2016 Buick Envision Five-Passenger Crossover Reaches U.S. Next Year
Chinese-built model fits between Encore and Enclave.
It's official: The Buick Envision crossover is coming to American dealerships. Already revealed in China, the stylish five-passenger crossover will launch in the U.S. in 2016. Though Buick says the Envision was engineered and developed in the U.S., even models sold here will be produced in Yantai, China. That will make the Envision only the second Chinese-built car to be sold in the U.S., alongside the Volvo S60 Inscription.
The design of the 2016 Buick Envision doesn't deviate too far from the Chinese model, with the expected modern Buick design cues like a waterfall front grille, swept-back headlights, large chrome 19-inch wheels, and LED running lights. Much smaller than the three-row Enclave, the 2016 Buick Envision has a somewhat sporty shape, with flared front fenders, a shoulder line that runs through the car's door handles, and a roof spoiler above the sloped rear window.
At 183.7 inches long on a 107.9-inch wheelbase, the Envision fits perfectly between the small Encore crossover (168.4 inches long) and the three-row Enclave (201.9). With high-strength steels and an aluminum hood, the Envision tips the scales at 4,047 lb.
Mechanically, the 2016 Buick Envision employs a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine good for 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, with a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. Active front grille shutters help reduce aerodynamic drag for better fuel economy. The front suspension uses the anti-torque-steer HiPer Strut design found on cars like the Buick Regal GS, and the AWD system is the same twin-clutch design as offered in the 2017 Buick LaCrosse and 2017 Cadillac XT5.
The inside of the 2016 Buick Envision is typical Buick fare, with grained plastic trim pieces, wood inserts, a fully-digital instrument cluster behind a three-spoke steering wheel, and a large touchscreen infotainment system atop the center stack. The second row of seats slides fore and aft, and folds with a 60/40 split to increase trunk space. Cargo room measures 26.9 cubic feet with the seats up and 57.3 with them folded.
As befits a car that Buick intends to take on luxury models like the Acura RDX, Audi Q5, and Lincoln MKX, the Envision comes standard with plentiful high-end equipment: Active noise cancellation, lane-keep assist, remote start, power front seats, heated front and rear seats, cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel, and a Bose sound system. Options include 4G LTE wireless connectivity, a 360-degree camera system, self-park, and a panoramic sunroof.
Crossover models -- the Encore and Enclave -- already account for more than half of all U.S. Buick sales, and adding a midsize model should allow Buick to lure in shoppers who find the Encore too cramped and the Enclave too large. Expect more specifics on the 2016 Buick Envision, including pricing and fuel economy figures, early next year.