered in 2020. Gone are the Premium and Premium II models, replaced with a top of the line Avenir version. While all the particulars have not yet surfaced, we expect to see similar features as the 2020 model. Hopefully there are a few new features or some shuffling around of old features. Here’s what we do know.
Starting at $31,800, this base model comes with the 2.0L Turbo engine. It comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, QuietTune technology with active noise cancelling for a quiet cabin, and the Driver Confidence safety suite (more on that in a minute).
Kicking up to $35,800, the Essence model adds 18-inch alloy chrome wheels, an air ionizer to keep the cabin fresh, a hands-free liftgate, heated front seats, and a larger 10″ infotainment system.
Previously only found on other Buick models, the 2021 Envision will be offered in the Avenir trim for just over $40,000. You’ll ride on 20-inch wheels while you sit in your heated and ventilated front seats — complete with massage controls for the driver. There’s also HD Surround Vision, front parking assist, wireless device charging, and an upgraded nine-speaker Bose stereo system.
Here are the available paint options on the 2021 Buick Envision.
- Chili Red Metallic
- Satin Steel Gray Metallic
- Summit White
- Ebony Twilight Metallic
- Dark Moon Blue Metallic
- Expresso Metallic
- Cinnabar Metallic
- Rich Garnet Metallic
The 2021 Buick Envision has not yet been rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). However, the 2020 model received top marks from both agencies.
However, that doesn’t mean Buick leaves customers wanting when it comes to safety systems. Buick has equipped all versions of the Envision with the Driver Confidence Plus safety suite as standard equipment. It includes nine different safety features, including automatic emergency braking, following distance indicator, forward collision alert, front pedestrian braking, IntelliBeam headlamps, lane change alert with side blind spot alert, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, and rear park assist.
In order to unlock additional features like the 360-degree camera system, you’ll have to pay for higher trim levels. Automatic parking assist is available on these higher trims as well.
Assuming Buick offers the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder for 2021 as it did in 2020. So you should expect to see 24 city and 31 highway EPA-estimated miles per gallon (MPG) in front-wheel drive models. All-wheel drive models lose a couple points in each category. Those numbers may change a bit if engineers draw more power from the motor, but likely only two or three points at the most.
The 2021 Buick Envision faces stiff competition in the SUV segment. Whether you classify it as a true luxury SUV or simply an affordable high-end five-seater, the rivalry is no less.
When considered in its own right, the 2021 Envision does many things quite well. With “striking and upscale styling,” a “quiet interior at highway speeds,” and brand-new architecture beneath it all, it’s surprising to know that 2021’s model actually costs $1,700 less than its predecessor. The powerful turbo engine will delight those who appreciate a bit of pep. The many standard safety features will give you peace of mind for the safety of yourself and your passengers.
That said, this perfect picture starts to crack when you put the 2021 Envision against the competition. CarAndDriver compared the Envision to the Acura RDX, Infiniti QX50, and Lincoln Corsair. Though the RDX comes in at a lower price than the Lincoln and Infiniti, the latter two fit right into the same category as the Envision.
However, Edmunds says the 2021 Envision isn’t quite “as fuel-efficient as rivals.” Furthermore, it “isn’t necessarily a value buy,” according to Kelly Blue Book. The Audi Q5 and the Lexus NX might “also offer better resale values,” if that’s something important to you. The Volvo XC60 and BMW X3 should also be considerations, though they do come in at a higher price point than the Envision.
The Last Word
The 2021 Envision might not seem like your first choice for a luxury SUV. However, there’s plenty of grace and sophistication to be had in this mid-size crossover. Buick brings a little bit of everything to the table, from interior and exterior appointments to safety features and available packages. Updated body lines break from tradition in a good way. Plus, with the Avenir trim newly added to the lineup, the list of upgradable options increases.
We strongly advise you to consider the 2021 Envision if you’re in the market for an affordable luxury SUV. Sure, it’s not a high-tech German all-wheel drive machine. But with a Buick, it’s easier to achieve sophistication without breaking the bank. Test drive a 2021 Envision at your local Buick dealership today to see for yourself. You may be surprised at how much you like it.