A few accents, trimmed taillights and headlight upgrades might suggest that the 2019 Buick Envision is not keeping up with the rest of Buick's crossover SUV line. Not so. There are important updates to the powertrain. And to the luxuries in the name of comfort and ease of operation. Including a spacious wireless charging station to some very intelligent cruise control changes. The 2019 Buick Envision shouldn't be overlooked just because first impressions aren't that different from the previous few years. Besides, the price has dropped.
What powertrain and mechanical changes are hidden beneath the mostly unchanged exterior?
With the introduction of a nine-speed automatic transmission which can handle a bit more torque, the engine choices have been updated. Buyers can stay with a 2.5-liter four with a six-speed automatic transmission and optional AWD. They can also choose the 2.0-liter turbo four which, celebrating a new nine-speed automatic, has been given 35 lb-ft more torque, 295 total. Horsepower is still 252. The turbo choice also includes the option of a twin-clutch active AWD system. There are other incidental updates such as a switch to deactivate the engine stop/start function when desired, a brake booster and an indicator which allows quick tire fills without searching the glovebox for a gauge.
What has changed on the exterior? Anything notable?
The front features an update to the grille in keeping with the current Buick design standards and HID lights for regular engines, LED for turbo. In the rear, the taillights were trimmed and updated a bit.
How has the interior changed?
Improved seat heaters, an air ionizer, the wireless charging center are added to a bunch of other standard and optional features such as a 110-volt power outlet, four USB outlets and 8-way power heated seats. In the case of the seats, improvements have been made to the heating for 2019, and there are surely other tweaks in this revision.
What features will the driver notice at first glance?
If the turbo engine is pulling the Envision, about a third of a second improvement in the zero to sixty time should be seen, and a switch from adaptive to regular cruise control which helps when sensors get muddy and the system gets irritable. The wireless-charging slot in the center will be welcome by most drivers as a quick way to get organized with phone power.
Once underway, is there anything the occupants will be commenting on in the 2019 Buick Envision?
Quiet, for one thing. The Envision features Buick Quiettuning which has active noise cancellation, reducing even further any noise and vibration which makes it into the cabin. Heated rear seats are available, and at the Premium II trim level they are made of comfortable, quality leather.
How are the infotainment and sound systems?
The Envision has a Bose sound system and Buick's standard infotainment systemwith satellite radio, Apple and Android connectivity, phone integration and 4G LTE hotspot available. Choose the navigation system and family link and use the myBuick app to remote start or check tire pressure if the vehicle is properly equipped.
Is the 2019 Envision a good family and road trip vehicle?
It's comfortable, with reclining rear seats which split-fold when needed, a variety of climate control options up to three-way, heated and ventilated front seats and active suspension features which provide a smooth ride under diverse conditions. The infotainment system provides quality music, and the noise reduction system keeps road and vehicle noise down to keep road stress to a minimum. There is plenty of legroom for adults up to at least six feet, even in the back.
Is there likely to be a major refresh of the Envision soon, or is it a good time to buy?
These updates bring the Envision into line with other models in Buick's SUV series and provide a bit more pep and refinement as well as a nine-speed automatic for buyers of the turbo option. With a focus on luxury and comfort plus a reduction in the 2019 price, the Envision is well-positioned for interested drivers. Interestingly, the Envision sells much better overseas, where it reaches several times as many buyers (around 200,000) in China, its country of manufacture. The American market is flooded with feature-laden, pricey SUVs and crossovers and the Envision may provide a welcome focus on creature comforts rather than aggressive design.