The Chinese-market Buick Envista is coming to the U.S. as the brand’s SUV lineup gathers momentum despite the loss of the Buick Encore. While Buick enjoys an association to sedans favored by older drivers in the U.S. — and the awesome Regal TourX wagon — the GM automaker has phased out sedans and embraced SUVs and crossovers. Buick is bringing the Envista to the U.S. next year, where it’ll slot between the Buick Encore GX and Envision, according to Automotive News.
General Motors president Mark Reuss confirmed the Envista’s upcoming arrival to the U.S. during GM’s Investor Day presentations, adding that the sleek SUV will make a “a beautiful addition to the Buick lineup.” The Envista is one of the first models to adopt the design language showcased by the Buick Wildcat EV concept. The resemblance is plain, which could mean that the Wildcat EV coupé could go to production in some form other than as an SUV or crossover. I hope.
But the Envista is neither fully-electric, nor partially electrified. The compact Envista uses a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 181 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a chain-driven CVT, and the little SUV will get up to a claimed 36 miles per gallon (WLTC). It seems like an efficient engine, but the choice is surprising given that Buick is planning to switch to EVs entirely in the next few years. This could even be the last ICE-powered car that Buick adds to its U.S. lineup, per Auto News.
The compact SUV is a product of the Chinese and American joint venture SAIC-GM and was first released on the Chinese market in August. The Envista is also sold there as the Envista GX, which features styling upgrades and nicer interior. The GX designation is still around in the U.S. on the Encore GX, so it’s unclear if the name will carry over for the Envista as well.
Either way, the Envista is coming to the U.S. shortly after production starts in South Korea sometime around the middle of 2023. There’s no word on pricing for the U.S. yet, but the Buick Envista starts at ¥152,900 in China, or $21,352 based on current exchange rates.