General Motors introduced the Buick Envista small SUV to China in 2022, as a domestic market product. Overwhelmingly positive public reaction encouraged the company to boost production of the compact crossover for other world markets.

Envista shares the GM front-drive Vehicle Set Strategy (VSS-F) platform with its Buick Encore SUV stablemate and Chevrolet’s Trailblazer and Trax. It competes in a growing segment that includes the Acura RDX, BMW X1 and Lexus UX, among others.

Exhibiting the new Buick design language unveiled on the Wildcat EV and Electra-X concept vehicles, the Envista is heavy on style inside and out, with the upscale qualities Buick buyers have come to expect in a premium vehicle, but without the luxury car price tag. It also offers the sedan driving qualities buyers are looking for as they seek alternatives in the four-door bodystyle.

1. 2024 Buick Envista

8.00 / 10
Key Features
  • Edgy styling
  • Premium amenities
  • Ride qualities
Specifications
  • Trim: Preferred, Sport Touring (ST), Avenir
  • Model: Envista
  • Engine/Motor: 1.2-Liter turbocharged 3-cylinder
  • Horsepower: 136 Horsepower @ 5,000 RPM
  • Torque: 162 Pound-Feet @ 2,500-4,000 RPM
  • Drivetrain: FWD
  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic
  • MSRP: $23,495- $29,695
Pros
  • Priced below $30,000
  • Fuel economy
  • Loaded with technology
Cons
  • No all-wheel drive option
  • Tight interior for more than small family
  • Small engine means reduced power

Buick Reaches Out To A Younger Buyer With Envista

2022 Buick Envista China debut
via General Motors

The Buick Envista is the type of vehicle upwardly mobile new car buyers seek out – it has the exterior looks that set it apart from the competition (and just about anything else on the road), it has the versatility to move people and/or stuff, and it doesn’t look at all like the stodgy premium sedan their grandparents drove, or the boxy SUV they grew up with in their parents’ home.

Like its slightly larger fraternal twin, the Encore GX, Envista comes with healthy dose of upscale interior touches and the latest technology, and also has the environmentally sensible qualities that are important to the modern generation of new-vehicle buyers.

Buick Envista’s Turbo-Three Balances Power And Fuel Economy

It doesn’t take a lot to motivate the Buick Envista compact crossover (which stands just over 15 feet in length and weighs in at between 3,030 and 3,115 lbs., depending on trim level), so GM decided to go with a 1.2-liter variable-valve timed turbocharged 3-cylinder powerplant.

Horsepower of 136 peaks at 5,000 rpm, with plenty of boost available in the optimum engine-speed range (from 2,500 rpm to 4,000 rpm, in this case) thanks to a max of 162 lb-ft of torque, which puts the needed motivation under the driver’s right foot in most everyday driving situations.

RELATED: Why We're Excited That China's Buick Envista Is Coming To The US

Using fewer parts than previous 1.2-liter versions, Envista’s all-aluminum engine helps reduce overall vehicle weight, to the benefit of ride and handling, and a reported fuel efficiency of 30 mpg, combined (awaiting EPA verification).

Power delivery to the front wheels (there is no all-wheel drive option for the diminutive SUV) comes via a six-speed automatic.

Envista SUV Rides And Handles Like A Sub-Compact Sedan

2024 Buick Envista Avenir
via General Motors

Sharing its VSS-F platform with the Buick Encore GX, and Chevy’s Trailblazer and Trax (the latter also coming for 2024), Envista may not have the all-wheel drivetrain many first-time SUV buyers desire, but makes good use of its FWD layout with a suspension set-up to enhance sure-footedness over the vast majority of surface conditions it’s likely to encounter (which naturally excludes rock climbing or deep-river fording).

The array is front MacPherson struts and a compound crank at the rear, with the wheels located by springs and shocks. The Avenir gets a standard rear Watts link (optional on ST) to quieten the ride on broken surfaces and negate rear wheel jitters that may develop.

RELATED: The Envista Crossover In China Showcases Buick’s Design Direction For The Future

Envista rides on standard 17-inch alloy wheels shod with 225/60R17 all season tires; ST moves up to 225/55R18s (optional on Preferred), with Avenir riding on 245/45R19 tires (optional on ST). Electric power steering returns a turning circle of 37.4 feet or 38.4 feet, depending on wheel/tire size.

The braking system is also electrically assisted, with discs at all four corners (11.8-inch diameter at the front, 11.3 in the rear). ABS and stability control are both standard fitments, with other driving aids part of an overall suite of technology.

