By on August 15, 2017

2017 Buick Envision Preferred AWD - Image: © Timothy Cain

2017 Buick Envision Preferred

2.5-liter DOHC inline-four (197 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm; 192 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm)

Six-speed automatic, all-wheel drive

21 city / 28 highway / 24 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

11.8 city / 9.1 highway / 10.6 combined (NRCan Rating, L/100km)

25.0 mpg [9.4 L/100 km] (Observed)

Base Price: $34,990 (U.S) / $41,995 (Canada)

As Tested: $38,830 (U.S.) / $42,980 (Canada)

Prices include $925 destination charge in the United States and $1,800 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

General Motors apparently believes you’ll pay a genuinely lofty price for the 2017 Buick Envision precisely because it’s a Buick.

A basic 2017 Buick Envision, upgraded with Preferred trim in order to select the $1,850 all-wheel drive system, costs $38,645. That’s correct: the least costly AWD Envision is priced from $38,645. General Motors will sell you a larger, V6-engined, AWD GMC Acadia for only $445 more.

But that’s a GMC. A generic, garden variety, menial GMC. The Envision seeks to mercilessly trample on the Acadia’s blue collar status.

Who would want a spacious GMC when you could own a Buick; a smaller, less powerful, China-made Buick with cloth seats, no sunroof, blank switches at the front of the center console, and no advanced safety gear? Evidently, the person who’s willing to pay a premium for the Buick tri-shield badge. You know, the buyer who places a value on supposed Buick prestige over and above any accompanying equipment that may (or may not) accompany this alleged luxury SUV.

Even after price is removed from the equation, a 2017 Buick Envision still reveals itself as a vehicle that underwhelms in areas besides, for example, the lack of full leather seating. The 2.5-liter naturally aspirated engine produces 197 horsepower, GM says. But 197 horsepower doesn’t feel like 197 horsepower when those horses are tasked with motivating 3,929 pounds, when power peaks at 6,300 rpm and 192 lb-ft of torque doesn’t peak until 4,400 rpm, when the six-speed automatic isn’t remotely interested in playful cooperation.2017 Buick Envision Preferred AWD - Image: © Timothy CainThat Buick didn’t build a corner-carving small luxury crossover comes as no surprise. Indeed, Buick’s determination to avoid even a hint of sporting nature is a welcome turn of events.

The six-speed automatic’s lack of urgency testifies to its smoothness. Meanwhile, the Envision’s ride quality is exemplary. There is no sound of harsh suspension impacts because there is no sound; there may not even be any harsh impacts. The uncommunicative steering channels no information back to the driver yet rewards cruisers with delightfully light effort. There are no optional steering modes. There’s no Sport button tucked behind the shifter that generates individualized Tour and Race settings in the instrument cluster.

The Buick Envision is all the better for it. Its singular focus on refined and relaxed transportation largely pays off, as the Envision never tries to be what it’s not.

But the Envision is slow. You’d need to spend $43,640 to rise to the Premium trim level for access to the 252-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. In lesser iterations, the 2.5-liter-powered Envision AWD will struggle to scoot from rest to highway speeds in less than nine seconds. That was once acceptable, and it may still be acceptable in some corners of the market. But it’s not acceptable for a so-called luxury SUV at a truly premium price point.

Besides, the Envision isn’t even comfortable trying, as it loses its composure when the 2.5-liter strains its vocal cords at high rpm.2017 Buick Envision Preferred AWD - Image: © Timothy CainBuick’s efforts inside are more successful than the underhood outcome. The Envision comes across as a notably more spacious small utility vehicle than upmarket rivals such as the Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC thanks in part to the flat rear floor. Three-across seating is actually a real possibility. There’s also more cargo capacity than you’ll find behind the rear seats of an Acura RDX or Lincoln MKC, two of the more likely Envision rivals.

Unfortunately, the front perches are flat and the seating position leads the driver to feel like he’s seated on the Envision, rather than in it. The oddly tilted center stack features an eight-inch touchscreen that’s difficult to reach even if you lengthen your stretch (and it displays a backup camera with fuzzy quality.) The blanked-out switches in prominent locations devalue Buick’s already weak luxury credentials. Ten awkwardly intersecting materials on the doors are surely deserving of some of the blame for the Envision’s dollar store aroma. The driver’s side window features auto up and down; the other windows are only auto down.

The horror.

Little things? At the Chevrolet Equinox’s MSRP, perhaps. At the GMC Terrain’s price point, maybe. But Buick is reaching here, far more than Buick will reach with the $29,995 Regal TourX (which comes standard with the Envision’s optional 2.0T) and far more than Buick will reach with the $40,970 2018 Enclave.2017 Buick Envision Preferred AWD interior - Image: © Timothy CainThe 2017 Buick Envision is quiet, however, a sedate cruiser in a world chock full of utility vehicles that pretend to be sporting vehicles and often suffer as a result. The Envision is inoffensive to behold, it’s equipped with a handful of standard features (such as a power tailgate and dual-zone climate control) that cast a premium aura, and it resides outside the luxury norm, a benefit to those who tire of Lexus ubiquity.

