The French word “avenir” translates to “future”. So, it’s fitting that the Buick Avenir concept car, unveiled in 2015 at the North American International Auto Show, would foreshadow the styling of every Buick vehicle that followed. Later that year, Buick showed off the brand-new LaCrosse which borrowed the Avenir’s new grille and aggressive contours. Since then, Buick has given the rest of its lineup the same treatment – except for one. But now, with the release of the 2019 Envision, that’s about to change.
The 2019 Envision
These days, selling a compact crossover is like having a license to print money. And having a good one is like having… a license to print more money? I’m not great at analogies, but I can recognise a quality crossover when I see one. This year, Buick is refreshing their five-seat crossover, the Envision, in a major way, bringing it in line with the rest of the lineup.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the 2019 Envision has eschewed the ancient waterfall grille for the sleeker, darker model. And, if you look closely, you’ll notice a few other tweaks to the front fascia, like LED lights, that make it a bit more sleek and fluid than its predecessor. The same effect is noticeable on the rear. Despite the fact that the “bones” of the Envision remain untouched, the transformation is pretty significant. However, the cosmetic upgrades are arguably the least interesting part of the new Envision.
The standard engine is the same: a 2.5-litre four-cylinder unit. It delivers 197 horsepower and 192 lb/ft of torque. Buick pairs this powerplant with a six-speed automatic transmission and optional all-wheel drive. If you love this setup, you might consider saving some money and scoring a 2018 model. The big changes are with the optional turbocharged engine.
Buick has managed to improve its stout 2.0L turbo engine. Horsepower is steady at 252 but its jacked up the torque to 295 lb/ft from 260. That extra power will be most noticeable as you accelerate from a standstill. Buick combines the new engine with a new nine-speed automatic transmission. Shorter space between the gears translates to more efficient power delivery and better fuel economy. Finally, the turbo 2 comes with the active twin-clutch all-wheel drive system which sends torque to the wheel with the most grip in order to regain control before you even notice you’ve slipped.
The 2019 Envision will add some attractive features like a standard hands-free liftgate, available OnStar 4G LTE WiFi, and Apple CarPlay. Buick even added Tire Fill Alert which kicks in when you’re inflating a flat tire. It notifies you’ve restored the tire to the proper inflation, eliminating the need for guesswork or a pressure gauge.
Of course, the new Envision will continue to benefit from Buick’s QuietTuning. Engineers bolster, dampen, deaden, reinforce, and stabilise nearly every piece of the vehicle that makes a noise. They even put foam between the wheel and tire to cut additional sound. You don’t need to know everything that goes into QuietTuning, you just need to drive an Envision and appreciate the serenity.
The 2019 Buick Envision will be available for purchase this summer.