The 2019 Envision sees a few changes for the new model year, but is otherwise the comfortable two-row midsize premium crossover-SUV it’s always been. The Envision aims to be right-sized as a family hauler with good everyday appeal and usefulness. For those looking for generalization without specialty, the 2019 Buick Envision hits the mark.

Quick Specs & Info

2019 Buick Envision Class: Premium midsize crossover
Base Model As Tested: AWD Premium II
Powertrain 2.5L, 6spd auto Powertrain 2.0L turbo, 8spd auto
Base MSRP $31,995 MSRP as tested $49,925

Overview

The 2019 Buick Envision is a two-row, five-seat, premium-level crossover that contains an excellent array of versatility and usefulness. As a Buick, it’s focus is on comfort and quality, but it also checks most of the boxes buyers would have for a midsize crossover-SUV.

For the 2019 model year, there are a few changes to the Buick Envision, starting with a restyled front end and the tail lamps behind. Interior changes were also made, mostly to add ergonomic points of comfort. This model year also sees a new and much-recommended turbocharged engine option and an upgraded automatic transmission.

We drove the 2019 Buick Envision both as a family daily driver for a week and at a special winter driving event for extreme roadway tests. It proved itself good on all fronts.

Trim Packages

There are five trim levels offered for the 2019 Envision. Engine and drivetrain options vary by trim point, as noted below.

  • 1SV – The base point for the Envision, the 1SV trim comes only with the 2.5L four-cylinder and a six-speed automatic transmission in front-wheel drive. Other features include 18-inch wheels, xenon headlamps, fog lamps, auto-dimming and heated side mirrors, a panoramic sunroof, hands-free liftgate, keyless ignition and entry with remote start, dual-zone climate control, power-adjustable and heated front seating, OnStar with 4G LTE and a WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, four USB ports, and satellite radio. Options are limited.
  • Preferred – This trim level is identical to the 1SV, but has more options available. Options include most of the content in the Essence trim as well as all-wheel drive.
  • Essence – Upgrades the Preferred trim with three-zone automatic climate, leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, driver-seat memory settings, heated outboard rear seats, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. All-wheel drive is an option.
  • Premium – Adds all-wheel drive as standard. This trim also adds 19-inch wheels, LED headlamps, front parking sensors, automatic wipers, a larger driver info display, premium Bose audio, a 110-volt outlet, forward collision alert, and lane departure warning and intervention. The option of upgrading to the turbocharged 2.0L engine and its transmission is available.
  • Premium II – Includes the standard AWD of the Premium and the 2.0Lt engine upgrade option. This trim also adds automatic high beams, wireless charging, a semi-automated parking system, navigation, a head-up display for the driver, extended thigh supports for the driver’s seat, and ventilated front seating. An optional Driver Confidence package adds adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree parking camera system, and forward collision mitigation with automatic braking.

All 2019 Buick Envision models can have an optional side-assist steps, roof rack, or cargo cover added.

Exterior and Interior Design

The 2019 Envision is a good-looking crossover with contemporary, but not boring styling. It’s neither ugly nor stand out, but it does get attention for its upscale appeal. The flatter nose added this year and the enhanced tail lamps are nice touches for the Envision, giving it a more luxurious look.

Inside, the Envision is complementary to the Buick lineup, which is known for its comfortable surrounds and quiet on-road demeanor. Excellent use of quality materials is the basis upon which the Envision’s interior sits and added technologies are nicely melded into the crossover’s well-done cabin.

Infotainment in the 2019 Buick Envision is based upon the IntelliLink system and an 8-inch touchscreen (standard). With easy navigation for its menus and fast responses, the Envision’s IntelliLink carries a lot of good technology is a relatively easy-to-use package. Hands-free operation is well done too, making it easier to learn.

Seating and comfort in the 2019 Envision is very good, especially in the back seat where crossovers often scrimp. Cargo space is useful at 26.9 cubic feet and the rear seats are split-fold by default, opening cargo to 57.3 cubes. Remote releases (standard) at the cargo door help make dropping those rear seats even easier. Even if it’s just to joke with the kids sitting in them.

Driving the 2019 Buick Envision

The 2019 Envision is powered by an underwhelming 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (197 horsepower) and six-speed automatic transmission by default. This setup is good for fuel economy, but not much else. The EPA rates it at 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.

Upgrading to the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder nets a lot of goodness, with 252 horsepower and a new nine-speed automatic transmission. The transmission shifts quickly and the engine outputs fast response, giving a great feel to the Envision. Inspiring confidence. The EPA rates this getup at 20 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. We averaged 21 mpg overall in our week with the 2.0Lt-powered Envision.

Whatever the powertrain, though, the 2019 Buick Envision does offer a quiet highway ride, good road handling, and an easy maneuverability in the parking lot. The turbocharged engine adds a lot of confidence, though, and better all-weather capability through its AWD system and smoother transmission.

Competition

Key competitors to the 2019 Buick Envision include the Lexus NX, the Volvo XC60, the Acura RDX, and the Lincoln MKC.

  • Lexus NX – Far more standout at the curb, the NX is polarizing and not as roomy inside compared to the Buick.
  • Volvo XC60 – It’s difficult to find fault with the XC60, which features beautiful design quality and a high-end interior. It is also pricier than is the Envision.
  • Acura RDX – More expensive than the Buick, the Acura is also more luxurious and far sportier to drive.
  • Lincoln MKC – The MKC is more luxurious and refined than is the Buick Envision, but the Lincoln is also more expensive and can be more polarizing.

Strong Points

  • Excellent new engine in the turbo four option.
  • Upscale restyle really makes the Envision likeable.
  • Quiet and comfortable with a well-done interior.

Weaknesses

  • All-weather chops not as stable as some rivals.
  • Weak base engine.
  • Small cargo space compared to the segment average.

Conclusions

The 2019 Buick Envision is well designed as a good, all-around crossover for nearly every midsize need. Unlike most in the two-row luxury segment, the Envision doesn’t seek to specialize as a way to set itself apart. Instead, the Buick Envision offers everything expected of a well-done crossover-SUV without being expert at any of them. The 2019 Envision offers a good mix of comfort and economy in a premium package.

Test Period Length and Limitations
The 2019 Buick Envision was a manufacturer’s press loan for about a week. During that time, it was driven as an everyday vehicle with varied passenger loads and cargo configurations for about 220 miles of city/highway mix. The Envision was also a part of a winter driving event we attended, where it was driven on snow and ice in a controlled environment.

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An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at AaronOnAutos.com.

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