The 2017 Buick Envision Preferred AWD is also not a $38,645 vehicle. Prominently positioned at Buick.com are advertisements for 15-percent price reductions on this very vehicle. Interest-free financing for up to six years is another Buick attempt to sweeten the pot. Buick certainly needs to. After averaging 4,600 monthly U.S. buyers for the Envision through the second-quarter of 2017, Envision volume totalled just 2,812 sales in July. Inventory piled up — Automotive News says there was a 166-day supply of Envisions heading into August. Fewer than 70 days would be ideal.

Turns out General Motors knows you won’t actually pay a significant price premium for the Buick Envision just because it’s a Buick.

[Image: © Timothy Cain]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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114 Comments on “2017 Buick Envision Preferred AWD Review – The Buick Tri-Shield Badge Premium Exists...”


  • avatar
    Asdf

    Chinese crap from an irrelevant GM brand – what’s not to like?

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      I want to dwell on that for a minute. I know it was mentioned, but barring some small oddball exception, this is THE FIRST CHINESE-BUILT CAR EVER SOLD IN AMERICA.

      That’s not the same thing as Apple selling Chinese-made iPhones. It’s worse, and here’s why.

      I’m not an Obama-hating “Government Motors” hater. In fact, on this very site I’ve argued with those very B&Bers. But, for me personally, this is a bridge too far. GM well understood that the U.S. Government’s money wasn’t an act of charity toward them – it was the government stepping in when the bankers wouldn’t, to save a million jobs and help stave off a second Great Depression.

      As much as it was loathed, that move worked. But to me, it came with a moral contract: We saved your asses so you could live on as an American employer.

      With this move, GM has broken that contract. Screw them.

      • 0 avatar

        “THE FIRST CHINESE-BUILT CAR EVER SOLD IN AMERICA”

        That’s false, as that honor belongs to the S60L.

      • 0 avatar

        GM also broke that contract by engineering the bolt in Korea.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Ye of short memory.

        The FIRST Chinese-built car sold in the US was the HONDA FIT.

        TTAC had a whole article on that back on Nov. 2012.

        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/capsule-review-honda-fit-made-in-china-edition/

        Now, did you really not remember or simply chose not to do so since it didn’t “fit” your agenda?

        And really – what does Obama have anything to do with this?

        Importing the Envision from China (would never buy one on that basis, alone) is SMART business planning.

        The main/largest market for the Envision is China and you build where the largest market happens to be.

        It would be STUPID for GM to spend the $$ on tooling another factory to build the Envision when the plant in China has more than enough capacity to supply both the Chinese and US markets.

        It’s the same reason why it would be stupid for GM to spend the $$ to tool a factory in Korea to build the Impala (as the auto union in SKorea demanded) when GM has plenty of capacity in the US to export overseas.

        Now, if the Envision blew away GM’s sales projections and started selling well over 100k in the US – then, GM should consider tooling a US plant for production.

        People really b!tch and moan about things that they have little understanding about.

        Are you going to b!tch about Ford as Ford is planning to move Focus production to China (in this case, one can really blame the twitter-in-chief)?

        Did you b!tch about Ford sticking a crap Chinese-made transmission into the Mustang?

        • 0 avatar

          @bd2

          I believe the Chinese Fit was only sold in Canada. Hence the “Centre” spelling in the photo.

        • 0 avatar
          tonycd

          bd2, I will answer your comments:

          •RE Obama, I agree he has no blame for this. I thought I made that obvious.

          •I am well aware that GM and others have sourced Chinese components for some time. In fact, if you search this site, you will find I personally have ranted at least twice about GM’s “One World” initiative, of which DW speaks elsewhere in this thread (BTW, I find to my horror that I agree with him here).

          •Am I going to bitch that Ford is moving Focus production to China? Yes, although if you actually read my comments, you would understand I have less of a bone to pick with Ford because it didn’t take a U.S. taxpayer bailout and then do so.

          •Did I know the 2012 Fit was made in China? No, I didn’t. (Edit: I see Corey points out above that you didn’t know it either, since in the U.S. it didn’t happen.) Thank you for enlightening me on that, same as the other poster above who pointed out the same could be said of a Volvo. Although, once again, neither Volvo nor Honda took a U.S. government bailout either.

          •”things they have little understanding about”: I’ll leave it to our fellow readers to identify who you’re talking about.

        • 0 avatar
          threeer

          Yes and yes (as to your questions about the Focus and the Mustang). We’re so keen on price in this country that we’re happy to overlook the fact that trade with China is far, far, far from a fair and equitable deal. $300 billion+ each year goes out the door, we can’t 100% own any entity in China and are forced into lopsided JVs (usually with companies that have government ties), heaven-help-us tariffs if we “dare” to attempt to sell a product in China that was made in the US and are forced to hand over our intellectual property (if we don’t, it’s simply stolen). And yet any move to try to equalize is met with objections and accusations of not being “fair” to China. Look, I realize that much of the production that went to China is not coming back…at least for items like cell phones, computers and such. But I wonder what the true “cost” is to our country for all of this cheap(er) stuff coming from places like China.

        • 0 avatar
          Asdf

          It is STUPID for GM to sell Chinese crap in the US, because that only accelerates the race to the bottom for GM as well as the auto market in general (insofar as it sets a precedent for what it’s possible to get away with).

