2021 Buick Envision Essence Review

Written By: Jerry Reynolds | Apr 26, 2021 12:00:00 AM

This week we look at the all-new and completely redesigned 2021 Buick Envision which is technically a compact SUV, but for me, it is more of a midsized entry. It seems longer and wider than any compact I’ve ever been in.

The Envision comes in three trim levels: The Preferred is the base model, in the middle is the Essence, which is what I am reviewing, and then there is the top-of-the-line Avenir.


I love the looks of this SUV, it’s more aggressive than you’d expect from Buick with a sculpted hood, very sculpted side panels, a rear spoiler, and some terrific 20” wheels that are part of the Sport Touring package.


Under the hood you’ll find a 2-liter, 4-cylinder engine that is turbocharged. It is putting out 228-horses and 258-pound feet of torque, plenty to make this SUV get up and go. It is mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission with shift paddles, but I was never inspired to use them. This one is front-wheel drive, but All-wheel is available.



Moving to the interior, it is upscale with leather seating, minimal stitching around and mostly soft touch materials.

There are colorful gauges to the left and right and a driver info center in the middle that is operated from controls on the heated, leather wrapped steering wheel.

High on the dash is a 10.2” touchscreen. From there you control all audio, Bluetooth, the Navigation system, Wi-Fi hotspot, vehicle settings, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android auto.

A swipe to the left operates the apps, Onstar, inside air quality, climate, the terrific HD cameras, SiriusXM and more. The system is fast and simple. You can, if you choose, scroll through from a round knob near the screen. You can also voice activate Alexa for whatever you need.

The flow-through center console is gloss black and well laid out with two large cup holders, a sliding cubby with USB ports and a power outlet. There are buttons there, the most important of which is to turn off the start/stop system. One button is for drive modes that include Snow & Ice, Touring, and Sport. Honestly, I didn’t find a big difference between Touring and Sport.

I am a big fan of the shift buttons. One push for park, and you pull the buttons for reverse and drive.

The back seat is roomy for two, possibly three people. It has air conditioning vents, more USBs, and a fold down center armrest. Leg and head room in the back seat are surprisingly good.


The cargo area is generous with 52.7 cubic-feet of area with the back seats folded down. By the way, the back seats fold completely flat to make a massive area.

Standard Features and Safety

Standard features include: Remote start and keyless entry, 8-way power driver and passenger seat with lumbar, automatic temperature-controlled air conditioning, power tailgate, and LED headlights.

On the safety front, you get front pedestrian braking, lane keep assist, forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, rear park assist, and the Teen Driver monitoring system.


Options total $3800 including the technology package which includes a head-up display with traffic sign recognition, Bose 9-speaker stereo, park assist, HD radio, and HD Surround Vision.

The Sport Touring package includes the 20” wheels, body color door handles, and the blacked-out grill.


All things considered, this China-made imported SUV is a premium-almost luxury-SUV that drives and handles very well, is really quiet inside like Buick is known for, and is the perfect size for people who don’t want an SUV that is too small, but don’t want anything too large either.

Visibility all around is really good and the acceleration surprised me.

Fuel Economy and What You’ll Pay

Fuel economy is good at 24 city, 31 highway, and 26 overall. MSRP is $40,820 which is probably 10% more than you’ll pay for most compact SUVs, but I think you’ll easily be able to find the value when you look at it and drive it.

2021 Buick Envision Essence

  • What I liked most: The interior, drive characteristics, and quietness.
  • What I would change: I wish there were a hybrid option.
  • MSRP: Base price $35,800, as equipped $40,820 with transportation.
  • Fuel Economy: Rated at 24 city/31 highway/26 combined.
  • Official Color: Summit White with Ebony interior.
  • Odometer reading when tested: 3,500 miles.
  • Weight: 3,902 pounds.
  • Spare Tire: 17” spare tire and steel wheel.
  • Length-Width-Height: 182.5” long/74.1” wide/64.6” high.
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 16.1 gallons with the filler on the passenger side.
  • Towing Capacity: 1,500 pounds.
  • 2021 Envision in a few words: A roomy SUV that drives well, has a nice interior, and stylish looks.
  • Warranty: 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty with roadside assistance, courtesy transportation, and free first maintenance visit.
  • Final Assembly Location: Yantai ETDZ, P.R. China.
  • Manufacturers website:

2021 Buick Envision Avenir.
Credit: Buick