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Drew Dowdell

Detroit Preview: 2016 Buick Envision Will Be All-Wheel Drive Only: Comments

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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.

 

We will have more Buick Envision information for you as we get closer to its official unveiling on January 10th. In the meantime, you can follow all 2016 Detroit Auto Show news here.


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Nice.

 

But I'm starting to not like the rounded styling as much as I first did. Maybe different colours might help.

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Love the Style of this and think this is a smart move. AWD with two option groups and you have an awesome CUV for the established working class. 30's to 50's.

 

Very pumped by this new CUV! :metal:

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I think it's a good move because it by default moves Buick northward in status.  I expect base price to be right around the same as the 2.0T/AWD MKC, which is about $35k out the door. 

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Im just copying Drew's opinion. I like the fact that only Premium Group 1& 2 trims are offered for the same reasons Drew states. Pushing Buick higher in the premium luxury market.

AWD only...

Its probably how vehicles in this price range are bought across this market range.

I guess the product planners have done their homework...so who am I to question that move? Which Im not, Im happy they did that.

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?  I googled the Envision last week.  Buick has all this info and more at their site pages for the Envision.

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The fact that AWD is standard isn't mentioned except on one small bullet point on an obscure page. The premium groups as the only option packages available, along with AWD standard, give an indicator of expected price. I think most people assumed it would have a low point of entry with cloth seats and FWD. It is news that it won't be like that.

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Yeah, higher price points.

I wanted to specify that, which I failed to do.

Higher price points to propel Buick in the higher levels of premium luxury and eliminating the few that cant afford this vehicle and consequently getting a higher status...leaving the few that wanted to own this Envision to drive off either in an Encore or a Chevy...or a Bimmer X1/X3...but its OK...even for Buick, not every garage needs to be filled by a Buick, only the few that want and could afford a luxurious Buick.

 

PS: I hate this cliché: entry level luxury, its an oxymoron that should NOT exist, but sheeple and badge snobs continue to buy into this mess of marketing BS. 

Edited by oldshurst442
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6-speed auto? Wtf.

 

Malibu gets a 2.0T/8A powertrain, Lacrosse and XT5 get V6/8A, this is a dumb choice.

 

Remember, this has been out for a year in China and the 8-speed isn't being built there yet. I expect everything in the first two years of this car to be limited to what they are selling in China. The entire move is about capturing market share. I fully expect to see changes to the model when/if production moves here. 

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Makes sense. It's the way it should be, And I am betting they will sell each and every one too...

 

 

SUV/CUVs are only going to grow more from here....

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Figured they would do this to the vehicle.. and I half expect the next Enclave to take this course as in the U.S.  In reality the only disadvantage of AWD systems coming out of GM these days is typically the added weight. Take the Encore I recently picked up.. according to C&D.. the difference between the weight of the FWD and AWD is  3250 / 3370 lb.. 120lbs. That extra 120 puts fuel economy at 25/33 mpg / 23/30 mpg, but their observations were spot on 24/24mpg for both. Where they observed an actual difference came in with acceleration.. 9.3 sec / 10.0 sec. Thing is that the Envision has incorporated GM's newest weight saving philosophy.. whatever that is. I expect a decent performer in all ways. D2XX/D2UX is 200lbs lighter in all applications thus far including the upcoming Cruze

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Figured they would do this to the vehicle.. and I half expect the next Enclave to take this course as in the U.S.  In reality the only disadvantage of AWD systems coming out of GM these days is typically the added weight. Take the Encore I recently picked up.. according to C&D.. the difference between the weight of the FWD and AWD is  3250 / 3370 lb.. 120lbs. That extra 120 puts fuel economy at 25/33 mpg / 23/30 mpg, but their observations were spot on 24/24mpg for both. Where they observed an actual difference came in with acceleration.. 9.3 sec / 10.0 sec. Thing is that the Envision has incorporated GM's newest weight saving philosophy.. whatever that is. I expect a decent performer in all ways. D2XX/D2UX is 200lbs lighter in all applications thus far including the upcoming Cruze

 

The new AWD system in this and LaCrosse and XT5 is supposed to be more fuel efficient as well. 

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First release is fine with the 6sp, My gut tells me that as China moves for better MPG and cleaner air we will see the 8sp in the 2nd year possibly as they move the china market forward.

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    • By Drew Dowdell
      China is by far Buick's most important market. More than three quarters of all Buicks sold are sold in China.  To that end, it should be no surprise that China gets updated models before the U.S. and also get variants that never will see our shores. Even models that are dead in the US, like the Lacrosse and Verano, continue on selling well in China.
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      Outside we see a revised front fascia with a new grill. The running lights have the familiar boomerang shape while the headlamps have moved lower into the bumper area.  A new grille insert is there with a wider horizontal slat that gives the Enclave more visual width.

      The inside is where the real story is at. Greatly updated, the infotainment system is seamlessly integrated into the dash and a new set of buttons takes the place of the Precision Control shifter. The console is the floating type with storage underneath. (Click image to enlarge)
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