          Yes, it a bad idea for Ford to put a crap Chinese-made transmission in the Mustang, but it’s an even worse idea to build an entire car with crap Chinese-made parts, and even have the audacity to charge more than a bottom of the barrel price for it.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    That price is absolutely insane. Almost insulting to would be purchasers, in fact, it is insulting. Should be no more expensive than the TourX in my estimation. Im sure a lot of it has to do with positioning between certain vehicles, but in the end it makes absolutely no sense. At the $40k price point, there are so many options better than this.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      One question that comes to mind is “does anyone ever pay MSRP on one of these”?

      A while back I was idly shopping sedans, and I found that the vaguely interesting Buicks (“sedans with AWD and a V6”) all had fairly hefty piles of cash on the hoods at the local dealers.

      Like “$6-8k” piles of cash.

      • 0 avatar
        quaquaqua

        Yes, these sell closer to sticker than that. Which is why Buick doesn’t sell very many of these at all.

        It’s too softly sprung. Handles worse than an Equinox. But those are also overpriced for what they are. My parents drove an Envision, then went to a mid-spec Sorento because it was “more luxurious.” Yup, cheaper, faster, quieter, sportier, nicer, and built in the US too. And I say that as a GM fan. The Envision is just a misstep for this company.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          The Envision was clearly engineered for the Chinese market which prefers softer sprung vehicles – tho that probably appeals to the older Buick buyer.

          If the mid-spec Sorento is “more luxurious” – then the top of the line SX-L trim must be another thing altogether (esp. the refreshed version which has yet to hit the lots here).

      • 0 avatar
        jalop1991

        Regarding the “piles of cash on the hood” comment:

        out of the blue and unexpectedly, I spent 3-4 hours this past Saturday at the local Buick dealer, test driving the Envision extensively (I also drove the Acadia a bit).

        On the surface: nice car, nice size, nice feature set. (But built in China, so, sorry pal. But I digress.)

        The one I was interested in was the Premium II with everything on it, the highest trim level. Very nice car. I drove it around for like an hour and a half. So now comes the dealership GM to show me numbers.

        And he refused to show me numbers on the car I was very interested in. “No no, you don’t want that, here, let me show you the Preferred.” I’m dead serious. The reason: the Preferred had piles of cash on the hood. The Premium II? NONE. Zero. Zilch. And he did NOT want to talk to me about a car where he could not show me any “discounts”.

        Screw him.

        Now for the kicker. The price of the Premium II I liked was over FORTY NINE THOUSAND US DOLLARS. And NO discount. That was it. Period. Really?

        As we were talking, I eyeballed the Acadia on the showroom floor, in Denali trim–again, loaded up to the gills for $49K. VERY nice interior. If it’s the same price, I’d like to see how it drives. So they give me an Acadia to drive–

        –a lower trim model that looked like a low-rent whorehouse inside compared to the Denali trim. Again, the reason was IT WAS CHEAPER AND HAD CASH ON THE HOOD. These people didn’t know how to sell to someone who wants to spend money, or to someone who knows exactly what he wants.

        That whorehouse Acadia drove crappy, btw, compared to the Envision. I still wonder if the Denali would have driven better.

        SO: we have two US$49,000 cars here that GM thinks are worth 100% of that sticker price.

        The next day I found my way to a Toyota dealer that had a Highlander Limited Platinum with most everything on it. I drove it. Man, what a gorgeous ride, nice interior, etc. And guess what? A sticker of US$49,000.

        Now I’m getting texts from a couple of Toyota dealers indicating that they’ll be happy to sell me that car for about $3-4K off sticker, call it US$46-47K once it’s equipped to my liking.

        So I did some research. I can get a 2016 used Highlander with the same equipment level and 15K miles; it sells for about $3K less, or about $44K. Now for the punch line: a 2016, 16K mile Buick Envision Premium II is on Autotrader for US$32,000.

        The Toyota drops $3K, or 6% first-year depreciation. The Buick drops $17K or more, depending on how much more you can negotiate that price down. At $17K less than new, that’s almost a THIRTY-FIVE PERCENT depreciation in the first year.

        That Envision is probably worth only the $32K used price to begin with, frankly.

        That’s the real world, folks.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          Jalop, that’s what I ended up doing – going one state over for a used Premium ll. We drove 6 hours in a 2017 Escape SE and was really shocked how well the ride was. The Evision is very comfortable and quiet where the Escape was rough and loud. It had me thinking what Lincoln does to the MKC to separate it from the Escape roots. The brakes were very responsive and so was throttle tip-in and the transmsission, but the steering was a atrocious.

          This winter I was shopping Prem l brand new 2016 for $29-33K from the $43K MSRP or a GM Executive driven Prem ll with Driver Confidence package/panoroof roof for mid-$30’s($49,320 MSRP) with 3,000 miles and CPO. The latter was the best deal. We have 3,000 miles more and really enjoy it.

          My advice would to shop the discounts on the 2017 Premium l’s and then compare to 2016 CPO Premium ll: then ship it in. The only difference for 2017 Android Auto. With the 2017 Preferred and Essence holding the floor on dropping prices of Premium models, they will only drop with higher mile examples.

