Wednesday, March 1, 2023

2023 Buick Envision Essence: The Brand’s Compact Crossover

Highlight: Buick’s stylish Envision was imported from China.

Test Vehicle's MSRP: $40,695 (Base Preferred FWD Model: $34,795)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features:  airbags with passenger sensors; automatic emergency braking; forward Collision Alert; a Tire Pressure Monitoring System; a following distance indicator; Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning; a Tool Kit; Intelligent High Beams; a Rear Cross Traffic Alert System; a teen driver system; and HD backup camera

Standard Equipment (Base Preferred FWD): 18-inch wheels with  a Light Charcoal Metallic finish; 9-Speed automatic transmission; noise canceling technology; deep tinted windows; LED Head, Tail, and Daytime Lamps; Single Zone Air Conditioning; an 8-inch infotainment screen; cloth trimmed seating; rear and center armrests; carpeted floor mats; keyless start; interior ambient lighting; a leather wrapped steering wheel; a silver roof rack with cross rails; manual liftgate; heated power adjustable exterior mirrors; and Body Color Door Handles with Chrome Stripe

Standard Equipment (Essence AWD): 18-Inch aluminum wheels with a light silver metallic finish; a dual zone air conditioning system; a 10.2-inch infotainment screen; remote start system; all-wheel drive; power automatic liftgate; leather trimmed heated front seats; and a 7-speaker audio system with enhanced performance and amplifier

Options: HD surround vision; a heads-up display (HUD) system; a Bose 9-speaker audio system; a navigation system; 20-inch dark finished wheels available with sport touring package; body color door handles; a rear cargo compartment cover; and black roof rack rails

Other Trim Levels:

Avenir FWD

Avenir AWD

Preferred AWD

Standard Audio on Test Vehicle: a 6-speaker audio system with AM/FM/HD and SiriusXM

Bluetooth Connectivity: Standard

USB Connectivity: Standard

Apple/Android Connectivity: Standard

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 6 years/70,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-Liter Turbo 4-Cylinder engine/ 228-hp

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage: 23-city/31-hwy

What’s New: With the exception a few new colors, the Envision is literally a carryover model for 2023.


Stylish design

A heads up display system

AWD standard

Heated front seats

Heated steering wheel

A high level of standard safety features

The turbo engine doesn’t require premium fuel

A handsfree power liftgate is available

A remote starter system

20-inch wheels

Black roof rails

Sport alloy pedals

An automatic parking system is available on higher trims

A 9-speaker audio system is available

In vehicle wireless charging



Doesn’t feel as durable as the North American built Buicks

Only one powertrain

No electrified models

Radar activated cruise control system and a power sunroof only available on the higher end Avenir trim

Needs to reposition location for the radio volume button on the audio system

Heated seats didn’t work on the test model

Verdict: Buick made the decision several years ago to import the Envision from China to fill the gap the brand needed in the compact crossover premium space. The Envision, which underwent its last major makeover in 2021, is literally a carryover model for the 2023 model year.

The five passenger crossover, which is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo engine, is available in three trim. As of now, Buick has yet to make the transition to EVs. The Envision would be the perfect vehicle to infuse a plug-in powertrain. The stylish crossover is available in a front wheel drive or an all-wheel drive configuration.

Depending upon the trim, one can expect a host of features ranging from a power lift gate to 20-inch wheels to a radar activated cruise control system.

Pricing for the vehicle starts out under $35,000. However, in order to access some of the premium features like a sunroof or the radar cruise control system we cited earlier, one has to step up to the $47,000 Avenir trim. Is it worth it for buyers who are loyal to the Buick brand to step up to the brand’s larger North American built Enclave, which offers three rows of seating, as opposed to the pricey Envision Avenir trim?  

Competition: Cadillac XT4; and Volvo XC60

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