Just last year, Buick shared its vision of the future with the very attractive Wildcat concept, complete with sleek lines and attractive angles not typically associated with the brand. It wasn’t long before the automaker unveiled the first of its vehicles to carry Wildcat’s design language: The Envista, which was destined for China. The tri-shield brand did later set the scene for the when the crossover may arrive on U.S. soil. That time is now, and it comes in at quite an affordable price point.
In case you missed it:
- These Automakers’ Eras of Car Design Were the Greatest of All Time
- Ducati SportClassic, Yenko Camaro, Ford Surveillance Van: The Dopest Cars I Found for Sale Online
- The Largest Land Vehicles Ever Built
Buick’s U.S.-bound Envista will start at $23,495 with the automaker’s Preferred base trim. That price point makes it the most affordable darling in the Buick lineup, coming in around $2,000 less than Buick’s current smallest crossover offering, the Encore GX (which starts at $26,000). The coupe-styled crossover will also be available in a Sport Touring (ST) trim and Buick’s top-tier trim, Avenir. Expect it to crest the $30,000 mark fully loaded.
Envista Preferred comes standard with a flat-bottomed steering wheel and leatherette seats made from recycled fibers. The gauge cluster is incorporated in one of two infotainment screens, stretching across the dash for a combined 19 inches, which Buick claims is the largest in the segment. Also standard is Buick’s Driver Confidence package with safety features such as Lane Keep Assist, Lane Departure Warning, IntelliBeam auto high-beams, and a high-definition rear vision camera.
Other driver assistant technologies like Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are optional.
Envista’s Sport Touring or ST trim is a looks-only sport package. Differentiating this trim from the Preferred and Avenir packages are gloss-black accents found on the grille and standard 18-inch wheels, along with contrast stitching in Santorini Blue, and “ST” embroidered into the headrests. Optional for ST is a Watts Link suspension system, which Buick claims provides a quieter ride (and I can say firsthand this is true, having driven the Encore GX equipped with that same suspension).
That same Watts Link suspension system comes standard on Envista’s top-level Avenir trim. Avenir sports larger, 19-inch wheels in Bespoke Pearl Nickel, along with premium perforated seats with a quilted design specific to Avenir, and the Avenir name embroidered into the headrest.
Under the hood for all model trims is Buick’s 1.2-liter turbocharged I3 engine producing 136 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. It’s considerably smaller than the 1.5-liter turbo powering China’s version of the Envista that was rated for an additional 45 horses. According to Buick’s engineers, this 1.2L is a lighter and more efficient version than previous iterations of the engine which will help with power output and efficiency. That power is pushed to the front wheels only — unlike most of the marque’s crossover lineup that does offer an all-wheel drive as standard or option. That said, GM’s estimated mpg for Envista is 28 city, 32 highway and 30 combined.
It wasn’t long ago that Buick announced its commitment to an all-EV lineup by the year 2030. So, four months into 2023, it might come as a surprise for Buick to reveal anything but an EV. But, Duncan Aldred, Vice President of Buick, GMC says that 2030 is still several years away, and the internal combustion products introduced now will be near the end of their product life cycles by the end of the decade.
“... It takes time to get things like chargers [to] even be able to prepare and deliver a vehicle. These aren’t things you can just order one day [and] get installed the next,” Aldred said. “There is a going to be a period of time to get our dealers ready and get the infrastructure ready, ... and to get the customer ready as well, from an education point of view. So we’re going to remain really, really strong in the combustion engine space through the remainder of this decade.”
There is an EV coming though, expected as one of the four additional vehicle reveals Buick has planned in the next 18 months. Count on the rest being gasoline-powered vehicles, though.
While sedans and cars have all but died for America’s big three, the Buick Envista’s crossover looks to be a marriage of the two, and could very well make for an affordable alternative for those looking for a more sedan-like vehicle. It’s also not often a new car comes to market with a starting price well under $30,000.
The 2024 Buick Envista will be available for sale this summer with production slated to begin next month.