          At $30K for a Envision Premium l or ll, you won’t find more value and features compared to any one-year old cuv out there.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Or he could skip your moving-target brand loyalist tunnel vision, do the rational thing and buy the Toyota since it is equipped and priced the way he wants it and the dealers aren’t doing their best to chase him away.

            Apparently he can drive off with a brand new one for the same price as a year-old, so his first year depreciation is minimal without even trying, and that pattern vs. the Buick is going to hold in years 3, 5, 10…

            And it’s assembled here instead of China, which appears to be of some value to him.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            Welcome to the Toyota bubble. A 2016 Highlander Platinum on KBB dealer trade in with $)20K miles is $35,000ish, a car cry from almost $50,000.

            The inlaws recently a 2011 Camry where KBB always resulted in $2,000 less. The same day they bought a 2015 Buick Encore which KBB resulted in the same price they paid. Toyota bubble? Sure looks like it as the sheepeople are continually over paying for Toyota. Blame on the auctions companies, dealers, and banks as they fleece the public.

            Edmund’s has residuals on 12/36 lease the same for Envision, a Chevy Traverse, and a Highlander. But the Buick and Chevy are much less expensive to buy or lease.

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          Your Buick dealer is lying through their teeth. I just came from a GMC/Buick dealer located about an hour away and looked right at a 2017 brand new Ebony twilight metallic Envision AWD premium 2 with a sticker of $47775 on sale for 43999 or 3776 off. No hidden numbers or gimmicks. The price on the windshield is the price you pay period.

          They also had a new 2017 Essence AWD in the same color with a sticker of 41385 on sale for 37999.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        I just figure the $6-8K discount is built right into the pricing. And if the occasional idiot comes into the Buick store willing to pay the asking price – it’s party time!

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Funny how Tim can use cars.com for one article but when there is $10,000 off on a China made Buick….crickets. Agenda?

      Yes, this very cuv is $27-28K right now on cars. But if he was shopping late winter the 2016 Premium l were $33K.

  • avatar
    mcbacon

    What a terrible value for the money. Why does a “luxury” vehicle costing near 40 large not even offer the option of HID or LED headlamps? I can get them standard on cars that barely cost half as much! Articulating headlamps aren’t even an option either. If Buick wants to make the next great American couchmobile, great! The market is sorely lacking them; they’re not going to sell them well, though, and get conquest buyers unless they offer features that are competitive to the class.

  • avatar
    ranchero_collectivo

    I rented one of these things a month ago, and I did not like it one bit. Despite it being practically brand new when I took it out, the car seats squeaked and the dashboard creaked going over bumps, never mind the fact the infotainment system was glitchy, requiring a hard reset at one point when I was trying to stream music through Apple CarPlay.

    Furthermore on the topic of the build quality, when I drove through a rainstorm, water leaked between the driver’s side window and the tiny little window just behind the A-pillar. The leather seats were hard and cheap-feeling, as were the soft-touch (irony) plastics on the dashboard and door panels; I don’t know to explain exactly how, but they felt noticeably lower-grade than the materials in the Buick LaCrosse I rented a while back.

    I concur with the car being rather slow and unresponsive. However, I don’t agree with the evaluation of its ride quality. Maybe my standards are different, but I consider a “good ride” one that feels both smooth and controlled. Sure, the Envision may be smooth, but it’s also bouncy like an old RAV4 – made me kinda carsick at times.

    Of course, when I asked the rental counter how much its MSRP was, I went from merely disliking the car to outright hating it. $42 large for this mediocre P.O.S.? That’s Lexus or BMW crossover money!

    I further resent the fact that people are actually buying these awful things. I bet they just walked in, said they wanted a Buick SUV, and walked out after dropping upwards of $50k on probably the most underwhelming car available at that price range – only because it says Buick on the grille.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      There are quite a few brand new 2016 Envision Prem l on cars.com that list almost $9,000 below MSRP for $34,999. That is $10,000 less than a Lexus NX but offer more features. Not to mention the Buick twin-clutch AWD will send power to any single wheel while the others slip. Lexus NX and RX only send 50% power to the rear. The NX torque vectoring is brake based while the Envision does not brake the inside wheel in a turn but adds power to the outside.

      • 0 avatar
        ranchero_collectivo

        The one I drove was a 2.5L FWD model that was otherwise loaded, so I have no idea how good the AWD system is. This thing felt like it was barely worth $25k, not $35k.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          The $38K version tested here is $10K, right in line with your estimates of mid to upper $20’s. You can buy a smooth, quiet, refined, Japanese econobox cuv for that little.

  • avatar
    make_light

    I generally root for the underdog and as such tend to like Buick, but this is just inexcusable. It’s stupid and bloated looking, way overpriced, and the plastic surrounding the touchscreen looks horrendous. I can respect it’s mission of quiet comfort, no shame in that, but this is a big miss.

  • avatar
    Garrett

    Can’t we just sell off Buick to the Chinese and let GM put the money towards developing a car that I would begin to consider buying?

    • 0 avatar
      Middle-Aged Miata Man

      The irony is that Buick only continues to exist in the U.S. thanks to the Chinese, who view the brand as a bona fide U.S. luxury automaker.

