New Buick Envision model spotted in China, expected here this year

Jonathon Ramsey



At GM Capital Markets Day in February, GM North America president Barry Engle said the U.S. market can expect "updated models of Chevrolet Equinox and Traverse, Buick Envision and Enclave, as well as GMC Terrain." We've seen the Equinox and Traverse, and although we weren't aware, we've seen the Envision. Buick showed an EV crossover concept in 2018 called the Enspire, and it was thought to preview an eventual production model called the Enspire that's been spotted in various places testing under heavy camouflage in the U.S. GM, in fact, applied to trademark the Enspire name twice in the U.S. The model's final production form got an early reveal in China thanks to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and according to GM Authority, a branding redirection has led to the crossover being called the Envision.

Assuming this is the model that comes to the U.S., it will share dealer space with the current Envision imported from China. Motor1 writes that Chinese site Auto Home alleges the name Envision S will distinguish the new product, and the tailgate in the low-res photo plausibly shows an S after the model name. That doesn't mean it would get the S suffix here, though. It's not clear if the coming crossover grows in size compared to the standard Envision the way the Encore GX expanded a touch over the Encore. The marquee difference will be that the new Envision is more luxurious in looks, equipment, and features.

There are few details, but it's thought the Envision S sits on the same E2 platform as the Cadillac XT4, and will use the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder in the Cadillac paired with the automaker's nine-speed automatic. In the XT4, that mill produces 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, but across all its applications in the GM stable it makes anywhere from 230 to 237 hp.   

What we can see is that the new CUV takes the Envision name in a more dynamic direction, starting with a trim upper front fascia that puts narrow headlights astride a wide grille clearly derived from the concept, the lower front fascia with chrome-lined outer intakes that recall the Aston Martin DBX. A diffuser-looking silver trim piece in front is mirrored in back. A sloping roof helps create the slim profile, leading to a trim backlight, thin taillights, and strong horizontals on the bumper that emphasize width. The thinking goes that GM wants this take on the Envision to pull the nameplate out of a sales middle ground against the competition. The least popular Buick crossover upped sales last year by 10% compared to 2019, easily outselling the Infiniti QX50 and Lincoln MKC, doing a little better than the Volvo XC60, but being comprehensively outsold by the Acura RDX and Lexus NX.