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Buick Forum: Consumer Reports review?
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  1. #1
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    Consumer Reports review?

    My wife and I were considering buying a 2017 Envision Premium II with many of the bells and whistles and we loved the test drive.
    However, after reading a few online reviews, especially Consumer Reports, we were not comfortable moving forward with the Envision. Has anyone else read the Consumer Reports and agree or disagree with it?
    Here is their road test summary:

    Underdeveloped, overpriced, and over here. That's the story of the Buick Envision. On paper, this new addition to the Buick family looks appealing. It's a semi-luxury, handily-sized SUV with plenty of standard equipment, emulating the concept of competitors from Audi, BMW, and Lexus. Built in China, where Buick is very popular, the Envision bridges the gap between the small Encore and large Enclave.



    While it has potential, the Envision isn't fully baked. The crossover falls short on ride comfort, noise isolation, and handling agility. On top of that, the Envision's price--$45,000 as tested--is not commensurate with its merit. It's overpriced by about $10,000.

    Buick has built its reputation by building vehicles that are quiet and comfortable riding, but the Envision doesn't deliver here. At first blush, the ride seems absorbent, but that's only a thin veneer; as miles are traveled, impacts punch through and the SUV bobs and rocks. Wind noise is pronounced, making a highway cruise tiring.

    Despite its compact dimensions, the Envision is clumsy and uncoordinated when cornering, lacking a sense of precision and control. And that's not helped by the vague steering and mushy brake pedal. Ultimately though, the Envision proved secure with sound performance in our avoidance maneuver and braking tests.

    Two engines are available, a base 2.5-liter four-cylinder and the uplevel 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder we opted for in our test car. While the base engine comes with either front- or all-wheel drive, the uplevel engine comes only with AWD. Power proves to be no problem. However, the six-speed automatic transmission isn't a smooth operator and fuel economy doesn't stand out at 21 mpg overall in our tests.

    Flat contours and flaccid cushions leave the front seats short on support. Low, recessed dashboard air vents tend to freeze your elbows while leaving the upper cabin stuffy. While the rear is roomy, headroom is marginal. To the Envision's credit, big doors and chair-height seats provide super-easy access. The Buick's connectivity is comprehensive, and the IntelliLink touch screen infotainment system is easy to use.

    Forward-collision warning (FCW) is not available with the base engine; it comes standard with the turbo. Unlike most cars, automatic emergency braking (AEB) isn't included with FCW; it is only optional on the very top level trim.

    Regardless of country of origin, it is clear that he Envision isn't thoroughly developed. Adding insult to injury, there is a disconnect between the price and the car's list of assets and liabilities. For perspective, a $30,000 Ford Escape is more refined and drives dramatically better than the supposedly fancy-pants Envision.

    Why buy one:
    Simple controls
    Good infotainment system
    Easy access
    Why not buy one:
    Underdeveloped and overpriced
    Clumsy handling
    Unsettled ride
    Too much wind noise
    Brake pedal feel erodes confidence
    Marginal rear seat headroom
    Dashboard air vents are too low
    Viable alternatives:
    Ford Edge
    Audi Q5
    BMW X3
    Lexus NX
    Kia Sorento
    Navigating the trim lines:
    The Envision is available with two different engines, a milquetoast 2.5-liter four-cylinder and the more-powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Base and Essence trims are available only with the 2.5L, paired with either front- or all-wheel drive; Premium trim comes only with the 2.0L turbo and all-wheel drive.

    All Envisions come well equipped, including standard power front seats with four-way lumbar adjustments, a power tailgate, heated front seats, automatic climate control, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay capability, and heated mirrors.

    The Essence adds leather, a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and three-zone climate control.

    Premium I adds forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning and mitigation, and a Bose stereo. Premium II brings upscale equipment like adjustable driver thigh support, a head up display, active HID headlights, automatic high-beams, navigation, and ventilated front seats.

    Forward-collision warning is only available on Envisions with the turbo engine, where it is a standard feature. Automatic emergency braking is only available on the very top-trim Envision, and even then it's an option. We think both should be standard across the board.

    Best version/options to get: We'd skip the Envision all together. But if you need to buy one, we'd go with a Premium so that you get forward-collision warning. Notable changes:
    Only one trim was offered in that abbreviated first model year, the top-level Premium with the 2.0-liter turbo engine and all-wheel drive. Admirably, forward-collision warning and blind-spot monitoring were standard; automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and a surround-view camera were available on the Premium II trim. Options were limited, including navigation and a moonroof.

    The model line expanded for 2017, adding a non-turbo 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and front-wheel-drive, as well as lower levels of equipment. With the 2017 model year, forward-collision warning and blind-spot monitoring were no longer standard (they're only on the top-trim Premium) and a CD player is no longer available.

    Read less.

  2. #2
    NormT's Avatar
    NormT is offline Turbo-4 power! My Buick(s): Turbo Envision
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    Re: Consumer Reports review?

    Well you did drive one, how accurate were they?


    In the video if the Buick and Jaguar, one guy talks about how soft the ride is and vague steering it just doesn't feel competitive. Then they go on to gush over the Jaguar Face and how precise it is. But looking at the Specifications section the Envision colision avoidance test had a similar mph speed as the Jaguar. So much for soft and vague Buick? Plus the Envision matched or beat the Jaguar in braking.