      Kill Buick here – which is absolutely what should happen – and that cachet disappears in its largest market. GM can’t afford to do that.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    “That’s not a Buick!”

    “Thrat is a Bruick!”

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Overview
      Manufacturer Shanghai GM
      Production 2014–present
      Model years 2016–present (North America)
      Assembly China: SAIC GM Dong Yue Foundry, Yantai, Shandong
      Designer Jeasoo Kim[1]
      Body and chassis
      Class Compact crossover SUV [2][3]
      Body style 5-door crossover
      Layout Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive / All-wheel drive
      Platform D2XX/D2UX
      Powertrain
      Engine
      1.5 L LFV turbo gasoline I4 (China)
      2.0 L LTG turbo gasoline I4
      2.5 L LCV gasoline I4
      Transmission
      7-speed dual-clutch
      6-speed automatic
      Dimensions
      Wheelbase 2,750 mm (108.3 in)
      Length 4,667 mm (183.7 in)
      Width 1,804 mm (71.0 in)
      Height 1,659 mm (65.3 in)
      Curb weight 1,835 kg (4,045 lb)

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    “But 197 horsepower doesn’t feel like 197 horsepower when those horses are tasked with motivating 3,929 pounds, when power peaks at 6,300 rpm and 192 lb-ft of torque doesn’t peak until 4,400 rpm, when the six-speed automatic isn’t remotely interested in playful cooperation.”

    Ironically, the weight, power, and curves match a 1999 Sienna almost perfectly.

    I’ve driven one – my parents had one – and honestly it got out of its own way just fine; it’s just not a 911.

    It’s a small-to-midsize SUV; is not sportscar. 7.1 to 60 is perfectly respectable.

    (I wouldn’t buy one at that price, mind, but that’s a different question.)

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      7.1? That’s the 2.0T.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Wait until you CR’S emergency roadholding test results of the 2016 Envision Prem ll…55.5 mph. Or Macan and F-pace territory.

      Maybe it’s narrow and long chassis but it does very good when tossed from lane to labe. Hit the traction control button on the exit of an onramp and with throttle the radius is maintained as the speed is increased with the torque vectoring rear end.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    Isn’t the whole point of building in China that the vehicle will be cheaper and more competitively-priced? Or, am I missing something?

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Long gone are the days when GM will pass savings from $3.85 per hour (USD) wages, 50% lower One-World-Lowest-Chinese-Supplier-Bid prices, and savings from complete lack of health, safety and environmental regulations onto the consumer!

      “You bruy thris Bruick! You lrike it lrong time!”

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        The last time I checked most car manufacturers were pricing competitive offerings within what the market price of other companies are doing not what the manufacturing cost savings add up to. Have Volvo’s dropped in price since being taken over by a Chinese company? Has the Toyota Tacoma or Honda Fitt dropped in price since assembly moved to Mexico? How about the FCA products made there? Hmm no drops in price detected anywhere.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      Manufacturers don’t set their asking price based on manufacturing cost, at least not directly.

      There are many, many cases where the right* choice from the manufacturer’s standpoint is to hold the line on selling price and pocket the difference rather than pass it along to their customer.

      For example, if I had a lawnmowing business and my costs went down because the cost of fuel went down I would only lower my prices accordingly if the additional business that would result would make more money than keeping my price the same and just making more profit. I bet you would too.

      *most profitable

  • avatar
    Nellakwah

    The price & lack of features on this compared to an identically priced RDX is insane.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      But which one will have better ride/handling, exterior and interior materials/trim quality, more reputable components and parts suppliers, more advanced engineering, better reliability, durability, resale value, long-term satisfaction, etc?

      /sarc

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Even Michael Karesh from TrueDelta does not recommend the RDX anymore. It is getting old and outdated. It also lacks a proper AWD to compete with the Envision or BMW xDrive and offers no torque vectoring.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Dude, you are hilariously delusional when it comes to Buick. I’d actually wager money you somehow sell Buicks for a living or have some sort of bizarre autism-spectrum obsession with them, for whatever reason.

        I’m going to buy a Chinese-made and imported from China Buick Invrasion with the dog leather interior trim and donate it to The Trifecta Tune Charitable Foundation.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    Terrible.

    Let Buick compare it to the RDX and MKC, those models could use the boost in notoriety. When people drive the Buick and then one of them, Acura or Lincoln will get the sale. Not the biggest fan of either (or any crossover), but both are hands down better than this.

    There Are No Bad Cars
    Ladies and gentlemen, I give you a bad car. Slow, extremely/laughably over-priced, questionable quality, built in China. How much bad do you need?

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Uhm, the Envision is outselling the MKC – 25,432 to 15,594 YTD.

      The MKC may be superior to the Envision in a # of ways (tho, overall, a rather mediocre effort by Lincoln), but not in the most important category for US buyers (interior space).

      GM will soon have 2 CUVs in this segment with the upcoming Cadillac XT4 (which should be a lot better as it gets a powertrain, etc. suited for the US market).

      Figure that once the XT4 launches, GM will cut the price on the Envision.

