But Buick is willing to bet that buyers will pay for it.
For the second consecutive model year, the Buick Envision has quietly sauntered on without any major updates following a radical transformation for the second-generation model. With classy styling and a refined, smooth ride for which Buick is known, the company has now revealed updated pricing for the 2023 model. When we reviewed the 2022 Envision, its high-value price tag was one of its strong points, so has that advantage been maintained for the new model year? Starting with the base Preferred model, it is only $400 more expensive at $31,900, but the brand's three years of OnStar and Connected Services actually raises the price much more than that.
The OnStar and Connected Services plan is listed as an option for 2023, but that's a bit misleading as the $1,500 plan is mandatory. As a result, you need to pay a true $33,400 for the base model, $1,900 more than before. The OnStar plan includes Wi-Fi hotspot data, connectivity for available in-vehicle apps, automatic crash response, and emergency services. Buick has retained the same $1,395 destination charge for the 2023 model.
Moving up in the range, the mid-spec Essence will now start at $37,500 (including the OnStar plan) for the 2023 model year, also a $1,900 increase. But the luxurious, range-topping Avenir has been slapped with what is the largest price jump in the lineup.
Whereas the 2022 Envision Avenir started at $39,850, the 2023 equivalent now goes for a much steeper $45,660. Including the OnStar plan, that is still a $5,810 increase, but Buick has thrown in more equipment to explain this. Whereas the power panoramic moonroof was a $1,450 option on the 2022 Envision Avenir, this is now standard on the 2023 version. Besides this, last year's optional Technology II Package ($1,965) is now standard on the Avenir. It includes features like a rear camera mirror with washer, continuous damping control, and adaptive cruise control.
The Envision Avenir comes with perforated leather-appointed seats. Both front seats are power-adjustable and ventilated, and seat heating is standard in both rows.
For the last few years, Buick has worked hard to grow the Avenir sub-brand. The strategy has worked as the Avenir trims have accounted for a surprisingly high percentage of Buick sales. Earlier this year, Buick said that more Avenir-branded models are on the way, and this will include the brand's upcoming EVs. If they look anything like the image-building Wildcat, the company will be one to look out for.
Buick's performance in the recent J.D. Power 2022 US Initial Quality Study was also superb and supports its positioning as a maker of premium vehicles. It emerged as the number one overall brand with the fewest problems per 100 vehicles in the first three months of ownership. For a brand that aims to steal sales from the likes of Lexus and Lincoln, that's a fine way to do it.