2021 Buick Envision review: A much better second act

The new Imagine is two hundred% more beautiful than in advance of.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The 1st-technology Buick Imagine was… fantastic, like how you could describe a motion picture you did not definitely want to see. The 2021 Buick Imagine alterations that up, even so. Via some thorough nips and tucks, this midsize high quality crossover is far more worthy of your time.


  • Interesting exterior style
  • Terrific infotainment tech
  • Smooth and silent experience high-quality

You should not Like

  • A lot of affordable interior bits
  • Middling gas economic system

Model normally takes a large action forward in the 2021 Imagine. The outgoing crossover had the huge eyes of a cat you snuck up on and a mishmash of varieties on the facet. The new technology is, by comparison, far fancier wanting, with thinner headlights and taillights higher than more expressive bumpers, as properly as a front grille that seems to be like it was intended in this ten years and facet lines that no more time compete with one particular one more. A more time wheelbase and a lessen, broader physique give the Imagine more adult proportions, too. That arrives with a tradeoff, even though — the 25.2 cubic ft of cargo place at the rear of the second row is a lot less than what arrived on the past technology, which beats the Volvo XC60 (17.eight) but lags at the rear of the Acura RDX (29.5) and the Lincoln Corsair (27.six).

The 2021 Envision’s interior is vastly improved, and Outdated GM’s myriad buttons are absent. The infotainment display screen is properly integrated into the dashboard, although it can be tilted oddly skyward. The weather command buttons live in a swath of piano-black trim which, on my Avenir tester, carries on rearward to the centre console armrest. There are some decently extravagant cues all around, from the dimpled wood on the doorway panels to the diamond air flow pattern on the leather-based seats. You can find a minimal more vinyl-gentle plastic than I might like to see in a best-tier trim with an out-the-doorway value north of $forty five,000, but which is GM for you. On the total, it can be a spacious, beautiful interior which is a quantum leap ahead of what arrived in advance of.

Even even though cargo place is a minimal dear, storage on the total just isn’t poor at all. You can find a effortless purse-sized tray concealed beneath the transmission controls, and the clamshell armrest is deep plenty of to maintain a few of clutches. If so outfitted, there’s also a wi-fi charging tray ahead of the cup holders that can double as more junk storage. The doorway-panel cubbies are deep, but the opening is amazingly little, so minimal tchotchkes can wander rearward, demanding some complicated wrist acrobatics to retrieve.

Below the hood lies a compromise. The 2021 Imagine lineup utilizes just one particular motor, a 2.-liter turbocharged I4 superior for 228 horsepower and 258 pound-ft of torque, which splits the variance involving the two engines offered on pre-2021 Envisions, a 197-hp 2.5-liter I4 and a 252-hp 2.-liter I4. Front-wheel drive variants are EPA-rated at 24 miles for each gallon town and 31 mpg freeway, with optional AWD lowering each and every figure by 2 mpg. My encounter does not pretty match the EPA’s even with my AWD Imagine Avenir locked in FWD mode, 27 mpg is the greatest I can muster on Michigan highways, whilst town mileage hovers closer to twenty.

The interior is superior, but not fantastic.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The remainder of the 2021 Envision’s driving encounter is pretty enjoyable. The motor notice, uh, exists, but its mediocre muted growl fades into the background once something starts off enjoying on the speakers. Acceleration is adequate, losing a large amount of the perkiness that the outgoing model’s optional turbo 4 packed, but it can be more than plenty of for on-ramps and these, and its nine-velocity automatic swaps cogs so effortlessly you may barely even recognize. The steering is a minimal overboosted, but it can be nothing at all most purchasers will recognize or care about, and the pedals are useless basic to modulate effortlessly. My tester wears Buick’s adaptive dampers, which can modify damping toughness whilst driving to soak up nasty bits in the road. Though the experience is absolutely on the smoother facet for compact crossovers, it can be practically too much so, primary to a bit of a floaty sensation. Wind and road noise are rather properly muted, too.

Oh, and the switch signal is no more time loud plenty of to be mistaken for a cherry bomb. That is great.

GM has never been shy about loading its hottest cars with all fashion of tech, both equally common and optional, and which is however the story with the 2021 Imagine. As the best trim on offer you, the Avenir sporting activities a adequately large 10.2-inch infotainment touchscreen operating the hottest Buick-skinned variation of GM’s company software package. Like every single other motor vehicle it can be in, this getup is charming, with menus that are brief to load and simple to navigate. Wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle are common across the board, which is a great contact. The infotainment also packs a number of created-in applications that operate with the 4G LTE antenna, so you can use Alexa integration to command your house’s lights or pay attention to the hottest podcast or advice from Reese Witherspoon’s e-book club. If your phone does not settle for wi-fi charging, there are both equally USB-A and USB-C ports on offer you to juice up.

The Imagine is one particular of Buick’s superior offerings.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Buick and its family members of adjacent manufacturers have often scrimped on common security options, but the 2021 Imagine has loads of ’em. All Imagine trims involve automatic crisis braking with pedestrian detection, lane-preserving help, lane-departure warning, automatic substantial beams and rear parking sensors. My tester’s $one,670 Engineering Deal II updates that kit with a rear-camera mirror, adaptive cruise command, improved automatic crisis braking and automatic parking help, so you may however have to shell out added coin for some things that arrives common on other cars at this value place.

Now, you will not have to push towards $50,000 to rock a 2021 Buick Imagine. The foundation Most well-liked trim starts off at $32,995 such as spot for a front-wheel-drive model with an eight-inch touchscreen and surfaces covered in a combine of cloth and leatherette. The center-kid Essence raises the value to $36,995, with the Avenir commencing at $41,395. All-wheel drive is a $one,800 selection no make any difference the trim, and in contrast to previous iterations, all 3 trims can be had with or with no it.

The outgoing Buick Imagine, which was created with the Chinese market place in intellect from the get-go, never definitely felt completely tuned to the US clients, but that alterations with the 2021 model. It truly is superior wanting, it can be however great to drive and it can be appointed with the options that purchasers in this phase are after.