      Regardless, combined sales of the XT4/Envision should leave the MKC sales in the dust.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      The MKC is too small in the back seating areas and the RDX is no longer recommended by Michael Karesh of Truedelta.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I know it’s 2017 and a stoooopid high percentage of the population wants it just because it’s a CUV-thingy but looking at the stats and the price…

    I would run (not walk) across the showroom and jump into the front seat of a Lacrosse.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      And jump right out of the Lacrosse. Well I would. It’s great looking car but that console that sweeps up to meet the dash makes it way too claustrophobic for me, so it would be a no go. Shame because otherwise I really like it.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Just goes to show that GM really hasn’t changed all that much, at least when it comes to setting MSRP. It’s the old game of setting the price absurdly high to shake out the schlubs. Then, once they’ve all parted with their money, it’s onto the yahoos that think they’re getting a bargain when all the rebates and incentives come into play, bringing the price down to where it should have been in the first place.

    Same old GM.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      What shlub is dumb enough to buy this when for substantially less, they can get the much better CX-5?

      Buick execs must live in Colorado and have been sky high to price this thing the way they did.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        The lowly Mazda CX-5 GT AWD with tech goodies can push $32,000! Mazda can as they don’t have a Cadillac or GMC to deal with like Buick.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          LOL…you can pick up a CX-5 for around $25,000 around here.

          Here’s one.

          https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/698336743/overview/

          Zero chance I’d take the Buick over this.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            That CX-5 is a stripper with cloth seats and the windows are not even tinted! Not a loaded GT with AWD.

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    When will you start the Buick death watch?

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    Does GM use more Chinese suppliers for the parts to build the Envision? It would make sense to source the parts locally (China) to avoid shipping parts around the globe, no?

  • avatar
    jack4x

    Amazing contrast between this article and the one just above with the new lower entry point for the Tahoe. With only a few thousand $ separating arguably the best of GM from almost certainly the worst, they must really be counting on the Buick badge to drive sales. Or incentives. Or ??????

  • avatar
    dwford

    This poor Buick shares the showroom with the bigger GMC Acadia and now the Regal TourX. Both are cheaper, larger, and have better provenance. The Envision pricing just shows that GM continues to price for prestige they hope to have, not the actual value of the cars.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      This discount to $27-28K as found on cars.com will be a better ride, quieter, and smoother than those gussied up $20,000 cuv’s from Toyota, Honda, and Subaru that can exceed $30,000.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        How about reliability and resale? Against my usual practices (I normally keep cars 10-12 years/250k miles), I find myself possibly trading in my Outback for one with all the safety bells and whistles since my kid will be taking it over. I’m pleasantly impressed at how much value a 4-year-old 100k Subaru retains….

  • avatar
    klossfam

    I rented one in FWD guise for a WEEK in FL in April…Honestly, as a FL Senior Cruiser it is great…BUT at the price – even when they get the BIG GM Corp discounts – who would buy this thing? Our 2.5L non-turbo did return 28 mpg on a FL flat lands road trip and was vault quiet as noted.

    We drove around all week thinking of all the other vehicles you could have for the price…Including the 800 lb gorilla in the room: The Acura RDX

    Also, it had a real funky made in China smell (worst than last gen Kias had with their Korean plastic stank)

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      The RDX doesn’t offer the refinement of the Buick.. it is one reason why Buick outsells Acura every year. The RDX is basically a CR-V with a V6 and nicer materials.

      • 0 avatar
        klossfam

        Believe me, now that I’ve driven both, I’d still MUCH rather have a RDX…The usually silky Honda V6 in the RDX SMOKES the 2.5 in the Buick for refinement & everything else(Buick just stuffs a lot of acoustic materials in the Envision so you don’t have to hear the 4-banger)…I’ve driven the new CR-V in Touring guise and it is still a ways away from the RDX for refinement…

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Really nice photography, Tim. That sunset picture is so gorgeous that it almost imbues this overpriced baloney wagon with some measure of likeability.

    A certain commenter is NOT pleased with this review and is preparing to rain Trifecta vengeance upon us all, so I’d clear out if I were you. He carpet-bombed the comment thread of C&D’s review.

    Anyway, the inert handling, lack of power, and soft ride are all well and good for what I imagine is the aging target audience of this vehicle. But that pricing is just nuts. And already discounted. It’s like GM prices vehicles the way President Trump tweets–you know not to take it literally and must then take a general stab at what the intent is.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      …then I bought one.

      You won’t find more equipped 1-year old cuv for the money today than a 2016 Envision Premium, period.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Of course you bought one. It’s GM, you’d buy it even if it had a built in aerosol mister that sprayed tuberculosis in your face at every start up.

        Then you’d come back here gloating “Envision has TB mister standard. Won’t find that on Acura RDX! My lungs love their new friends, they felt so empty before”

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    “a smaller, less powerful, China-made Buick with cloth seats, no sunroof, blank switches at the front of the center console, and no advanced safety gear?”

    THIS is why Buick is not a luxury nor premium brand. 100% plebeian.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    I kinda feel that TTAC should maybe, somehow, try to show the average actual transaction price or something, as I’ve started noticing lately (not just on this vehicle) we get a lot of MSRP reporting while we all know that the ATP is somewhere massively below that.