    I ripped them on their Youtube page they were quite picky but maybe feel they have side with their readers sentiment of a China built car.

    I think it is perfect for the masses since luxury from Buick should be on the soft side not German firmness. The 2016 is where the deals are but you are limited to color or options. $12,000-14,000 off MSRP with only a few hundred miles or less.

  3. #3
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    Re: Consumer Reports review?

    Norm, thanks for the feedback. We loved it during the very short test drive.

  4. #4
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    NormT is offline Turbo-4 power! My Buick(s): Turbo Envision
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    Re: Consumer Reports review?

    Sure! Had the inlaws drive ours and they liked it too.

    I have a Cadillac XTS and ATS and the materials are just as well designed and robust in the Envision. I, among others, enjoy the softer ride in the Envision.

  5. #5
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    Re: Consumer Reports review?

    I have a '15 Ford Escape and '16 Envision Premium II, both with all options. No comparison in road-ride quality, wind-noise, and seat-comfort, and styling. Acceleration slightly better for the Escape, maybe .2 seconds better to 60 mph. (6.8 vs 7.0) But engine is much smoother in the Envision. Hands down the Envision is better...but I paid $44k (MSRP $49K) for the Envision. Comparable Escape now about MSRP $38K/DCT $33K.

    Can't agree with Consumer Reports. I have 8,200 miles on the Envision, and no issues, except initially it needed the software upgrade to get the NAV/gauges to adjust to lighting changes properly. A one hour quick fix at the dealer. The '17s by now should all come with this resolved since the software was available !0/24/16.

    The car is refined. Perfect size; easy entry/exit. Adaptive Cruise Control my favorite option. Rear camera not as good as the Escape's; that's the negative. MPG not bad. Took a 2,200 mile trip from Texas to Colorado, and back, when it was one month old...averaged 26 MPG including mountain driving, using 87 octane.

  6. #6
    NormT's Avatar
    NormT is offline Turbo-4 power! My Buick(s): Turbo Envision
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    Re: Consumer Reports review?

    We rented a 2017 Escape SE AWD for 400+ miles to pick up the Envision. With the steering so vague, stiff ride, and noisy interior I was wondering what Ford does to bring to Titanium or Lincoln levels.

    I did like the thin A-pillar and soft head rest along with economical 33.3 mpg @ 65 mph. The throttle tip-in was good and the transmission smooth. I did think was going end up with tinnitus the road noise was so bad and the seat bottom made my butt sore.

    The Envision was a dream after that ride. The Buick tracked straight was easy to place on the road.

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    Re: Consumer Reports review?

    Thank you TxTom and Norm, again!

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    Re: Consumer Reports review?

    Interesting comments. I have had a Mercedes GLK 350 2010 until a few weeks ago. I traded it in to buy my wife a VW Beetle 2017 and I now drive her Fiat 500. Quite a change.

    I am looking to replace the Fiat by a new midsize luxury SUV. I really liked my GLK but it was nearly 7 years old and 213000km. I do not like anything in the Mercedes line currently.

    I have gone around the varying dealerships and I narrowed the possible choices to the Buick Envision and Lincoln MKC. I am looking forward to a softer American type drive. I am 50 years old now and firmer is no longer better.

    I have read many reviews including some in French (I'm in Quebec).

    Consumer Report's review is the worst I read on the Envision. I think that they were decided to give a bad review to anything made in China.

    So,this thread really interests me. If anybody else could comment, and maybe compare with the MKC, I would really appreciate.

    From my searched on the internet, I am afraid of the MKC's reliability although I am impressed that it looks more luxurious.

    Thanks in advance.

  9. #9
    Bigdog48 is offline Buick Newbie My Buick(s): Buick Envision
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    Re: Consumer Reports review?

    I love mine, and think Consumer Reports is often overly critical of minor issues. Take one for a longer drive.

  10. #10
    Bigdog48 is offline Buick Newbie My Buick(s): Buick Envision
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    Re: Consumer Reports review?

    Remove this ad
    Quote Originally Posted by TxTom View Post
    I have a '15 Ford Escape and '16 Envision Premium II, both with all options. No comparison in road-ride quality, wind-noise, and seat-comfort, and styling. Acceleration slightly better for the Escape, maybe .2 seconds better to 60 mph. (6.8 vs 7.0) But engine is much smoother in the Envision. Hands down the Envision is better...but I paid $44k (MSRP $49K) for the Envision. Comparable Escape now about MSRP $38K/DCT $33K.

    Can't agree with Consumer Reports. I have 8,200 miles on the Envision, and no issues, except initially it needed the software upgrade to get the NAV/gauges to adjust to lighting changes properly. A one hour quick fix at the dealer. The '17s by now should all come with this resolved since the software was available !0/24/16.

    The car is refined. Perfect size; easy entry/exit. Adaptive Cruise Control my favorite option. Rear camera not as good as the Escape's; that's the negative. MPG not bad. Took a 2,200 mile trip from Texas to Colorado, and back, when it was one month old...averaged 26 MPG including mountain driving, using 87 octane.
    Agree with all of your points...the Envision gets a bad rap from Consumer Reports. It is comfortable, quiet and gets great mileage. I drove mine from coastal NC to Brooklyn and back and got 31 mpg -- 800 miles while still under 5000 total miles on the vehicle. Only issue has been the same nav/instrument panel lighting tweak (software) that TxTom speaks of.

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