Half of all Buick sales are crossover vehicles. It currently sells the large, 7 passenger Enclave and the compact 5 passenger Encore, but will add a new 5 passenger model called the Envision in 2016. The new car will slot between the two existing models in size. It is 15″ longer than the Encore but 20″ shorter than the Enclave and weighs just over 4,000 lbs. Designed in the US, the Envision is manufactured in Yantai, China and will be imported. Only one other car built in China is currently sold in America, the long wheel base Volvo S60 Inscription.
The Envision is a thoroughly modern design with the traditional Buick waterfall grille and sweptback headlights. It features heavily sculpted flanks that are very much in keeping with current styling trends. It is powered by a 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine with 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. Power is fed to all four wheels via a six speed automatic transmission. Active front grille shutters help reduce aerodynamic drag for better fuel economy. The AWD system is the same twin clutch design offered in the 2017 Buick LaCrosse and 2017 Cadillac XT5.
According to Automobile Magazine, the second row seat can slide forward or back and has a 60/40 split backrest. Cargo room is 27 cubic feet with the seatbacks up and 57 cubic feet with the seatbacks folded forward. As befits a Buick, the interior is fully trimmed with wood inserts, a digital instrument panel, and a large central touchscreen. Other features include a noise cancellation system, lane keeping assistance, 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.
The Buick Envision will compete with other luxury crossover vehicles like the Acura RDX, Audi Q5, and Lincoln MKX. Prices and other specifications will be announced next year as the US on sale date gets closer.