Buick will be unveiling the 2016 Buick Envision on Sunday at a preview event before the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. One piece of information we dug up is on the drive configuration. According to the VIN card for 2017, the U.S. market Envision will only be available in All-Wheel Drive while we already know that Chinese market vehicles can be configured with just front-wheel drive.
Knowing that VIN cards can change as products are finalized, I e-mailed a Buick rep to confirm. He got back to me quickly, confirming that yes, the Envision will be available in only two trim lines, Premium Group 1 and Premium Group 2, both only available in All-Wheel drive.
Looking at other Buick models, the Premium Groups are the top of the line, coming standard with leather and lots of luxury features. The 2015 Buick Lacrosse with the Premium Group 1 package is a $7,134 upgrade over the base model. An Enclave with Premium Group is an $8,450 upgrade over base. While pricing hasn't been announced yet, with only Premium Group models available, expect the Envision entry price to be a significant jump in base price over the smaller base Encore.
Part of the reason for the limited options groups is that Buick is only expecting to import about 60,000 Envisions per year from China. With most other Buick models skewing heavily towards the upper end of their respective ranges, it makes sense for Buick to send only the best equipped models.
Back to the power train, the Envision will be available only with a 2.0 liter, direct injected turbo 4-cylinder which produces 260 lb-ft of torque over a broad RPM range and 252 horsepower fed through GM's standard issue 6-speed auto. The AWD system will be the same as in the coming 2017 Buick LaCrosse. It is a dual-clutch system that can transfer power from side-to-side in the rear wheels and Buick promises to be as fast acting as it is efficient. Also standard GM's HiPer Strut front suspension which when combined with the AWD means there is no torque steer.