The 2016 Buick Envision is a bigger deal than it seems. Some may see just another midsize crossover playing in the luxury CUV segment. Others know Buick desperately needs this vehicle. Those paying attention know it’s the first General Motors vehicle to be imported from China for North American consumption.
That’s why we took plenty of time to familiarize ourselves with the 2016 Envision during the 2016 North American International Auto Show. Below, you’ll find our first thoughts and impressions on the luxury crossover. And, do join in the conversation in the comment section below, too.
There’s nothing wrong in saying the 2016 Envision doesn’t push Buick’s current design language. We say that because the staff has agreed it’s a pretty handsome looking crossover. The sculpture flows well, and the Envision’s lines draw the eye into all the right places.
No, it’s not the sexiest piece of hardware roaming the roads, but it’s a looker, no doubt. Sam McEachern called the design “very approachable”, Aaron Birch felt the looks were a tad too “MPV” for his tastes and Anthony Herta simply stated the design as “handsome.”
Again, nothing here is necessarily raising the bar, but it’s very good. Much of our staff liked the encompassing feeling the dashboard gives when sitting up front, and Herta quite liked the small-diameter steering wheel; something he described as a sporty touch.
One thing Buick engineers were keen to point out was the use of soft-touch materials everywhere. And, they were right. Anywhere your hand will be gracing is soft to the touch. You’d have to really be trying to have your hand brush up against typical General Motors plastic, and we commend Buick for that.
All of us agreed the butterfly center console was certainly useful, and very neat in operation. It allows for one passenger to still rest their arm on the console, while the other begins digging for whatever the search brings.
One thing in particular I didn’t care for was the glossy wood all over the center stack. It does look nice, but prepare for fingerprint city. Population: the front seat passengers.
Rear legroom is a big win for the 2016 Envision. Having spent quite a bit of time in the Lincoln MKC, the 2016 Envision felt like a limousine in comparison, and very comfortable. That’s definitely the Chinese influence showing through.
This is normally a category that would not need defining but, since its Chinese country of origin comes up more often than not, we want to report the 2016 Envision felt very solid in every manner. Panels were tight fitting, and nothing felt flimsy or sloppy. Door contact felt good, too, with a nice solid slam. Ditto on the rear hatch.
So, there you have it. We’ll leave you with a few memorable quotes from what the staff had to say.
The real test will be how it drives, but signs are looking strong, with a 250 horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder, all-wheel drive, and an emphasis on peace and quiet. – Aaron Birch.
It’s going to sell like Chinese hotcakes. – Sean Szymkowski
A seemingly strong product that has arrived at just the right time. The only hang-up is, again, with the old-school six-speed automatic transmission, but I’m sure GM has plans to replace it. – Sam McEachern
Looks like Buick has a winner on its hands. – Anthony Herta
Once the whole “made in China” shock blows over, the new Buick Envision has a lot of sales potential. – Manoli Katakis