It boggles the mind to think that $40,000 is no longer a considerable amount of money in the car business. At the same time, there are probably more than a hundred different vehicles to choose from if this is your budget. And if you’re in the market for a utility vehicle, you’ve never had more choice.
According to every manufacturer, they offer the best this, largest that, most of something and all of this rolled into the greatest value proposition possible. Thing is some are right, many are wrong. And depending on your affinities, the vehicle’s brand carries much of that perceived value.
Buick. Ah, Buick. They, like Acura, are the automotive grey zone where luxury isn’t and is at the same time. Buick makes some fine products but the tested Envision, as good, smooth, quiet and comfortable as it was, could never in my mind be worth the $40k+ asking price. When stacked against GM’s own $30k 2018 Chevy Equinox LT AWD or Mazda’s 2017 CX-5 GX AWD, other than some equipment, I cannot exactly figure out where the other $10k go, or what they bring. For said $40k, both the aforementioned vehicles are better kitted, packed with way more technology and value…
Despite this, the Buick’s 197-horsepower 2.5L 4-cylinder, 6-speed automatic transmission and AWD are more than adequate for this application. The ride quality is excellent, with decent handling and cosseting damping. Returned fuel consumption was far from stellar but still acceptable at roughly 11L/100 km.
Onboard, the dash layout is simple and generally functional. The front seats are soft and fairly cozy but I don’t get why only the driver’s window has the express up/down feature. As well, the “A” pillars are fairly large and can hamper visibility. Buick’s Intellilink works just as smartly as Chevy’s MyLink and overall room and comfort are very good for four passengers.
The Envision excels at nothing but, by the same token, cannot be faulted for anything in particular, other than being a Buick. If you’re in the market for a $40,000 crossover, might I recommend you dive nose-first into the sea of SUVs?