For the majority of the twenty-first century, it is the question we have been asking, and Buick has been attempting to respond to.
With its Avenir sub-brand, the carmaker has made an effort to recapture some of its premium cachet, and the most recent Wildcat Coupe concept has served as a source of stylish forward-thinking.
The 2024 Buick Envista is the result of self-reflection by the American automaker. This tiny SUV serves as the new, appealing entry point to Buick’s lineup, with an appearance that draws significantly from the Wildcat and a sloping fastback roofline.
To see if Buick is once again on target with its design, we got behind the wheel of the Envista Sport Touring, the mid-level vehicle that lies between the Preferred and Avenir grades.
The dashboard of the Envista features two digital displays: an 8.0-inch gauge cluster for the SUV and an 11.0-inch touchscreen entertainment system.
Underneath a vent situated in the center of the dashboard, there is also a separate panel for climate control. The Envista features wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot, and Buick’s most recent software.
The Envista has a roomy interior for four people, while the stylish coupe-like roofline slightly reduces headroom in the backseat.
Although the Buick’s interior materials aren’t luxury-grade, they more than hold their own against competitors like the Nissan Kicks and the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. It also has a ton of practical features and cool technology, like a sizable glass dashboard panel that holds a touchscreen entertainment system in addition to a digital gauge display.
The following eight exterior paint colors are offered for the 2024 Buick Envista:
- Cinnabar Metallic (GFM)
- Copper Ice Metallic (G98) (not available on Avenir)
- Ebony Twilight Metallic (GB0)
- Moonstone Gray Metallic (GZB)
- Ocean Blue Metallic (GK9)
- Summit White (GAZ) (not available on Avenir)
- Sunrise Red Metallic (GMF) (not available on Avenir)
- White Frost Tricoat (GP5)
GM adapted the Buick Wildcat EV concept’s long wheelbase, crossover coupe roofline, and aggressive appearance for the 2024 Buick Envista. 18-inch wheels in all black are standard equipment for the Sport Touring trim level, while 19-inch wheels are available. The standard Pearl Nickel 19-inch wheels are only available on the Avenir trim level.
As part of the Buick driver confidence package, standard technology features include Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, and IntelliBeam automatic highlights, among others.
A 1.2-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine, a six-speed automated transmission, and front-wheel drive are standard on every Buick Envista. With 137 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque, the Envista is one of the less potent vehicles in the subcompact SUV market.
With precise brake torqueing, 0-60 mph may be reached in 9.4 seconds, which is slower than most modern traffic. Even lazier test results are obtained by merely slamming the accelerator.
The six-speed automatic transmission is readily confused by throttle inputs in the type of city driving we anticipate most Envista owners will conduct, and the engine doesn’t start until the motor is revved past 3,000 rpm.
To avoid the aggravation of having to wait for the transmission to decide which gear it wants to use, we advise developing patience and driving the Envista with greater ease. Fuel efficiency is good, with an EPA-rated 28/32/30 mpg city/highway/combined, at the sacrifice of performance.
The Envista retains its composure on a winding route, but this test vehicle falls short of the Sport Touring category. Although the steering is reasonably direct and the brake pedal engages well, the chassis tuning needs improvement.
In place of the typical compound crank suspension, Buick’s available Watts Link suspension is installed in our test vehicle. Although Buick claims that this feature “helps offer a sure-footed, quiet, and secluded ride experience,” the Envista in actual use lacks assurance when making turns.
When driving over bumps and choppy surfaces, the suspension struggles to control itself. Luckily, the subcompact rides quietly over more common pavement and is more suited for interstate driving.
The 2024 Buick Envista isn’t very athletic or opulent, but it does stand out in the aesthetic department in a market dominated by rather uninspired SUVs. Also, because it is priced far below $30,000, buyers may customize their car with any option packages they choose without significantly increasing the sticker price.
Even with an extra paint update for $495, our test car cost only $29,070. To further highlight the Envista’s body lines, we’d choose a color other than the Ebony Twilight Metallic shown in the photographs that go with this narrative.
Although our experience with the Envista Sport Touring hasn’t particularly excited us as car aficionados, we believe that buyers who want to stand out from the crowd should choose this small SUV. Buick may finally be moving in the right path if its new brand positioning centers on providing fashionable vehicles for the public.