    We can argue all day about GM’s overpricing cars then piling on the rebates (sounds a lot like 2001-2008 to me, and we know how that ended) vs setting a more realistic price from the start, but the bigger thing is actual transaction prices would surely let the B&B better judge a vehicle than the MSRP.

    This is example A. At 38 large, it’s an epic fail. If the ATP is more like 28k, suddenly this thing looks much more competitive.

    Possible to do TTAC?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I was thinking that as well, because I’m sure NO ONE pays sticker on this car.

      Not sure how that’d work, though…

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Tim quoted discounted Outbacks in a previous article, but when it comes to $10,000 a 2017 Envision on cars.com he is mum. Savy shoppers know better.

      Besides who has not seen +15% off MSRP Buick ads?!

  • avatar
    2012JKU

    This will be a better used car buy. Probably worth 50% of the purchase price in 2 years.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      No “probably” about it.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      From Edmund’s 12/36 leases:

      RDX 62%
      NX 61%
      Envision 60%
      MKC 59%

      The Envision has $1,500-2,500 in conquest and competitor lease cash incentive. Combine this with al mm ost $10,000 off MSRP and residuals are +80% or so.

      • 0 avatar
        jalop1991

        “The Envision has $1,500-2,500 in conquest and competitor lease cash incentive. Combine this with al mm ost $10,000 off MSRP and residuals are +80% or so.”

        See my story above.

        No incentives. No cash on the hood. And a real life first-year depreciation of 35%.

        Those are the stone cold facts.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          Jalop, as mentioned here multiple times no pays MSRP for a domestic, unlike a japane6owner who gets giddy with a couple of thousand off msrp.. Prices set by dealers and their costs to own and as Baruth has mentioned that prices are determined by volume they sell. More they sell the lower their costs.

          Might want to search multiple dealers in your area. Or do like wife’s 81 year old uncle when buying 2017 Escape print off the internet deal from across the country try and save additional $2,500 locally.

          • 0 avatar
            jalop1991

            The dealer’s used pricing tells all. A Toyota dealer asks 6% less than new for one year old 15K miles; a Buick dealer asks 35% less than new for one year old, 16K miles.

            Those are the ASKING prices for 1 year used. I assume they’re both negotiable–which means that while I would pay less than asking for the Toyota, I will also pay less than asking for the Envision.

            For grins, let’s assume that’s not the case. Let’s say the Toyota is way overpriced at $43K, and I can get that way down. Will it come down to $32K? Is the Buick priced fairly at $32K?

            We all know the answer to those questions is NO. The toyota might come down a little, but so will the Buick.

            The asking prices for the one year used models tells all about the value in the market. GM doesn’t set those asking prices; there’s no universal sticker price for used cars. The market says what it wants to buy for how much money, and the dealership sets the used cars prices. They want to move cars, not keep up some mythical sticker price.

            And the dealers paid WAY less for that Buick on trade, or at auction, than they did the Toyota. The market sets the price.

            That’s not a Toyota bubble. It’s simply a reflection of what the market will bear.

            You say that “no one pays MSRP for a domestic”. I get it–but why did this Herb Tarlek of a sales manager do his dead level best to tell me that I didn’t want a car he couldn’t make a deal on? Not just one car, but TWO cars–the Envision and the Acadia?

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            Jalop, your theory doesn’t hold when $50,000 2016 Highlander is $32K with 5,000 miles.

            https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/706760082/overview/

          • 0 avatar
            jalop1991

            Norm, in reference to that $30K 2016 Highlander Limited Platinum you mention:

            do you know what a “branded title” is?

            Because they don’t hide it. It’s right there in the description of the car on their web site:

            “They don’t come much fresher than this! This stunning branded title Highlander…”

            In case you don’t know, and for our gentle readers:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle_title_branding

            So no, the year old Highlander is NOT $30K. A totalled year old Highlander that has been “repaired” and put on some random used car lot may have an asking price of $30K, but that has nothing to do with reality.

            The reality is, the year old Buick that originally stickered for $49K, the one that the dealer had no cash on the hood for–16K miles, clear title, eligible for GM certification–is on the lot for an asking price of $32K.

            The year old Highlander, same specs, is asking $43K.

            That tells you what the real value of the Buick is, and how far GM has its head up its behind with respect to their sticker price.

            How much do you think a branded title Envision would be on the lot for, hmmmm? Or would it even be on the lot at ALL?

            Maybe you should look a bit closer before yoiu advise people to spend their hard earned money.

            BTW, there are MANY, MANY lots in the world that specialize in selling branded title cars.

            When you see something like this at cars.com or on autotrader, the price is your first clue. Eventually you get to know where these dealers cluster. Chicago is a good example.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            The $32K 2016 is a Premium l listing for $43K, not $49K Premium ll. That is no miles and $10,000 than a Lexus NX with less features.

            Even the lowly Prem l offers tri-zone climate control amount other option not offered on a Lexus NX, not to mention a lowly Highlander Platinum.

            You should compare to KBB and NADA for used prices. You’ll be shocked to see much the Highlander is really worth in just one year. I see $32K new and $28K used or a $4,000 drop for the Envision and $44K or $37K used or $7,000.

            So tell me again about excellent Toyota residuals?

  • avatar
    Freddie

    I’m sure that numerous PhD dissertations have been written about the powerful psychology of an iconic brand name – even one that is living off of past glories and is shamelessly exploited to sell inferior products.