Tiny Buick Envista Is Big On Features And Technology

2024 Buick Envista ST interior display
via General Motors

Buick’s Driver Confidence package is a suite of driver assistance technologies and comes standard on all Envista crossovers. The package includes most of the now traditional aids such as tire-pressure monitoring, forward collision alert with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, and lane keep assist and departure warning, as well as recent developments such as IntelliBeam auto high-beam dimming.

Standalone technologies include rain-sensing automatic wipers, lane change alert, blind-zone monitoring, adaptive cruise control with following distance indicator, rear parking assist and rear cross-traffic alert.

RELATED: Here's Everything We Know About The Electra EV Concept By Buick

Also aiding driving, in that it contributes to a more relaxed driving experience, Buick’s signature QuietTuning system limits unwanted noises from creeping into the cabin by blocking powertrain noise coming through the firewall, absorbing road noises through coil-spring isolators in the suspension, and reducing external noises through lamination of glass and insulation of body panels.

Other standard or available features and technologies include tuning of engine intake and exhaust air flow, choice of tires, flat-blade windshield wipers, aerodynamic side mirror housings, triple door seals, increased density carpeting, and active noise cancelation through audio systems.

Interior Space Belies Buick Envista’s Diminutive Exterior

2024 Buick Envista ST interior
via General Motors

Despite its relatively small footprint, Envista comes up big inside, with a sense of spaciousness provided by reduced door panel thickness, increased leg space through seat travel, and maximizing glass space around the SUV and overhead.

The starting point is a 106-inch wheelbase and the follow-up is the efficiency in seating layout, combining to make Envista the most spacious small Buick SUV. The EPA rates interior space at 97.5 cubic feet, with a 60/40 split folding rear seatback allowing cargo space to expand from 20.7 to 42 cubic feet.

RELATED: The Envista Crossover In China Showcases Buick’s Design Direction For The Future

A flat-bottom steering wheel not only aids entry into and exit from the driver’s seat, but also adds a sporty flair to match the swoopy exterior. And because it’s a Buick, Envista has its premium qualities portrayed in thoughtful touches, such as colorful stitching in the seats, and embroidery on the front seat head rests. Wireless mobile phone charging is available.

Envista has the largest infotainment screen in the segment, with the 11-inch display sitting atop the center stack for easy and quick operation of vehicle systems within reach of the driver and front passenger. However, add in the seamless transition to the driver information center and the LCD screen combination nearly doubles to 19 inches.

Buick Makes An Envista For Any Owner

2024 Buick Envista ST grille
via General Motors

Starting off with the Preferred trim, Envista comes luxuriously appointed with LED headlights, automatic climate control and cloth/leatherette seating, among others. Options include heated front seats (8-way power adjustability for the driver) and steering wheel, a power liftgate, adaptive cruise, wireless smartphone charging, and lane-change alert with blind-spot detection.

RELATED: The Electra-X Concept Makes Perfect Sense For Buick's All-Electric Future

Moving up to the Sport Touring (ST) trim adds trim specific details to the interior and exterior (embroidered head restraints and front grille, respectively), 18-inch high-gloss painted wheels, LED taillamps, and gloss black side mirror caps, bodyside molding and front and rear lower fascias. Options include remote start, electric moonroof, rear cross-traffic alert and 19-inch black painted wheels.

Buick Envista Offers Premium Features At An Affordable Price

2024 Buick Envista ST interior sunroof
via General Motors

Envista extends the Avenir trim, the highest level of Buick luxury, with exclusive 19-inch wheels finished in Pearl Nickel, exclusive front grille in Black Ice chrome, leather seating with Avenir embroidered front seat head rests, power liftgate, heated front seats and steering wheel, 8-way power driver’s seat, wireless smartphone charging and remote starting. Avenir options include moonroof, rain sense wipers, adaptive cruise, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-change alert with blind-spot monitoring.

All Envistas are compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and offer link-up to the Remote Access Plan through the MyBuick Mobile App to remotely lock and unlock power doors, start and stop the vehicle and check tire pressures (depending on car features). The app also displays fuel range, oil life and odometer reading, among other vehicle features.

RELATED: Buick Wildcat EV Concept Gives Us A Peek At The Brand's Electrifying Future

The Buick Envista debuts in summer 2023 as a 2024 model. Manufacturer Suggested Prices start at $23,495 for the Preferred (base) trim and step up to $25,195 for the Sport Touring (ST) model. Avenir starts at $29,695.

Potential buyers can preview the compact crossover Envista, with the ability to build, price and order online starting closer to launch.