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2016 Buick Envision Premium I 2.0t AWD (used car review)

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2016 Buick Envision Premium I  2.0t AWD  15k miles


-One of the more favorable impressions of me with the oft used 2.0t in a GM vehicle.  A very strong point on this vehicle.  It fit the character of the vehicle well.  Smooth, nice power and torque, and tranny behaved well.  It sort of changed my impression of that powertrain as it seemed to fit here better as opposed to being in a 'sport sedan'.

-Comfy seats (with nice leather and design), this is supposed to be what Buick is for.  And feels very solid.

-Quiet cabin, this is supposed to be what Buick is for.

-Supple ride and very smooth steering, this is supposed to be what Buick is for.  One of the better riding and steering GM vehicles I have driven in the last few years.

-Leg and head room is generous in front and rear rows, this is supposed to be what Buick is for

-As far as interior fit and design, I thought the door panels were finished nicely, and I LOVED the armrest and the way it opened.  I loved the lower part of the dash with the climate controls, with its actual easy to use buttons.

-Tidy size crossover size that is successful for the Equinox means a nicely usable trunk area as you would expect in the compact SUV class.

-Rides high like CUV's are supposed to, but lots of glass area to see out of.

-A tangible difference in feel vs. its internal GM competition, the Terrain and the Equinox.

-To drive one by choice is a great way to come out to the world that you are on the doorstep of AARP member availability.


-Styling was dated in 2016 already, looked like a 2012 vehicle.  The 2019 updates are welcome but it still looks dated.

-Windows are large but the whole vehicle rides high.  Someone like my mom, smaller and older, may have a hard time seeing vehicles and things lower than the windows as they are.  This could be a comment about a lot of higher riding CUV's in general I guess.  You just need to set your mirrors well.

-Like the Equinox and Terrain, it feels a bit narrow at time in the front row to my larger corn fed bod.  I know it's a compact, but some of the other compacts feel wider.

-OK, yes, it feels solid, but it also feels a bit porky.  I have to see what the curb weight is.

-What is it with GM and its 'angel of death' black interiors?  Seriously GM, SO MUCH BLACK!  (and not good on a 90 degree day).  The monotony of darkness may force you to off yourself.

-Area below cargo load floor is not seemingly well used.  Especially if yours doesn't come with a spare.  I think they could lower the floor of the trunk some a package it better.

-This may seem petty, but honestly, the rest of the cabin is nice... but the upper part of the dash is on the cusp of being a true deal breaker.  The AWFUL and DISASTROUS swaths of plastic forest.. otherwise known as PLOOD.  REALLY?  Wow, so fake, and so large, and so TERRIBLE.  And stop it with the strange angle of the cheap looking touchscreen oriented towards the driver.  By simply redesigning just the upper portion of the center of the dash to something with symmetry and exorcising swaths of PLOOD would go a long way to fixing the sole things that are revolting about the interior of this vehicle.  These also happen to be the parts of the interior you see the most.  Honestly.  DEAL BREAKER.. damn near.  This could easily be the worst application of fake wood in the auto industry today.

-Do they REALLY have to make them in China?  And make them look like they are from China?

-Can you use 87 octane....... or is premium required.....

-Laughable pricing and packaging, although this is getting sorted out in each successive year, and as we all know, its for padding the price for all the huge GM incentives we love.  Every once in a while though, you wonder if they would sell even better and maybe even more profitably if they got the prices set up right for the market in the MSRP and not rely so much on the incentives.  And does it price itself out of its market if it can't compete in the luxury pricing tiers?


I mean, really overall this a pretty nice vehicle for a compact CUV and so its sort of a "Is this competing with Acura, Mercedes, and Audi or is it competing with more Expensive Escapes and CRv's?".

So you'll probably argue one or the other of those.  I mean, if you hump German cars of course you won't give much cred to a Chevy Equinox stablemate.  If you like  a tinny RAV4 or CRv the Envision will feel luxurious.  How does it line up to the Compass and Cherokee?

I decided to simply evaluate it as a Buick.  Before I drove it, I was skeptical as to whether the Envision felt solid, and was comfortable and quiet, and steered and rode well.  In that aspect it surprised me, and did well.  Along with a strong and inobtrusive powertrain, were my strongest impressions.

The 2012 styling is a demerit.  The terrible upper dashboard ruined what is otherwise a stong impression of the overall cabin.  And ruins it enough to make me pause and wonder if I'd dislike it so much if I owned it that i would regret buying it.  The answer could very well be yes.  Or not.  It's so on the line...... There are SO many other choices out there.

This is a surprisingly good vehicle that deserves punishment for the interior mistakes.  I'll give it a B or B+ but GM fans, know that this would be a pleasing vehicle for you, if you can live with the horrible PLOOD and other bipolar interior mistakes.  And that is also considering whether or not you take issue with where it is built.  Just for the record, nothing about the vehicle (ok, apart from the styling) tipped me off that it was built in China / Korea / Mexico and not MUHRICA .

Edited by regfootball

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