• 2019 Buick Envision AWD Premium II

Road Test: 2019 Buick Envision AWD Premium II

Compact SUV with Premium Touches

The 2019 Envision is a Buick in all ways. Comfortable ride, plenty of rear seat passenger room and an ensconced interior experience. First introduced as a 2016 model, this Chinese-built compact crossover had a facelift in 2019 that gave it a sleek design with modern touches, such as LED headlights and tail lamps.

2019 Buick Envision AWD Premium II
All Buick, even with Eastern origin

Clean Fleet Report drove the 2019 Buick Envision AWD throughout Southern California, powered by the optional 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, putting out 252 horsepower and 295 pounds-feet of torque, while mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. This combination was peppy, with the transmission on the 4,083-pound Envision geared to maximize shifts for performance and fuel economy. Zero-to-60 times were in the 6.7-second range, which was more than sufficient for freeway traffic merging.

The EPA rates the Buick Envision 2.0-liter turbo at 20 mpg city/25 highway/22 combined, which are so-so numbers. But our real-world experience was different, especially on the freeway. We ran 205 miles with the adaptive cruise control set at 65 mph, where we achieved an average of 31.2 mpg. So, if driven judiciously, getting to that magic 30+ miles per gallon is realistic. The automatic engine stop/start was efficient and engaged quietly.

It is important to note that fuel economy reported by Clean Fleet Report is non-scientific, and represents the reviewer’s driving experience. Your numbers may differ.

Driving Experience: On the Road

The Envision Premium comes standard with all-wheel drive, which seamlessly applied torque and power between the wheels as conditions demanded. The ride was confident and controlled, with road imperfections nearly unnoticeable. The ride could be called supple, which will make for pleasant around-town driving as well as longer road trips.

2019 Buick Envision AWD Premium II
The Envision’s turbo four gave it all the power it needed

The 235/50 Hankook Ventus tires, on 19-inch wheels, gipped well until pushed hard on corners, where understeer and modest body roll limited any hard charging we had in mind. Maneuvering in town with the electric power steering, including parking, was easy in what is a well-balanced crossover. Wind noise was not noticeable, partly due to active wind shutters in the grille, and the engine was quiet.

Brake pedal feel was firm with no fade. The suspension and the stability control were tuned nicely, so the four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and brake assist made for straight and true stops.

Design

2019 Buick Envision AWD Premium II
Refined style front-to-back

The redesigned 2019 Envision follows Buick’s history where a reserved style is far more important than fads or trends. The tasteful new grille has been brought into line with the Envision’s siblings, with a restrained use of chrome and harsh edges making for a smooth, good-looking crossover. Our only issue, and this certainly is just a matter of personal taste, is the round Buick emblem on the grille could be smaller. No big deal, just a preference for more of that restraint.

Inviting Interior

Clean Fleet Report tested the Envision Premium II, which is Buick’s top-of-the-line offering. As such, it was loaded with pretty much everything you would want or expect for an accommodating driving experience. If you like leather seats front and rear, you will find it on this model. The power front seats are functional—perforated, heated and cooled. The outboard, sliding and reclining rear seats, which split 60/40, were also heated. Rear seat head and leg room was ample for two adults, three in a pinch for a short trip. The rear seat back has a neat feature of being a one-touch operation for it to fold flat. Quick, easy and convenient.

2019 Buick Envision AWD Premium II
Buick has dialed in the luxury once inside

Everything in the interior is within easy reach. The center dash in our Envision housed an 8.0-inch diagonal color touchscreen, where the Bose audio system with navigation and surround vision are found. The infotainment system includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, with seven speakers for the AM/FM/CD/MP3/AUX and Sirius/XM (with a 90-day introductory subscription). The Bluetooth worked very well for voice recognition, with most of the entertainment controlled by switches on the leather-covered steering wheel. Kudos to Buick for knobs and wheels to control the radio, and an easy learning curve for the tri-zone automatic climate control system.

2019 Buick Envision AWD Premium II
The center stack has all the right knobs

The Envision Premium II is well-equipped with convenience features including, wireless phone charging, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot, remote keyless entry with remote start, power door locks, tire pressure monitor, keyless push button on and off, and OnStar.

