Tuesday, 23 July 2024

Redesigned 2021 Buick Envision is a step up the SUV ladder Featured

Posted On Monday, 05 July 2021 00:11 Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)
The Buick Envision gets a redesign for the 2021 model year. The Buick Envision gets a redesign for the 2021 model year. Photo courtesy of Buick

Straddling the line between more modest SUVs and the luxury world, the Buick Envision finds itself in an interesting position in this vast SUV landscape.

For the 2021 model year, Buick has redesigned this midsize, five-passenger SUV, aiming at those who want something a bit fancier, but without going full luxury in terms of design and price tag — something between a Toyota RAV4 and a Audi Q5.

The Envision sits in the middle of the Buick SUV lineup, between the smaller Encore and larger Enclave. Among the highlights of the redesign are an improved infotainment system, a boost in the number of safety features included, and an updated engine.

I recently spent time in a 2021 Envision, and here is a full report.


I would describe the 2021 Buick Envision Avenir’s exterior design as classy. It features a distinctive yet understated grille, plus sharp headlamp design and nice side lines. My test vehicle also featured 20-inch aluminum wheels with pearl nickel finish (Lower trim levels feature 18-inch or 19-inch wheels).

Other exterior features include a hands-free, programmable power liftgate with logo projection; LED headlamps; Luggage rack; roof rails; and  an available panoramic moonroof option (for $1,450). 

Going inside the vehicle, you get a roomy interior for both front and rear occupants. Cargo space is decent, but is beaten by some other vehicles in the segment. You get overall high-quality seating and materials, but not quite at the level you'll get in a true luxury model, even with the high-end Avenir trim.

There are some solid features at the Avenir level, such as heated and cooled front seats. Other interior features include: Leather wrapped and heated steering wheel; Memory settings for driver seat and outside mirrors; Heated rear outboard seats; 60/40 split-bench rear folding seat; Dual-zone automatic climate control; Perforated leather appointed seats; wood-tone trim; and an air ionizer with air quality indicator.


All 2021 Envision models come with the same engine option — a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder offering that produces 230 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. This is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. 

The Envision comes standard with Front-Wheel Drive, but All-Wheel Drive is offered.

Power on the Envision is decent, but nothing to write home about. It’s not one of the midsize SUVs designed with a focus on performance. It does well for what it has, and is not sluggish, but it wasn't a vehicle that leaves you eager to drive. Instead, it focuses on a practical, smooth and comfortable ride quality that is a good balance for families.

The 0-to-60 time was around 7.5 seconds in my testing, so you’re not going to win any races, but I found that once up to speed I was pleased with the overall driving experience, from cornering ability to braking to overall handling. Buick has also ensured limited noise from the roadways will enter the vehicle.

One thing to note: The Envision is one of the vehicles following the trend of offering a unique system for changing gears, as it ditches the traditional shifter. In this ride, you’ll see buttons for P/R/N/D/M, and removing the shifter opens up space in the center console.

Engine stop-start is offered to help boost fuel mileage, but there is a disable switch (good news for those who don’t like this feature).


The obvious tech highlight in the 2021 Buick Envision is the new Buick infotainment system — featuring Navigation, a large and well-designed 10.2-inch touch display, voice recognition, Bluetooth audio streaming, wireless Apple CarPlay and Wireless Android Auto connectivity for phone mirroring, and in-vehicle apps including Pandora, Spotify and Alexa.

The system’s attractive and easy-to-use design puts it near the top of the list when compared to other automakers’ infotainment setups. It was also very easy to connect my phone via Android Auto. The large touchscreen is very easy to use and voice commands are also effective. It features a strong setup for audio, phone, navigation and other features.

In addition, OnStar services are included, along with the option for a 4G LTE WiFi connection. A free trial of SiriusXM satellite radio is also included, and you can listen to music on a Bose 9-speaker premium audio system.

There’s a remote start function, keyless entry and start, and wireless charging for your phone. All in all, an excellent set of tech offerings, making this a modern car for modern times.

Moving on to safety, there are tons of great safety features that make this vehicle quite competitive in this area. The Avenir trim level offers a helpful Head-Up Display to keep drivers’ eyes on the road.

The Buick Driver Confidence Plus package includes a bevy of helpful features, including: Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Assist, Automatic Emergency Braking, Following Distance Indicator, Intellibeam Auto High Beam, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Rear Park Assist.

Other safety features include a Tire Pressure Monitoring System, Enhanced Automatic Emergency Braking, and Adaptive Cruise Control

For buyers who want to monitor and track the driving habits of your young drivers, the Teen Driver feature will be a welcome addition.

Buick lists official fuel mileage for the 2021 Buick Envision at 24 city/31 highway/26 combined. 

As listed, these numbers are generally at a level similar to what you’ll find on competitors including the Volvo XC60, Lincoln Corsair and Acura RDX. In my experience driving the Envision, however, the number was lower, closer to 21 mpg.


The Envision I tested was priced just over $45,000, and the pricing at the Avenir level starts around $40K. The base version (Preferred trim level) of the Envision is more affordable, and starts around $32K. Preferred, Essence and Avenir are the three trim levels offered.

These prices are a good sweet spot that fit the vehicle’s place in the SUV landscape. They are generally less expensive than the true luxury vehicles available, as they should be. But compared to the less upscale offerings in the SUV realm, you will pay a bit more.

Warranties include the following:

— 3 year/36K mile bumper to bumper limited warranty

— 5 year/60K mile powertrain limited warranty, roadside assistance and courtesy transportation


The 2021 Buick Envision is a capable but not overly powerful midsize SUV, highlighted by a strong infotainment/tech setup and excellent safety offerings. 

The Envision aims to be an entry-level luxury SUV, but in my view falls a little short in that regard. But it’s still more upscale than most SUVS outside of the true luxury realm, and can cost you much less than those luxury SUV options.

Definitely worth a test drive to see if the Envision is a good fit for you and your family, especially if you are looking to start moving closer to the luxury level without taking the full leap.


AutoTechReviews.com can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page.

Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2021 Buick Envision
  • Price as tested: $45,305 (Price starts around $32K)
  • Best feature: Attractive design, strong tech and safety features, comfortable ride
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?: SUV buyers looking for something that’s a step up from standard SUVs but not quite in the luxury realm
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

Search Reviews by Make

AutoTechReviews  is your home for In-depth reviews of the latest cars, trucks, and SUVs; information on all the emerging vehicle technology; and breaking news from the world of NASCAR and other motorsports.