Meh Car Monday: Envision Ennui With The Buick Envision

Sometimes I feel like Meh Car Mondays unfairly picks on some key Meh-eras of the past: the famous Malaise Era, the bland optimism of the 1990s, that sort of thing. To mix it up a bit, I wanted to pick a meh car that you, the meh car enthusiast, could go out and buy new today. And I found one: the gloriously meh Buick Envision.

When you see a Buick Envision on the road, there’s a really good chance you’re actually seeing a Buick Enclave or maybe even one of the second Enclave Buick is selling or perhaps even the Buick Encore, or maybe just almost any other mid-size SUV made by almost anyone, anywhere.


Don’t believe me? Here, look at the Envision:

Oh, crap, wait, no, that’s an Encore. Sorry, I mean an Enclave. Let’s try again:


There we go, that’s an Envision. You can tell it from the Enclave because it has what professional automobile designers call “some slight differences, of some kind.” Also, it’s a little smaller.

Buick is really committed to an SUV lineup that NASA is probably using as a crucial inductive component in their astronaut hibernation experiments. Just look at what they’re selling:


Holy crap, those are some boring-ass SUVs, and to stand out by really not standing out in the already bland market of SUVs is a truly remarkable achievement of unremarkability. And, even in this snoozetabulous lineup, the Envision somehow manages to be the most-least noticeable of them all.

Until you saw this headline, did you even remember that the Envision existed? Full disclosure, I forgot about it while I was typing that last sentence, and didn’t remember it again until I was trying to decide what word should go after the “the” in that sentence.


The Envision has one notable trait, and that’s that it is the first GM product to be sold in America that’s built in China, the magical land on the other side of the globe that somehow still gives a shit about Buick.


Like I say almost every time, a meh car isn’t a bad car, as such, and the Enclave—sorry, Encore—wait, no, Envision, is, you know, good enough. It’s comfortable, safe, and you can get a FWD one with a 2.5-liter four making a just-fine 197 horsepower, or an all-wheel drive one with a turbo 2-liter making 252 HP. Like just about any other $30-$40,000 SUV you can buy today, it has a six-speed automatic and pretty much zero technical novelty or interest.

In case you think I’m a miserable snob who’s picking on the Envision unfairly, let me just give you a list of adjectives and phrases I pulled out of this review from our pals over at Car and Driver:

Bland, overlook, generic, ‘fades into scenery,’ ‘devoid of visual character,’ obedient, forgettable, unobtrusive, disappointing


That’s from one short review.

Buick’s ad agency had its work cut out for it trying to advertise this 4,000-pound suppository of soporifics, and what they came up with shows that they, really, came up with nothing:

The three most notable things about this ad are as follows:

• Some people think the grandma in the ad is Diane Keaton, but it’s not

• The ad’s main feature about the car (foot-actuated tailgate) is something Ford’s had since 2012


• The ad is one of the few on television that shows the face of a man imagining his grandma boning a guy he’s currently being embraced by:


That, right there, is the most exciting and interesting feeling Buick’s crack ad agency could come up with to associate with the Envision: the expected but still slightly uncomfortable realization that your grandmother still possesses some sort of sex drive.

No actual human is capable of wanting a Buick Envision. The vast majority of humans don’t even realize the car exists, and even those that do will probably mistake them for one of those other boring-ass Buick SUVs at some point.


What was I writing about? The Buick Enliven? The Entrapment? The Envelope? Screw it.

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About the author

Jason Torchinsky

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)