Why The Buick Envision Is Not The BMW X3 Fighter It Could Have Been


It's missing one important thing.

Buick is very much on the upswing these days. Sales are up and new product is heading to dealerships even as we write. Speaking of new product, we recently checked out the new Envision, the first Buick to be built in and imported from China (get used to that). Filling in the slot between the Encore and the three-row Enclave, the Envision was new for 2016 and it's aimed directly at the likes of the BMW X3, Audi Q5 and the Lexus RX. On paper, the Envision comes across as a winner.

Our tester came equipped with the optional 2.0-liter turbo four with 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive is standard with this engine and if you want front-wheel-drive we'll have to settle for the underpowered 2.5-liter inline-four (197 hp and 192 lb-ft) instead.

Our advice: go for the turbo. Combined with 19-inch ten-spoke aluminum wheels, leather interior, a Bose Premium 7-speaker audio system, tri-zone automatic climate control and an 8-inch LCD instrument display, the Envision is a solid luxury two-row compact crossover. But it's lacking something. Something its BMW rival very much has. Soul. There's absolutely zero "wow factor" here. Doesn't make it a bad choice, but it's certainly a more boring one. Special thanks to Woodland Motors for letting us film the car.

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