Clean Fleet Report is a big fan of the head-up display we found on the Envision. This safety feature projects vital driving information on the windshield, directly in front of the driver. This eliminates removing eyes from the road, which is the major cause for distracted driving.

Safety, Pricing and Warranties

The Envision comes with an extensive list of standard and optional safety features. Since some of the features are available on higher trim levels and through packages, we advise getting your car with as many advanced driver technology and safety features as possible.

2019 Buick Envision AWD Premium II
Our advice–load it up with tech

Features available on the Envision include 10 airbags, forward emergency braking and collision warning, stability control, rear cross traffic alert, rear park assist, vehicle stability management, traction control, lane change, side blind zone alert and a theft deterrent system.

The 2019 Envision has earned a U.S. Government National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score, its highest rating.

Clean Fleet Report’s Envision AWD Premium II, with $3,750 in options, had a MSRP of $47,350, excluding the $995 destination charge. The 2019 Envision comes in five trim levels, with two engine options and in FWD and AWD. With so many choices, starting at $31,995, it will be important to take your time to understand the different packages and pricing.

The 2019 Envision comes with these warranties:

  • Bumper-To-Bumper – Four years/50,000 miles
  • Powertrain – Six years/70,000 miles
  • Roadside Assistance – Six years/70,000 miles
  • Corrosion – Four years/50,000 miles
  • Rust-Through – Six years/Unlimited Miles
  • Courtesy Transportation – Six years/70,000 miles
  • One Free Maintenance Visit

Observations: 2019 Buick Envision AWD Premium II

The 2019 Buick Envision is not pretentious. The exterior design is clean and contemporary, having been refreshed this year. The interior is tasteful, with premium touches. The Envision is quiet on the open road and it handles with ease. The Envision should be popular with small families and empty nesters, but enthusiasts will opt for competitors that are marketed as a sporty SUV. Key competitors to the Envision include the Acura RDX, Audi Q5, BMW X3, Infiniti QX50, and the Lexus NX.

2019 Buick Envision AWD Premium II
Style upgraded, luxury intact for Buick’s compact crossover

With the Envision offered in so many trim levels and models, visiting your Buick dealer will be more than a brief visit. Take your time to drive them all, and get to know what you get with a price spread of more than $15,000 from base to highly equipped.

Whatever you buy, Happy Driving!

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Disclosure:

Clean Fleet Report is loaned free test vehicles from automakers to evaluate, typically for a week at a time. Our road tests are based on this one-week drive of a new vehicle. Because of this we don’t address issues such as long-term reliability or total cost of ownership. In addition, we are often invited to manufacturer events highlighting new vehicles or technology. As part of these events we may be offered free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our best to present our unvarnished evaluations of vehicles and news irrespective of these inducements.

Our focus is on vehicles that offer the best fuel economy in their class, which leads us to emphasize electric cars, plug-in hybrids, hybrids and diesels. We also feature those efficient gas-powered vehicles that are among the top mpg vehicles in their class. In addition, we aim to offer reviews and news on advanced technology and the alternative fuel vehicle market. We welcome any feedback from vehicle owners and are dedicated to providing a forum for alternative viewpoints. Please let us know your views at publisher@cleanfleetreport.com.

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About Author: John Faulkner

John Faulkner is an automotive marketing professional with more than 30 years experience branding, launching and marketing automobiles. He has worked with General Motors (all Divisions), Chrysler (Dodge, Jeep, Eagle), Ford and Lincoln-Mercury, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Toyota on consumer events and sales training programs. His interest in automobiles is broad and deep, beginning as a child riding in the back seat of his parent's 1950 Studebaker. He has a keen appreciation of Art Deco design, no bias for domestic versus foreign makes and loves competition - whether that be F1, IndyCar, Sports Cars, NASCAR or participating in Track Days at places such as Laguna Seca, Thunderhill or Willow Springs. John lives in Dana Point, CA, and enjoys a top-down drive on PCH on an early Sunday morning.

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