In 2016, Buick introduced the Envision, a luxury compact crossover with segment-challenging driving dynamics, advanced technology, connectivity, and the company’s trademark acoustics. Excited for our first drive, Buick graciously offered Destination Luxury the Envision for a ride through the desert. For 2017, the car features the automotive giant’s QuietTuning technology for an extremely quiet cabin paired with connectivity features like Apple CarPlay and 4G WiFi, exceptional ride and handling, and a sculptural, flowing design. The vehicle also includes features like front automatic braking, lane keep assistance and lane departure warning, a forward collision alert, safety alert seat (seat-buzzer), and more.
The 2017 model year will introduce the chili red exterior and Teen Driver technology that will allow parents to set controls, review driving habits, and encourage overall safe driving.
We asked the Buick team to chat about some of their latest features. Here’s what they had to say:
- The 2017 Envision earned a five-star overall vehicle score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) best possible rating, a 2016 IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (TSP+) when equipped with optional front crash prevention.
- The 2.0L turbo engine that is standard on the premium version of the Envision that Destination Luxury drove features smooth, seamless stop/start technology (you may have noticed this – the engine turns off when the vehicle is at a full stop and then turns back on when you start up again) for enhanced efficiency in city driving.
- Surround Vision creates a bird’s-eye view of the Envision and its immediate surroundings using cameras on all four sides. This helps the driver maneuver into parking spots or other tight spaces.
- Envision rounds out Buick’s stable of SUVs – other models are the Enclave (which is larger) and the Encore (which is smaller). The car company sold 133,000 SUVs in the US in 2016, more than any year in Buick history.
The car comfortably seats four passengers for longer rides, and five passengers for shorter distances. Aside of the driver, all our passengers comfortably slept during the Vegas car ride. The design of the car is fluid. In fact, the car maintained its red shimmer when we arrived in Las Vegas. “The Envision represents a compromise-free design that enabled the development team to do the things luxury customers appreciate,” said Judy Brennan, chief engineer. “Our attention to detail yielded tremendous strength and stiffness of the platform, which is evident in exceptional ride and handling characteristics.”
The clean-sheet design and stiff structure helped eliminate an estimated 22 pounds (10 kg) of add-on material to create whisper-quiet interior acoustics. And while those attributes lie beneath the Envision’s skin, the skin itself is instantly recognizable as a Buick crossover with contemporary proportions, flowing lines and detailed surface features. “There is tension in the Envision’s design that reflects elegant athleticism, rendering a planted stance that enhances driver confidence,” says Bryan Nesbitt, Global Executive Director of Design.
“It’s dynamic and youthful, with features that support the vehicle’s technologically advanced ambiance.” Envision features Buick’s signature winged headlamps and standard heated outside mirrors with LED turn signal indicators. Articulating Xenon high-intensity discharge headlamps are available. Dynamic passenger environment The Envision’s interior features a “floating,” wraparound instrument panel sweeps into the door panels, for a flowing, organic and inviting appearance that complements the exterior. “To put it simply, the Envision’s cabin combines beauty with innovation,” said Nesbitt. “It telegraphs dynamism like nothing else in the segment. Everywhere you touch is a stitched, soft surface. Everything you touch is designed for intuitive, effortless functionality.” The large center console storage bin features damped dual wing-type doors that provide easier, less-obstructed access and allow the driver or passengers – even those in the rear – to access the storage bin without disturbing the other.