As weird as it looks, the US market is set to receive another fleet of Chinese-made automobiles. The US market has an expanding appetite for crossovers; the trend is set to continue and Buick is seeking to make the maximum profit it can from this market. Over the past few years, Buick has enjoyed a great deal of success with its two crossovers in the US market.
However, Buick felt there was a gap in its crossover SUV lineup and they were losing a lot. The Automaker felt that a model was needed to slot between the subcompact Encore and midsize Enclave. To fill this gap, the automaker has decided to bring the Chinese-made Envision to the states. The Envision is a compact premium crossover which made its maiden debut in 2014 in China. Buick hopes the Envision will be received well in the market like the Encore and Enclave. Read along to find out what Buick is bringing home from China:
2017 Buick Envision Exterior
The 2017 Buick Envision has an attractive exterior profile that is in line with the automaker’s current design language. The vehicle is based on the DSXX platform which translates to reduced curb weight hence improved fuel efficiency and performance.
At the front, the vehicle features a waterfall grille with a Buick logo at the center. The grille is flanked by boomerang-looking xenon headlights and LED DRLs. The DRLs design is borrowed from the Enclave. The front also features a huge bumper integrated with fog lights and air vents which channel cooling air to the engine.
At the rear, the Buick Envision has a huge bumper. The rear features sharp-looking LED taillights. The rear also features a new exhaust system with two exhaust tips on each side. The model rides on a set of 19-inch alloy wheels which together with its strong suspension improve its capability to handle rough terrain.
Dimension-wise, the new 2017 Buick Envision is 183 inches long, 72 inches wide and 66 inches tall.
2017 Buick Envision Interior
Inside, you will find a very comfortable cabin. The seats are covered in soft materials and wrapped in leather which makes them very comfortable. All the seats are heated. The vehicle also has a spacious cargo space. Standard features on the Premium I trim include a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an 8-inch touch-screen mounted on the dash, a tri-zone climate control as well as a Bose premium sound system. It also features various connectivity features such as Bluetooth, USB ports and Wi-Fi connectivity. It also features various driving aids such as forward-collision warning, lane-keep assist and blind-spot warning.
For more features, you can opt for the top-of-the range Premium II trim which adds ventilated front seats, automatic parking assist, HID headlights, a navigation system and a Driver Confidence Package which includes a 360-degree camera , cruise control and automatic emergency braking. The Premium II also adds a panoramic moon-roof and a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot. Offering the 4G Wi-Fi hotspot as an option is a bit disappointment from Buick as many automakers are offering it as a standard feature.
The 2016 Buick models which will hit the market starting this June will be without Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in their infotainment systems, a feature that will be standard on 2017 models. This is the most important difference between the interior of the 2017 and 2016 models.
Engine Specs and Performance
Though the envision features a 1.5 L turbocharged engine in China, this engine won’t be offered in the US. At first, the Envisions will be offered in a single drive-train. The unit is a 2.0 L, 4-cylinder turbocharged mill good for 252 horses and 260 lb-ft of torque.
The engine is combined with a 6-speed automatic transmission that channels power to all wheels through an Active Twin Clutch AWD system. Buick estimates the engine to return a fuel economy of 27 mpg on combined drives. The vehicle is estimated to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 8.4 seconds and reaches a top speed of 130 mph.
Credible reports indicate that a less potent engine will be offered later on to enable the automaker to offer the Envision at a cheaper price. The engine being fronted is a 2.5 L, 4-cylinder engine. Models with this engine will be offered with FWD as standard and AWD as an option.
Price and release date
The first models of the Buick Envision will arrive in the US in June. These models will fall under the 2016 model year. When these arrive, the Premium I trim will start at $42,995. However, when the 2017 models arrive with an option for front-wheel drive and a 2.5L engine, the price will go down to $ 34,990. The 2016 models will arrive in June 2016 closely followed by the 2017 models 4 months later in November.
The 2017 Buick Envision will go head to head with the likes of Acura RDX, Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class and BMW X3. These competing models are all priced below $ 40,000 which will give the Envision a hard time before its more affordable models arrive in the market.
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