    • 0 avatar
      Truckducken

      I guess there are still a few midwestern WWII/Korea vets or UAW alums who simply wouldn’t consider anything else. But most of the target buyers for this sorry-ass product are already pushing up daisies. I kind of get the pricing strategy, though. Since a product this inferior isn’t going to do any volume, the few folks who want it must have an irrational attraction, and hence can be deluded into paying a premium. The good news is that this heap is unlikely to initiate a stampede toward Chinese-made cars.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        No, I don’t think will either. It should be interesting to see how it does in the first 90-days in J.D. Power Appeal survey.

        http://www.jdpower.com/cars/articles/new-car-reviews/powersteering-2017-buick-envision-review

        Subaru and Mazda cuv’s have faired well recently.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    “With this Bruick, arr your money are berong to us! American so
    gurrabrle!”

    And Ford gets worse next year!

    SMH!

  • avatar
    ajla

    There is no way the Emperor of China would drive this sh*t.

  • avatar
    MWolf

    I can’t imagine dumping close to $40k on this. It has to be discounted. I can get a nice ride and interior room in something else. I can get more features at a better MSRP. Not to mention better looking with a better interior. I would rather buy an Equinox at that price. At least it would be nicely optioned and look better.

    The made in China thing is a sore spot for many, but that’s where this thing sells. Ford doing it with the Focus isn’t a surprise. Want it made here? Buy it.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      We still have our 2015 GMC Terrain SLT as it comes up on lease end with 45,000 miles. It’s tires are getting close to lease turn-in minimum and doesn’t ride like it has new tires.

      So after the better half drove the 2016 Envision for the day while I did the last oil change on the Terrain, she got back in the Terrain wondered what I did to it to make it ride so rough and noisy. The Envision is like new and rides lime a Buick, not a GMC. But the prices were very similar.

      She does say her GMC was the best car she has every owned. That is coming from Scion xB, Legacy, and the oil consuming Forester. She is seeing the light now! :)

      • 0 avatar
        jalop1991

        “She does say her GMC was the best car she has every owned. That is coming from Scion xB, Legacy, and the oil consuming Forester. She is seeing the light now! :)”

        She can’t do math, can she.

        Or is it that you do the family finances, spin them to her the way you want, and she blindly believes you?

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          The Terrain and Equinox are still ranked high for their roominess and value as GM has updated them through the years. Where the Japanese have had two or more revisions or makeovers to remain competitive

          So there are new Terrain and Equinox’s out now.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    It’s laughable that Der Trumpenfuhrer makes a big deal if autos production going to Mexico yet not a peep or tweet about US based brands bringing in cars from China. Chinese imports are a huge threat to American jobs.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Why do “premium” American brands continually put low-tech, low-power, low-refinement 4 cylinder motors in their base models? Why do “premium” American brands continually put “yestertech” 6 speed transmissions in their base models? Why do the “premium” American brands continually put cheap interiors into their base models? Have they forgotten that “premium” vehicles should actually be “premium” in features and content?

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      You can’t buy a $28,000 Premium CR-V, Rav4, CX-5, or Forester. This demographic is like the demographic here, they don’t want it but would rather drive, turn, and brake themselves. Those tech/safety add ons on a Forester or CX-5 pushing the price upscale as they don’t have a Acura or Lexus above them.

      Plus all the safety talk is marketing fluff as the annoyance will over shadow their effectiness. Especially when people over ride them and shut them off.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    My guess is that GM isn’t all that serious about this model (thus the silly pricing) and is using it to figure out the logistics of importing stuff from China.

    And I’m sure that they’ll do some kind of giveaway on it, like they’re doing with the Encore.

    Believe it or not, though, this thing has sold 40,000+ copies. I’d love to see how much of that is ending up at Avis.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      While the inlaws were shopping two cars they drove the RAV4 and thought it was not refined enough but that is the case when you stretch the height and do not sound deaden the extra steel.

      So we shopped Buick Encore’s new and used. There were some targeted deals in the Midwest for $19,000 FWD which was almost $10,000 MSRP. But they wanted AWD from a vehicle that is in high demand more than sedans these days. Smoking deals just not transferable out of their state.

  • avatar
    JRoth

    The last car I was in that had blank switches was… oh yeah, a Panamera. Surprisingly it didn’t lead me to question its luxury credentials (although it did lead me to wonder what possible additional frills had been left out—the thing was tricked out).

    So maybe Tim should lean a little less heavily on this supposedly damning (non)feature?

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    My wife’s 80 year old godmother (who I’ve become quite close to) just bought one of these. I broke her heart when I told her were it was made.

  • avatar
    legacygt

    Chinese manufacturing has been able to undercut the world in just about every possible area. Then why is it that GM chooses to utilize Chinese production for an overpriced mid-sized SUV that few will buy? Wouldn’t they be wiser to bring over something like a Chevy Spark for under $10K? They could have completely shaken up the market and dominated a segment with the cheap manufacturing avaialble in China. Instead they chose to go with this. I know. The Envision was designed for China and was available so why not? I guess you can rationalize it but the sales numbers and deep discounts tell the story.


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